Author Topic: MicroTrains FT and Digitrax DN163M0 installation?  (Read 595 times)

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Big Train

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MicroTrains FT and Digitrax DN163M0 installation?
« on: August 23, 2016, 07:41:32 AM »
I need advice and work-arounds from the guys whom have successfully done this conversion. Reading whatever I can find on-line confirms this is not one of the easier ones and looking at it now in retrospect, I'd opted for the hardwire generic decoder. Lesson learned.

Having done more than a few drop-in decoder installations I know enough when a conversion is not going as planned. And specifically DO NOT FORCE anything.

As installed now, decoder board works on DCC, though I did remove the DN163M0 LED and replace it with the MT version. Seems the leads on the decoder board was slightly short and would not position correctly in the frame (LED forces the light shroud up). Done for the A unit only.

Needed also to enlarge the mounting slots to allow for clearance of the motor tabs on the frame.

The headache now is that I cannot get the mechanism fully into the shell. Seems to hang up on the port hole glass inserts. While troubleshooting the install, the DN163M0 is 15 mm wide making it 1.5 mm wider than the stock light board. Is that be the problem? Trimming the decoder isn't an option. There are components and traces close to the edges.

So it seems to me if I force the mechanism into the shell, it's on a suicide mission because I doubt very much if it can be disassembled without breaking anything. Some installers have complained the FT is noisy because the decoder is creating interference problems within the shell. I really want to avoid this.

Appreciate any advice.....

Ron McF

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Re: MicroTrains FT and Digitrax DN163M0 installation?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2016, 08:01:52 AM »
This is not what you're after, and is perhaps a bit late for you, but the guy who hard-wired decoders into my MTL FT sets said it was the easiest hard-wired decoder installation he had tackled. 

Brad Myers explains how to do it here:

If all else fails you might like to give this a try.

« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 08:05:14 AM by Ron McF »
Ron McF
The Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Rwy