Project 2 – Adding sound to a Hornby Railroad model
I wasn’t bothered about having DCC sound on my layout until I bought a layout that came with DCC pre-installed and a Dcc-fitted model. Now everything has to have it! New steam locomotive releases are quite easy to convert to DCC sound as there is plenty of space in the tender, but for my Hornby Railroad locomotive this was going to be more difficult. The decoder is situated in the locomotive body where there is barely enough room for the circuit board, let alone the speaker. Sound can be expensive but, thankfully, Hornby has introduced its TTS range of decoders. I bought a TTS A1/A3 sound decoder for my Railroad Flying Scotsman. but it sat in its box for quite a while until I plucked up the courage to install it! This was actually quite straightforward and not as scary as I thought it might be – it only required the extension of two wires. One area where I came unstuck was making the wires between the locomotive and the tender long enough. Initially I hadn’t left enough slack, which meant that the wire would go taut around right-hand bends and would cause derailments. This was also a simple fix after the conversion.
Here’s the locomotive before I did anything with it. If all goes to plan, the only difference you’ll see when the conversion is finished is two black wires that connect the locomotive to the tender.
3 With the body removed, the extent of the problem is clear. The motor housing and wires already sit against the roof of the locomotive, and while there is a little space above the decoder blanking socket, there isn’t enough for the PCB and the speaker.
2 Take the body off the locomotive. The front bogie must be detached first and there is only a very small amount of space in which to fit the screwdriver head. Keep the screws safe! Once they’re out, lift off the body.
4 Remove the blanking socket and insert the DCC sound socket to test it, ensuring that the orange wire lines up with Pin 1. There is a small number ‘1’ on the decoder and also one on the housing to help you get it the right way round.
6 The top weight has a sticky pad on it, very similar to double-sided tape. You can add extra adhesive if you want but this will suffice. Leave the weights in the tender, as the extra weight will allow for better running.
5 I found it easier to remove all the bodywork first and put it to one side so that it wasn’t in my way. The tender only has one screw which can be removed with a long thin screwdriver. The body will then come off to reveal the weights.