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  DCC decoder and sound decoder install tutorials
Posted by: UP SD40-2 - 12-14-2008, 05:50 PM - Forum: DCC - Replies (5)

This thread will contain Tutorials on installing decoders/sound decoders into engines Thumbsup .

ANYONE that wishes to add a decoder, or sound decoder install tutorial to this thread IS MORE THEN WELCOME TO DO SO Big Grin .

**Tutorials Added by Forum Members**




**Deano's Tutorial:



I am going to show you folks how I do a "Hardwire" install.

What is a "Hardwire" install?

A "Hardwire" install is wiring a decoder, or in this case a sound decoder, into an engine.

We will be doing the hardwire installation because the engine that is getting the sound decoder DOES NOT have a DCC READY "Plug-n-Play" circuit board.

Though i am installing the sound decoder in a Proto 1000 engine, you can use this same exact type of install on ANY engine thats motor is already isolated from the frame, and has a circuit board, but does NOT have a Plug-n-play circuit board .

HOWEVER, you can use this type of install on "DCC ready" engines with plug-n-play circuit boards too, take Athearns "DCC ready" engines for example, their plug-n-play circuit boards are worthless (in MY eyes), and i hardwire ALL my sound decoders into those engines. (i have wrote SEVERAL posts on this )

Using the basic principles i am showing you in this tutorial, you should be able to "hardwire" install a decoder or sound decoder into MANY different brand engines. Wink

ANOTHER REASON to do a hardwire install would be to save space, in many engines there just isn't much room to add a sound decoder, so to save space you might need to take out the existing circuit board thats in the engine to give you room to install the sound decoder .


I am installing a sound decoder into an FM CPA16 engine, Loksound makes real good quality sound decoders, thats sounds are really pretty much "right on" for the engine sound they offer . the problem i am having with this engine is i use 6 resources to get my sound decoders from, and only one of the six had Loksound FM sound decoders in stock, the two FM sound decoders i had to choose from was the H10-44 and the H24-66 sounds, no CPA16/CFA16 sound decoders were available. i wanted to stay with the FM opposed piston sound, so i opted for the H24-66 sounds, its not right for this engine, but at least it has the FM opposed piston sounds .


Soldering gun
hot glue gun
4'' piece of fine black wire
4" piece of fine red wire
thin strip of thick styrene
wire cutters
exacto knife
heat shrink tape
electrical tape

ALSO, the decoder or sound decoder of your choice, a set of DCC compatible lights, and of coarse, the engine to install it all in .

[Image: DSC02884.jpg]

OK, now that we have ALL the materials together that we need, this install should only take 30-45 minutes, tops .
get your engine and sound decoder out, and familiarize your self with them...

[Image: DSC02892.jpg]

[Image: DSC02893.jpg]

Now, cut the 8 pin plug off your sound decoder, exactly as i shown in the pic below, leaving plenty of wire still attached to the sound decoder...

[Image: DSC02900.jpg]

NOW disconnect the wires from the circuit board thats in the engine, and pull the circuit board out of it, also take the light/s out of the engine at this time...

[Image: DSC02903.jpg]

Now you see the only wires that are still in the engine are the four wheel power pick up wires, two red, two black, and the two engine power wires in the middle of the engine, one black, one red. (pic below)
At this time i make a little "shelf" out of a thick piece of styrene, what this does is gives you something to put the speaker and sound decoder on so none of it touches the hot motor, and it keeps the wiring from getting into the gears . i put two SMALL drops of hot glue on top of the flat part of the motor casing, let the glue almost dry, then put the styrene "shelf on it, DON'T press the shelf down hard on the motor, the drops of hot glue keep the "shelf" off the motor just a bit so air can get between the two, for cooling purposes . MAKE SURE THE SHELF TOUCHES NO MOVING PARTS.

[Image: DSC02916.jpg]

OK, NOW we are going to take the two pieces of 4'' wire we have(red and black), and we are going to make them "jumper wires" that will go between the left and right side wheel power pick up wires. (shown below)
**NOTE: YOU WILL WANT TO USE YOUR HEAT SHRINK TAPE TO COVER THE SOLDERED WIRES WHEN YOUR DONE, you will notice i don't use the heat shrink tape, i hot glue over my connections , it does the same thing as heat shrink tape, but you have to be VERY CAREFUL and make sure ALL of the bare wire is covered, I DO NOT RECOMMEND doing as i do, PLEASE USE the heat shrink tape, WHY YOU ASK? , well if your reading this your NEW to doing "Hardwire" decoder installs, so don't take any chances, do it right and use heat shrink tape, leave the "tricks" to the pro's Wink .

