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Jeff's (SRman) work bench and projects - On Members Workbenches. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2020 11:50 am
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SRman
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Having said I don't normally use keep alive caps, I have just received some Zimo decoders and a Tantalum pack from YouChoos for use in an EFE London Underground car, to which I don't want to add pickups on the non-powered bogie because of the extra friction this creates. Without that extra friction, the one Black Beetle bogie will manage four cars (including itself) with Metro Models pin point bogies fitted. The unit does run successfully but hesitates on any dirty spots of track, particularly in the tunnels where it is harder to reach.

On a completely different slant, I recently won two Lima European locomotives from an auction. The one item I really wanted (also a Lima item, a DSB MR DMU) went for more than I was prepared to pay, but these two cost me the princely sum of $AUS129, including their fees. The Swedish T43 had the old style pancake motor but I was the only bidder and got it for $40 plus fees, so can't complain. The BR 127 Eurosprinter has a central can motor with large flywheels and all eight wheels are driven, but it wasn't DCC ready. Both had lights, with the T43 having a primitive set up of two white incandescant bulbs and a pair of diodes, plus a mess of wiring. The 127 had head and tail lights, although one red bulb was broken. Both locos ran perfectly straight from their boxes on DC analogue.

The T43 was first to be converted to DCC through a straight hard-wiring job using a Zimo MX600 with the 8-pin plug cut off. This model has a slightly more modern implementation of the Lima's motor bogie setup, with extra pickups on the non-driven bogie. I determined that there was plenty of room for a decoder at the non-motored end under the long bonnet. The track pickups to brush wiring were easily disposed of and the relevant decoder wires soldered to the necessary points. The blue positive accessory wire had to be extended to reach the light return contacts at both ends, with the white wire to the back of the front-end bulb (long bonnet), and yellow to the trailing end. I cut the clip retaining the front bogie so the bulb holder was entirely separate to keep the circuits apart, and for the present mounted that on a blob of Blu-tack, with another blob holding the decoder to the side of the bonnet. A quick test showed that it all worked perfectly. The paint finish on this loco is very good. I will eventually improve the lighting a bit, bit for now it is adequate.


P_20200929_112500_vHDR_On by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr

The Eurosprinter represents a Siemens/Krauss-Maffei prototype that lead to several variations, including the Austrian Taurus locomotives. The PCB is a fairly simple one-layered affair, allowing me to cut and use the tracks to connect a decoder straight in. The pantographs had the facility to make them live instead of the rail pickup on one side, but for DCC use this is undesirable. I soldered the pivoted link to make it semi-permanently connected to track only. I found that I could just squeeze in a full-size ESU LokPilot v5 decoder, sitting diagonally under the PCB at one end, on top of the bogie tower and directly behind the cab bulkhead. The usual brush and track connections were made, keeping an eye on which end was intended to be the No. 1 end (easily swapped if necessary either by swapping the brush wires or by changing the value in CV29 - neither of which was necessary for me). For the lighting, I wanted to separate the tail lights out to their own functions, so being able to use a 4-function decoder was useful. The white headlights were wired to the white and yellow wires, while the red tail lights were wired to the green and purple wires. The broken red bulb was replaced with a red LED and resistor.

On test, the decoder read properly on the programming track, and the lights worked correctly first go, with the locomotive travelling in the intended directions for forwards and reverse. The body has not quite clipped back properly, hence the light bleed apparent in one of the photos, so I will be tidying the wiring up a little to get any stray bits out of the way. F0 works the directional white headlights, F1 works the tail lights at #1 end, F2 works the tail lights at #2 end. All in all, a successful bit of work.


P_20201001_191729_vHDR_On by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr


P_20201001_192148_vHDR_On by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr


P_20201001_192328_vHDR_On by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr



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Jeff Lynn,
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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2020 05:32 pm
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Petermac
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I wish I was as competent Jeff - all this hard wiring stuff is a steep learning curve for me and it's expensive toys I'm playing with ...............  But then I was quite good when handling a tractor and reversible plough............... :roll:

I think I'm going to have to buy some cheap decoders to practice on .......... :hmm



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 Posted: Fri Oct 2nd, 2020 07:52 am
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SRman
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Hard-wiring the track and motor connections is the easy bit. It's when lights and other functions are needed as well that it complicates things a bit more. Looking at the Eurosprinter,  I could have discarded the PCB altogether, but using parts of the tracks on it saved having an even bigger spaghetti nest of wires to-ing and fro-ing. It also keeps the wires from accidentally contacting the moving parts like those flywheels and the cardan shafts.



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 Posted: Mon Oct 5th, 2020 08:34 pm
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Petermac
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SRman wrote: Hard-wiring the track and motor connections is the easy bit......................................................


Only when you know how .........................and only when you don't have size 25 hands......................and only if you can hold them rock steady ............... :roll: :thumbs



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 Posted: Fri Oct 9th, 2020 01:10 am
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SRman
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My latest project involved soldering some wires to a small 6-pin decoder to add a stay-alive circuit. By the time I got to that bit, after soldering all the other wires to the tantalum capcitors and the charging circuit (a LifeLink from YouChoos), my hands were getting quite shaky. It can be done! :)

This was an EFE London Transport silver train, some 1959/62 tube stock. I had riginally installed the Black Beetle in a red 1938 car, but since Bachmann/EFE are producing a ready to run 1938 train, I swapped the chassis into a silver body. I repainted the seats to suit, but the EFE interiors use the same mouldings. The motor conversion was successful in itself, but the drag from those horrible EFE bogies needed something to be done: Metro Models to the rescue with some new bogie shells with pinpoint axles were added, using the EFE sideframes as overlays. These bogies come with some brass bar etchings that act as couplings, but they are still fiddly to connect, so I looked for an alternative and came up with using Kadee #5 coupling boxes in conjunction with Bachmann E-Z Mate whisker couplings with the dropper arms cut off. The boxes fit upside down over the coupling spigots on the bogies, and are secured with a spot of superglue.

Next was to modify the wiring of the Black Beetle to solder a harness with a 6-pin socket to the brushes and pickups, allowing me to experiment with different decoders. Initially I used a DCC Concepts decoder but wasn't happy with the running, so swapped that for a Zimo decoder. With advice from John at YouChoos, I added three tantalum 470uF capacitors to one of his LifeLink charging circuits, then soldered the wires from that to the pads on the Zimo MX617 decoder. I really didn't want to add any extra drag on the trailing bogies, which is why I have not fitted extra pickups on the one in the motorised car, and chose instead to use the keep-alive idea (the first time I have used this system).

I put together a very short video showing what I have done and the running unit in action.








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 Posted: Sat Jan 2nd, 2021 04:04 pm
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Hi Jeff.  Wishing you and yours a happy new year. Keep up the good work. Best wishes Kevin 



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