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Tomix Type 500 Shinkansen DCC conversion

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gavino200

I'm looking at conversion guides for a Tomix 500. I'd like to know roughly what's involved before I make a final decision about the Kitty 500. I found this guide by 'Club N Caldes'. I've followed one of his guides before and was very impressed. 

 

http://www.clubncaldes.com/2017/03/tomix-shinkansen-500-eva-digitalization.html

 

The author is @Dani. I have a couple of questions for you Dani. How has the conversion held up over time? Any problems? Would you do anything differently if you did it again?

 

Also, I've never used that method for lighting a car, but I think it's interesting. How was the brightness? Did you play with different resistor values?

 

Is this the rectifier that you used?

 

https://www.verical.com/pd/on-semiconductor-bridge-rectifier-MB6S-4541122?utm_campaign=verical_findchips_2018&utm_currency=&utm_medium=aggregator&utm_source=findchips&utm_content=inv_listing

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Dani

Hi!

 

This is a model I bring to all train fairs as it is quite impressive for everybody, and some people is able to recognize it also in Spain as Evangelion is a well known anime. So it has several running hours in train fairs and at home with no problems. I haven't opened any car since I converted it more than one year ago.

 

In my opinion using a 2.2kOhm resistor for each led strip it has the perfect illumination , but of course this is just a personal preference. I use to mount one led strip in just one car temporarily with a variable resistor, so I can adjust the intensity and after that I measure the resistor value. Then I install the closest value from the normal resistors I have in all cars.

 

About the bridge rectifier, I'm not sure if it is strictly necessary: some people told me it was not necessary, others that is better to install it or leds are "suffering" because of the non continuous current.... I prefer to install them! If I well remember bridge rectifiers are MB6S, but check the width matches with your led strips:

 

DSC_2347.JPG

 

Cheers!!

 

Dani

 

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gavino200
9 hours ago, Dani said:

Hi!

 

This is a model I bring to all train fairs as it is quite impressive for everybody, and some people is able to recognize it also in Spain as Evangelion is a well known anime. So it has several running hours in train fairs and at home with no problems. I haven't opened any car since I converted it more than one year ago.

 

Thanks for the update Dani. I'll follow your guide to convert my Tomix Kitty 500 when it comes out later in the year.

 

9 hours ago, Dani said:

 

In my opinion using a 2.2kOhm resistor for each led strip it has the perfect illumination , but of course this is just a personal preference. I use to mount one led strip in just one car temporarily with a variable resistor, so I can adjust the intensity and after that I measure the resistor value. Then I install the closest value from the normal resistors I have in all cars.

 

I like this approach. I've only used Kato and TORM lights. I find Kato lights too uneven and dim. TORMs are way to bright and need a filter added. Both are expensive. I think I'll use your approach. I could buy a giant roll of LED strip which would probably be economic. 

 

9 hours ago, Dani said:

 

About the bridge rectifier, I'm not sure if it is strictly necessary: some people told me it was not necessary, others that is better to install it or leds are "suffering" because of the non continuous current.... I prefer to install them! If I well remember bridge rectifiers are MB6S, but check the width matches with your led strips:

 

 

I agree. I wonder if it really makes a difference. But back current is theoretically not good for LEDs. And it doesn't seem like too much trouble. So I think I'd add the rectifier.

 

I'm curious, have you ever experimented with adding capacitors to passenger car lights?

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chadbag
46 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

 

I like this approach. I've only used Kato and TORM lights. I find Kato lights too uneven and dim. TORMs are way to bright and need a filter added. Both are expensive. I think I'll use your approach. I could buy a giant roll of LED strip which would probably be economic. 

 

 

I agree. I wonder if it really makes a difference. But back current is theoretically not good for LEDs. And it doesn't seem like too much trouble. So I think I'd add the rectifier.

 

Yeah, this is interesting.  I don't know enough about electronics to come up with this myself but I can follow instructions.   I have a few sets of KATO lights to install and a set of Tomix lights.  But I also bought a roll or two of LEDs and wanted to do my own in various cars.  I am going to use this as a guide myself.   Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

 

 

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gavino200
1 minute ago, chadbag said:

 

Yeah, this is interesting.  I don't know enough about electronics to come up with this myself but I can follow instructions.   I have a few sets of KATO lights to install and a set of Tomix lights.  But I also bought a roll or two of LEDs and wanted to do my own in various cars.  I am going to use this as a guide myself.   Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

 

 

 

 

I'll be looking forward to hearing about/seeing your progress. What LEDs did you buy? 

 

Also, same question for Dani, if you read this.

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chadbag
1 minute ago, gavino200 said:

 

 

I'll be looking forward to hearing about/seeing your progress. What LEDs did you buy? 

