Brass, why not DCC ready?

Brass, why not DCC ready?

Post by Rathbur » Fri, 15 Mar 2002 05:44:07



I was talking with dealer recently, and then check for example the
Overland website, and both say that Brass Diesel Engines are not DCC
ready.  This sort of surprises me as almost all RTR plastic is ready
to install the plug in decoder if you want to (except athearn of
course).

Any brass hounds out there who can explain this one to me, as it
doesn't compute for me.......?

thanks

 
 
 

Brass, why not DCC ready?

Post by Train Ma » Fri, 15 Mar 2002 06:01:47


Ask the rep the same question again but phrase it this way...

Is the Motor isolated from the frame?

If it is, then it's as DCC ready as most plastic out there. Even with
the 'dcc ready' plastic you still (often if not always) have to at least
replace the lights. The difference in install times (if the motor is
already isolated) is only a few minutes.

Jeff

Quote:

> I was talking with dealer recently, and then check for example the
> Overland website, and both say that Brass Diesel Engines are not DCC
> ready.  This sort of surprises me as almost all RTR plastic is ready
> to install the plug in decoder if you want to (except athearn of
> course).

> Any brass hounds out there who can explain this one to me, as it
> doesn't compute for me.......?

> thanks


 
 
 

Brass, why not DCC ready?

Post by Frogg » Fri, 15 Mar 2002 06:19:13



Quote:
>I was talking with dealer recently, and then check for example the
>Overland website, and both say that Brass Diesel Engines are not DCC
>ready.  This sort of surprises me as almost all RTR plastic is ready
>to install the plug in decoder if you want to (except athearn of
>course).

>Any brass hounds out there who can explain this one to me, as it
>doesn't compute for me.......?

>thanks

OK how 'bout this for a start:
While I have no scientific data to support my guess I will call it a "scientific
wild-ass guess (SWAG)" based on empirical evidence garnered over the last 45 years or
so.
I would bet that over 95% of the people who buy brass, especially high-end brass do
not run it except to see that it will run; most not even then. They are largely
collectors and are not interested in the merits-or demerits- of DCC. Although there
are exceptions, brass is typipcally a poor runner having cheaply made or poorly
engineered drive systems.

NOTE: Puckerbutts please notice that I allowed for exceptions.

Never the less, the rule holds true in the majority.
DCC compatibility is veiwed as a non-issue by the few individuals that import brass
partly because, as far as I know, none of them are actively involved in the hobby as
a whole and none are railroad hobbyists. They are simply businessmen marketing a
product to a niche market.

Those who wish to operate brass usually have to do a lot of work on it before it will
run anyway, so there should be no problem installing DCC.

Are there still active MRRs out here who want DCC, but do not know how to install
DCC?

.........................F>

 
 
 

Brass, why not DCC ready?

Post by R. or I. Piscion » Fri, 15 Mar 2002 08:49:18


Yup, that pretty well agrees with what I've seen.  What little of the way
over-priced brass I have (Overland diesels) ran very poorly when I first
brought i home.  I've managed to get it running fine now, mostly little
stuff, although the Turbine was a challenge.  I do run the stuff 'though.
If that it means it won't be worth much to a collector after I'm gone,
great!

Randy

Quote:


> >I was talking with dealer recently, and then check for example the
> >Overland website, and both say that Brass Diesel Engines are not DCC
> >ready.  This sort of surprises me as almost all RTR plastic is ready
> >to install the plug in decoder if you want to (except athearn of
> >course).

> >Any brass hounds out there who can explain this one to me, as it
> >doesn't compute for me.......?

> >thanks

> OK how 'bout this for a start:
> While I have no scientific data to support my guess I will call it a
"scientific
> wild-ass guess (SWAG)" based on empirical evidence garnered over the last
45 years or
> so.
> I would bet that over 95% of the people who buy brass, especially high-end
brass do
> not run it except to see that it will run; most not even then. They are
largely
> collectors and are not interested in the merits-or demerits- of DCC.
Although there
> are exceptions, brass is typipcally a poor runner having cheaply made or
poorly
> engineered drive systems.

> NOTE: Puckerbutts please notice that I allowed for exceptions.

> Never the less, the rule holds true in the majority.
> DCC compatibility is veiwed as a non-issue by the few individuals that
import brass
> partly because, as far as I know, none of them are actively involved in
the hobby as
> a whole and none are railroad hobbyists. They are simply businessmen
marketing a
> product to a niche market.

