Project 2 – Adding sound to a Hornby Rail­road model

Model Rail (UK) - - Workbench -

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.

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