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Martijn Meerts

Tomix and DCC

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KenS

That looks like a three-pole straight-wound motor from the photo.  How old was the locomotive?

 

I've always wondered of Tomix used skew-wound and/or five-pole motors for better low-speed operation. It would appear that in at least this case the answer is "no".

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Martijn Meerts

It's from an EF510 form about 5 years old I guess. Tomix does seem a bit random with what type of motor they used. On the other hand, an EF510 isn't meant for low-speed operation, so a skewed and/or 5 pole motor wouldn't make much difference, especially not with the 2 decent flywheels.

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KenS

I think the reason flywheels aren't enough is that at low speeds, the armature isn't turning fast enough (i.e., there isn't enough momentum stored in the flywheel) to fully overcome the "coging torque" that makes the motor want to stop between poles. But I'm no motor expert.

 

There has to be some reason all of these manufacturers seem to want to use either skewed windings or more poles, both of which reduce the power output of the motor, rather than just using flywheels.

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Martijn Meerts

Flywheels aren't meant for better low speed running, in fact, I believe to get better low speed running, the flywheels should be removed altogether. The poles, or more specifically the amount of dead space between the poles is the most important there. The motor needs to be able to rotate at constant speed without as little resistance as possible. Skewed poles with very little space in between the poles is great here.

 

Actually, Marklin has a different type of motor for some of their H0 stuff (C-Sine motor / Softdrive Sinus), which basically swaps the position of magnet and poles. Instead of the poles rotating, the magnet(s) rotate. This gives them enough space to fit in 9 poles. I don't think there's anything that fits N-scale yet though :) Heck, even in H0 they're not using this motor type all that much ...

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rpierce000

I took apart a Kato EF65-1000 (part#3011) and a round, light brown capacitor fell out. Capacitors MAY not be a Tomix only item. I do know that now the engine runs very badly and I cannot figure out where the capacitor goes back in. It has NO solder on it, it appears to have just been laid in there or press fit into some part of the metal of the body.

 

I realize this is a bit of a side issue, but has anyone else seen this? If so, where does it go?

 

Thanks!

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Martijn Meerts

Is it a Kato or Tomix? You mention Kato, but the thread is mainly about Tomix :)

 

Anyway, a capacitor isn't something only Tomix uses, but many, if not most of the brands use it one way or another. When converting to DCC, the capacitor isn't needed anymore (the decoder has it built in), so they are removed.

 

In your case, the capacitor is indeed just stuck in there rather than soldered in. Usually it's held in place by a little plastic wedge like thing that site between the motor (the side with the power pickups) and the frame. The capacitor just bridges the 2 contacts of the motor.

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CaptOblivious

I took apart a Kato EF65-1000 (part#3011) and a round, light brown capacitor fell out. Capacitors MAY not be a Tomix only item. I do know that now the engine runs very badly and I cannot figure out where the capacitor goes back in. It has NO solder on it, it appears to have just been laid in there or press fit into some part of the metal of the body.

 

I realize this is a bit of a side issue, but has anyone else seen this? If so, where does it go?

 

Thanks!

 

That is very odd. I'm guessing the cap wasn't stock. My kato EF65-1000 had a cap...but it was soldered onto the light board. Those models are such silky smooth runners normally...even without the filtering cap...that I would strongly suspect there is something else wrong with it.

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Martijn Meerts

Cap, I've come across several trains recently that had the capacitor just clipped in place instead of being soldered. Not sure why they do it, other than make it easier to install a decoder, since you won't have to de-solder the capacitor :)

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CaptOblivious

Cap, I've come across several trains recently that had the capacitor just clipped in place instead of being soldered. Not sure why they do it, other than make it easier to install a decoder, since you won't have to de-solder the capacitor :)

 

 

I've seen that too, but only in EMUs, not in any locos...

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Martijn Meerts

Good point.. If I remember right, all the ones I've seen it in were EMUs/DMUs/Shinkansen ..

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Spaceman Spiff

Hi, I have had no decoder issues on my Tomix trains(E4, 700 Railstar, O Series, Shinano 115 etc). I have used Digitrax 125N and on my latest install I used the DN135. The Tomix trains seem to run slower than my Kato's on high speed runs. I much prefer installing decoders on the Kato's. The metal motor tabs on the Kato's are alot easier to solder on to than the Tomix contact springs. On my last couple of Tomix installs I had to tear down the train all the way down to the motor and solder directly to contacts on the motor. This is way too much work. In the future given a choice I will choose Kato over Tomix.

 

 

Spiff

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loulasalle

You guys are making my head spin. I have about 15 or so EMU/DMU sets, and a like number of Locomotive, all from the big Three. Is it worth my while ( and sanity), to begin converting these to DCC. What sort of power supply would be required to have 6 or 7 trains running simultaneously? Any favorite systems? I was looking at the Ecosystem ESU, flashy, and expensive.any words will help.thanks

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HantuBlauLOL

I have a question.. How did you disassemble the flywheel equipped tomix motors?