 

 

When I find them I will let you know.  I don't know if they are reasonable or not.  They were on eBay and not expensive.  They are somewhere in my "office".  Hopefully they are reasonable ones.   

 

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Dani

Hello!

 

I'm using 3528 non-waterproof led strips. I have cool white (used for 500系 EVA) and warm white for old models. You can buy 5 meters of these led strips in ebay for less than 3$:

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/5M-3528-5050-SMD-300-led-Flexible-strip-light-RGB-warm-white-cool-white-12V-DC/262126110767?var=560892853742&hash=item3d07ef082f:g:JWUAAOSwwbdWOMXE

 

image.png.87c42881e726d63a2c062c691505178f.png

 

I tried to fit capacitors to avoid flickering, but tantalum capacitors do not avoid flickering (at least those I tried), and the needed capacitors to make sure there is no flickering are too big and seen through windows, so finally my solution is to keep my track as clean as possible. 🙂

 

Cheers!

Dani

Edited by Dani
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kvp

If you run from DC, then without a rectifier the LEDs would only get power in one direction. With DCC, they would get a 50% PWM signal, so half the brightness. On the other hand, there is a so called reverse breakdown voltage for all diodes and for LEDs, that's that reverse polarity voltage they burn out. For visible light variants, mostly this is 5V. So if your DCC voltage is above 5V (usually 14V for N, 16V for TT and 18V for H0), then your LED strip would burn out petty fast. The rectifier makes sure this doesn't happen.

 

Any filtering capacitors have to be connected after the diode bridge and before the current limiting resistor, otherwise they can't hold a charge at all. So in your case the series resistor should go on the LED strip first, then the parallel filtering cap (if any), then the rectifier bridge and finally the pickup wires. Btw. this is exactly how the Tomix CL system works. (the PWM waveform is different from DCC, but the rectifier takes care of both)

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gavino200
On 7/1/2018 at 4:57 PM, gavino200 said:

I'm looking at conversion guides for a Tomix 500. I'd like to know roughly what's involved before I make a final decision about the Kitty 500. I found this guide by 'Club N Caldes'. I've followed one of his guides before and was very impressed. 

 

http://www.clubncaldes.com/2017/03/tomix-shinkansen-500-eva-digitalization.html

 

The author is @Dani. I have a couple of questions for you Dani. How has the conversion held up over time? Any problems? Would you do anything differently if you did it again?

 

Also, I've never used that method for lighting a car, but I think it's interesting. How was the brightness? Did you play with different resistor values?

 

Is this the rectifier that you used?

 

https://www.verical.com/pd/on-semiconductor-bridge-rectifier-MB6S-4541122?utm_campaign=verical_findchips_2018&utm_currency=&utm_medium=aggregator&utm_source=findchips&utm_content=inv_listing

 

I'm getting ready to convert the Kitty Tomix 500.

 

Can anyone identify the LaisDCC decoder in @Dani's page that is linked in the quote above? Anyone have any experience with Lais? They seem pretty cheap. Their website is fairly scant and for me the pictures aren't working.

 

https://laisdcc.com/decoders/

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chadbag

Kitty-chan 500 rides with DCC!   Using Doehler & Haass DH05C-3

 

Here are a few quick pics.  I have not done internal lights yet (waiting for some parts) and am about to attack the cab cars now.   I'll do a full write up later.

 

Since this is a motor car I clipped the front and rear lights wires. I then soldered the yellow wire to the Aux1 output so I can use it for interior lighting later.  So the stray yellow wire seen will not be stray once I am ready for interior lighting.

 

IMG_0392.thumb.jpg.7433d96d7a2c5e80fd1609477bdd58f6.jpgIMG_0398.thumb.jpg.d62227a501590e190a65b22e826dc987.jpgIMG_0402.thumb.jpg.234fd663d82bb2dfb7f99e6c6cf2a968.jpgIMG_0405.thumb.jpg.616830132bf9a2047d384928f8be7849.jpgIMG_0408.thumb.jpg.d04ac5b231ab44f33e784ce8afac0f8b.jpg

 

 

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chadbag

First cab car (front one) done on the Kitty-chan Shinkansen 500 by Tomix.  Used an NGDCC DF11r6 bipolar 2 function decoder.  Because this is a bipolar, I basically just had to isolate the power from the lightboard and hook the two function outputs to the two lightboard inputs.  (Non of the flipping of LED and disconnecting front and rear light busses etc).   I used a 9v battery to see which side was positive for the white light and used that for the "forward" output.  I had to turn bit 1 off on CV36 in order to get the rear lights working when it was on reverse.  I'll give more extensive info when I do a full write up.  

