Author Topic: How to hardwire DCC into a Key Imports PRR H10w?  (Read 3061 times)

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VonRyan

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How to hardwire DCC into a Key Imports PRR H10w?
« on: July 28, 2013, 09:48:16 PM »
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Yesterday I bought a Key Imports PRR H10w for the amazing price of $100. It is in flawless condition, and runs like a swiss watch.

Only problem (more of a half-problem) is that it is only DC and I need it to be DCC so that I can actually use it to run trains.

I'd like to install a TCS Z2 with as little modification to the engine as possible, but I've never hardwired a decoder before and my Weller soldering iron doesn't seem to want to actually solder things as it should...

I don't know what exactly tinning the tip is, but if it is putting solder on the tip of the iron, mine doesn't do that...
Oh, and I'm officially broke. I only have $3 to my name.



Thanks All!

-Cody F.
Cody W Fisher - Modeler of the PRR, PRSL, GWR, SZD, and DRG

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dougnelson

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Re: How to hardwire DCC into a Key Imports PRR H10w?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2013, 03:22:49 AM »
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Hi Cody:

$100?  Good find!  Not an expert on decoder installation, but because of all the metal on a brass loco, you need to take extra precaution to avoid shorts.  Key locos generally run pretty well, but the connection between the tender and loco is the weak link, and improving the electrical link may reduce the incidents of stalling.  Hans Starmans or other professionals may be of some help.

Doug Nelson

SP-Wolf

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Re: How to hardwire DCC into a Key Imports PRR H10w?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2013, 09:55:44 AM »
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I don't have an answer for you either. Yet- As I have a number of Brass steamers that I need to convert to DCC. I have some ideas- but haven't tried them yet. I'm real interested in other ideas as well. Isolating these little beasts is quite a challenge.

Wolf

CodyO

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Re: How to hardwire DCC into a Key Imports PRR H10w?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2013, 01:22:21 PM »
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you should add all wheel pick up in the tender either bachmann or kato to improve performance also some small gauge wire would be good

youll need to do some cutting with a dremel to make sure the tender trucks dont short out the tender

Or you could resell it to this cody :ashat:
Modeling the Pennsylvania Middle Division in late 1954
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wm3798

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Re: How to hardwire DCC into a Key Imports PRR H10w?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2013, 02:58:03 PM »
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I've done several Key brass conversions, and I'm staring at one as we speak.  It is next to impossible to add all wheel pick up to the tender.  Typically, you have all the tender trucks picking up from one rail, and all the locomotive wheels picking up from the other.  I've found it's best to just leave it that way.

The trick is to find a way to put the decoder into the engine body somewhere to eliminate the need for running wires between the engine and tender.  The factory pick up moves power from the one rail on the tender directly to the motor, so you'll have to isolate the motor connection to the pin that physically links the tender to the engine.  That way you stay linked physically, but not electrically.

Once you've overcome that hurdle, the rest is fairly straightforward.  Then the trickiest part is if you want to have operable headlights, which creates a whole other set of space issues, as you have to make room for a resistor and an LED, or at the very least, a 12v or better bulb.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

mmagliaro

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Re: How to hardwire DCC into a Key Imports PRR H10w?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2013, 03:40:19 PM »
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Here's all-wheel pickup in a Key PRR H10.  It ain't easy....

These are brass import freight car trucks that I do a custom job on, splitting the in half and then rejoining
them to a styrene or PC board bolster, threading 00-90 rod into them for the pickup tangs, blah blah blah.
But you can do this with Kato or Spectrum tender trucks.  The process is the same.   

It takes a lot of patience to drill holes in the brass tender floor and carefully ream out those slots.  If you use
Kato or Spectrum trucks, you can just screw them into the floor, using whatever screws and washers you need to make
the tender site level.   There won't be any short because the truck frames are plastic.  Just make sure the wheelsets
cannot touch the underside of the floor, and that the contact tangs cannot touch where they go through your slots.

Hard-solder wires to
the truck tangs, run the wires forward and solder directly to the motor.  This makes a HUGE improvement
in the stall-prone behavior of these locos that depend on the springy drawbar wire.  True, you can't separate
the engine and tender anymore, but that's a trade-off I happily make in exchange for trouble-free running.