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Martijn Meerts

You guys are making my head spin. I have about 15 or so EMU/DMU sets, and a like number of Locomotive, all from the big Three. Is it worth my while ( and sanity), to begin converting these to DCC. What sort of power supply would be required to have 6 or 7 trains running simultaneously? Any favorite systems? I was looking at the Ecosystem ESU, flashy, and expensive.any words will help.thanks

 

For N-scale, pretty much any basic command station can do 6-7 trains these days, unless you get a really cheap one that outputs a very limited amount of power. The ESU has 3 amps worth of power going to the track, modern trains with interior light equipped used about 150 milliamps, a bit more for dual motor 16-car shinkansen of course.

 

The EMU/DMU sets will need 3 or 4 decoders, depending on how many motor cars they have. You need 1 for each motor car, and 1 for each cab car if you want directional head/tail lights. Of course, if the motor is installed in 1 of the cab cars, you don't need an additional decoder in that cab car. If you want to control interior lights using a command station, either every car needs a decoder, or you have to install some sort of custom connection system within the cars.

 

Which system to go for depends on where you want to take it. If you just want to run trains, you don't need anything fancy. If you want to automate/computer control everything, you could go with something like Roco Z21. If you want an all-in-one, the ECoS is a great solution. Decoder wise, it depends on what kind of features you want, but my personal preference are the ESU LokPilot micro decoder, mainly for their motor tuning features.

 

 

 

I have a question.. How did you disassemble the flywheel equipped tomix motors?

 

Stuck it in a vise and forced the flywheels off ;) The motor was already broken, so I just took it apart to see if there was anything special in there. If you want to disassemble it in a way so you can put it back together again, you'll need some special tools. Kato/Tomix/MicroAce motors aren't meant to be serviced though, they're meant to just be replaced if one fails.

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titoit

Dear friends,

I come back after long time.

As I have to choice a DCC control unit I need to have suggestions from you.

Actually I have a Roco Multimaus box that I’m using for H0 tracks and rolling stocks. Do you think that’s a such control unit could be compatible for a N scale diorama with Tomix tracks? Is it possible to connect with Tomix feeder track?

Or do you think it’s better to buy a brand new Tomix unit in a starter set pack?

By the way, is it possible to install ESU or other European-style decoders on Japanese rolling stock?

Thank you very much 

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kvp

The Multimaus has a higher voltage as it's meant for H0, so might be a bit too much for japanese 12V motors. Other than that, any DCC system should work with any japanese track systems. (my local club has been using a Multimaus with a piece of Kato track for address programming) I would say, that for the long run, it's better to use a DCC system that supports N scale voltage levels (a track voltage between 12 and 14V).

 

Tomix feeder cables should work, but there are no dedicated feeder tracks as you could add a feeder to most track pieces, at least with modern Tomix Finetrack as the old track system is not really used today. But you should avoid using the Tomix noise cancellers as they are for DC operation only. You can't buy a Tomix DCC system as their products are DC only, including digital throttles.

 

It's possible to install european decoders into japanese rolling stock, but you will have to wire in the decoders yourself as there are no european style sockets in most japanese N scale trains. Some Kato trains have sockets for Kato decoders, but the rest has to be soldered and in many cases, the space for the decoders have to be cut/filed/milled out, especially for locomotives. There could be some problems with head/tail light combo circuits as they might have to be rewired from bipolar operation to DCC style separte channel pull to ground operation as most decoders support only this. Tomytec trains are easier as they don't have headlights and the pickups and the motor tabs are more easily accessable for soldering, due to the diy kit form of these sets.

 

Personally for DCC with japanese N, i would suggest an N scale compatible DCC system with wired decoders. Kato sells decoders made by Digitrax, so Digitrax N scale wired decoders should work fine. Adding 6, 6+1 or 8 pin DCC sockets to japanese trains and using off the shelf european or american decoders is also an option.

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titoit

Thank you very much kvp for your clarifications. Unfortunately I have other doubts.

Well if I can use neither Multitasking for his higher voltage nor European style DCC on the rolling stock due to lack of socket, what can I do to let different trains to run simultaneously on the diorama?

Particularly I can't understand how I could employ DCC system if Japanese rolling stock have no sockets for the DCC decoder...

Should I try with analogical system with old style electric circuit sections?

However on the other hand, is it better to get a To mix starter set pack with control unit (I mean Tomix as I have got already some Tomix fine tracks)? But in that case this unit could be used to control different trains on the tracks or not?

Thank you.

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Kiha66

Although Japanese rolling stock don't usually have sockets for a decoder, that doesn't mean that you can't install one!  You just have to directly wire the decoder wires to the track pickups, motor leads (be sure to isolate the motor from the track pickup first!), as well as any lights/accessories.  Decoders without sockets are sold for this very purpose, and the wires are color coded so that you can easily tell which wire is supposed to go! 

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Melandir

Well if I can use neither Multitasking for his higher voltage nor European style DCC on the rolling stock due to lack of socket, what can I do to let different trains to run simultaneously on the diorama?

Particularly I can't understand how I could employ DCC system if Japanese rolling stock have no sockets for the DCC decoder...

Should I try with analogical system with old style electric circuit sections?