 

(Ignore the splice on the red and black wires -- at first I tried to place the decoder in a different place -- did a test fit without wiring first and everything -- but in the end the shell would not close so I had to lengthen it and place the decoder further back)

 

IMG_0416.thumb.jpg.62e371407cebf68ee3bb425adec9fcb6.jpgIMG_0418.thumb.jpg.68d33978c1851d854a135ae87fa6c799.jpgIMG_0429.thumb.jpg.fd45a75ed9393b4d354fca3b33bcbded.jpgIMG_0430.thumb.jpg.e0cc71f0e8316b2f53b2f67c1822f1ca.jpgIMG_0431.thumb.jpg.788bffeb7809bf27e0f701f110d8f6bc.jpg

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gavino200
50 minutes ago, chadbag said:

First cab car (front one) done on the Kitty-chan Shinkansen 500 by Tomix.  Used an NGDCC DF11r6 bipolar 2 function decoder.  Because this is a bipolar, I basically just had to isolate the power from the lightboard and hook the two function outputs to the two lightboard inputs.  (Non of the flipping of LED and disconnecting front and rear light busses etc).   I used a 9v battery to see which side was positive for the white light and used that for the "forward" output.  I had to turn bit 1 off on CV36 in order to get the rear lights working when it was on reverse.  I'll give more extensive info when I do a full write up.  

 

(Ignore the splice on the red and black wires -- at first I tried to place the decoder in a different place -- did a test fit without wiring first and everything -- but in the end the shell would not close so I had to lengthen it and place the decoder further back)

 

IMG_0416.thumb.jpg.62e371407cebf68ee3bb425adec9fcb6.jpg

 

 

Is this wire soldered to the spring, or just placed between the coils?

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chadbag

I soldered it to the spring with just a small amount of solder.

 

I basically tin the wire, then put a small drop of solder at the end of the spring, trying not to solder the coils together (maybe one set gets soldered if I am unlucky) and then I push the wire between and touch it with the iron for a second.  The tinned wire and tinned spring then get soldered together.   I did the same thing on the motor decoder.

 

I did this on my Tomix N700 (JR West/Kysuhu version) almost a year ago and it has worked out OK.

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gavino200

Nice job Chad! Were there any parts of the process that were particularly difficult? Anything you'd do differently if you did it again? 

Edited by gavino200

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gavino200
On 7/6/2018 at 6:45 AM, kvp said:

 

 

Any filtering capacitors have to be connected after the diode bridge and before the current limiting resistor, otherwise they can't hold a charge at all. So in your case the series resistor should go on the LED strip first, then the parallel filtering cap (if any), then the rectifier bridge and finally the pickup wires. Btw. this is exactly how the Tomix CL system works. (the PWM waveform is different from DCC, but the rectifier takes care of both)

 

At some stage I'm going to add filtering capacitors to my interior light circuit. I'm going to use kvp's suggested circuit. 

 

Can anyone suggest a capacitance number. I was planning on using a 220microFarad SMD as I have some already that I bought for sound decoder installation.

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chadbag

Got the rear cab car done on the Kitty-chan Shinkansen 500 (Tomix).  On this one I reversed the yellow and white wires as I wanted the forward and reverse to be backwards.  I also was able to fit the decoder under the power pickups after removing a small white rib.  The internal seats and stuff were different and there was not he same hidden space to hide the decoder.   I'll write it up in more detail, but it all works.  On this one I also had to clear bit 0 of CV36 to get the "forward" (when the train is "reverse") light to work.  I like these bipolar function decoders.

 

I'll go step by step with more pics in my full write-up I will do at some point.

 

IMG_0434.thumb.jpg.6ebfa811e9da49274f6dac9ecb438388.jpgIMG_0437.thumb.jpg.2a58b272daf958afd44cfc6dd44c0e27.jpgIMG_0438.thumb.jpg.0c14ecd7faeacdf810b18f6e8467e1ed.jpgIMG_0440.thumb.jpg.48e25bbb4ee7834c80e26ed0480d6d63.jpgIMG_0444.thumb.jpg.b2b60e39ceaa0f0975aa0c03c0281532.jpg

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chadbag
2 hours ago, gavino200 said:

Nice job Chad! Were there any parts of the process that were particularly difficult? Anything you'd do differently if you did it again? 


Thanks.   Nothing particularly difficult.   I screwed up on the front power car initially (thinking about decoder placement) so I cut the red / black wires too short and had to splice in apiece.   I did not want to dork around with the springs and soldering new wires on.   I should have though, instead of splicing, as teh splice was thicker and made it harder to get the wires placed so the shell would go back on.  So, it would have been better to either not mess up the wiring to start or replace the wiring instead of splicing.

