MDC 10 Wheeler and TCS WOW101-KA Decoder Steam Decoder

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NP2626

Well-Known Member
#1
I have built the above locomotive from a kit that originally ran with DC power. Now I have converted it to DCC/Sound with a TCS WOW101 Decoder with a TCS KA-3 Keep Alive. The loco is giving me intermittent operation. Sound is O.K., get the whistles, Bell and other sounds when sitting still on the track. When I advance the throttle it will run for a short bit and maybe stop dead, like it has hit dead track. The Decoder and KA are stored in the tender and I have used the old DC way of getting power from the track. The tender picks up red wire power and the loco's drivers pick-up black wire power. Other times when I get it going, the loco will keep running, even though the direction switch has been turned to brake and the throttle reduced to off!

Anyone have any suggestions?
 

NYC_George

Well-Known Member
#2
I bought 4 TCS WOW decoders and had trouble with one of them. I brought it with me to the Big E train show and asked TCS to look at it. They said some had bad chips and gave me a new one. I don't know if this applies to the one you have but I'd look into it.

George
 

trailrider

Well-Known Member
#3
I bought 4 TCS WOW decoders and had trouble with one of them. I brought it with me to the Big E train show and asked TCS to look at it. They said some had bad chips and gave me a new one. I don't know if this applies to the one you have but I'd look into it.

George
Most likely there is a problem with the decoder chip. I'd contact TCS and see about a warranty return. Soundtraxx Steam-2 decoders pick up the right rail (usually the locomotive) with the red wire, and the black wire from the tender...unless you have the wires from the motor reversed!
I just sent a decoder back to Soundtraxx because I burned out the sound portion (my fault, not theirs). They give great service and technical advice by phone. While I have used (and it still works) a TCS WOWsound decoder, I prefer Soundtraxx.
 

autocoach

Active Member
#5
Actually not so interested in the TCS decoder problem as I am interested in the upgrade and conversion of MDC 10 wheelers to DCC. I have a pair of the Harriman 4-6-0's that I built in the early 1980's and would love to get them running on my current DCC layout. I am not so interested in sound. I have hearing disability and through the hearing aid my sound steam engines just don't sound right. I use F8 after starting them up all the time.
 

autocoach

Active Member
#8
Autocoach, what do you need to know?
Almost where to start. The project is, however, much lower on my priority list than getting the new layout to work.

First would be motor replacement and isolation of frame to allow DCC. I have one in pieces now. I have obtained some small Chinese square motors.

Next question is how to modify tender to hold decoder

Driver replacement? Not entirely sure the cast metal center 1970's drivers are round and properly insulated. That leads to questions about gear train and even replacing the cast zamac(?) frame block. Put on a DC test track the two locomotives just don't run.

And is this all worth it? My current new layout of Port Costa did not see SP ten wheelers in the early 1950's. What I really need is more 2-8-0's and M-6 2-6-0's to replicate the power lineup at Port Costa 1950-54.
 

Espeefan

Well-Known Member
#15
Almost where to start. The project is, however, much lower on my priority list than getting the new layout to work.

First would be motor replacement and isolation of frame to allow DCC. I have one in pieces now. I have obtained some small Chinese square motors.

Next question is how to modify tender to hold decoder

Driver replacement? Not entirely sure the cast metal center 1970's drivers are round and properly insulated. That leads to questions about gear train and even replacing the cast zamac(?) frame block. Put on a DC test track the two locomotives just don't run.

And is this all worth it? My current new layout of Port Costa did not see SP ten wheelers in the early 1950's. What I really need is more 2-8-0's and M-6 2-6-0's to replicate the power lineup at Port Costa 1950-54.
Ken, have you looked on Brass Trains? There are a couple of 2-6-0's up there now, under $250. No 2-8-0's at the moment but there is high turnover right now in the used brass market. People are dying and stuff is coming out of closets and being sold off by heirs that don't want it. Common models are going cheap. Stay way from e-Bay. Those sellers are nuts. To them it's all "Ultra rare!!" I've been able to pick up 2-8-0's, and several other models for cheap. I have a 2-8-0 kit from Roundhouse that sort of went obsolete in the shelf. I may build it some day as a project, but the boiler is wrong for anything except a C-2. The tender is too small as well. Depending on what you have done I'd like to see pics. I'm something of a Port Costa fan myself. Are you building the Banta Models two stall roundhouse?
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#17
How does one control the speed on those live steamers? Neat looking, certainly, but I think I'll stick with DCC and sound.
Haven't taken the time to check Hornby's website out yet, but hopefully it's better than the windup's from when I was a kid. Wind up the spring with a key, poked in the side, put it on the track, pull a rod in the cab 'nd let'er fly (hope it stayed on the tracks)
 



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