> Those who wish to operate brass usually have to do a lot of work on it
before it will
> run anyway, so there should be no problem installing DCC.

> Are there still active MRRs out here who want DCC, but do not know how to
install
> DCC?

> .........................F>

 
 
 

Brass, why not DCC ready?

Post by Fred Dabne » Fri, 15 Mar 2002 12:32:01


Quote:
> Any brass hounds out there who can explain this one to me, as it
> doesn't compute for me.......?

Probably, because what brass collector will run one of
these enough that DCC even peeps over the horizon.

I may buy one or two a year, but since DCC isn't an
issue for me, I've never cared to look.  As long as they
run with my Athearn, that's the biggest issue for me.

Fred D.

 
 
 

Brass, why not DCC ready?

Post by Steve Mag » Fri, 15 Mar 2002 13:38:23


OK how 'bout this for a start:
Quote:
>While I have no scientific data to support my guess I will call it a "scientific
>wild-ass guess (SWAG)" based on empirical evidence garnered over the last 45 years or
>so.
>I would bet that over 95% of the people who buy brass, especially high-end brass do
>not run it except to see that it will run; most not even then. They are largely
>collectors and are not interested in the merits-or demerits- of DCC. Although there
>are exceptions, brass is typipcally a poor runner having cheaply made or poorly
>engineered drive systems.

>NOTE: Puckerbutts please notice that I allowed for exceptions.

>Never the less, the rule holds true in the majority.
>DCC compatibility is veiwed as a non-issue by the few individuals that import brass
>partly because, as far as I know, none of them are actively involved in the hobby as
>a whole and none are railroad hobbyists. They are simply businessmen marketing a
>product to a niche market.

>Those who wish to operate brass usually have to do a lot of work on it before it will
>run anyway, so there should be no problem installing DCC.

>Are there still active MRRs out here who want DCC, but do not know how to install
>DCC?

>.........................F>

U da man, Froggy!

Friend (fellow MRR fritcake) of mine is a watchmaker by trade. In an
earlier incarnation, he was happy rebuilding the drives of plastic
diesels (incl Athearn and Kato) to improve their running. In this he
succeeded.

One day, another friend who models the Clinchfield in 1960's, revealed
a dark secret. He was hooked on Lima Superpower locos, but as none of
them ran worth a damn (by even Athearn standards) secreted his
collection of Kanawha'c, C&O T-1'a, even a Fujyama H-8, in boxes under
rocks, behind stairwells, etc. On impulse, he dragged out one Kanawha
and offered it to my first friend with the comment "If you can get it
running, and install DCC, you can have it". The unspoken rider here
was that if he did, the rest were awaiting a similar fate, but without
the gift factor.

Watchmaker friend agreed to the challenge. Several months later it was
back, running sweetly and with Soundtraxx decoder and exhaust cam
installed - sorry, D, I know your sensibilities, but every story has a
down side. It was then that we saw what had been done to overcome the
Early Brass Bugaboo. The new can motor was the easiest bit, the new
drive system was a challenge, the new driver springs tuned to the
chassis - didn't need new drivers, thankfully - pickup system rebuilt
so loco picked up and returned through the loco, fibre optic installed
for the head and backup lights, etc, etc, without going into the joys
of sound installation. And even then I'm probably leaving out a lot of
detail work to improve running.

It probably played hell with their resale value, but they all are now
beautiful runners... So the  motto here is: Put 'em the layout, not in
a cabinet! (At least I think it is) .. :)

Steve
Newcastle Oz

 
 
 

Brass, why not DCC ready?

Post by KBKCHOO » Fri, 15 Mar 2002 13:39:20


Quote:
>Although there
>are exceptions, brass is typipcally a poor runner having cheaply made or
>poorly
>engineered drive systems.

Compared to what? Older life-like, IHC, or Mantua stuff? I beg to differ. Until
recently, plastic steam has been woefully deficient in the driveline
department. Most of it dies after a brief time, then is relegated to the
backshop line. There is a lot of GOOD brass out there, some of it over 30 years
old, and it still runs.
DCC installation in brass steam, in a lot of cases, is VERY easy and
straightforeward. Yes, it may be time consuming, and it takes a certain amount
of balls to disassemble your prize locos to install it, but don't be afraid of
it.
I love running my brass steamers, and look foreward to years of continued
operation!
Now as far a brass diesels, you may have a case there. I havn't met one I've
liked yet.  KarlB
www.fcsme.org    
 
 
 

Brass, why not DCC ready?

