2018-05.1: Expanded Lighting Functions

04 May 2018

Average: 4.3 (12 votes)
15:08 - May 2018 Act I - Expanded Lighting Functions (2018)

With locomotive manufacturers adding all kinds of effects such as class lights, ditch lights and beacons to our models, more sophisticated decoders are needed to control them.  Matt Herman from ESU discusses what’s “under the hood” of ScaleTrains.com’s GEVO locomotive and presents tips that owners of these engines might need if they’re changing decoders.

Also in the May edition:
- The Backshop Clinic - Kadee couplers that Run Like a Dream
- Notch 8 - Masking for airbrushing
- Layout Tour - Roger Chrysler’s Lake Erie and Northern Railway

Act II: Kadee couplers that Run Like a Dream ...

Go to Act II


Tbgarland's picture

I love the idea about the built in smart Powerpack current keepers on the motherboards. You really need to produce these motherboards and V4.0 decoders to sell to the general public. It would be a great opportunity to upgrade older DCC ready locomotives. 

I think this feature is a huge plus for Scale Trains along with deciding to go with LED lights over bulbs. Hopefully, more manufacturers will follow their lead.

Tim Garland

joef's picture

Matt, I agree with Tim.

If you made a series of motherboards with smart keep alive on them to fit inside different loco configurations like Athearn RTR, Athearn Genesis, Atlas, Lifelike Proto2000, Kato, and so on, I'd be all over that like white on rice -- and I bet many other modelers would too.

There is a real market for motherboards that fit your smart keep alive into the space in clever ways. If those boards also included soldering pads for LED lights (with resistors built in), then all the better.

Make 'em and sell 'em!

Tbgarland's picture

I really wish Matt would do a video on TMTV like he did on the Select Direct Install video where he is installing a Power Pack to a select direct. The diagrams are vague and hard to understand and I can't find any good videos on YouTube showing how to install one without frying the decider.

Let's face it, these days current keepers are pretty much a must with sound equipped units. Nothing is more frustrating than having a loco stall and I think I do a good job keeping my tracks fairly clean. I've also added frog juicers but somehow I still have interruptions from time to time. I look for the day when all decoder equipped locomotive come already equipped with current keepers and LED lights. But for those of us who already have amassed a fleet of older units, we need a good way to bring them up to this new standard.