DCC chip recommendations

 
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
The 21 pin decoder is not now recommended for new decoders, instead the http://www.nmra.org/standards/sandrp/pdf/S-9.1.1_2012_07.pdf     Page 7 onwards has the PluX8/16/22 Interface  as the replacement
sol

Hmmmmm..... Without trying to descend into "My standards are better than your standards" conversation that seems to consume this forum on occasions, I think this may be a case of watching to see what happens. I have a certain level of cynicism around the NMRA announcement. That said, there are already Aussie locos with 21 pin boards. One thing for sure is that technology always evolves and it should be expected that so will the Model Rail hobby! It is unrealistic to think that DCC will remain stationary (pun intended). Very Happy

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  a6et Minister for Railways

a6et,

ESU have plenty of steam sounds in their library. That said, "Australian" specific steam sound may not be there... That said,another key advantage of ESU (and perhaps other brands? I don't know which... maybe QSI??) is that you can pre-load the ESU decoders with any specific loco sound. For example, there are (nominally) operational SAR Rx-class steam locos that you could record off and then load onto a ESU sound decoder. I don't think many other decoder vendors enable you to do that.

However, as pointed out, many Aussie diesel locos have the same engines and components as many US locos and hence easily used if you buy the correct decoder with the correct sound files.

Cheers!
SA_trains
SA_Trains.  Understand that, but without going into details of the few ESU steam sounds that I have heard, I really felt disappointed. Certainly the user ability to download ones own sounds are an advantage, but something I am desirous of getting into primarily for the reason I know of some who have said its not that simple, yet those with experience say its no big deal.

I understand it is also possible with QSI decoders & I did purchase one of their programers for that purpose, it is probably worse than the ESU programmer to figure out.  The other aspect is that I am really no longer convinced with QSI products especially their after sales service. I purchased a Revolution decoder & was fairly happy with it, but it lasted a mere 1 hour at the most in operation before it shot itself with an on board short within 2 months of the purchase. It was sent back to QSI for replacement & they accepted that it was a decoder fault but still waiting & that was around 2 years ago now not long after the revolution was released.  A further promise of replacement with their new Titan has also come to nothing, I suspect its run into an iceberg & now part of a Titanic range.  Watching the QSI group, also shows a lot of issues have arisen with them as well.

Even though you can get the Oz diesel sounds by using generic prime mover US sounds, in the likes of Tsunami's & I do have one in my TOR 42, there is something not quite right regarding the sounds but I am able to live with it, as I think a heck of a lot has to do with the speakers as well.

If nothing else, I am very glad I did not rush into buying sound for all my models, & as I await the TCS sound, that will also be a test case before any further commitment.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Hmmmmm..... Without trying to descend into "My standards are better than your standards" conversation that seems to consume this forum on occasions, I think this may be a case of watching to see what happens. I have a certain level of cynicism around the NMRA announcement. That said, there are already Aussie locos with 21 pin boards. One thing for sure is that technology always evolves and it should be expected that so will the Model Rail hobby! It is unrealistic to think that DCC will remain stationary (pun intended). Very Happy
"SA_trains"

The NMRA have already all but mandated the change to the 21MTC interface, why would there need to be any cynicism? It would be very hard to argue that a system surrounding 7 defined pins +1 poorly used pin is a large enough interface even now, let alone going forward.

The only mistake the NMRA made was to number the pins incorrectly, I argued with them strongly over this but was eventually told that 'they'd been numbered to suit a general understanding of numbering, not an electrical numbering system'. Which is nice, but no one with a 'general understanding' makes decoders or interfaces, but those of us with an engineering background (and every electrcial CAD package) will have nanoseconds of confusion as we remember to adjust our thinking back to 'general understanding' level.
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
The NMRA have already all but mandated the change to the 21MTC interface, why would there need to be any cynicism? It would be very hard to argue that a system surrounding 7 defined pins +1 poorly used pin is a large enough interface even now, let alone going forward.

The only mistake the NMRA made was to number the pins incorrectly, I argued with them strongly over this but was eventually told that 'they'd been numbered to suit a general understanding of numbering, not an electrical numbering system'. Which is nice, but no one with a 'general understanding' makes decoders or interfaces, but those of us with an engineering background (and every electrcial CAD package) will have nanoseconds of confusion as we remember to adjust our thinking back to 'general understanding' level.
Aaron

Aaron,

You have misinterpreted my cynicism.

My cynicism is NOT 21 pins versus seven (or eight depending on your point of view), BUT with one existing 21 pin standard and the proposed PluX8/16/22 interface referred to by Sol in my earlier post on this topic.

Fundamentally, I don't care. I purchase decoders to suit specific locos (or other devices) at the time that I need a decoder. I don't hold stock. Therefore as standards evolve, so do my purchases. I am not wedded to any specific brand or standard.

  Mansfield Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
The newer 21 pin socket on the ESU decoders (~March 2012 onwards) only grabs the pins in the final stage of travel. But it's a very firm hold. The problem can be if any components on the DC board intefere with the decoder sitting down, the decoder may not go all the way home.

In the last month or so, I've received 21 pin LokSound decoders with the older style 21 pin header socket. That is, the ones where the socket grabs the pins (albeit more lightly) from initial pin penetration all the way through to being fully seated. Perhaps ESU reverted to this older style design due to user feedback.

Mike

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