Digitrax DZ126IN in an Atlas S2....

Sumner Jan 6, 2021

  1. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    This is a decoder install of a Digitrax DZ126IN decoder in an Atlas S2. The decoder has 6 pins and plugs into a socket on a light board on the S2. I thought this was going to be a piece of cake but it wasn't. Plugging the decoder in once I got to that point but getting the shell (cab part) off was not easy for me. Hopefully easier for you. The pictures should tell the story pretty well but if not get a hold of me.

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    Also have the above along with other decoder installs here ....

    http://1fatgmc.com/RailRoad/Decoder-1/Decoders-Index.html

    Sumner
     
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  2. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Outstanding article, and fortuitous timing!

    I have a couple of these locos coming (DCC ready).

    I've found 3 non-sound decoders that should be compatible with this loco (uses a 6-pin NEM651 interface):

    Digitrax DZ126IN (used in this article),
    TCS 1298,
    ESU 59827 (LokPilot 5 micro)

    Are there others I should consider?

    I'm leaning towards the LokPilot, mostly on the reputation of ESU decoders espoused here on TrainBoard (and the cost difference is not big enough to concern me). My only concern is that there is a capacitor that exceeds the envelope of the other 2 decoders by 0.5 mm (2.9mm vs 2.4mm) in height (decoder thickness). The installation photos above make it look like that should not be a problem. From photos of the decoder, the capacitor is on the pin-side of the decoder PCB, which faces the underside of the light board, but there seems to be significant room there.

    I use a Pi-SPROG3 and JMRI for programming and running DCC. Other than updating the decoder firmware, is there anything about this decoder for which I would need a LokProgrammer (or anything JMRI/SPROG cannot do with it)?
     
  3. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Sorry but I can't help you with the questions.

    I've stuck with Digitrax on most of my installs but a couple are TCS and a few are NCE if I remember right. I've got a lot to convert yet so cost is usually the overriding determination of what I'm installing. I basically just want the loco to run under DCC. I'm 77 and probably not a lot of years left in this so mainly up and running is my main priority. If I was younger or were operating with just a few locos I'd probably want the best and ESU from what others have indicated might be that.

    Maybe someone can help with your questions,

    Sumner
     
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  4. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Add the NCE N12-NEM and Zimo MX622N DCC Decoders to the list...
     
  5. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    With a little more research, I've found that only the ESU 59827 and the Zimo MX616N are as small as, or smaller than, the Digtrax DZ126IN. The others are significantly longer, and it does not look like there is any more room for decoder length in the S2 (as shown in OP photos).

    Thanks again for the wonderful photos of your install, Sumner!
     
  6. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    There is some room back in that section that the cab fits over. I could get the decoder back in there but not far enough for the pins to clear the socket face so had to get the light board loose to get the decoder pins in the socket. I considered cutting just a bit off the ends of the pin but decided against that.

    So depending on how wide the decoder is there still is some length to be used back in that area.

    Sumner
     
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  7. french_guy

    french_guy TrainBoard Member

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  8. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Interesting. I can't find a U.S. supplier. A search does indicate that Streamline Backshop here might of carried them at one point. Anyone have any more info on this decoder and availability?

    Sumner
     
  9. french_guy

    french_guy TrainBoard Member

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    I was ready at some point to order online (I contacted them) and have it delivered directly in the US, or to some family members in France who should ship it to me in the US (or I would pick it up during a business trip)
    Haven't done it yet......
     
  10. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    I'm sorry I failed to update this thread...

    I have ordered two Zimo MX616N decoders.

    The MX616N has an integral NEM651 connector on the decoder board itself, and is small enough to fit in the N scale Atlas S2. The Zimo decoders also have a reputation for excellent motor control. These two factors were paramount in my selection.

    While the CT Elektronik decoder circuit board is smaller, and is pre-wired to a NEM651 connector, the 50mm connector wiring harness would require too much room in the S2. It could probably be made to work, but would require additional means to mechanically secure it (and its wires) inside the S2.

    Thank you all for the suggestions.
     

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