Post by Frogg » Fri, 15 Mar 2002 15:26:17


Quote:

>Watchmaker friend agreed to the challenge. Several months later it was
>back, running sweetly and with Soundtraxx decoder and exhaust cam
>installed - sorry, D, I know your sensibilities, but every story has a
>down side............

For a one-off exibition loco that is used as a centrepiece to display the mechanical
prowess of the owner I think that sound is, in fact, in order.  I would probably do
it myself, but would not operate the sound during a scheduled op session. That is, if
I even ran the loco.

Of course I would. If not then what's the point of doing the work?  I've often
decried the efforts of others who have replaced perfectly good motors with trendy
ones for whatever imagined reason they have. In the case of most brass, and
especially early brass, an organ transplant is the order of the day in almost every
case.  I can count the number of brass models I have seen that were good runners out
of the box on my fingers.

...............................F>

 
 
 

Brass, why not DCC ready?

Post by no longer not on The Haggi » Fri, 15 Mar 2002 20:12:23


Quote:

> It probably played hell with their resale value, but they all are now
> beautiful runners... So the  motto here is: Put 'em the layout, not in
> a cabinet! (At least I think it is) .. :)

I have 3 "inexpensive" used brass steamers that need (cosmetic) work
anyway, so as long as they run (they do), I'm going to have them repainted
and a Soundtraxx installed.  The ten-wheeler is the best of the lot, as far
as I can tell; it's also the best-looking cosmetically.  Almost so you
might not want to paint it...

Kennedy

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Brass, why not DCC ready?

Post by Rich Strebend » Fri, 15 Mar 2002 23:25:47


Quote:

> I would bet that over 95% of the people who buy brass, especially high-end brass do
> not run it except to see that it will run; most not even then. They are largely
> collectors and are not interested in the merits-or demerits- of DCC. Although there
> are exceptions, brass is typipcally a poor runner having cheaply made or poorly
> engineered drive systems.

That agrees with my own observations, except that I think about half of that 95% put the
brass models on display on a mantle or in a display cabinet and the other half put the
models, unopened, into a drawer or cabinet to wait for the prices to rise.  These.
latter, speculators are the ones I blame for the hideous prices brass models now command.

Some of the early brass actually ran pretty well.  I have an Akane B&O EM-1 (2-8-8-4)
which runs beautifully -- it makes quite a sight on the point of a loooooong cut of
hoppers with a wagontop caboose bringing up the rear :-) .  On the other hand, I have a
Lord and Lady Baltimore (NJ Custom Brass?) that have trouble pulling themselves around
the layout (the prototype Lady was a bit slippery, but the model is ridiculous!).
Someday, when I have nothing better to do, I will get out the hammer, wrenches, and
milling machine and see if their performance can be improved.  On the other hand, I have
lots of better things to do.

Quote:
> NOTE: Puckerbutts please notice that I allowed for exceptions.

Your weasel wording was masterful.  You have my admiration for your lexical athleticism.
:-)

Quote:
> Those who wish to operate brass usually have to do a lot of work on it before it will
> run anyway, so there should be no problem installing DCC.

Installing the DCC would probably be the easy part.  Getting the engines to run decently
would be the major part of the project.

Quote:
> Are there still active MRRs out here who want DCC, but do not know how to install
> DCC?

Probably more than a few.  Some (older) engines can be a bit of a challenge to pick a
decoder for.  A lot of them (like the Athearn SW-7) have next to no space in the shell
that is not filled with mechanism or weight.  The "standard" DCC installation is quickly
mastered, but there are some pathological cases on the market as well (I still have not
figured out what I can do to install a decoder in an old SW-7 that still runs quite
well).

--


 
 
 

Brass, why not DCC ready?

Post by Robert T. Whit » Sat, 16 Mar 2002 00:37:44


Overland has offered DCC ready diesels (GP15, 15-1 and 15T's) that came
with a socket like Kato and Atlas to drop a decoder in.  They actually
work quite well.  According to Overland, there hasn't been a big demand
for DCC ready locomotives.  I've found it quite easy to install decoders
in Overland brass diesels.  Alot easier than doing Athearn and pre-DCC
ready Kato's and Atlas's.  Plus there is more room in a brass unit to
add speakers for sound.  I', still trying to figure out where to put a
couple of speakers along with the Sountraxx DSD-150 decoder in my Kato
SD40-2.
Quote:

> I was talking with dealer recently, and then check for example the
> Overland website, and both say that Brass Diesel Engines are not DCC
> ready.  This sort of surprises me as almost all RTR plastic is ready
> to install the plug in decoder if you want to (except athearn of
> course).

