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DCCconcepts New Items 2016/2017

James Hickman

JAMES HICKMAN looks ahead at newly released and announced items from DCCconcepts.

Now that the exhibition season is over, the show stands are packed away, and the Christmas season is underway we thought it was time to look at the recent products that were unveiled at the Warley Show from DCCconcepts. If you visited us at this show you will probably have noticed we had DCCconcepts support us at the event with expert on hand advice, and sneak peak of what's to come. But before we get that far, let's have a look at the releases at the show.

DCDCD-ADS2SX and DCDCD-ADS8SX Accessory Decoders

DCDCD-ADS2SX Accessory Decoder CDU Solenoid Drive SX (2 Way)

DCDCD-ADS2SX Accessory Decoder CDU Solenoid Drive SX (2 Way)

Many of you familiar with the DCCconcepts range, or those that have read some of my previous articles will be familiar with the FX range of Accessory decoders (DCDCD-ADS2FX and DCDCD-ADS8FX). These are 2 and 8 output respectively decoders for control of your solenoid point motors. A very well received product that enabled both ease of programming for beginners and experts alike, but additional functions that modellers were crying out for. So how do you improve on such a great product? You add even more features.

A new design

The first difference you will notice is that you no longer have a fully open circuit board. The SX series of decoders come with an aluminium casing, matching those seen in the Alpha range, keeping all those delicate components protected. No more worries of knocking something you shouldn't when itís installed under your layout.

Less connections to you bus

Another great feature of the SX series is that if you have a large fiddle yard or a high concentration of points in one area, you no longer need to feed each decoder from your track or bus. Both the decoders have an input and output for your power so they can be daisy-chained together. Need another decoder but no access to your bus? Simply connect into the previous one to keep adding motors.

DCDCD-ADS8SX Accessory Decoder CDU Solenoid Drive SX (8 Way)

DCDCD-ADS8SX Accessory Decoder CDU Solenoid Drive SX (8 Way)

More terminals?

Adding more terminals to a decoder may seem like an added layer of complication, but it really isn't in the case of these decoders. On the FX range you had the option of attaching LEDs to show the positioning of points. These were originally solder terminals on the rear of the decoder. Although there is nothing wrong with this, with a new design the SX decoders now allow you to connect your LEDs without the need for soldering, especially if you are using the chrome panel mount LEDs in the DCCconcepts range. There is an added bonus here too; these outputs can also be used as I.O. Terminals.

Power Off Memory

Both the ADS2SX and the ADS8SX have full 'Power Off' memory, meaning that they remember all previous settings after powering off and powering on again.

And there's more.

For added safety the SX range of decoders also come with a discharge button for the onboard capacitors. This should be used prior to connecting any wiring to your SX decoder.

With all these added benefits, nothing has been compromised. If you have previous experience with the FX range of decoders don't worry. None of the features of these decoders have been lost, simple programming, frog switching, momentary override, and all the other features have all been kept as well as being able to use the decoders on both Analogue and Digital layouts.

DCDCD-REX The Cobalt REX Relay Switch

DCDCP-REX Cobalt Relay Extension Board

DCDCP-REX Cobalt Relay Extension Board

DCCconcepts pride themselves in creating products that are as versatile as possible. This said that no matter how many changeover contacts you put on a product, many modellers still need more. That is where REX comes into its own. They can be powered by either 12-18v DC or DCC track power, Cobalt REX contains 4 built-in SPDT change over switches.

The Cobalt REX is easily configurable with switches, and has the ability to either be one unit firing all four contacts at once or, by the flick of a switch, becomes two separate circuits of two relays independently controllable. The input method is vast too. The unit can be triggered form a variety of switch mechanisms from normally off switches, to on-on switches and even reed switches.

DCDCD-SNX The Cobalt Alpha Power Bus Driver and DCC Interface

DCDCD-SNX Alpha Power Bus driver and DCC Interface

DCDCD-SNX Alpha Power Bus driver and DCC Interface

DCCconcepts have recently released a new component within the Cobalt Alpha range, The SNX. This little device makes installation of the Alpha system both quicker and easier for both analogue and digital users, allowing it to remain completely separate to the control of your locomotives. If you are unfamiliar with the Alpha system you may want to have a read through my previous article on the subject.

To put it simply, although the unit is so simple in itself, this little device becomes the brains of the Alpha system. It is powered from a 15-21v Regulated DC supply and connects directly to your Cobalt Alpha 12-Way integrated switch or Cobalt Alpha Main Unit. Then it's a case of two wires coming out of this unit creating a digital accessory bus around your layout for use on any layout.

Looking Forward: The Cobalt Surface-Mount Slow-Action Point Motor

Cobalt SS Surface Slow Action Point Motor

One of the first ranges DCCconcepts became known for was their range of slow action motors. These motors, offered in both analogue and digital forms, have become a main staple in their range, but there was always one thing missing; a surface mounted option. This, however, is soon to be rectified. Coming soon to the range is Cobalt-SS. Fully motorised, slow-action, surface-mounted motors.

The pre-production samples were on display at the Warley show back in September and came as a surprise to us too. Not because of the product as a whole (although it is an impressive bit of kit) but simply because of the size of the motors. The motors are tiny and will be easily disguisable against any point. The motors themselves connect to an under-board mounted interface which can be powered by either DC or DCC, so like the majority of the DCCconcepts range these motors are analogue and digital compatible.

Cobalt SS Interface

The under-board mounted interface is packed with features too. Like the SX range of decoders described above, the board comes equipped with connections for momentary switches for analogue use, or manual override when using with DCC, LED terminals to connect LEDs for a mimic panel, Frog changeover for Electrofrog points and even an additional SPDT switch that has a myriad of uses.

For DCC users, these motors also feature the standard easy-to-program mentality of all the other motors and accessory decoders within the range, as well as a polarity reversal switch for each motor enabling you to change the throw direction with the flick of a switch!

Cobalt SS dummy point motors

Top to bottom: O Scale, OO Scale, N Scale.

Also included within each pack are three dummy scale point motors, one scaled for N, one for OO and one for O. these are very nicely detailed versions of the real motors allowing you to create a realistic scene around your point work. These will be available separately in scale specific packets, and keep your eyes peeled as there is more to come from this new range in the future.

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