After a busy week at work & spending the last too many weekends working I decided that i needed some me time. So Saturday & Sunday would be dedicated to some sort of advancement on the layout front.
With an invoice arriving late in the week from Auscision....it would seem the 422s are on the way & i found myself mentally planning sound fitment to these locos. I then pondered the fact that i had fallen behind on the present fleet...so the decision was made to carry out a conversion i had been putting off for ages....Sound for the Jumbo.
Surprisingly ( or not surprisingly ) which ever way you look at it, there is not a lot of info on the web regarding DCC & sound fitment to Aussie locos & in particular the earlier Austrains offerings. Even though i appreciate what info is out there it does not go into great depth & expects some prior knowledge.
While i have fitted a fair few locos with DCC/Sound, I am certainly not an expert in this field but thought it might be fun to post my attempt at fitting DCC & Tsunami sound to an Austrains 442. This saga will probably take a few posts to complete & I welcome you guys to come along for the ride.
Firstly I must state that i am a fan of Tsunami Sound & am trying to standardise on AT1000 decoders where possible. In the case of the 442 where conversion is not as straight forward as some other locos...There may have been a more convenient decoder than an AT1000....but me being me... I will carry on regardless.
One last thing... as we go along please offer any info or advice as this may come in handy for me or anyone else intrepid enough to attempt the coversion.
When you remove the body...this is what you are faced with. As much as the 442 does have an 8 pin plug for DCC fitment, the space available is limited & there is certainly not a lot of room if adding a decoder. It must be said there is very little room ( read almost nil ) between the top surface of the chassis & the roof of the body. In my case i have decided to fit an AT 1000 decoder so some modifications will need to be achieved.
With the diecast weight removed from the chassis, all electrics removed & measurements taken...I have marked out what needs to be removed.
I set the weight up in the mill, removed the required material & have mated the modified weight back on the chassis to check clearances etc. Of interest in this shot & more for people not experienced in DCC fitment...is the wiring. If you compare this shot to an earlier one, you will notice that there are only six wires left remaining on the chassis & they are the bogie pick-ups ( 2 per bogie ) & in the centre are the Motor + & - wires. Everything else has been tossed. The headlights from each end have been removed & these will be replaced with LEDs at a later stage in the conversion.
I now needed to fabricate a place for the decoder to sit & this design is based around the fact that when the weight was milled it exposed the top of the motor. The material chosen will also give the decoder support & total electrical isolation from the weight. The two layers( top & bottom of photo ) were laminated to give the shape i required
The decoder mounting plate has now been trial fitted & I will utilise VHB ( very high bond ) double sided gel tape to adhere this component to the weight... decoder fitment can then take place.
The AT1000 decoder is also trial fitted so clearances can be measured & to ensure all is well before rewiring takes place.
The clearance between weight/decoder & roof is paramount...
As can be seen there is now plenty of room for the decoder & associated connections. The capacitor out of sight to the right of shot will be housed in the opening between the chassis & weight. Speaker location will need to be decided & LEDs will be fitted in readiness.
So... this is as far as i have gone & if i can fly under Vanessa's radar for the next day or so i will commence wiring tomorrow...Will post again soon.