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59062Re:TCS announces 2 new DCC decoders for AZL and MTL

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  • Jeff BAZ-man
    Dec 10, 2008
      Ron and Jack:

      TCS is not revolutionary but brings a practical to install decoder to
      the AZLs where everything else had to be shoe horned or custom fitted
      in there. Now ANYONE can put one in ! They also bring competition
      (and a better fitting decoder) for the MTL products along with 4
      functions instead of Digitrax's 2 functions (MTL locos only)

      The new TCS Z2 is a 2 function and comparible to the Digitrax DZ123M0
      (<---that is a zero on the end) or the older DZ123 that has wires on
      it for any loco. Both are 2 functions. 2 functions are fine for 90%
      of the users as most are only use for the 'headlights'.

      The new TCS Z2 is for the AZL's and has to be wired in (VERY easy if
      you can solder and someone can tell or show you how, even on the
      phone if you spend $15 for a soldering iron). You COULD use it in
      the MTL locos but why when you have two choices of drop ins.

      The new TCS MZ4 is a 4 function and only designed to go in the MTL
      products, competing with the Digitrax DZ123M0 <--a zero there. But
      now you have a 4 function decoder so some of us can add those ditch
      lights or extra light functions like a top beacon or second front
      headlight in MARS mode.

      The default for the 2 functions is F0F (that's a zero in there) for
      the first function output a and F0R for the second output. (Man,
      don't ask me why it is not F1R as I have never found the [idiot]
      reason why). The FOF and FOR means Forward and Reverse as they are
      for lighting (99% of users). These are referred to function 1 and 2
      only when you are counting the number of functions. They start
      at 'zero' as it is a digital based system and zero is a value !
      (wink). So, when you run the loco, F0F activates when going forward
      and F0R when you go reverse. No matter which way you put the loco on
      the track. No programming on your part. Just drop that baby right in
      there. They are not always "on" by default so you press the F0 button
      on the Cab (the hand held 'throttle'), usually labeled Headlight on
      most cabs (look on the back or next to back page of a Model
      Railroader magazine at an MRC ad an you can see the buttons). They
      will light in what ever direction you are going. Same if you push it
      again, they will go off. You can program a variable to make them
      stay on and in a certain desired way, read on !

      Virtually all DCC decoders can redefine the function outputs and the
      way they work. Say you don't have a rear light (e.g. most steam,
      F7's, etc.). You could remap the F0R (that's the second function if
      you are still following me) to another F0F but make it's light
      a "MARS" like light rather than solid on like F0F or better, make it
      F1 so you can control it seperate. You can make them turn on only
      when actually moving (speed >1) rather than just on (default mode if
      you press the direction button on the cab, the light immediately also
      changes [helps idiots know which way their loco will be going]). Or
      maybe you have a yard beacon on the top.

      Now, the cool thing is if you put 2 or more locos in a consist, only
      the front loco's light will come on and when you go in reverse, the
      rear-most loco's light will come on. A lot of railroads had a rule
      that if the loco was active, the lights had to be on so when in
      reverse, the front light would dim rather than off. This has to be
      programmed but you will soon learn this is a single variable, a
      brainer to do !

      4 (or more) function decoder have the same first two functions: FOF
      and FOR + 2 more: F1 and F2 (again, don't ask me about the numbering
      system). These extra 2 are used to turn on sound, smoke, beacons,
      ditch lights, etc. For ditch lights (those 2 alternating white
      lights on some diesel locos) requires 2 function outputs.

      If you run several trains on your layout, run a main line (or two)
      AND want to just let them run while you do switching functions or,
      you want to go to a larger show layout, you definitely want to go
      DCC. If you run only one loco at a time or a small layout, you may
      just want to stay DCC. But DCC can make your locos run better at low
      speeds. $150 for a starter set (NCE Power Cab, MRC-k-e-y Prodigy or
      Digitrax [Zepher?]) plus $25 for a decoder and you can play with the
      big boys ;)

      And don't forget, you can run DCC locos any direction and any speed
      on the same track. Just in case you like driving in traffic, you can
      make that loco hug the front train's rear !