[Image: DSC02922.jpg]

NOW that we have the wheel pick up jumper wires installed, we will take and bare the ends of the wires on the sound decoder that we are going to use . the wires on decoders/sound decoders are color coded, the codes for each wire color coming out of the decoder are:
YELLOW- TAIL LIGHT(no tail light on this install)
GREEN- FUNCTION F1(we wont use this)
PURPLE- a function wire we wont use either for this install.
2 BROWN WIRES- speaker/s

OK, going by the wire codes i have provided, and the pic i posted below this, solder it all up, don't forget to use your NEW DCC compatible light, and use heat shrink wire wrap to cover ALL the bare wires when your done.

[Image: DSC02938.jpg]

OK, now that we have it all wired up, re-install your light, neatly wrap up the extra wiring and tape it in place so it doesn't move around. (see pic below) at this time i take a drop of hot glue and put it on the bottom of the speaker baffle/case(NOT ON THE SPEAKER ITS SELF! ), then place it on the styrene shelf...

[Image: DSC02942.jpg]

NOW place the engine shell back on its frame and...WE ARE DONE!

SEE, not hard at all
Put the engine on your track, program it, and ENJOY IT!

I hope this helps some of you out .

[Image: DSC02960.jpg]

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Posted by: UP SD40-2 - 12-14-2008, 05:31 PM - Forum: DCC - Replies (2)

Hi folks, i am posting this "Sticky" here as a place to put LINKS for DCC related comparisons, tutorials, and general help.

I am keeping this thread CLOSED, to be used as a quick and easy reference guide, and so we don't have to go through eight pages of posts to find good links Wink .

ANYONE can add links to this thread by PMing me the links they think will be of help to us Wink , I, intern will post them to this thread Thumbsup .

Tony's is really a fountain of DCC information, they have DCC system comparisons, product reviews, etc. Thumbsup
You can go there by clicking HERE: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.tonystrains.com/">http://www.tonystrains.com/</a><!-- m -->

Woodone PMed me this link for "Litchfield Station" , I just checked it out, and its full of GREAT information Wink :mrgreen:
You can get there by clicking HERE: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://litchfieldstation.com/DCC-University/index.htm">http://litchfieldstation.com/DCC-University/index.htm</a><!-- m -->

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  Rules For Posting On Big Blue
Posted by: ngauger - 12-14-2008, 12:52 PM - Forum: Rules Of The Road - No Replies

By accessing “Big Blue” (hereinafter “we”, “us”, “our”, “Big Blue”, “http://www.the-gauge.net/forum”), you agree to be legally bound by the following terms. If you do not agree to be legally bound by all of the following terms then please do not access and/or use “Big Blue”. We may change these at any time and we’ll do our utmost in informing you, though it would be prudent to review this regularly yourself as your continued usage of “Big Blue” after changes mean you agree to be legally bound by these terms as they are updated and/or amended.

Our forums are powered by phpBB (hereinafter “they”, “them”, “their”, “phpBB software”, “www.phpbb.com”, “phpBB Group”, “phpBB Teams”) which is a bulletin board solution released under the “General Public License” (hereinafter “GPL”) and can be downloaded from <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.phpbb.com">http://www.phpbb.com</a><!-- m -->. The phpBB software only facilitates internet based discussions, the phpBB Group are not responsible for what we allow and/or disallow as permissible content and/or conduct. For further information about phpBB, please see: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.phpbb.com/">http://www.phpbb.com/</a><!-- m -->.

It is our intent to keep this site free of not only offensive material, but from copyrighted material being posted without permission. If there's any doubt about whether or not you should post a picture or other written material that is elsewhere on the Internet, we ask you to only post a link to it. Photos and written material taken from magazines and newspapers cannot be posted here without specific consent of the originator. Remember, most everything that is found in print or on the Internet is automatically copyrighted, if it's in the public domain, it should be apparent otherwise assume that it is copyrighted. Any photos or other material posted here is assumed to be either owned by the person posting it, or they have permission to do so. Any material found to be in violation of this will be removed immediately and the person posted it will be notified of this action.

