Author Topic: ESU LokSound install into Kato SD70ACe  (Read 3713 times)

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RBrodzinsky

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ESU LokSound install into Kato SD70ACe
« on: May 02, 2017, 03:12:06 PM »
+6
Last year I acquired a used DC version of UP #8450, an SD70ACe from Kato. It was part of a batch purchase (where I was primarily interested in some of the other items), so thought this would be a good project to get me started on installing sound decoders. Well, as some of you may remember, I had a major accident on milling the frame, such that I literally broke a half (there is a thread on this disaster, but I'm not going to point to it -- go find it if you must!)

Anyway, I moved onto other projects, but along the way, Ryan Wilkerson was able to acquire a new frame for me. This project kept sitting in the box for a variety of reasons, but this weekend, out it came.

The frame requires some milling to provide enough room to fit the decoder and speaker over the rear truck, plus a couple of small touches elsewhere, to make life simple. Here, you can see the milled frame (assembled) along with an unmilled frame. Basically, need to take the back shelf down a bit (cutting off the tops of the embedded numbers) and mill up to almost the retention holes for the motor housing. The other touches are to remove the small bump on each side of the shelf over the front fly wheel, and a slight widening of the channel from the rear shelf over to the area over the motor (for wires)

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Here is the other side (the weathering on the trucks and fuel tank were as received).

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Here is a view from the top. You can see the widened channel at the read of the motor, as well as my liberal use of Kapton tape to ensure everything is isolated. In the above pictures, you can also see that I made sure to put Kapton where the motor tabs are near the frame, as well. Also, of note, are the two small pieces of PC-board ties I cut and drilled, to give me a mounting spot for power pickup. Since the brass strips are all at the bottom of the frame on this model, I chose to make a soldering point up top, rather than run wires down the side of the frame.

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Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
Silicon Valley FreeMo-N

RBrodzinsky

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Re: ESU LokSound install into Kato SD70ACe
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2017, 03:14:07 PM »
+2
At first, I thought to put my "stay alive" capacitors in the center cradle, over the motor. Unfortunately, they are just a bit too think for that spot, as the roof line of the shell comes down.

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So, I moved them to the front of the unit, and placed my light board over the motor

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This photo has everything but the lights wired up. The "light board" is simply a small piece of PC board, with channel milled. There are 3 light connections (white / green / yellow wires), plus the common (blue) wire on it. 1000 ohm SMD resistors are between the leads from the board, and the solder points for the LEDs. To get everything to fit into the shell, one must also sand down the area at the rear of the shell, to permit the speaker and decoder to "just fit". The decoder is actually mounted slanted, to reduce its footprint (headprint?) in the shell.

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Since I hadn't realized how yellow the light pipes were in the stock SD70ACe, I am only putting in the front LED (on left) for now. It will illuminate both the headlamp and ditch lights. A separate ditch light LED and a rear LED (to be mounted on the end of the speaker) will be added once I get clear light pipes from KATO. "But Rick," you may ask, "why not put in two LEDs for the ditch lights, allowing them to flash?" Well, this is a UP loco, which did not flash their ditch lights!

Also, you can see the small label I made for the decoder. This is just something I have started doing, since I may have a few decoders out at any given time. I put the sound project number, along with prime mover on the label, to keep everything straight. The speaker is the Soberton 8x11, from Digikey, with the really cool Shapeways enclosure for it.

I will try to post a video of the loco running later today
Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
Silicon Valley FreeMo-N

Nick Lorusso

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Re: ESU LokSound install into Kato SD70ACe
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2017, 03:50:40 PM »
0
Rick,
Looks great. Hope everything is well.
Regards,
Nick Lorusso
https://sbhrs.wildapricot.org/

jdcolombo

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Re: ESU LokSound install into Kato SD70ACe
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2017, 04:03:59 PM »
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Nice!

The idea of labeling the decoder is an excellent one; I'm going to start doing this!

Yes, we all need to thank John LeMerise for doing that enclosure; it sure makes life simpler!

John C.

RBrodzinsky

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Re: ESU LokSound install into Kato SD70ACe
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2017, 04:29:10 PM »
+4
Here's a quick video (sorry about my phone handling noise).  Shows off just how much volume one can get out of these little guys


^Nick -- thanks, doing well. Hope you are, too

^John -- Yes, John's enclosure is fantastic. I have started putting Bondic (the UV-cure plastic bond stuff) around the edge of the speaker on the top, which really seals the gap.  Perfect (n-scale) sound ever since
Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
Silicon Valley FreeMo-N

jdcolombo

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Re: ESU LokSound install into Kato SD70ACe
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2017, 08:39:15 PM »
0
Jeez.  That IS loud. 

It's really remarkable to watch a video like this and think about how far we've come with N-scale sound . . .

John C.

Santa Fe Guy

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Re: ESU LokSound install into Kato SD70ACe
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2017, 09:38:59 PM »
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Really nice job, labeling a top idea and good sound to boot Rick.
Rod.
Santafesd40.blogspot.com

Lemosteam

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Re: ESU LokSound install into Kato SD70ACe
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2017, 07:05:51 AM »
0
Nice!

The idea of labeling the decoder is an excellent one; I'm going to start doing this!

Yes, we all need to thank John LeMerise for doing that enclosure; it sure makes life simpler!

John C.

