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Kiran

Tomix track cleaning set

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chadbag

The cleaning car is pretty easy to put a decoder in though in any case it requires a little work.   I bought replacement boards from Germany that had a 6 pin connector.   Plenty of videos on YouTube on how to wire one on (and not that difficult  a job).  

 

Most Tomix locomotives I've seen are split frame and a royal pain in the tush to do.   I am working on one now, off and on.   

 

You can buy the cleaning car separately and run it with a KATO loc which are far easier to convert.   Or if you have US or Euro locs with decoders.  

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Martijn Meerts

Most Tomix aren't much more involved to convert to digital than Kato. The only problematic Tomix locos are the ones where you can't easily solder power pickup wires to anything, but so far I've only had 1 Tomix locomotive where I had to improvise in order to get power pickup. Interestingly, I've also had 1 Kato locomotive where I needed to do the exact same thing.

 

1 thing to keep in mind is that Tomix sometimes adds old locomotives to these cleaning car sets. I have one where the locomotive uses a springworm to between motor and bogies, and it's pretty terrible 🙂

 

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chadbag
5 hours ago, Martijn Meerts said:

Most Tomix aren't much more involved to convert to digital than Kato. The only problematic Tomix locos are the ones where you can't easily solder power pickup wires to anything, but so far I've only had 1 Tomix locomotive where I had to improvise in order to get power pickup. Interestingly, I've also had 1 Kato locomotive where I needed to do the exact same thing.

 

 

You don't find hard wiring a decoder into a split frame pot metal locomotive a tad more difficult than a simple board replacement (and possible LED move)?

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Martijn Meerts

I always hard wire the decoders anyway. The board replacements are usually only available from Digitrax for a select few locomotives, or from NGDCC. However, I prefer using ESU decoders, and they don't do board replacements. And of all the split frame trains I've installed, only 1 of the Tomix (EF65) has caused an issue, and 1 Kato (C57) one. 

 

All in all, MicroAce is more annoying, because they can't seem to settle on a design, both on how the loco frame is built, and how they do their (light) boards.

 

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chadbag
14 minutes ago, Martijn Meerts said:

I always hard wire the decoders anyway. The board replacements are usually only available from Digitrax for a select few locomotives, or from NGDCC. However, I prefer using ESU decoders, and they don't do board replacements. And of all the split frame trains I've installed, only 1 of the Tomix (EF65) has caused an issue, and 1 Kato (C57) one. 

 

All in all, MicroAce is more annoying, because they can't seem to settle on a design, both on how the loco frame is built, and how they do their (light) boards.

 

 

Just FYI there are a few other ones that work besides Digitrax .  TCS has boards, and I saw an old topic here in the forum that suggested NCE and MRC had some that fit at least certain sizes.

 

Personally I use the TCS boards for board replacements and D&H everywhere else. 🙂

 

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Martijn Meerts

Hmm.. It's still no ESU though 😄

 

I just very much prefer the fine tuning of the motor you can do with especially the LokPilot 4. To me it's worth spending some time hardwiring a decoder. Also, I've done close to 150 hard wired decoder installs by now in various brands and types of trains, eventually it becomes pretty straight forward (with exceptions of course)

 

In fact, I have several trains that have a Lenz gold mini or silver+ mini installed, which are by no means bad decoders, but I'm still thinking of replacing them with LokPilots. It also helps that I have an ECoS, and ESU's Lokprogrammer, so that makes programming easy, and I can update the decoders' firmware as well.

 

 

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chadbag

I have not done 150, but all the ones I have done have been pretty straight forward, that is true.  Once you sit and think about them for a while in some cases (like Greenmax dual motor systrems).   But they can still be tricky or difficult in terms of what actually needs to be done (the mechanical doing), even if that process is straight forward and easy to understand (as a list of steps).

 

I find the board replacements, for me, easier to do, and require less "making room" inside tight body shells.  And the TCS support RailCom and seem to be pretty configurable.  I won't claim that I have yet really customized a decoder behavior above basic needs so far.  I'll defer on that count.

 

It is easier when you standardize one a decoder family (or two, in my case, with D&H wired [including in Ersatz EM13 boards], and TCS in board replacements).  I have the D&H decoder box and software.  Easier investment to make when more of your decoders are all the same sort.

 

In most cases I am not replacing other brands already installed (I think I have 1 or two Digitrax wired already installed) or purchased, opened, and otherwise earmarked (one ZIMO and one ESU) but am selling off unused Digitrax wired I bought in favor of the D&H I standardized on.  ESU plays that same role in your case.

 

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Martijn Meerts

The LokPilot ones have several CVs specifically for tuning how the motor gets controlled at various speeds. I’ve had a lot of locomotives that would run well at low speed, but would be pretty flaky at higher speeds, mostly not running at a constant pace. Changing decoder settings usually meant it’d run well at high speeds, but would then be difficult at lower speeds. The LokPilot allows you to change settings for low, medium and high speeds separately. I have a couple of locomotives that I’ve only managed to get to run well with a LokPilot. Often they are older models, but it also happens on brand new ones. 

 

Anyway, think we’re getting a bit off topic, but generally, just use what you’re most comfortable / happy with 🙂

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