26 Dec 2007

Bachmann Standard 5MT disassembly / DCC fitting

Whilst I like this model enormously and it is equipped with a DCC socket - it is very tricky to carry out the fitting without damaging the plethora of delicate features on the model.

This is made unnecessarily worse by the lack of any good disassembly instructions....I hope this blog post will help others as some instructions turn a tricky prospect into a relatively simple one...it will also help me recall what to do when I have to it again.

To separate the body from the chassis requires three screws to be removed

Firstly the piece of the puzzle that I wish I had known was to remove the screw connecting the con rod to the rear driving wheel. This allows the connector from the con rod to the body - presumably this was the speedo connection on the protoype?...if you don't remove this then you end up like this....

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The second screw to release is the countersunk screw at the front of the loco, indicated by the arrow in the picture below...

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The last screw to remove is the hardest to find / get at , as it is hidden below what presumably are the brake actuating mechanism...but again my knowledge of the prototype is so limited that I am only guessing...In the picture below then I have labelled four components -

(1) brake rod running down the centre of the loco, is just clipped in place, can either remove completely or just unclip from the component marked '3' below and bent gently to one side

(2) can't be unclipped just have to bend out of the way.

(3) a 'nodding donkey' shape of component which is easily lost - clips each side and then has a locating lug holding it in place in the chassis.

(4) the screw we are trying to get at. Can't be seen on the next photo, look at the one below that.

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OK now you can separate the two halves of the loco, let's turn to the DCC decoder, I have used a LENZ silver 8 pin with plug. The only thing to note is that to fit in the nicely designed slot for it to go in, you should trim any
heatshrink back tight to the edge of the little circuit board as here:-

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And here is a picture of the controller fitted into the loco - as you can see the controller is stood vertically in a slot designed for it mounted in the smokebox area.

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When reassembling the loco there is a plate that fits under the cab that will have come out when you separated the body from chassis. Here it is below...

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The plate fits back with the semicircular bit pointing to the front of the loco and the hole in that fitting over the lug highlighted in the next photo...

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25 Dec 2007

Heljan Falcon DCC

This was a relatively easy one to fit, no screws to remove the body, just used four thin plastic strips to slip between the body and the chassis and it came off fairly easily.

One of the nice LENZ Direct (8 pin) decoders fits directly in and pop the top back on.

Unfortunately the couplings are going to be harder as there is much internet fuss about the fact that the skirt below the buffer beam has been glued on and will foul *any* couplers that are fitted...I think I'll wait and see what

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22 Dec 2007

Gash layout

As a result of building a very simple test layout - I have learnt a few things to jot down....

The test layout has curves of down to 31cm radius and up to 41 cm radius.

An awful lot of stuff wont go around the 31cm curves, and even stuff that does, tends to get buffer lock, with the kadee couplers.

Even the 41cm curves (measured only very roughly - I should do a better job measuring) seem to derail a fair amount of stuff. Which only just confirms the min. radius decisions for the plan (which is 65cm for any longer curves and 55cm at worst anywhere). This is still nowhere near realistic, but should at least reduce some of the most unrealistic look.

Also note Tim (a) wherever possible DO NOT MAKE JOINS ON CURVES it is very hard to keep them smooth and sweeping if you do. (b) for tighter stuff consider set track - esp if nonscenic.

Some people do not use track pins as they rightly say it ruins the look of the track I wonder how they manage to glue the track down if you do it on curves?

Must try the tillig elite track

Must try more point motor operation

Must do more kadee operation to check with my current fixing mechanisms with shunting and delayed uncoupling.

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19 Dec 2007

Heljan Falcon in Lime Green

Although there are some reported problems with buffer beam changes, I found that fitting a bog standard No. 19 Kadee worked with the standard (deep) buffer beam.

The model took an 8 pin Lenz silver direct DCC chip.

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17 Dec 2007

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