Wednesday, 14 November 2012


And after deciding that it was simply not possible for the "interchangeable" DCC chip set-up to fit inside my tram engine, this is how it ended up:

The chip is simply sitting on top of the motor, held in place with a small layer of blu-tack.  Who said that solutions needed to be over-engineered?

I've set up a "programming track" and successfully driven the locomotive back and forth.  I haven't attempted to read or to program any of the CV values yet, as I want to get it running on a slightly longer piece of track to see what the ZTC unit does with the default values on the chip.

However I am mildly pleased that it all worked first time.  Thanks to everyone for the advice on chips and DCC in general.


Monday, 12 November 2012

Lessons in CSBs


Lessons in the use of Continuous Springy Beams #17

When you load your tram locomotive up with lead sheet, so that it now rides too low...

Although it's easy with CSB's to pull one out and replace it with a stiffer one, it helps if you make a note of what gauge wire you originally put in it!

I *think* that it was 11 gauge, and I'm going to try it again with 13 gauge :-)


Saturday, 10 November 2012

Chips with that?

Not an Arts graduate job at the Sign Of The Golden Arches... Instead, my first attempt at fitting a DCC chip to a locomotive.

This is where I've reached before breaking for lunch:

Chips 005.jpg

This is following exactly the excellent article by Chris McCarthy in Scalefour News 174.

The most fiddly bit so far is fitting the heatshrink tube to the bare wires. Despite using the smallest size (1.5mm) that Maplin stocks, there is still an awful lot of tube to a very small piece of wire.

However it all seems to fit, and after lunch and a trip to the cinema with a twelve year old to watch Skyfall, I'll be carrying on with it.