Author Topic: Favourite Life-Like SW9/900 decoder install thread/example?  (Read 1203 times)

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craigolio1

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Favourite Life-Like SW9/900 decoder install thread/example?
« on: December 20, 2016, 07:47:18 AM »
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Hey all. I have an SW900 ready go back together. Ages ago I remember seeing a couple
of threads on installing decoders in these locos, with some going in the cab and others in the front.

Mine is pretty ambitious (for me anyway). I'm planning a working head light and ditch lights at both ends. The head lights can be chassis mounted but for the ditch lights I'll need to deal with the four wires at each end, with enough length to allow for removal of the shell.

I've seen people somehow getting sound decoders into similar tiny switchers. Not a must for me as this one will always be paired with an SD38-2, which I plan to have sound in, but any examples of sound installs would be nice too.

Can anyone suggest a favourite install?

Thanks,

Craig

CNR5529

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Re: Favourite Life-Like SW9/900 decoder install thread/example?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2016, 08:39:27 AM »
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Hey Craig,

I have done the install following the TCS instructions twice. It's not terribly difficult, but a bit tight on space:

http://www.tcsdcc.com/Customer_Content/Installation_Pictures/N_Scale/Life_Like/SW1200/SW1200.html

As for ditch lights, you are a braver man than I.  ;)
Because why not...

fire5506

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Richard looking at MP 242 while working for the FEC Rwy.

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craigolio1

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Re: Favourite Life-Like SW9/900 decoder install thread/example?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2016, 01:42:36 PM »
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Sorry I should have specified N Scale. I'm used to posting in the N Scale forum.

Thanks for the recommendation. I saw the TCS example as well and I got really excited when I saw a MT SW1500 decoder but both of the ones in that example only have two functions. That said, I can fit an ESU LokPilot V4 in there just the same, with room, and it has the four functions I need. I'm happy to hear your experience with the method was a good one.

I'm blown a away at how people are fitting sound into some tiny switchers. I'm not going to try that here I want the weight so it can still pull.


lajmdlr

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Re: Favourite Life-Like SW9/900 decoder install thread/example?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2016, 02:55:09 PM »
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Did any SW900s last into the ditch light era (post 1996?). Why on both ends? in N scale you might look to see if one light source behind two lenses might work.
Most switch locos didn't haul that much weight. If a RR needed to haul ore they would use GPs.
Andy Jackson
Santa Fe Springs CA
LAJ Modeler

craigolio1

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Re: Favourite Life-Like SW9/900 decoder install thread/example?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2016, 03:35:17 PM »
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I'm modelling units owned by BC Hydro Rail. They used them in mainline service paired with MP15s and SD38-2. They had head lights and ditch lights on both ends. They are very unique in this way which is why I want to make all of the lights operational.

Craig

Jim Starbuck

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Re: Favourite Life-Like SW9/900 decoder install thread/example?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2016, 07:39:02 PM »
+2
Craig,

I've done several of these and they're one of my favorite locos.
A DZ126t or a TCS Z2 will fit between the frame halves on top of a cut down light board used for power pick up. The only frame mod was drilling holes to feed the motor leads back. They can be routed up behind the decoder but this is cleaner.
Also there was no modification to the cab weight.
Unfortunately these are only two function decoders because all I added was a cab light.

The ditch lights look interesting and I'm sure quite do-able with Micro LEDs.

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I put the resistors for the micro LEDs under the decoder. The LEDs are glued into the shell and fed with magnet wire.
How big is the LocPilot? I'm planning on using some of them but just haven't gotten there yet.

Jim
« Last Edit: December 20, 2016, 08:52:27 PM by Jim Starbuck »
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craigolio1

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Re: Favourite Life-Like SW9/900 decoder install thread/example?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2016, 10:11:06 PM »
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Jim, that looks slick. The love the holes for the wires. Very clean.

The Loc pilot is small enough to fit where the front light board goes with a little modification. 10.1mm x 8.1mm x 2.8mm I. They make another one called a Lokpilot Nano standard. It's 7mm x 8mm x 2.4mm, and can fit there with no modifications but I can only find it referred to in U.K. Sites for  about 30 Pounds. That's expensive. I'll just grind a bit of frame.

This is the unit I'm modelling:



Not all of the BCH switchers had the ditch lights but I think it looks awesome and I have already successfully cast 0402 LEDs into this style of housing on my CN locos.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2016, 10:13:58 PM by craigolio1 »

peteski

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Re: Favourite Life-Like SW9/900 decoder install thread/example?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2016, 10:51:13 PM »
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So Craig, you're going to add and illuminate the classification lights too, right?   :trollface:  ;)
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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craigolio1

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Re: Favourite Life-Like SW9/900 decoder install thread/example?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2016, 07:27:28 AM »
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Peteski, I love a challenge, and I had thought of it. The lights aren't the challenge. I just make a mold and cast an LED into it (it would be running as an extra).  But then I'd need more than four functions. I could make a mold and cast a fibre optic into it, run it off the head light. They don't need to be bright anyway.

Craig

Jim Starbuck

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Re: Favourite Life-Like SW9/900 decoder install thread/example?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2016, 08:43:20 AM »
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This is a cool project Craig.
Peteski's comment sounds like a "Hold my beer and watch this" opportunity . :-)
I like the idea of optic fiber for the class lights. I used it to make operating class lights on my Erie Built.
Modutrak- Iowa Division
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CNR5529

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Re: Favourite Life-Like SW9/900 decoder install thread/example?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2016, 09:20:33 AM »
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There would probably be a market for LEDs cast into classification / tail end marker lights, for use on cabooses and passenger cars. I would definitively want a few sets!
Because why not...

craigolio1

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Re: Favourite Life-Like SW9/900 decoder install thread/example?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2016, 08:08:48 PM »
+1

 "Hold my beer and watch this" opportunity . :-)

Challenge accepted.

peteski

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--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
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-"Look at me, I'm snarky!!!!"
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-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"

craigolio1

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Re: Favourite Life-Like SW9/900 decoder install thread/example?
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2016, 10:11:36 PM »
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Pete I need you to reply to my email about transistors. I accept your challenge but I need you to tell me how to do it!