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106  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Aristo smoke unit mod ? on: March 04, 2008, 12:23:32 AM
The sd-45 type has an on-board regulator, so it can be fed higher input voltages. The regulator is actually a microprocessor, so it often resets if the input voltage goes too low.

The method of how/why the units shut off has not been determined (since it's code in a micro), but I surmise it tries to watch the current draw on the resistor that heats the wick and vaporizes the fluid.

It's thought that the aging of the resistor, changes in capillary action in the wick as it ages, and maybe some other things are the variables that cause a once nicely-functioning unit to not run well.

Replacing the wick/resistor assembly does not always solve the problem.

So Aristo customers just keep sending them back until they get ones that run well.

I have a friend that has 9 of them, and is slowly getting a few to work, and continually sending the non-functioning ones back.

Regards, Greg
107  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: To Kader Industries: Please read this request on: March 04, 2008, 12:16:19 AM
This is a classic case of todays manufacturing. Since the locomotive is not being built on an assembly line dedicated long term to this particular production, the common technique of building a pilot production run and then checking the results is impossible.

One thing the customer (Bachmann) can do is ask the manufacturing company to build prototypes that will exactly match the production units.

Sadly, this does not often happen for many reasons, which I won't get into, too political and critical.

I would think Bachmann could request a few more prototypes, and have them torn apart and run to death in a short time.

The trick is the "guarantee" that the production matches the prototypes.

I'm not sure there is an answer, with market conditions putting extreme pressure on the vendor, although there is a favorite phrase of mine:

There's never enough time to do it right, but there's always enough time to do it over.

Did Bachmann save money by bringing the K to market earlier considering negative press, and having to do the counterweights over?

We will probably never know what the financial bottom line is.

Regards, Greg
108  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: What decoders have been (successfully) plugged into the K? on: February 28, 2008, 05:00:34 PM
No news on the MRC.

So far there seem to only be two units that plug in:

RCS's system that Tony W. has detailed elsewhere.

And the QSI board, from Tony P. for DCC and AirWire.

Wonder if there is some connection? Anyone else named Tony out ther get anything else to plug and play?

In all deference to the Bach-Mann, it's been a while since the orginal post of December 27 about doing an official listing of decoders.

So, anyone else done it yet?

Regards, Greg
109  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: ANYONE KNOW OF A BETTER SMOKER THAT ARISTOS I WANT ALOT OF SMOKE on: February 20, 2008, 12:21:50 AM
This is a fun thread, reading it is like dropping LSD!  Grin

Seriously, The TAS unit puts out a bunch of smoke and is well built, and used in a lot of high end locos. It can also be tied to a chuff switch to puff in synchronization with the pistons.

Another unit that puts out a lot of smoke is the MTH units, but their synchronization with the pistons comes from the MTH DCS decoder, so you will not quite get that effect if you do not go DCS.

Tom gets great smoke because he runs DCC (like I do) with constant track power of about 20 volts. That makes almost anything smoke!

Regards, Greg
110  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: What decoders have been (successfully) plugged into the K? on: February 08, 2008, 12:22:18 AM
Great Al, was hoping to hear from someone with direct experience.

Did you try to interface with the chuff circuitry, or are you using the QSI auto chuff?

Regards, Greg
111  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: DCC in a 2-6-0 Indy on: February 07, 2008, 10:56:51 PM
Locomotives may vary. Why not buy an inexpensive meter from Radio Shack and measure for yourself?

I'd go with at least a 2 amp continuous rated decoder. Never underestimate the lack of cooling of a board in a sealed tender or loco boiler.

Regards, Greg
112  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: What decoders have been (successfully) plugged into the K? on: February 07, 2008, 10:53:50 PM
I'm actually trying to find and document the experiences of people using the socket, and how easy/hard it is to interface to it.

I'm on the NMRA working group (or subgroup) that is looking at a standard socket.

Based on how difficult this seems to "get right" I'm taking a step back and working on how the various electrical interfaces should be defined. Organizing them into a socket is another quantum leap in my opinion.

