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Author Topic: mdt plymoth  (Read 3294 times)
mf5117
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« on: August 05, 2009, 01:13:35 AM »

Is it possible to install a decoder in a d/c mdt 6 wheel plymoth diesel . I have 2 of them and I wish one of them was dcc so i could run it more .
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simkon
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2009, 01:48:07 AM »

If all the electronics are isolated and do not make contact with any other metal, you could probably hard wire a N scale decoder inside of it. But if metal touches any part of the electronics then it would be a lot harder to do.
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2009, 10:21:28 AM »

Some time ago, I was interested in converting one of my Bachmann Inyo 4-4-0s to DCC. A fellow modeler, who is very experienced in the installation of decoders, took a long look at the locomotive and said the installation was next to impossible. The problem is one of space. These old time locomotives had the gearing in the engine whilst the electric motor resides in the tender (drive is through a driveshaft that runs between the tender and the engine). The tender was full...what about the engine? The engine has a generous amount of weighting material - leaving no room for a decoder. Removal of the weight would have made a significant difference in tractive effort.

My friend's suggestion was to put a decoder (and conceivably a speaker) in a dedicated car that would be tethered to the locomotive...something I did not want to do. I would suspect the Plymouth engine have the same problems...namely one of available space. If you decided to go forward with this project - and are successful - please inform the rest of us as I have a need for a small switching engine.

Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
mf5117
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2009, 10:45:17 AM »

I agree about the space . I had thought of an N scale decoder , as well . I run the critter on my upper deck "long oval dog bone " at times . It often becomes a hassel unplugging the dcc cord I have ran to it , to run the dcc engines "ft-a/b unit with passengers" . I haven't yet isolated and made the switch for the d/c controller yet , so i can go back and forth between them .

I am in hopes the tech we use is very good in installing decoders as well . I'm not sure if the motor isolated haven't got that far yet . Just asking before I make the trip 54 miles  to the LCH "local" just outside houston . I just had a decoder installed in a GP40 sante fa . It was one of the bachmann's that wasn't dcc ready . and had to hard wire and isolate the motor as well . used the E-Z Command decoder . The set came with a GP40 dummy that I wanted . If we can come up with something or some idea I will let you know . Going back down saturday . Need more 9" straights .   
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2009, 01:26:41 PM »

I believe it is possible to install a decoder in any H0 scale locomotive.  Some installations are easy, some are difficult, and some result in major hair loss from scratching your head.  There are some very small decoders available, such as the Digitrax DZ125 which will handle the motor in most small H0 locomotives.  If not, then the installation will also require a motor upgrade.  If there is no space at all, including in the cab or in a steam dome, it is often possible to drill a 1/2" diameter flat bottomed hole in the weight using a slot drill.  The decoder can be set in such a hole and the space around it filled with lead scraps.  More lead can be packed into the steam and sand domes to bring the weight back up or even increase it.  Still not enough weight?  Consider replacing the domes with copies cast in lead and/or adding a tool box on the pilot and another at the back of the cab using rectangles of lead.

These really difficult installations tend to be a do-it-yourself job.  A commercial installer can easily make $50 per hour doing easy, 20 minute installs and charging $25 a pop.  But few people are willing to pay $400 labor for the all out installation needing remotoring, milling or drilling of the frame, custom cast lead weights and taking 8 hours to do.

Jim
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Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
mf5117
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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2009, 01:58:54 PM »

Thanks Jim for the info on the small decoder . I can mention what you said .As I recall there is space in the cab of the MDT PLYMOTH .  Not sure if they will have the decoder you described . I will call and ask . If they can do the installation .I'll let you know what it sets me back . I have a string of flats with airplanes and helicopters, I'd like to do some switching with the plymoth .maybe push 1 or 2 at a time in  the yard .

The GP40 with the decoder installation was $52.00 .
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2009, 04:34:55 PM »

Slightly off topic...but related is the sad lack of small 'critter' industrial engines on the market today. I saw a Bachmann On30 Davenport in the Micro Mark catalog (Micro Mark part #71033) that is DCC equipped. Wow...what a nice little engine that would fit right in one of my micro layouts. Unfortunately it isn't available in HO (are you listening Mr. Bach Man?). No, I have too much invested in my HO 'collection' to change over to On30. Maybe someday an HO Davenport or Whitcomb will be available...in DCC of course...until then I'll continue to use my Trackmobile.

I am also very interested in the cost of installing a decoder in that Plymouth.

Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
Tim

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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2009, 08:28:26 PM »

Ray

When you are at a show look around for a Penn Line whitcomb switcher.

They are diecast and are qiute heavy.  It has a Pittman dc60 motor that
can be isolated easily and does not draw a lot of current.

I had one many years ago and it is very powerful and reliable.

They are similar in appearence to the 0n30 davenport but it has a steam
type sand dome on top.

I will keep my eyes open for one,  and will pick one up for you if you want.

Tim Anders
Souderton, PA
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2009, 08:40:47 PM »

Tim, you're on...you look on your end and I'll look on mine. We start our 'show circuit' in March...unless the Birmingham club decides to host a show in December. That Davenport sounds like just what the doctor ordered. BTW, my email is not hidden.

I have been reading a review, in Model Railroader, about the Bachmann 45 Tonner and am considering one in the future. I guess my only complaint is that it is (once again) a 'silent' diesel - although there is space and holes in the fuel tank for a speaker.

Walthers has introduced a Proto 1000 model of the EMD GP15-1. This is DC only but they have made provisions for an MRC sound decoder (I can hear the groans). Apparently the decoder installation kit is available as a separate item - and extremely easy to install...we'll see about that.

Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
jerryl

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« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2009, 08:41:52 AM »

 Another option would be the Grandt Line Box Cab. It's available in 2 types. one is a true box cab, the other has the low hood. I assembled mine before i went to DCC. I filled most all of the open space with lead for more traction. Someday I'll have to open it up & see if I can convert it. The only problem would be space because i believe the motor is already isolated. Jerry
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mf5117
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2009, 12:49:04 AM »

Still waiting on the plymoth . The tech is working with a n scale decoder . I was late dropping it off . So hopefully by this weekend I will here something .
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