Why take from the top?

Posted on 2014/07/21 · Posted in intermoutain-railway, loksound select, tcs, tcs dcc, tcsdcc

In my last post I described that my train was still uncoupling and the fix.

I suggested that you file the top of the coupler. Why take from the top? … I thought I had better talk on this.

As some of us are aware, the couplers are meant to sit at a specified height. If you remove material from the bottom of a coupler, you will change the coupler’s height and it will sit lower that the attaching coupler. (The coupler to the next piece of rolling stock.)

That is why I suggest removing material lightly from the top. It doesn’t take more then just a tiny, thin layer to file down.

The same goes for installing the thinner decoders into the top of N-Scale engines, or any engine for that matter.

If you have a decoder that is too thin and it slips and slides around inside the engine when you install it, just add a tiny drop of solder to the 4 corners where the decoder makes contact with the engine’s body for electrical pick up. The solder is softer then the metal tabs and will easily shave off to the correct thickness needed to fill the gap.

I must warn you, “Never add solder to the bottom of the decoder contacts.” This will raise up the decoder an you will shave away the top contact pads. The copper trace on the printed circuit board is just held on by a glue. Raising the decoder will damage the decoder and make it useless, because there will be nothing to connect the decoder to the engine’s body for electrical pick up.

I alway welcome comments and questions relating to my posts, it might help others to enjoy this hobby. David


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train still uncouples from the engine?

Posted on 2014/07/18 · Posted in model train

I have been working on a train lead be an engine and this train continues to disconnect from the engine. despite all the work I have done on the engine.

I have changed the coupler to a long shaft, made sure it was the correct height, checked the height of the uncoupling wire, and changed the lead cars of the following train. Yet the cars still uncouple along the route. I have checked the track, and there is no sudden rise or drop in the track.

Then I noticed that the engine’s coupler is not swinging free from side to side. When the engine leads a train around a curve, the coupler will be pulled over to the side, but will not swing back to center or the other side as the engine leads into another curve.

The solution is to remove the coupler from the engine, and take a fine file to the coupler’s top side and also check the engine’s coupler mount. Making sure there is no bur or obstruction in the way that can block the coupler’s side to side motion.

Comments and questions relating to this post are welcomed. David

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linked up an odd match

Posted on 2014/07/16 · Posted in model train, tcs, tcs dcc, tcsdcc

As my readers might know, I am into N Scale and have a modest selection and variety of C.P. Rail engines, plus a few others, just because I like the name and style of engine.

But I digress…I was running a 20 car freight train on my layout and used a pair of AC4400′s, but then I dispatched them out and linked an odd match.

The real heavy movers on my layout are the EMD SD90′s and an SD80, not the same road name. but the most numerous engine type is the AC 4400′s So I linked or MU’d a 4400 with an SD90 and they pulled the train along very nicely.

I have other pairs I can use and frequently will but to have the 90 and 4400 going together is a nice combination.

Both those locomotives have TCSDCC decoders in them and there was no reprogramming to get them to run together. I just had to find the right combination. and when the pair go into reverse, I can turn on the read light of the SD90 and then turn it off again when the pair are going forward.

Now you might say the any decoder will do that, and I would agree with you, but can you turn off the rear light or dim it while the engine is still moving in reverse?

Quality decoders will allow you to do that, but not the low end decoders.

Don’t waste your money on the decoders you will not be happy with. Either get them installed right before you pay out or just but the DCC ready engine and buy the decoder you want.


Comments and questions about this topic are always welcomed, David

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Rails shift as the temperature changes.

Posted on 2014/07/15 · Posted in model train

Running the trains all year round on your layout can sometimes add minor challenges to your operation. Rolling stock that runs fine most of the time derails at spots that it never does normally, or your signals now give phantom indications.

You track is made of metal alloys and like the real railroads experience, modelers also experience similar issues as our rails shift as the temperature changes.

We can overcome this problem when we install the track, by leaving a tiny gap between the rail ends when we lay the track down. It doesn’t have to be a chasm or a Grand Canyon. Just the thickness of a piece of binder paper.

All metal expands and contracts as the temperature changes. Some more the others, but it is simple physics. Do you remember the science experiment in school when the teacher heated a brass circle, then passed a metal ball through it? But, when the ring cooled the  ball would not fit?

Below is a link to an example of what I am posting about.

World’s Worst Maintained Railroad

Thoughts and questions relating to model railroading are welcomed, David

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As the engines roll along the track.

Posted on 2014/07/14 · Posted in command control system, tcs, tcs dcc, tcsdcc

I have enjoying taking some time for myself and touring the rail roads in my area. While visiting the track sides, I have seen a number of engines. From GP38-2 to SD40′s, 70′s and GE 4400 both AC and DC. I have even visited the retired CN 6218 in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada.

It is nice to think that as a model railroader I can identify these engines as they rumble along the tracks, shaking the ground beneath my feet as they pass by.  I can just hear them in my mind as the same model engines roll along my layout’s track.

