Friday, October 03, 2008

Digital update and Bromsgrove Models

Bromsgrove Models is a super 'little' company trading via the internet and selected model railway shows.  Run from a residential address, there is no shop to pop along to and browse, but the website is excellent and overheads (and thus prices) are kept down - e.g. gaugemaster sell their prodigy system for £225, I got the MRC version [gauagemaster rebadge it] via Bromsgrove models for £165 with free P+P!  

They are also very friendly and knowledgable.  Even though I had an issue with the power supply, I was able to pop around and get it swapped easily with no bother.  Whilst I was there I was also able to talk about subjects as diverse as 6 pin decoders, sound chips and decoder testers.

The issue is now sorted and I have been able to add a gaugemaster 2nd throttle to the system succesfully.  This works very well and I like the way the 2 throttles interact when handing over a loco between them.  I am very pleased with the system and can't wait to set up the layout in the new garage and get playing.

My study now also has an ESU decoder tester set up (courtesy of Bromsgrove models again) - this takes either wires or a 6, 8 or 21 pin plug and allows you to test the decoder using an onboard motor, lights and even a speaker!  Using this I was able to find that I have already fried a decoder - I think due to a short circuit on a tight fitting body.  oh well.

The ZTC decoders have been OK - the detachable harness is useful to separate the circuit board portion when soldering.  The functions, PWM, ability to use as a DC loco, feedback, size and price are all good and they are rated at a decent ampage too.  However, I have found one issue - they don't support advanced consisting.  This means that I will either have to set up a consist (double heading) on the controller [it will only remember 1 consist at once] or reprogram the engines in the consist to the same address manually (although in that case speed matching won't happen]. But then none of the cheaper decoders seem to support this (certainly the hornby R8249 doesn't) and what do you expect for £10.80 per decoder!

So far the DCC experiment has been good though... more news soon.


1 comment:

Tom said...

I got my Zimo decoder from Bromsgrove models, very helpful and great range of stuff :-)

Look forward to seeing how thing develop Colin, keep us posted!