A harder issue will be isolating that motor.  I think you'll find that if you touch one lead to the loco frame, and
the other lead to one of or the other motor terminal, it will run, which means the motor is going to have to be isolated.
If yours is like mine, the motor is screwed to an "L" bracket.   You might need to put a mylar shim or thin piece of Kapton
tape or something, between the motor and that L Bracket, and change to nylon screws to mount the motor.  The metal
housing of the motor cannot come into any contact with the frame.   

Lee does the decoders a lot, so he would know better than me on this issue.  But doesn't that motor have to be completely
isolated?

...
Oh, and nobody addressed your question about soldering.  If you don't know what tinning is, you need to look up some
YouTube tutorials on how to solder (there are many), and practice on some scraps of wire or something first before
you do this.   
(In a nutshell, you need to wipe your hot iron tip on a wet sponge, apply a little solder, and get that tip coated with a nice
clean, thin layer of solder.  You don't want drops or blobs on it.  If it's got dark spots and crud all over it and the solder
won't form a nice, neat layer, you need to keep wiping and cleaning until you can get it that way.  A clean, tinned soldering
tip is a MUST before you start soldering anything.)


« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 05:05:07 AM by mmagliaro »

SP-Wolf

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Re: How to hardwire DCC into a Key Imports PRR H10w?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2013, 06:51:30 PM »
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I've done several Key brass conversions, and I'm staring at one as we speak.  It is next to impossible to add all wheel pick up to the tender.  Typically, you have all the tender trucks picking up from one rail, and all the locomotive wheels picking up from the other.  I've found it's best to just leave it that way.

The trick is to find a way to put the decoder into the engine body somewhere to eliminate the need for running wires between the engine and tender.  The factory pick up moves power from the one rail on the tender directly to the motor, so you'll have to isolate the motor connection to the pin that physically links the tender to the engine.  That way you stay linked physically, but not electrically.

Once you've overcome that hurdle, the rest is fairly straightforward.  Then the trickiest part is if you want to have operable headlights, which creates a whole other set of space issues, as you have to make room for a resistor and an LED, or at the very least, a 12v or better bulb.

Lee


How do you isolate the motor from the frame-?   This is one of my sticking points.

Thanks,
Wolf

spookshow

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Re: How to hardwire DCC into a Key Imports PRR H10w?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2013, 06:54:42 PM »
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For clarification's sake, here's the mech in question -



Cheers,
-Mark

pnolan48

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Re: How to hardwire DCC into a Key Imports PRR H10w?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2013, 09:51:13 PM »
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Oops, Mark? No link showing.

chicken45

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Re: How to hardwire DCC into a Key Imports PRR H10w?
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2013, 10:19:26 PM »
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I don't know what exactly tinning the tip is, but if it is putting solder on the tip of the iron, mine doesn't do that...
Oh, and I'm officially broke. I only have $3 to my name.
-Cody F.



Also something like this:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062721
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spookshow

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Re: How to hardwire DCC into a Key Imports PRR H10w?
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2013, 10:26:37 PM »
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delamaize

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Re: How to hardwire DCC into a Key Imports PRR H10w?
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2013, 11:12:49 PM »
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Huh?

we're getting the dreaded red X of doom....
Mike

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CodyO

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Re: How to hardwire DCC into a Key Imports PRR H10w?
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2013, 01:02:51 AM »
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putting all wheel tender pick up in my H10 was a hour job

I`ll take a picture but it wasn`t that hard at all just some cutting to make sure they didnt hit the tender and short it out

either bachmann or kato trucks will work like I said earlier, it never once stalls on my layout and it only has a digitrax DZ123 installed I dislike TCS boards
Good pick means no need for the keep alive

I use atlas code 80 #4s and #6s on the main

Also looking to add lights to it with some small as@ LEDs and magnet wire

not a hard job just takes time and equals a very well running engine with decent pulling power
Modeling the Pennsylvania Middle Division in late 1954
             Nothing Will Stop The US Air Force

spookshow

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Re: How to hardwire DCC into a Key Imports PRR H10w?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2013, 06:04:30 AM »
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we're getting the dreaded red X of doom....

Sorry, not me.

-Mark

Philip H

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Re: How to hardwire DCC into a Key Imports PRR H10w?
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2013, 08:33:26 AM »
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For clarification's sake, here's the mech in question -



Cheers,
-Mark

When I read this last night, the pic was visible.  Looking at the image address in this quote, it appears right.  The original comment is now blank. 

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