> Any brass hounds out there who can explain this one to me, as it
> doesn't compute for me.......?

> thanks

 
 
 

Brass, why not DCC ready?

Post by Daniel A. Mitchel » Sat, 16 Mar 2002 01:36:15


Correct, if it's been run a 'collector' won't want it, or at least won't
pay the best price for it. However, if it's been debugged, and is
running WELL, without excessive wear, an 'operator' may pay a decent
price for it. That's often the difference between 'mint' and
'excellent'. Mint means just the way it came from the manufacturer ...
bad solder, broken parts, poor gear mesh, etc. This is what the
'collectors' want, and will pay for.  Excellent usually means most of
those problems have been fixed. Both models can bring top dollar, but
from different buyers.

Dan Mitchell
==========


Quote:

> Yup, that pretty well agrees with what I've seen.  What little of the way
> over-priced brass I have (Overland diesels) ran very poorly when I first
> brought i home.  I've managed to get it running fine now, mostly little
> stuff, although the Turbine was a challenge.  I do run the stuff 'though.
> If that it means it won't be worth much to a collector after I'm gone,
> great!

> Randy



> > >I was talking with dealer recently, and then check for example the
> > >Overland website, and both say that Brass Diesel Engines are not DCC
> > >ready.  This sort of surprises me as almost all RTR plastic is ready
> > >to install the plug in decoder if you want to (except athearn of
> > >course).

> > >Any brass hounds out there who can explain this one to me, as it
> > >doesn't compute for me.......?

> > >thanks

> > OK how 'bout this for a start:
> > While I have no scientific data to support my guess I will call it a
> "scientific
> > wild-ass guess (SWAG)" based on empirical evidence garnered over the last
> 45 years or
> > so.
> > I would bet that over 95% of the people who buy brass, especially high-end
> brass do
> > not run it except to see that it will run; most not even then. They are
> largely
> > collectors and are not interested in the merits-or demerits- of DCC.
> Although there
> > are exceptions, brass is typipcally a poor runner having cheaply made or
> poorly
> > engineered drive systems.

> > NOTE: Puckerbutts please notice that I allowed for exceptions.

> > Never the less, the rule holds true in the majority.
> > DCC compatibility is veiwed as a non-issue by the few individuals that
> import brass
> > partly because, as far as I know, none of them are actively involved in
> the hobby as
> > a whole and none are railroad hobbyists. They are simply businessmen
> marketing a
> > product to a niche market.

> > Those who wish to operate brass usually have to do a lot of work on it
> before it will
> > run anyway, so there should be no problem installing DCC.

> > Are there still active MRRs out here who want DCC, but do not know how to
> install
> > DCC?

> > .........................F>

 
 
 

Brass, why not DCC ready?

Post by Steve Mag » Sat, 16 Mar 2002 13:26:45


On 14 Mar 2002 11:12:23 GMT, Kennedy (no longer not on The Haggis!)

 Almost so you

Quote:
>might not want to paint it...

>Kennedy

No, don't fall for that!! Paint it! Plain Engine Black is still more
inspiring (to my eyes) than Santa Fe Gold, or SP Lark Light Gold or UP
Armour Gold, or whatever.

Steve

 
 
 

Brass, why not DCC ready?

Post by JohnM321 » Sat, 16 Mar 2002 16:06:55


Most people would think that if you paid several hundred dollars for a brass
engine, you would expect it to rum. A lot of first time brass buyers get burned
by this a never go back. If they can't make them run, they should have never
been built.
 
 
 

Brass, why not DCC ready?

Post by no longer not on The Haggi » Sat, 16 Mar 2002 20:02:31


Quote:

> On 14 Mar 2002 11:12:23 GMT, Kennedy (no longer not on The Haggis!)

>  Almost so you
> >might not want to paint it...

> >Kennedy

> No, don't fall for that!! Paint it! Plain Engine Black is still more
> inspiring (to my eyes) than Santa Fe Gold, or SP Lark Light Gold or UP
> Armour Gold, or whatever.

Is this the siren call of the Dark Side, or the Light?

:D

Kennedy

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