5 Sep 2011

Upgrading the Bachmann Suburbans - Part 2: Bill of Material

By connecting the carriages I can control their lighting as a single unit which is nice and also I lower the cost of the fit out by using only one decoder and one FlickerFree unit.

The Flicker free units were devised by Richard of DCC concepts for DC originally - and they contain a large capacitor to drive the leds even when pickups aren't working - e.g. when train is stationary. Of course on DCC when the train is stationary the rails are still live - but the FF2 still has a purpose - firstly it allows more LEDs to be driven than a typical lighting decoder - and in the packs you also get the really hand lighting strip PCBs and some nice microdot LEDS that are ideal. The FlickerFree2 pack come slike this...

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and once opened you can see lighting strips FF2 units leds and a handy pack of 1K resistors.

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So now I have my complete bill of material - and it looks something like this -

Seated passengers - From ebay seller everest model on ebay £8.99 for 60pcs
Kadee couplings - in stock but probably around £5 for a pack
Pickups - Brelec - bought from DCC Supplies - £4.50
FlickerFree2 from DCC concepts bought from Digitrains - £58.32 for pack of 6
Microconnectors - Miniatronics bought from Digitrains - £8.32 for pack of 2 pairs
DCC Decoder - TCS FL2 lighting only decoder bought from Digitrains - £14.82

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I did consider using electrical connector couplings but as their are no NEM coupling sockets this would have been hard. I am also trying the brelec pickups to see if they are easier than just a bit of bent pickup wire. The axles on the suburbans are not conductive at all and so

So overall if you take one sixth of the FF2 pack and passengers set and a half of the connector pack then you get a total cost for the pair of carriages of around ( (8.99 + 58.32) / 6 ) + ( 8.32 / 2) + 14.82 + 5 + 4.50 = £39.70

Which will almost double the cost of the two carriages which are currently retailing for around £19 each online.

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