 

I like to try and not modify the car as much as possible -- make things fit without cutting away parts of the body or otherwise modify things.  But sometimes you need to.  I saw on the rear cab car that I could fit the decoder under the power pickup strips (the whole assembly above the main body) but there was a short white rib I had to remove to make it fit.  But overall it made the installation much nicer.   When I add interior lights to the front cab car I will see if I can move the decoder to the same underneath place (may be different and not fit -- have to see).  If I can, I may do that and re-do the installation.  We'll see.   The fornt cab car was much harder to get all the wires, especially with the splice, in a position where the body shell fit back on in a good way.

 

So today I got the motor decoder installed in the motor car, as well as the two end cars with decoders for the head/tail lights.

 

The NGDCC bipolar decoder worked great, once I figured out the CV change I needed.

 

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chadbag
1 hour ago, gavino200 said:

 

At some stage I'm going to add filtering capacitors to my interior light circuit. I'm going to use kvp's suggested circuit. 

 

Can anyone suggest a capacitance number. I was planning on using a 220microFarad SMD as I have some already that I bought for sound decoder installation.

 

I don't know a capacitance number but I want to add the caps in when I make my light strips as well. I ordered some 470 uF 16V SMD electrolytic caps -- hopefully they will work.  I have not a clue what I am doing but was googling this and looking at circuits others had come up with in other forums / blogs.  (They are all similar)

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gavino200

Great work. You must be exhausted! Thanks for leaving a bread crumb trail!!

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gavino200
2 minutes ago, chadbag said:

 

I don't know a capacitance number but I want to add the caps in when I make my light strips as well. I ordered some 470 uF 16V SMD electrolytic caps -- hopefully they will work.  I have not a clue what I am doing but was googling this and looking at circuits others had come up with in other forums / blogs.  (They are all similar)

 

Seems like a question for @Kiha66

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chadbag
4 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

Great work. You must be exhausted! Thanks for leaving a bread crumb trail!!

 

I have a a lot more pics I took and want to make a more in depth report on what I did, step by step, for future reference, when I get around to it.

 

I am also hoping that my other Tomix Shinkansens (or my sons) -- N700 (JR West/Kysushu -- motor car is done but need to do cab cars), as well as the 100 and 200 will be similar.  I know the Tomix E3 is different in some ways.   But hopefully similar principles.

 

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chadbag

I need to get a better translation and maybe some guidance, but the NGDCC decoders seem to have a place to add a capacitor on them.   I plan on doing this at the same time  I do the interior lighting (as I will have it open and be working on stuff inside the cab cars).

 

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gavino200
5 minutes ago, chadbag said:

I need to get a better translation and maybe some guidance, but the NGDCC decoders seem to have a place to add a capacitor on them.   I plan on doing this at the same time  I do the interior lighting (as I will have it open and be working on stuff inside the cab cars).

 

 

Caps would be great for cab lights. Otherwise the tiniest break in current caused them to blink red/white for an instant. It's a small thing but it bugs the hell out of me.

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Kiha66

The important thing to remember for choosing a capacitor is the voltage rating.  You want to make sure that the capacitor is rated for more than the voltage that the tracks put out.  16v is the minimum I would use on a DCC system.  Just make sure that the Capacitor is correctly attached to the polarity after the diode and you should be good to go.  Since there isn't a lot of power draw and this is just for antiflicker 470 should be ok.  With a resistance of 1k ohms that gives you a time constant of almost half a second. (time to 63% discharge).  Let me know if you have any questions.  

Also if you plan to have a lot of them or use a large capacitance then having a resistor on the charging side can be helpful to limit inrush current.  

 

6 minutes ago, chadbag said:

I need to get a better translation and maybe some guidance, but the NGDCC decoders seem to have a place to add a capacitor on them.  

 

Actually all decoders can take a keep alive, you just need to find the point after the diode bridge to add it.

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chadbag
2 minutes ago, Kiha66 said:

The important thing to remember for choosing a capacitor is the voltage rating.  You want to make sure that the capacitor is rated for more than the voltage that the tracks put out.  16v is the minimum I would use on a DCC system.  Just make sure that the Capacitor is correctly attached to the polarity after the diode and you should be good to go.  Since there isn't a lot of power draw and this is just for antiflicker 470 should be ok.  With a resistance of 1k ohms that gives you a time constant of almost half a second. (time to 63% discharge).  Let me know if you have any questions.  

Also if you plan to have a lot of them or use a large capacitance then having a resistor on the charging side can be helpful to limit inrush current.  

 

 

Actually all decoders can take a keep alive, you just need to find the point after the diode bridge to add it.

 

 

Thanks.  When you say "on the charging side" do you mean before the capacitor (  -> R  -> C  -> R  -> LEDs ) ?  I've seen some that have like a  100 ohm then the rectifier then the cap then the 1000 ohm then the LEDS.  I assume you are meaning the 100 ohm one?

 

The nice thing with decoders that have the place already marked and set aside for them is it is easy -- especially for us numbskulls

 

 

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