Monday, December 22, 2014

Got Smart

A while back, I posted Get Smart.

Well, I "Got Smart".  Actually, I got NCE.  The Power Pro 5 amp system, with one extra throttle.

I made the decision after operating a few layouts with DigiTrax.  DigiTrax is great, but I liked the more explicit controls on the NCE throttles.  Otherwise, it was a toss up.

I purchased it from Tony's Train Exchange along with a handful of TCS generic decoders to get things started

So far, so good!

It took me a couple of hours to remove the two Dynatrol UPS's, convert one of the transformers to power the NCE system, and connect it to the layout.  It took less than an hour or so to get a couple locomotives that had the NMRA 8 pin socket in them converted.  Converting locomotives that currently have a Dynatrol receiver in them takes about an hour each, including installing a couple LED headlights.  The LED headlights, I scrounged from a cheap LED Christmas light set and put in series with a 1k ohm resistor from Radio Shack.  The hardest part was arranging the wire leads and getting the shell back on.

Programming was pretty easy, mostly because I didn't try to do too much and the NCE system allows "programming on the main" as well as on a program track.  I was in business!  Since then, I've tried a few more things, like "rule 17" headlight dimming, but not much more.  I'm going to have to tackle some motor tuning to get locomotives to MU better, but that's a task for later.

The coolest thing is that I've "inherited" a few locomotives that are sound equipped.  They are pretty amazing!

Next, I'm going to try to wire up some switch machines to the system.  I'll let you know how that goes soon.