Author Topic: LOKsound Select Micro install!  (Read 2542 times)

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AKNscale

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LOKsound Select Micro install!
« on: January 01, 2017, 07:49:55 PM »
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So, a couple months ago I decided that I wanted to start converting my loco fleet over to LOKsound after realizing the possibilities in customization that these decoders offer. I've bought a few locos with the LOKsound decoders in them and was very happy with them. I then decided to have 2 Atlas B30-7 locomotives done by SBS4DCC.com and am very happy with their performance and the installs that were done.

Quick note, Brian of SBS4DCC.com has fantastic customer service and is very knowledgeable with his product base. If you aren't planning on doing one of these yourself give him a chance to show you how good these decoders really are and how cool these setups can be.

Anyways, now I'm using their install as a guide to do the install on my SD50. The main difference between what I'm going to do and what they did is that at the moment I'm not going to install the capacitor because I have a few questions for them as to why they did what they did on my installs before I do it on mine. I will also be installing a 9X16mm speaker in this loco instead of the 8X12mm on that I had him install in the B30-7s.

Here is the B30-7 that I will be kind of mimicking:


And this is what I have so far:


Last night I drilled and tapped the frame for those 2 silver screws you see, they're where the power and ground leads for the decoder will attach. I also cut the contact tab off of the long motor tab because I will be soldering directly to the tab on the motor:

As for the top motor contact, I just uninstalled it.

tehachapifan

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Re: LOKsound Select Micro install!
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2017, 08:31:26 PM »
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Cool! Do you expect to have to make the inside of the shell a little wider to accommodate the decoder width? The B30-7's are already a bit wider where the decoder is sitting in your model pictured above.
Russ

AKNscale

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Re: LOKsound Select Micro install!
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2017, 08:55:49 PM »
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I'll double check, but I thought that the B30s were the same width in the front part of where the decoder sits just as it will sit in the 50. But what I will do is tilt the decoder a little bit to the side as it should have plenty of room in the back to fit without binding.

jdcolombo

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Re: LOKsound Select Micro install!
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2017, 08:58:30 PM »
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Re: capacitors

I think you might want to consider using keep alive capacitors in your installation.  When I first started doing sound installs with the ESU LokSound Select Micro, I didn't use any capacitors.  Then I started hearing sound-drop outs, particularly with locomotives used for switching moves, although occasionally even on "road" units (particularly when they were slowing to a stop in the yard).  As a result, I started using caps on all my installations, and retro-fitted them to my original "capless" installs.  Your engine is bigger and heavier than my GP9's and RS11's, but I suspect that even with the bigger six-axle units, you will find the caps useful.

I use two 220uf, 16v tantalum chip caps for this, but I am careful to keep my track voltage at 12v.  If your voltage is higher (many DCC systems put 14v or more to the track), don't know what the voltage is, or will be running these units on other layouts that could have higher voltages, then two 150uf, 20v caps would be safer.  You certainly have enough room for them.  In my current installs, I put two caps wired in parallel end-to-end in the center channel of the split frame, like this:

[ Guests cannot view attachments ]

You should be able to see the two chip caps underneath the kapton tape.  The negative ends of the caps are soldered together, and then I run a wire from the far right positive end back to the left end, where it hooks to the blue wire.  The negative ends of the caps are wired to a pad on the back of the LokSound, directly opposite the blue wire pad (e.g., find the blue wire pad, then turn the decoder over, and look for the pad right at the edge of the board directly "behind" the blue pad):

[ Guests cannot view attachments ]

If you don't put the caps in now, my bet is that you'll retrofit them in a week . . .  It's not hard to do, so consider adding them.

John C.

AKNscale

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Re: LOKsound Select Micro install!
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2017, 09:58:33 PM »
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You are completely correct, I will be installing capacitors for sure. However, I have a few questions about how to decide what will work.

These are what I have, same as you:


I was only planning on one per loco, but my question is, SBS used a bigger blue wire to the positive side of the cap than for everything else as you see here:


Would there be a good reason for this?

The other thing is, I run a Zephyr now, but will be converting to an ECoS shortly so I will be able to keep my voltage down then, but this loco will also be running on a club layout, so why would the other caps you recommended be safer exactly? I want to make sure I make a proper choice on this.

jdcolombo

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Re: LOKsound Select Micro install!
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2017, 10:54:53 PM »
+1
There is no reason I know of to use a bigger wire.  I use scraps of wire that I cut off from my LokSound installs, so it's the same size as what's on the Lok.  Given that we're talking about small currents and voltage across less than 1 inch of wire, I can't imagine that anything larger than 30-gauge is necessary. 

