• Jerry Quinn

    Outstanding review!  Very thorough! And I really appreciate your honest assessment of the new Plux 12 “standard”.  Unfortunately, as you noted on your earlier post, the new standards are creating more problems which will annoy and frustrate all but the die-hard hobbyists.  Too bad.  But I appreciate you documenting the issues you had with the Plux 12, so at least now others (potentially myself) can get the right one!

    And yes, Zimo’s distribution system is strange!  For US modellers, I’m aware of one online shop that carries Zimo (although they appear to be out of stock at the moment of most decoders) and that is DCCtrain: http://www.dcctrain.com/shop/category.aspx?catid=28&page=1

    • Thanks Jerry, and also for the link for US modellers. 
      Prices in USD are pretty high though, no matter how good these new plugs are or not, it’s sad that they are a EU-only (or German really) endeavor.

  • Hi Pierre! Good article (as ever)!
    I’ve just purchased a PIKO BR440 “Coradia” which also has Plux12 connector for DCC, and I have several doubts…
    After reading the instructions sheet, it’s possible to put sound in this model, but… the problem is that PIKO sells a Plux12 decoder and a sound module (with SUSI plug). I’ve read about this decoder here and I also want to have RailCom, so the solution for me is one of these:
    1) ZIMO MX623P12 and the PIKO sound module (about 30+80=110 €). Possible problems: The space for ZIMO decoder is about 2 cm long (could not fit as it happened with your train), and I don’t know how this sound module will work…
    2) ESU LokSound Micro 4 with Plux12 connector. Possible problems: it will not fit in the floor space of the train, and I would need to cut a bit the metal chassis. And I don’t know if it’s possible to purchase this decoder with the correct/desired sound mounted in.
    As you see, lots of doubts/questions… 🙂 What do you recommend?
    Thanks for your help and best regards!

    • Hi José, it’s a hard question. I think whatever you do, fitting everything is going to be a challenge. I decided not to install sound for this reason.
      If you do want sound, I am personally an ESU aficionado. Go to ESU.eu and check if there is a sound project that matches. Some stores (eg http://www.modellbahnshop-lippe.com I think) can offer to load a sound project for you. Personally, I bought the ESU Lokprogrammer, it’s a one-time investment and then you can do anything you want with your decoders. For the Piko, I guess you would need to 1) make a hole between the decoder area and the body of the train 2) cut the Plux12 cable 3) Insert the cable through the hole 4) Solder the plux12 plug back.

      • Hi Pierre, thanks for your comments. The hole is already made in the body of train, but yes, I would need to cut the Plux12 cable and solder it again. Another option is to cut a part of plastic near the hole and pass the cables without cutting them.
        I thought in ESU LokProgrammer, but maybe is too expensive for me, I don’t use such a quantity of ESU decoders. I also buy in MBS Lippe, but didn’t know they could load a sound project with the decoder. Thanks for help!

        • Interesting, so this Piko model is indeed better prepared for sound than mine!
          Remember: I haven’t tried the decoder + SUSI sound module solution. I am sure it can work, I just like to have things “integrated” whenever possible. I also like to add my custom station announcements and sounds, which is relatively easy with the Lokprogrammer.
          For the ESU ones, I *think* that MSL can load a sound project for you, but I am not sure. I know some stores do this. Mine in Brussels did this (you bought the “empty” Loksound Micro, gave him a sound project number, he would download it from esu, load it for free on the decoder – it took 10-15 minutes); maybe you are lucky and have such a good store around you?
          In any case, be careful with train sound. It is a unnecessary gadget according to many, but it’s an addictive one if you ask me 😉
          BTW: I will likely order the track bed you advise on your website soon (lokliege.de), thanks a lot for the tip!

        • Hi again José,
          I wanted to comment on your great blog, but it asks me to create a public Google+ profile. I am sorry I don’t like that 😉
          Many many thanks for your advice on the track bed from lokliege.de

          I have received my first order and it’s so much better than cork!
          I also like their 50x100cm plate, which is really cheap. Surprisingly, the material is different from the normal track bed parts (it’s a foam), but they go perfectly together.
          You made the building process of my new fiddle yard much easier and better!!

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