My layout is in a room that does not support a deal of sound decoder engine, and some of the local clubs in my area don’t operate sound either. But we all look for quality DCC decoders to operate our engines, and locomotives.

davidsfreighttrain.com has the quality TCSDCC decoders at the best prices anywhere. Our prices are better then you can find on E-Bay, or any of the discount train stores or web sites.

We have the decoders for all the engines I have listed in the opening paragraph. It doesn’t matter what scale you operate in, we have the decoder for you.

As always, comments and questions relating to this hobby are welcomed. David

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what I need to replace or update

Posted on 2014/07/10 · Posted in loksound select, model train, tcs, tcs dcc, tcsdcc

Up in my part of the world we have had a some what rainy season. Yes we have had a string of nice weekend in a row, there have been some wet evening through out the week days.

This has given me a good time to take stock of my engines and consider what I need to replace or update before the new model railroad season is upon us.

I have been running my engines on those weather evenings, and it serves as a time to exercise them and also add a drop of lubricant to the internal gears. I can take the time to compare who one engine performs with another. Make plans on what decoders I can replace with quality decoders, like TCSDCC.

Even though most of me engines have Quality decoders in them, not all electric motors spin at the same speed. Yet with a little time of running these engines around the layout and giving them a chance to warm up, it still is a good thing to tweak a CV one way or another to speed match.

Sometimes even the speakers can wear out, and need replacing to produce that crystal clear sound we expect to hear.

We have both top quality decoders and replacement speakers on our web site.

Drop us a line and let us know your thoughts on this subject, David

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using Styrofoam

Posted on 2014/07/09 · Posted in model train

Some time ago I published a topic about using Styrofoam from meat and fruit platters and how to glue and use them to build up scenery.

I would like to know if anyone has tried this and what is your story, as I have used the Styrofoam to very good success on my own layout.

If you’d be so kind to respond to this, I’d like to hear from you and post your comments as well.

The fact that this foam is compact and can be easily sculpted with a sharp knife, make it so easy to clean up after the knife work is finished.

I look forward to any reply about this topic, David.

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Speakers for your sound decoders

Posted on 2014/07/07 · Posted in intermoutain-railway, loksound select, model train, tcs, tcs dcc, tcsdcc

We have been working with Intermountain to provide the ESU LOK speakers for your model railroad sound need.

We have added the speakers you need for the TCSDCC WOWSteam Sound Decoders that must use 8 Ohm impedance, and the other speakers you might need for all your sound output devices. These are the 4, 16, 32, 50 and 100 ohm speakers.

You can find these quality speakers at our web site.

We will continue to add the ESU LOK decoders and their digital command control system and accessories this week, and invite you to come and look at our expanding catalog.


If you have any questions about model railroading or any of our posts, please drop us a line and lets open a dialogue.


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Why do I like N Scale

Posted on 2014/07/06 · Posted in model train, tcs, tcs dcc, tcsdcc

As a railroad modeler, I can appreciate the effort all  modelers put into this hobby. From the tiniest scale to the full size Standard gauge railroad like the South Simcoe RR in Tottenham, Ontario.

At an NMRA open house show I was operating a pair of engines for my friend, and someone ask me “Why do I like N Scale?”

I took a moment and then answered this question. I have been into N Scale for a long time and enjoy the way N modelers can do so much more in a provided space then the HO Scale modelers can.

I was then asked “How much work is involved when it comes to installing decoders, how much soldering is there to install them?”

The answer; When they say Drop-In, it is almost that simple. It’s as hard as plug and play for a desk top computer. Just open up the engine, loosen a pair of screws, remove the light board and replace it with the decoder. (In most cases.)

Some times you need to add a piece of Kapton Tape to isolate and protect the decoder from a short circuit with the engine’s metal. But a roll of precaution is well worth it and will last a good time, and costs much less then a new decoder, or the cost and time you take to mail the destroyed decoder back to the manufacturer for warranty work.

At our web site we sell the Kapton Tape, and all the TCSDCC decoders for the lowest prices on line or E-Bay, or even you local hobby store can sell them for.



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not all decoders perform the same way

Posted on 2014/07/04 · Posted in model train, tcs, tcs dcc, tcsdcc

I was running a pair of Kato AC4400′s around my layout and these two engines have the same decoder in them. Despite the fact that they have the same motors, are identical engines, and have the other guy’s decoders in them with the same manufacture date, They do not run the same. One is noticeably slower then the other.

I placed another identical AC4400 Kato engine with a TCSDCC K1D4 decoder onto that same track and one engine from the pair with the other guy’s decoder performed almost identical to the TCS engine.

The thing is, I own a small number of these AC4400′s and all over them but the 2 with the other guy’s product, have TCSDCC K1D4 decoders in them and they all perform the same, and If and when I drop TCS’s K1D4 decoder into the other pair, I know I well ba able to match them up with my other 5 units.

You can find all the decoders from TCSDCC at our web site for the best on line price anywhere.


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