Author Topic: Has anyone done a sound install on a Kato NW-2?  (Read 3841 times)

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wcfn100

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Has anyone done a sound install on a Kato NW-2?
« on: December 11, 2015, 02:11:29 PM »
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With the SW-1 thread, it got me thinking about my own needs, namely a Kato NW-2.  I did an on-line search and can't find anything.  I've been pretty freight car centric for the last few years, and going forward, the NW-2 is the focus of my planned layout.  I can glean some from other smaller installs, but would certainly be interested in seeing it done on the same model.

Is there something out there I missed?

Jason

sizemore

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Re: Has anyone done a sound install on a Kato NW-2?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2015, 02:36:59 PM »
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It can be done, be warned the NW-2 has some cogging issues in the very low speedsteps. Most of it can be eliminated by playing with the decoder settings, just consider a sound decoder with great motor control specifically for 3 pole motors. On my non-sound unit I had a Digitrax decoder and it ran horrible, switched it for a TCS and it ran much better, still needs a little tweaking.

HTH,
The S.

jdcolombo

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Re: Has anyone done a sound install on a Kato NW-2?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2015, 03:39:00 PM »
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It can be done, be warned the NW-2 has some cogging issues in the very low speedsteps. Most of it can be eliminated by playing with the decoder settings, just consider a sound decoder with great motor control specifically for 3 pole motors. On my non-sound unit I had a Digitrax decoder and it ran horrible, switched it for a TCS and it ran much better, still needs a little tweaking.

HTH,
The S.

Well, I'm going to have to disagree.  There isn't enough clearance between the top of the chassis and the bottom of the shell to fit a sound decoder.  I thought about this myself, but the thinnest available sound decoder that I'd consider using is the ESU LokSound, which is about 3.8mm high, which is about 1.5mm too much.  There is plenty of length and there is plenty of width.  There just isn't enough "headroom" between the chassis and the shell to do this, and because the motor and flywheel run nearly the entire length of the chassis, there's no way to mill down the chassis to give some extra height (you can mill down the very front of the chassis, but that isn't enough, because the LokSound is about 3.6mm thick in the middle, where it would sit right above the motor which is already basically flush with the chassis top; notice that the Arnold NW1 has a fair amount of length between the front of the motor and the front of the chassis - and it's not a split frame design.  Not so for the NW2).

So I don't think it is possible given the design of the NW2.  At least, I certainly haven't been able to figure out a way to do it!

John C.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2015, 03:44:10 PM by jdcolombo »

sizemore

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Re: Has anyone done a sound install on a Kato NW-2?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2015, 09:24:29 AM »
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John, sorry that should have read "could" but I am also probably thinking of the smaller decoder. My main point was primarily a warning about the three pole motor, and any decoder the OP chooses, he should be looking for something with fine control of that 3 pole motor.

Apologies,
The S.

rhiadon

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Re: Has anyone done a sound install on a Kato NW-2?
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2015, 12:08:49 PM »
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Top Hobby Trains did a series of videos of a esu loksound decoder and speaker in a Microtrains SW1500. While not identical, it might be possible to use some similar techniques. I've been thinking about this a bunch because I need a pair of NW-2s for Pere Marquette.

The basic idea is that you mill away the front of the frame for a place for a small speaker to sit and then place the decoder at the back of the frame at an angle down toward the back. This would also likely require milling of the frame.

I may have to really start digging into this on my old NW-2 to see how likely this could be.

I may have just uncovered project #2

jdcolombo

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Re: Has anyone done a sound install on a Kato NW-2?
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2015, 08:16:31 PM »
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Well, I see two problems with the "front speaker/rear decoder" option.  First, there is only about 6mm of frame in front of the motor on the NW2 mechanism.  You could certainly mill this down, but I don't know of any speakers that have a 6mm dimension in either length or width.  Nor is there enough height to mount the speaker vertically firing toward the radiator.

There IS enough length to mount a LokSound over the rear flywheel angled back toward the rear.  At one point I thought maybe you could do an 8x12mm speaker in the top of the cab with the decoder underneath, stretching from the back of the cab to just over the flywheel, mounted at a slight angle.  The problem there is that the shell on the NW2 (and SW9) narrows at the point at which it intersects the cab, and it is simply too narrow for the Lok.  You can't sand away enough of the shell to make it fit, because there just isn't enough width to the shell at the narrowest point.   And you can't mount the Lok at an angle on its side, because then you're back to the lack of headroom.  A board that was the width of the board in the Atlas S2 (about 8.5mm) might fit back there, but not the current Select Micro or V.4 micro.

I think the reason you can do this in an SW1500 is because there is more chassis in front of the motor at the front of the engine in the Walthers/LL mechanism (and hence room for an 8x12mm speaker up there) and the shell of the SW1500 doesn't narrow inward where it meets the cab like it does on the NW2/SW9.  Hence you can do the front speaker/rear decoder option (and in fact, you could probably mount the speaker at the top of the cab, over the decoder if you didn't want to grind down the front of the frame). 

But it would be nice for someone else to take another look - I might have missed something!

John C.

BobRunty

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Re: Has anyone done a sound install on a Kato NW-2?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2015, 09:11:50 PM »
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John,
  I've done a few installs following your lead and I have to agree with you on the NW2. I pulled one of mine out today and went over it and came to the same conclusion. That narrow waistline at the hood/ cab joint eliminates any currently made decoder. I haven't done an install lately hoping that ESU will narrow their Select Micro down ala the Atlas S-2. Grinding out a detailed, painted shell is one of my least favorite things to do.

