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 DCC'ing a Pendolino 
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Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:06 am
Posts: 16
Location: Kings Lynn, Norfolk
Okay, so I'm really new to the hobby, so please forgive my rookie questions ;)

So I got 2 starter sets for Christmas to really get me started nicely the Eurostar and Virgin Trains Pendolino, (Alstom) now both are analogue, with both loco's being DCC ready.

After setting them up I realized I really need a DCC system to really achieve what I want to with the sets, so no problem I have done plenty of homework with regards to the benefits of DCC and how to fit the decoders, and although I'm new to all this, I'm confident I can operate on the precious loco's and that the resulting benefits will be worth it.

But I do have 1 question, although basic, I just wanted to be sure, and my question is.

Do I need to place a decoder in both ends of the Pendolino? I know obviously you would normally put one in the motorized unit, but will I need to place one in the dummy unit also, for the light function? I,m sure that I do, but I just wanted to make sure.
Also do I need to sync the dummy unit with the controller as well as the motorized unit? and if so I assume they will have the same number?

Lastly 1 chip in the motorized unit of the Eurostar should be enough as it don`t have functioning lights? Is this correct?

I'm pretty sure I need 3 in total, but I just wanted to make sure, I'm heading to my local Modelzone at the weekend, which is inconveniently 50 miles away, so I want to be sure I know what I need.

Thank you for your time

Nick


Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:45 am
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:48 pm
Posts: 62
Location: Wiltshire
Hello again,

I'm pretty sure you need two for the virgin pendolino as the current doesn't flow from one unit to the other.

Unless you want to change that dummy unit in the eurostar to a driving one (depending how many carriages you're planning to have) you would only need one chip. The eurostar doesn't have functioning lights (unless you want to add them). However, that does require some skill.

If you are going down the DCC route then I recommend the Hornby 8 Pin Standard decoder as it hasn't caused me any problems so far. Plus, either the Hornby Select or Bachmann EZ controller as a starter DCC controller.

Hope this helps!


Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:19 am
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Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:06 am
Posts: 16
Location: Kings Lynn, Norfolk
Hello again,

Yeah I thought it would probably need the two for the Pendolino, but thank you for confirming that.
What about the syncing though? Will the dummy unit need to be registered as well as the loco?

The Eurostar is annoying in the fact that it's lights don't function, even though as we all know, the picture on the box has lights on.
Not too much of a problem though at the moment, I have absolutely no plans anytime soon to make modifications to it other than the DCC chip. There's no way I'm going to tackle the lights just yet, but it may be something I look at much later down the line.
Same for the addition of coaches, I'm happy with the 4 car set for now, it's a nice sized train So Ill just pick up the one decoder for that.

Yeah the Hornby 8 pin decoder looks like the right one for me, its the one I have seen used the most in videos and looks both simple and good value.

I'm thinking about perhaps getting another starter set of all things, the Somerset Belle is on a promo for £100, so I might pick that up as it is digital and contains the Hornby select controller, obviously some more track and a nice little loco and wagons.
Regardless of whether I pick that up or not, I shall at least be picking up the controller, it looks the simplest to operate.

Thank you for your help :)

Nick


Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:50 am
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Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:47 pm
Posts: 59
All you have to do is make the dummy car and the motor car the same address ie 1 so when the address 1's lights are turned off or go the other way, all vehicles on number 1 will turn there lights off or change direction. I also use this method to double head identical locos!


Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:46 pm
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Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:06 am
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Location: Kings Lynn, Norfolk
Excellent, thanks guys, your advice is much appreciated, I'll be operating Monday, I'll let you know how it turns out.


Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:17 am
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:48 pm
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Location: Wiltshire
Looking forward to the results! :D


Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:31 pm
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Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:06 am
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Location: Kings Lynn, Norfolk
Hey sorry it's taken me ages to post the results, I have been busy with going back to work and tying to run a competition on my coaster forum.

Anyway so I had my trip to Modelzone, which as okay in the fact of their selection of locos, rolling stock and scenery, but in the hunt for the things I needed, it was a bit rubbish, no Somerset Belle digital set, so not to worry I'll just pick up the DCC Controller and the decoders I need, well actually, no I won't because they didn't have them either.
I questioned this at the till and the guy there said they don't stock the DDC controller and that they only stock the analogue controller, odd considering I could see the elite controller on the shelf.
Oh well, fortunately there was a nice little Toy Master model shop down the road and they had all the parts I needed, so I got the controller, some track and 3 decoders for £125, happy days.

I did head back to Modelzone to treat myself to a loco however and decided on a Hornby Class 466, big mistake, as it literally died after about 20 minutes of running and now refuses to run. I did some homework on this and there were a ton of people slating the poor motor in the unit.
Oh dear, noobish purchase alert. I'm taking it back to Peterborough MZ Wednesday, and to be honest, although the train has some sentimental value to me (the livery is poignant in my childhood) I would rather have £95 of vouchers to spend on something else then be stuck with another train that has a poor motor, do you think they will allow that?

The actual operating on the Pendolino and Eurostar went like a dream, for somebody who's completely new to model railways, I was surprised at the easiness of the procedure, the only thing that worried my was getting the cases off carefully without trying to damage them, but no problem it all went well and I'm very happy.

Synced both trains to the controller easy as pie also, and they were running beautifully within seconds.
The only little niggle I have now is they both wont run simultaneously, here's the set up, we have 3 loops in the layout (temporary layout) the inner loop is just an analogue controlled loop with no points for the class 466, so forget that.
Then the middle and outer loops are the DCC loops, connected by one point, with the Eurostar in the middle and Pendolino on the larger outer loop with the power connection, now the Pendolino will run regardless of whatever else is going on, but the Eurostar in the seemingly powerless middle loop sits doing nothing, unless I switch the point, then the Eurostar will move and I will have to stop the Pendolino because it will flick the point back or potentially crash if it switches track.

I know this is easy for you guys, but whats the best way to get full power to the inner loop so I can control the Eurostar and Pendolino at the same time?

Thanks Nick


Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:39 am
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:48 pm
Posts: 62
Location: Wiltshire
It's sounding like you have isolated points (insulfrog points) on your inner circuit. I would suggest either taking another wire from your outer circuit to the inner one. Or, add little clips from hornby which will make your points live.

Hope this helps.


Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:20 am
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Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:47 pm
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I had the same problem. The clips do a great job though. This will fix your problem and allow you to run both units at once.


Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:12 pm
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Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:06 am
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Location: Kings Lynn, Norfolk
Thanks for the advice guys, I'll be sure to pick some up next Sunday as I have to head back to Peterborough to get a refund for my dead Class 466 NS from Modelzone.

I'm in the process of trying to find something else to spend £100 on from MZ that's more reliable, as this whole process of buying and returning this train has been a nightmare, so if I have to head back to Peterborough, I would like to be able to come back with something. is the Bachmann class 37 (link at the bottom) any good does anybody know? I really don't want to take another expensive gamble again.


Thanks, Nick

http://www.modelzone.co.uk/model-railwa ... -782a.html


Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:09 am
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