Aww shucks.   :D :D :D

woodone

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Re: ESU LokSound install into Kato SD70ACe
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2017, 12:32:31 PM »
+2
Broke a frame!! - Well, I have done several of these, the first one being my own- Guess what? I too broke a frame .
A tip that may work for others. On this loco there is just NO where to clamp the frame to do machine work unless you use a Dremel tool.
There is quite a bit of material that must be removed so with a Dremel it takes a bunch of time. I now use a mill. BUT first I bolt the two halves together, then fill all of the inside with low temp metal to make a solid piece. Clamp into my milling vise and a way we go.   
After milling I unbolt the two halves and tap the frame with a very small hammer. That will shake loose the low temp metal so you can separate the halves. If some of the low temp metal comes out the frames in small notches and other places just use a hot tip of your soldering iron to melt out of the way.

jdcolombo

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Re: ESU LokSound install into Kato SD70ACe
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2017, 12:54:32 PM »
+1
I always bolt the frame halves together when milling for a sound decoder (without the plastic frame isolation inserts).  Then I use pieces of 1/8" masonite on each side between the jaws of the vise and the frame to make sure I'm not clamping it just on the fuel tank.  Sometimes this takes two pieces of masonite per side, but with first-gen diesels typically only one.

Then I mill - but very carefully.  I typically don't take off more than 1mm of depth at a time, using a 1/8" dual-flute end mill at 10,000 rpm.  Even at just 1mm per pass, it goes pretty fast in N scale.  Yesterday I was reminded of this as I used my mill to mill out a 9-mm deep by 15mm wide by 20mm long notch in a big honkin' Altas HO scale weight.  The weight was bigger than a lot of N scale locos!  In comparison to modifying an N-scale frame, that weight took forever (and if I was in HO scale, I'd get a bigger mill; the tiny Proxxon I have is perfect for N scale frames; not so much for HO scale stuff).

But thank God for the mill - what used to take two hours with a Dremel now takes 15 minutes max with the mill.  One of the best tool investments I've ever made (my digital soldering station is probably No. 1, only because I use it more than the mill).

John C.

PS - and yeah, I've done the "break a frame" thing, too - on my second-ever sound install, on an Atlas RS11 frame.  That's another reason the mill is so much better; I can make very precise cuts and not go places I don't want to go!

tehachapifan

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Re: ESU LokSound install into Kato SD70ACe
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2017, 01:29:24 PM »
0
Excellent install! :o Question....would a speaker and enclosure have potentially fit in the depression on the other end of the drive? Hard to tell if that is where the cab or nose sits (I don't have one of these models yet), but it looks like it might be close to being able to fit there. I'm sure you evaluated this as a possibility but wonder if it was a lighting issue or something else that drove the decision. Not having a milling machine (yet), it sure is nice it when I can find a way to fit everything somewhere with minimal-to-no frame grinding.





RBrodzinsky

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Re: ESU LokSound install into Kato SD70ACe
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2017, 05:19:49 PM »
0
Excellent install! :o Question....would a speaker and enclosure have potentially fit in the depression on the other end of the drive? Hard to tell if that is where the cab or nose sits (I don't have one of these models yet), but it looks like it might be close to being able to fit there. I'm sure you evaluated this as a possibility but wonder if it was a lighting issue or something else that drove the decision. Not having a milling machine (yet), it sure is nice it when I can find a way to fit everything somewhere with minimal-to-no frame grinding.

That is where the cab is, along with the headlight and ditch-light pipes.  Unfortunately, there is zero room there (unless one is planning to eliminate the light pipes.
Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
Silicon Valley FreeMo-N

RBrodzinsky

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Re: ESU LokSound install into Kato SD70ACe
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2017, 05:25:34 PM »
0
Bob/John.  Yep - the broken frame was with the Dremel (in a milling vise), but before I got my Proxxon mill. The Dremel holder literally slipped, and went where it wasn't supposed to at the top.  When I took it out of the vise to inspect the damage, I realized how close I had come to severing a small "shaft" holding the frame together.  While handling... well, it was no longer holding   :facepalm:

The Kato SD70 frame is interesting, in that the two halves do not screw together!  The whole frame is held simply by the motor mounts on the plastic piece, and the fuel tank.

Well, it was long enough ago, and I learned a lot about milling (like buying a real mill) from that. 
Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
Silicon Valley FreeMo-N

jdcolombo

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Re: ESU LokSound install into Kato SD70ACe
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2017, 05:31:57 PM »
0
Bob/John.  Yep - the broken frame was with the Dremel (in a milling vise), but before I got my Proxxon mill. The Dremel holder literally slipped, and went where it wasn't supposed to at the top.  When I took it out of the vise to inspect the damage, I realized how close I had come to severing a small "shaft" holding the frame together.  While handling... well, it was no longer holding   :facepalm:

The Kato SD70 frame is interesting, in that the two halves do not screw together!  The whole frame is held simply by the motor mounts on the plastic piece, and the fuel tank.

Well, it was long enough ago, and I learned a lot about milling (like buying a real mill) from that.

Ah yes.  The infamous screwless frame.  I have enormous respect for Kato, but sometimes I wonder if their engineers like to do stuff "just because we can." 

John C.

peteski

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Re: ESU LokSound install into Kato SD70ACe
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2017, 05:37:12 PM »
0
Ah yes.  The infamous screwless frame.  I have enormous respect for Kato, but sometimes I wonder if their engineers like to do stuff "just because we can." 

John C.

I also agree that they over-engineered that chassis just a bit. The fine gearing in the trucks is also a blessing and a curse. They run like fine Swiss watches, but even the smallest piece of debris (which is not unusual when running on an average layout not built to clean-room specs) will jam them really badly.

OTOH the way all the shell's parts simply interlock with each other and with perfect fit is awe-inspiring. However it is quite a puzzle trying to figure out the (dis)assembly order.
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