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"Relco" units; worthwhile?

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jhb171achill
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A blast from the past.

 

I found an old Relco thing, intended at the time it was sold as so etching that would improve current pick-up for 2-rail layouts.

 

It's about 1976-80 origin, if I remember correctly.

 

With a layout using older equipment (locos all 1980s), is there any advantage in connecting it up, or would a modern control system be better?

 

The locos are narrow gauge and (I am told) unsuitable for conversion to DCC.

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Came across this explains what a Relco is supposed to do. Definitely not suitable for DCC but recommended for 009

 

http://www.mrol.com.au/Articles/DCC/Relcos.aspx

Thanks for pointing to this, John. I must admit that I bought mine (for an early German-based layout) as a "Track Cleaner".

 

There was anecdotal evidence that they did the opposite - but in fact dirtied the track!

 

If anyone wants to try one, they can have mine! Now DCC!

 

Leslie

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I'm not, Garfield; all the electronic wizardry is beyond the wit of a simpleton like me - clockwork might be more suitable....

 

I was simply told by someone (possibly here, though I can't remember) that conversion of 1980s H0e / 009 stuff to DCC was at best problematical, and probably not feasible. Further thoughts or theories on that would, of course, be very welcome.

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If it has pick-ups from the rails and it has a DC motor (which it will have), then it can be DCCed, subject to the practicalities of breaking into the wiring and hiding the extra gubbins successfully.

 

 

 

The main issue can be insulating the motor from the frames if any of the frame is live

 

Had a relco some years ago never found it much use

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Any idea where I'd get one, John?

 

I got mine from Tonys Trains Exchange in the USA a long-long time ago, Digitrains in the UK seem to stock them expensive though http://www.digitrains.co.uk/ecommerce/search/?loc=1&q=&c=1&m=17.

 

Converting your Liliput HOe locos to DCC is probably more trouble than its worth and won't help the re-sale value or improve the running quality of your locos.

 

DCC works best in N or 009 /HOe with bogie diesels or electrics with 8-12 wheel pick up. I converted my Irish narrow gauge locos back to analogue as I could not get reliable operation with 4 or 6 wheel pick up and found analogue more forgiving.

Edited by Mayner
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