      Jeff
      SF Bay Area Z

      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Jack Chase <cjc167x@...> wrote:
      >
      > Jeff:
      > Thank you for an absolutely excellent write up concerning these DCC
      decoders.  It was very well written.  When you state that the Z2 is a
      2 function decoder, what does that mean, exactly?  For instance, I
      have the Digitrax drop ins in my MTL engines.  How would one describe
      these Digitrax 123?? decoders?
      > Oh, I was also in contact with Norm's and his TCS decoders are "on
      the way to him."
      > Thanks for the information.
      > Regards,
      > Jack Chase
      >
      > --- On Wed, 12/10/08, Jeff BAZ-man <sjbazman49@...> wrote:
      >
      > From: Jeff BAZ-man <sjbazman49@...>
      > Subject: [Z_Scale] Re:TCS announces 2 new DCC decoders for AZL and
      MTL
      > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Wednesday, December 10, 2008, 2:38 PM
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > The MZ4A's won't ship until January and there will be plenty
      > available so no one should be "out of stock" as they will be
      promptly
      > restocked.
      >
      > While these are unproven or tested mainstream in Z, they are an
      > existing design from the N and HO series that are simply relaid to
      > fit in the Z locos. So I have faith. Plus 4 function versus 2 on
      the
      > MTL loco version (we like to put in addtional lights rather than
      the
      > common 2 function Forward and Reverse lights) I'm switching.
      >
      > The TCS's will fit more easily. The Digitrax DZ123MO mounting
      > notches are slightly off location so you have to file the 'rear'
      ones
      > about 1/32 of an inch farther back so they will propertly start in
      > the 4 mounting posts.
      >
      > Both will work. Both (actaully all decoders) have Back Elecro
      Motive
      > Force (BEMF) that tries to compensate for speed changes with loads,
      > up/down grades or slow speed runnign. You can EASILY turn it off on
      > the TCS decoders by hitting F6 on your DCC Cab (hand held throttle)
      > or by changing CV61 to 'permanently' turn it off (or on). Digitrax
      > and others do not have the convenience of Cab Function controlling
      it
      > and require CV changes to turn it off/on. Some Z locos may not run
      as
      > well with it on, some run better. Normally, it is not a good idea
      in
      > Consists (or MU for Multiple Units e.g. 2 or 3 locos lashed
      together)
      > as one will try and compensate and then the other tries to
      compensate
      > so you sometimes see this surging difference between the 2 or 3
      > locos. There are normally several variables that can be changed to
      > tweak it but the loco performance or position in a consist or even
      > the direction can screw it all up. Turn it off in these cases.
      >
      > You can order the Digitrax DZ123M0 (that's a zero at the end) from
      a
      > number of places where as existing TCS resellers will have to stock
      > up on the TCS Z products. Norm's Trainworld
      > (http://www.normstra inworld.com/ dccz.htm) back in New England
      WILL
      > have them in stock ! Guaranteed.
      >
      > Jeff
      > SF Bay Area Z
      >
      > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups .com, "mompey" <mompey@> wrote:
      > >
      > > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups .com, "Jeff BAZ-man" <sjbazman49@ >
      > > wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Tuesday 12/9: I spoke with John Forsythe, Owner of Train
      Control
      > > > Systems (TCS) whom I discussed the decoders with at NTS. The Z2
      > > for
      > > > the AZL GP7 and SD70/75's are now shipping. These 2 function
      > > > decoders sit on the chassis, under the rear LED and wire to the
      6
      > > > contacts of the light board, after slipping off the bronze
      > shorting
      > > > bars used for DC operation. These new decoders are 0.26"
      (6.6mm)
      > > > wide decoders [i][b]easily[ /b][/i] fit flat on the chassis. No
      > more
      > > > taking the cab off of the shell. Installation pictures will be
      > > > posted around the end of this week.
      > > > http://www.tcsdcc com/NewDecoders. html
      > > >
      > > Hi Jeff
      > >
      > > I was going to order the digitrax (DZ123M0) for my MTL loco's, Im
      > new
      > > to DCC but based on what your post said I assume I'd be far
      better
      > > installing the MZA4 with BEMF??
      > >
      > > Also how long B4 manufactures will have decoders factory
      installed?
      > >
      > > Thanks
      > > Mike..
      > >
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