 

If you have a Multimaus and like the brand you can go for the black Z21 I have it and it works perfectly

 

If you have no socket you just need to solder the decoders directly, it's not so difficult but you need to practice a little

 

Kato has some DCC friendly EMU/DMU, for them you just need to buy their decoders (made by Digitrax) that are plug and play, for Kato Loco both Digitrax and TCS sell decoders that are compatible you just need to replace the lightboard 90% of the time

 

For Kato models that are not DCC friendly you will need to solder the decoders

 

For Tomix everything need to be soldered and it's not difficult, for MA installing a decoder in the motor is easy, not so for the lightboard at the EMU/DMU ends

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kvp

In short, most japanese rolling stock is built for analog use only. You can add decoders by installing them yourself or asking a professional for installing them. If you decide to do it yourself, you'll have to design the circuit connections and then wire them yourself. Some Kato rolling stock has place for Kato brand decoders that have different connectors than most standard equipment. But fortunately these Kato decoders that could only be installed in some Kato trains will work with any DCC system as long as it's good for N scale. So using DCC with japanese trains means you may have a lot of work to do just to get the decoders in or you have to pay for someone to install them for you.

 

If you decide to skip the DCC and use analog DC control, then getting a Tomix controller is a good idea. That means you'll have a nice classic analog system that could operate analog trains. (turning the knob puts power on the tracks and that moves the train) As new japanse trains are sold set up for analog DC, you can just place them on the tracks and run them. Control will be provided by power routing turnouts, so if you select a track, then the train standing on it will get power and could be moved with the controller, while unselected ones will stay where they are as they won't get power. You should only control one train with one controller. You can use analog block control but running one train with one controller on one loop will work fine. Getting another controller will let you run two loops, so that means two trains at the same time. (one train per loop and controller) This is the classic analog operation, just made easier with the power routing turnouts, so you don't have to wire blocks. This is the easiest way if you don't know much about electrical engineering and the operation of digital systems or don't want to take apart and modify your trains to rebuild them for digital operation.

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titoit

Thank you very much to everybody for your useful advices.

To sum up......

If I choose DCC, I have usually to manage wires because Japanese locomotives have no socket. For Kato the best solution is to have Digitrax decoder and control unit. And what about for Tomix (but also Microace, Greenmax, and so on)? In any case

 

If I switch to analog system ok, I could control each loop with a single control unit. But what about for layouts with switch tracks? 

I mean, if I choose to cross different loops to let trains moving together, I have always to create section, otherwise I could find troubles provoking train stop and even damage to the electrical parts.

If Japanese trains are bult and conceived for analog, how is it possible to move plenty of trains on the layouts simultaneously? 

 

Final question. I found a webiste describing all Tomix control unit

http://www.trainweb.org/tomix/control/TomixControlSystems.htm.

Which is the best in your opinion?

 

Thank you again!!! :) :) :)

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kvp

For decoders i'm using Digitrax and Fleischmann ones (only for european prototype trains for club running), but the digitrax ones are slightly better. The drop in Kato decoders are also Digitrax made, but their 7 and 8 wire decoders are good too. I would suggest these for all japanese trains, except the rare ones with low voltage coreless motors as those are a problem.

 

For analog, you just put isolator joiners between the loops and remember to turn both controllers to the same direction when crossing. Some tracks, like Kato's crossovers have these isolators built in.

 

Generally you'll need as many controllers and separate blocks as many trains you want to move at the same time. The usual setup is one controller for each loop. 4 loops = 4 trains moving. You can add cab control and lots of fancy analog setups too if you know how to wire them.

 

I would check power routing turnout theory first as Tomix turnouts are fully power routing, so minimal engineering knowledge could let you build complex track setups. The idea is to only route power to the train(s) you want to move and know how to swap between them.

 

The best controllers are the driving stands as they have simulation circuits that make the models behave like the prototype. The linked site is pretty old though, there are a bunch of newer ones available, so you can choose one that matches your models. (my favourites are the green 1xx series dual lever resistive/electropneumatic setups, but modern trains have single lever controllers)

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NX:
If Japanese trains are bult and conceived for analog, how is it possible to move plenty of trains on the layouts simultaneously?

 

As kvp's explanation, checking power routing information would be good.

Once you get familiar with the theory and the available items for that (Tomix 5532, 5533, 5535, 5536, 2812, 5817, 24-811, etc), probably you would be surprised by what can be achieved.

 

Final question. I found a webiste describing all Tomix control unit

http://www.trainweb.org/tomix/control/TomixControlSystems.htm.

Which is the best in your opinion?

 

Once you are aware of the available controllers, perhaps you could also check some videos in youtube.

People tested some of these controllers so you could take some time to notice how the controllers are operated and how these "behave".

 

Cheers,

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velotrain

There seems to be a clear consensus that if DCC is really important to you, then you should go with Kato trains.

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katoftw

I don't think Kato is the clear winner.  If someone cannot use the decoders (Digitrax etc) that plug and play with Kato, then Kato's feature of DCC friendly is useless.  There is also a lot of Kato trains that aren't DCC friendly.

 

For me, it you can do complex wire ups for a DCC layout, you should be able to wire up a train without sockets.

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