On the Lenz issue: I recently looked at the DCC wiring diagram for a Connie, and it does give the connections between the screw terminals on the decoder to the wiring in the loco.

In the Bachmann's with screw terminals, it's often just a matter of unscrewing the proper wire and putting it into a decoder.

In the K, we are still learning what and how.

All input welcome.

Regards, Greg
113  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: What decoders have been (successfully) plugged into the K? on: February 07, 2008, 01:05:45 PM
Joker, are you following Bob's suggestions? His step by step approach will yield results, not just "it doesn't work".

If you are following his suggestions, what are the results of the first suggestion of testing the decoder with the  light bulb, just connected to the track, no loco?

If that worked, then how about trying Bob's latest suggestion?

Grumpy: Maybe someone will post something about Lenz, but I do not think a "custom" plug in decoder has been made (yet!).

Regards, Greg
114  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: K-27 chuff circuit transistor on: February 06, 2008, 10:12:42 PM
There is virtually no current required, thus a larger transistor is not necessary or desirable.

Be careful when soldering, do not use excessive heat on the circuit board, especially in areas that have factory solder already.

Regards, Greg
115  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: What decoders have been (successfully) plugged into the K? on: February 04, 2008, 04:55:40 PM
Thanks Joker, seems that there is no data that anything has ever been plugged in without modification. I'd contact Bob Grosh, I think he has some insight on why the Digitrax did not "plug and play". If you get it working, would you please report here what had to be done?


116  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Plug and play a great concept on: January 28, 2008, 11:28:04 PM
Guys, there was an attempt to make an NMRA standard socket and put it into the K.

That did not happen, it is not a standard.

Now, several decoders MAY plug into this socket, but I am trying to get confirmation of what actually does plug in and what modifications are required. I do not have this information, but someone may have it. I have asked him, and did not get an answer yet.


This socket does little to help installers that are not plugging in a circuit board designed specifically for this socket.

You WILL see places on the main board where screw terminals COULD be installed.


The K has brought up even more fundamental issues, like should lights have a common. Should the common be plus or minus?

Should there be provision to allow leds and incandescent bulbs to be used?

What kind of electrical interface should be brought to the socket and screw terminals for chuff sensors? (No matter whether they are solid state or reed switches)

How "involved" should the board be in accepting or switching power so that battery power can be used as well as track power?

So all of this is up in the air. One good thing about the electronics in the K, it has brought to focus that trying to define a standard socket is WAY premature.

What we need to come up with is what interfaces need to be "presented" and what electrical "characteristics" should they have?

On top of this, we need to try to cover all users, from the most "stripped down" interface of motor and headlight and backup light, all the way up to all the "bells and whistles" that a user might want (like controlling all lights independently, driving flicker from a separate circuit, remote smoke on/off, and the list goes on.

Trying to do all of this will be a monumental task.

It behooves anyone who takes the "larger" view to consider all of the hobby. Doing this job right will benefit the Manufacturer and the Consumer.

So, that's what I am involved in.

No perfect answers yet.

Regards, Greg
117  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: What decoders have been (successfully) plugged into the K? on: January 27, 2008, 11:25:13 PM
Kclass, not meaning offense, do you actually have one plugged in and functioning in a K?

I heard there needs to be a modification.

Thanks, Greg
118  Discussion Boards / Large / What decoders have been (successfully) plugged into the K? on: January 25, 2008, 11:27:00 PM
On one thread here someone said that plugging in a decoder was easy.

I'd like to hear what decoders people have gotten to work in the socket.

I run DCC, and have some favorite ones, but have not seen anything showing it actually working.


119  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: K-27 Counterweights on: January 25, 2008, 11:20:12 PM
I don't want to add any fuel to the fire, but there are "counterweight" issues even running forwards that will, in my opinion, cause excessive wear and eventual failure between the axle and counterweight.

You just cannot have all this free play when you are transmitting power through the connecting rods.

I have a video of this, but I will have to check with the person who took it first.

Suffice it to say, it needs correcting, but the fix is pretty simple, and not all that hard, in my opinion again.


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