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-orientated or any other material that may violate any laws be it of your country, the country where “Big Blue” is hosted or International Law. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned, with notification of your Internet Service Provider if deemed required by us. The IP address of all posts are recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the Moderators of “Big Blue” have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time should we see fit. As a user you agree to any information you have entered to being stored in a database. While this information will not be disclosed to any third party without your consent, neither “Big Blue” nor phpBB shall be held responsible for any hacking attempt that may lead to the data being compromised. We will do our best to keep all your information private, we do not disclose any private information to any third parties!

Now, just a word on donations. We are committed here to keep these forums free of advertising. You can help support our forums by clicking on the "donate" button at the bottom of any page here. All donations are welcome and appreciated, but are not a requirement, by any means, to post here. We occasionally have fund raisers here at Big Blue to help us support our site and we do appreciate those who do respond at that time. We also appreciate the needs of other forums and sites not related to Big Blue or to or our hobby, but we request that you do discuss your needs with one of the administrators before posting any sort of fund or donation requests for sites other than Big Blue. You need to be aware of any liability issues that could arise pertaining to either you or us regarding this. Posting requests like this without permission will result in the post being deleted.

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  Welcome To Big Blue!!!
Posted by: ngauger - 12-14-2008, 12:06 PM - Forum: Rules Of The Road - No Replies

Welcome to our new home!!!!!!

Ezdays and I would like to thank you for coming over and looking in on what we have done. We have been following the farewell posts some of you have been making at Zealot and we thank you for your kind words.

This board is a "New labor of Love" for the hobby and the members.. and of course, all of the volunteers.

When Peter sold Zealot to Crowdgather, we expected changes to be made, however we never expected "all the changes" that were made and we truly have no idea what they could be planning in the future. As volunteers, we could choose to leave if we wanted to, --- we wanted to!!!

Obviously, by now, you realize that our farewell posts are standard "goodbyes", we can not post anything about this board, on their board - which is why we could not answer your questions about "Why". It's not right to do that in any circumstances.

For those of you that have been long time gauge members - you will remember "Big Blue", the way it was 3 or 4 years ago... We tried to re-create it here.

Yes it was called The Gauge, but Crowdgather purchased that too... Don & I bought the domain name, but we prefer to be known as Big Blue for both convenience and nostalgic reasons.

Thanks for stopping in.

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  First One
Posted by: eightyeightfan1 - 12-13-2008, 10:13 PM - Forum: Mugshot Spot - Replies (139)

This should scare them off.

Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
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  Forum Updates
Posted by: path - 12-13-2008, 05:11 PM - Forum: Forum Announcements - Replies (3)

There is a new version of the forum software out that has some bug fixes. I'd like to get the site updated this evening in time for the big roll out. It'll probably take 30 min or so. I'd like to start at 1800 EST. The board will be unavailable during that time. Sorry for the short notice, but I want to get this in as soon as possible so I can get some other mods added. Smile

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  Latest locomotive
Posted by: Ralph - 12-12-2008, 06:23 PM - Forum: HO Modeling - Replies (12)

I was browsing my local hobby shop and noticed they had three Athearn blue box F7s in various road names on sale. I decided to buy myself an early Christmas present and purchased one in Northern Pacific livery. Since it was mostly black already it was easy to convert it to a Penn Central F unit. Most of my locomotives are pretty dusty and road weary but I think I'll keep this one shiny clean.

[Image: IMG_0610.jpg]


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  First to post in the Z forum
Posted by: Catt - 12-11-2008, 01:21 PM - Forum: Johnathan (Catt) Edwards - The 'ol Furrball - Replies (7)

Ha! I am the first one to post in the Z forum. :mrgreen:


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  In the spirit of Christmas
Posted by: TrainNut - 12-11-2008, 12:57 PM - Forum: Shutterbug area - Replies (9)

Let's see your tree trains! Here's mine...
[Image: image.php?album_id=6&image_id=43]

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  Posting Photos
Posted by: Sumpter250 - 12-11-2008, 12:45 PM - Forum: Shutterbug area - Replies (11)

I like the procedure for posting photos here. It took a bit to become familiar with the process, but I find it friendlier than most others, and much easier to add photos and mix text. For a "Non-PC" ( in more ways than just computers) person, the process is quite intuitive, and easy to figure out. Thumbsup Thumbsup Cheers

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