As for the cap voltage.  Tantalum caps explode (literally) when they fail.  I've had one do this out of more than a hundred I've installed, and it went with a nice loud "POP" and melted the side of the tender shell where it was installed (fortunately, it did not damage the decoder, and the failure wasn't due to over-voltage but just a bad cap - it happens sometimes).  A 16v cap ought to be fine up to 16v.  But there are manufacturing tolerances involved, and you really don't want to experience exploding caps very often.   The caps are supplied with charging power from the bridge rectifier on the decoder.  In general, a bridge rectifier will result in a 1.4v voltage drop from the supply voltage to the load.  So if your track voltage is 14v, the the bridge rectifier is supplying something like 12.6v to the caps.  That gives a 20% safety margin to the 16v working voltage for the 16v cap, which ought to be plenty.

But now let's say you take the engine to a layout that has a 16.5v track voltage.  The bridge rectifier is now suppling 15.1v to the caps.  That SHOULD be fine, since the caps are rated at 16v, but you're getting awfully close to the stated working voltage, and if the manufacturing tolerance is off by 10% (e.g., the cap really can handle only 14.4v), then you have a potential problem.  With a 20v cap, you'd have to have a track voltage of 20v or more to create a serious risk, and I don't know of any DCC systems that supply 20v to the track.  Digitrax, even on its "O scale" setting, doesn't get above 18v even if you open the adjustment pot all the way.

Now having said all this, I've used 16v caps forever.  And I've run my engines on the "HO" setting on my Digitrax Chief, which I once measured at 14.5v to the track.  The chances you will have a problem with a mainstream DCC system (e.g., Digitrax, NCE, etc.) are probably very low.  But if a cap blows in an install, it will almost certainly ruin your shell, and decorated replacement shells are almost impossible to buy (undec shells are easier to come by, but consider the time/expense involved in re-decorating).  So this is why I'd be careful.  If you know or can find out the club layout track voltage, and it's no higher than, say, 14v or so, then 16v caps should work just fine.

John C. 
« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 10:58:40 PM by jdcolombo »

AKNscale

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Re: LOKsound Select Micro install!
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2017, 11:37:02 PM »
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Ok, thank you for the excellent info!

AKNscale

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Re: LOKsound Select Micro install!
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2017, 11:44:41 PM »
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Quick update, I'm still working on fitting the speaker. It's so close I can taste it, lol. Here's the speaker:


And here's how close it is right now:


I've been working between the body, the speaker box, and the frame.

AKNscale

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Re: LOKsound Select Micro install!
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2017, 12:32:07 AM »
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Speaker fits! Now to cleaning and then wiring...

peteski

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Re: LOKsound Select Micro install!
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2017, 01:03:07 AM »
+1
I like your method of picking up the power from the chassis. That will be dead reliable!
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AKNscale

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Re: LOKsound Select Micro install!
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2017, 03:08:50 AM »
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Thank you, the idea actually came from SBS4DCC. It's how they set up my B30s, and you're right, those locomotives that they did the installs on run beautifully and reliably.

AKNscale

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Re: LOKsound Select Micro install!
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2017, 03:49:06 AM »
+1
Quick update, here's a pic of the finished frame, the smooth area in the front is where I milled:


And the last thing I did was solder the motor power wires to the motor contacts:

tehachapifan

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Re: LOKsound Select Micro install!
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2017, 12:49:17 PM »
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Very clean work! What did you use to mill the frame?
Russ

AKNscale

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Re: LOKsound Select Micro install!
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2017, 02:16:42 PM »
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Thank you tehachapifan, I started with a dremel, decided that wouldn't work, then moved to a large track file.

Good morning all! I got up about 2 hours ago and decided to get working on this project, so here are the results so far!
The first thing I did was hook up the motor:

I should have taken a pic before I mounted it, but essentially I flipped the motor over the front so if the contact tabs were still there, they'd be in the front facing down. As you can see in my post last night, grey goes to the long contact, orange goes to the short contact (I removed the contact and soldered it directly to the cap). Quick note, soldering was done off of the motor to prevent damage.

Next I hooked up the power wires exactly as you see, front is to the left:


Then I moved to the speaker, hooked up as you see:


I then put the trucks on it and tested it with my programmer, and it works! It sounds great too!


I'm waiting for this video to upload to Photobucket so hopefully I can show it to you guys. Next, on to lighting!

AKNscale

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