Friday, September 12, 2008

Decoders for 009

I've been looking at decoders for 009 and here are a selection of what I have found:
Hornby R8249

The successor to the 8215, this bad boy is now fully NMRA complaint and appears to have got over the problems associated with resets to address 0003 that the former chip was prone to.

The good news is that it's cheap (£8-9), small (it measures just 17 x 10 x 3.5mm) and has 4 functions (for lighting etc) and back EMF support, the bad news is that it has limited functionality in programming and although 500mA peak is ok for 009, this may be an issue for motors that need a lot of current, or indeed where you are powering 2 motors from one decoder (Beyer-Garratt anyone?).

For more info on the few CVs it does support click here 

Digitrax dz125

At £17.50 this is a step up (most of the below are really).  It measures just 10.6mm x 8.7mm x 2.86mm, which is even smaller than the hornby effort, but it delivers a peak of 1.25A and huge array of CVs to play with.  Prototypical lighting effects like fire glow and strobes are also possible. However there are only 2 function outputs, so not much more than front and rear lights are possible anyway!  It doesn't appear to support high frequency Pulse width modulation (PWM) so use with coreless motors may be difficult (like my Linda which has a faulhaber 1016).

The manual is available here

Next up is the TCS M3
At £17 this is a very good deal - 3 functions, much of what I mention above - special lighting effects, back EMF etc but also... dither (for improved slow speed running) and a 2A peak.

It measures in at 14.5mm x 9mm x 3.4mm.

The manual is available here

If you want even more functions, then check out the M6 - 6 functions, but larger at 18mm x 10.4mm x 4.8mm and £18.30.  Neither appears to support high freq PWM though.

and for a cheaper alternative (but on 2 function) the T1 at £11 is great value.  see here

TCS also provide a one-year 'goof proof' warranty - no questions asked - sounds good for a beginner, just in case!

Please feel free to comment, I'll be back with more decoder options in the next post.


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