Bob

rhiadon

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Re: Has anyone done a sound install on a Kato NW-2?
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2015, 09:46:22 AM »
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I also pulled out my NW-2 and everything you say is correct. My ideas were off the cuff from memory.

I'm still not giving up. The height of the ECO-100 decoder after removing the connectors is all from a single component. It might be possible to make that component remote mounted in a place where there is more headroom using some wires. After you've already modified the decoder this much, what's one more modification? :)

What I may try is to make a mockup of a decoder using styrene with the same dimensions of what I'm proposing and see if I can make it fit.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 12:23:20 PM by rhiadon »

jdcolombo

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Re: Has anyone done a sound install on a Kato NW-2?
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2015, 10:33:08 AM »
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One idea occurred to me late last night.

It might be possible to mount a Loksound vertically at the back of the cab, although you would probably need to cut off a bit of the frame at the very rear.  I don't know yet - the Loksound is 25mm long, and I don't know if there is enough length from the underside of the top of the cab to the bottom of the frame to make this work.  And then there is still the question of a speaker, but it might be possible to mount an 8x12, also longways, facing forward.  You'd probably have to take out some of the cab window glazing, but it might be possible.  I think the cab has about 10mm of open space front to back.  If the Lok takes up 4mm of that, it leaves 6, give or take, for a speaker and enclosure.  You probably would have to give up the rear headlight (although it might be possible to use a surface-mount LED glued to the headlight), but this is about the only way I can think it might work - I'll have to do some measuring later today.

John C.

BobRunty

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Re: Has anyone done a sound install on a Kato NW-2?
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2015, 12:40:17 PM »
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I measured about 18mm there,John, so no go. I don't have a Select Micro off hand right now, but upon further examination of an NW-2, there is a "deeper" area of the frame between the motor and the flywheel. The flywheel is stepped right there so it could be possible to grind out enough of the frame and possibly the top of the shell for clearance. Or if you've got access to a lathe to turn down the flywheel some. That would probably be the easiest way to gain the needed clearance.
You've got more guts than me Rhiadon to dismantle an $80 decoder, but that could be a possibility. I know from previous installs the component you speak of. It always is the one that makes fitting the decoder difficult.

Bob

jdcolombo

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Re: Has anyone done a sound install on a Kato NW-2?
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2015, 02:14:59 PM »
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I measured about 18mm there,John, so no go. I don't have a Select Micro off hand right now, but upon further examination of an NW-2, there is a "deeper" area of the frame between the motor and the flywheel. The flywheel is stepped right there so it could be possible to grind out enough of the frame and possibly the top of the shell for clearance. Or if you've got access to a lathe to turn down the flywheel some. That would probably be the easiest way to gain the needed clearance.
You've got more guts than me Rhiadon to dismantle an $80 decoder, but that could be a possibility. I know from previous installs the component you speak of. It always is the one that makes fitting the decoder difficult.

Bob

Thanks for doing the measuring, Bob.  OK.  What we REALLY need is for LokSound to do a new after-market decoder based on the Atlas S-2 board that is only 8.5mm wide!

John C.

rhiadon

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Re: Has anyone done a sound install on a Kato NW-2?
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2015, 07:29:36 PM »
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I decided tonight to start doing some measuring and milling on my old NW-2 frame. It's a unit I would like to use, but it's no loss if I can't. After doing some of the cutting, which I'll describe shortly, I'm getting more convinced that I can manage to get a modified ECO-100 in this thing. As BobRunty mentioned, this is a scary prospect, but if you're careful it comes apart pretty easily. The tall component on the ECO-100 we're referring to is indeed a zener diode and if it is a problem, it can be moved off the board and placed remotely with wires.

So what have I done so far?

There two pairs of motor clips that hold the motor in place that are made of plastic. From the rear clip forward I removed a bunch of metal so that the frame is level with the top of the motor itself. I also removed the from motor clip and the bridge between the two motor clips. With this gone, I'd "eyeballed" a ECO-100 with the shrink wrap off and I think it's gonna work.

Now of course I've done some wacky things to the frame so I'll need to re-engineer those things to keep the frame halves apart.

Also a 11x15 ESU cell phone speaker fits in the cab. It'll just take some milling on the back end of the frame, but only about 2 mm. It's a bigger speaker than I got crammed into my SW-1 install so it'll probably produce some bigger bass.

I'll keep you guys posted. I'll grant, this is not for the faint of heart.

rhiadon

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Re: Has anyone done a sound install on a Kato NW-2?
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2015, 09:48:22 AM »
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I think I pulled it off. I keep trying to post pictures but it keeps failing. Not sure why. If I can manage to get them to post, I'll show what I did.


tehachapifan

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Re: Has anyone done a sound install on a Kato NW-2?
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2015, 12:00:03 PM »
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I think I pulled it off. I keep trying to post pictures but it keeps failing. Not sure why. If I can manage to get them to post, I'll show what I did.

"Pics or it didn't happen!" :P

Seriously though, I would have lost that bet for sure on being able to get one to fit in the NW2.

Can't wait to see (and hear) the install!
Russ

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Re: Has anyone done a sound install on a Kato NW-2?
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2015, 12:00:46 PM »
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I think I pulled it off. I keep trying to post pictures but it keeps failing. Not sure why. If I can manage to get them to post, I'll show what I did.

Is the problem similar to what is described in https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=34994.0 ?
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