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Old 3rd April 2011, 08:24   #1
MotionMan
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Default Z Gauge and DCC

Well, if I start this thread I hope I'm able to carry it on. I started one in the Narrow Gauge board and now I can't get into it as it freezes Explorer, presumably because my PC is running very low on memory at the moment. Anyway, I'll have a go.

On the Narrow Gauge board I started a thread explaining that, although I will be (haven't got a layout at all yet) building in O Gauge (1:43) I want to use as many other gauges as possible to represent narrow gauge, miniature, and garden type railways. As my name suggests I am very interested in the motion of my locomotives (in fact it is absolutly paramount) and it would seem that therefore I need DCC for ALL my locomotives. But .... I have discovered that N gauge is about as small as you can get with DCC .... or .... is it?

It's as small as you can get by placing a decoder actually in the loco or tender itself BUT .... is that it? Is that the end of the line for Z gauge and DCC (at the moment)?

I guess there could be a carriage perminantly attached to the loco, but I think I heard somewhere that the decoder does not necessarily have to be actually even in the train at all. I don't know how it works (perhaps I dreamt it) but the decoder is somewhere else, under the layout, or hidden in the landscape, and it controls the loco from there, via radio waves perhaps. That's not possible is it? And you could also even have sound via a speaker, or speakers, dotted along the track.

What do you reckon folks? Am I going bonkers or is there actually a way to use DCC on Z gauge?
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Old 3rd April 2011, 09:04   #2
B-17_Fortress
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Default Re: Z Gauge and DCC

If you only run one z gauge loco, and the track is completely isolated from anything else, could you mount the decoder under the layout, with a 16vAC feed in from the command unit, and use the two motor wires to feed the z scale track. The loco would respond as if the DCC decoder was a standard DC power supply changing the voltage to the track, but still at the command of the main DCC command station.

Other than that, I think you're stuck with a small chip in the loco, tender or wagon behind the loco.
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Old 3rd April 2011, 23:36   #3
TCWORLD
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Default Re: Z Gauge and DCC

TCS for one make decoders small enough for z-scale deisel locos. And I think MT ship their z-scale locos with decoders if i remember correctly?
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Old 4th April 2011, 08:28   #4
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Default Re: Z Gauge and DCC

B-17 - Thanks for that, but not being that knowledgable yet about model railway and DCC electrics I don't fully understand how that idea would work, but I know someone I could ring about it. I'll give them a call today.

Being as I will be using Z gauge to represent a garden type railway in O gauge I would only need one loco.

TCWorld - Gosh, that's interesting. I would prefer the loco to be a steamer as most garden railways would use a steam loco. But if they make decoders small enough for Z gauge diesels then maybe the answer is to have some kind of coach perminantly attached. Trouble is the coach would have to be a special 'closed in' coach as I don't think there would be any room in a garden railway coach as they would be noticibly either full of passengers or empty seats (most of them don't even have roofs). Anyway, it's sounding promising.
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Old 4th April 2011, 09:04   #5
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Default Re: Z Gauge and DCC

I was looking and it appears Digitrax sell an even smaller decoder which has a wire harness rather than just a drop-in replacement board. This might be small enough for larger steam trains.
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Old 4th April 2011, 20:10   #6
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Default Re: Z Gauge and DCC

Thanks for that TC. I've found the stuff on Digitrax but can't find info on the web sites of TCS and Micro Trains. What do you reckon to Marklin Z scale stuff? They state that their locos have 5 pole motors. With me being so concerned about movement, is there a make of Z scale that is best for good realistic start and stop motion?

Anyway, it all looks interesting and possible for DCC.
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Old 4th April 2011, 20:59   #7
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Default Re: Z Gauge and DCC

Here is the section of the TCS site for z-scale: http://www.tcsdcc.com/public_html/Cu...%20Series.html
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Old 17th May 2011, 01:36   #8
poliss
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Default Re: Z Gauge and DCC

You'd be amazed about what you can do with DCC and Z Scale.
How about:
With smoke. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSb2e6k3XRc

With lights. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B0ccq4tab8

With sound. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS0vYzT5ddg

With sound, headlight and firebox glow. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHq2N9qUeDc

Operating pantographs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbUckdCwcQY

DCC uncoupling. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mzpv_s7U7JU

On board video camera. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfArkOFPXro
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Old 17th May 2011, 22:13   #9
MotionMan
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Default Re: Z Gauge and DCC

Gosh Poliss - that's amazing. The smoke and sound will do me, but what impressed me the most was the way that little German loco started in the 3rd video (I think it was). It didn't stop so well, but that start was a good one.

Being as I'm working in 1:43 scale, Z gauge will be representing a very small miniature railway and I don't think there'll much need for lights, but the smoke and sound will be usefull, as long as the sound can be altered so that it sounds like a miniature steam engine and not a standard gauge. I've been told you can tweek the sound, perhaps give it a higher pitch.

Anyway, that's excellent. Thanks for those Poliss. (Still haven't got any ear phones yet).
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Old 18th May 2011, 07:27   #10
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Default Re: Z Gauge and DCC

Spam - Do not click link in roootasoo's (last post on previous page) signature.
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