Author Topic: ESU LokSound Select Micro install in Kato MP36PH CalTrain #928  (Read 1207 times)

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RBrodzinsky

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Just prior to my recent retirement, I received a Kato Kobo Custom CalTrain MP36PH, #928. This will go wonderfully with the announced, soon(?) to be released, Athearn CalTrain Bombardier coach set (including x-MetroLink cars), for running through my Silicon Valley FreeMoN CalTrain Station.

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Unlike the fantasy CalTrain locos on the market (F59PHI), the MP36PH-3C is actually used by the road. ESU has a custom sound file for this loco (#91494), created for the TrueLines HO loco, but fully loadable into the Select-Micro for N scale.  From ESU’s bulletin:
  • The MP36PH-3C has the same prime mover as the "-3S" model, the EMD 645F3B diesel engine, but with its HEP generated by a separate Caterpillar C-18 diesel engine, thus the "C" in its model name. In this arrangement, when providing HEP, the full 3600 HP from the prime mover is available for traction, and the prime mover is allowed to idle at a lower RPM.
  • The MP36PH-3C sound is correct for many of the Rebuilt F40PH locomotives. As they were rebuilt many of the shaft driven HEP units were replaced with separate CAT HEP's.

About the only thing not included is the electronic horn sound used on CalTrain (I asked Matt if he had any plans to record this, when he was on his West Coast excursion in June, but he had not planned any time for it - bummer).

As delivered, Kato has included forward-running lamp which lights the headlamp and the ditch lights (one LED, so everything on at same time), and another LED which lights the red lights when running in reverse.

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Under the hood of this loco, there is plenty of room for adding the decoder, speaker, and individual ditch lights, without having to mill the frame at all. The only cutting required is on the plastic cover for the board, to make room for the decoder, as shown by this test fit.

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

RBrodzinsky

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Re: ESU LokSound Select Micro install in Kato MP36PH CalTrain #928
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 02:54:10 PM »
+2
Since there was plenty of room, I decided to reuse the provided circuit board as much as possible. Here are the changes that I made to it, along with where I brought the wires (NOTE: The white wire connection needs to be AFTER a resistor, as will be seen later)

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The bottom LED, which illuminates the red lights, needs to either be removed from the board (which I did), or reversed, since the way the board was laid out for DC operation simply had the two LEDs connected to the same feeds, but with reversed polarity. I chose, instead, to attach an LED directly to the red light pipes, feeding the brightest light I could through to them. I tried mounting under the board, to eliminate tethering the case to the frame, but did not get good lighting

For the ditch lights, I mounted 2 0603 SMD warm white LEDs to the frame. These are connected to the Aux1 & Aux2 outputs of the decoder. In this photo, you can see surgery I performed, cutting the ditch lights’ pipes so that they pick up the light from the new LEDs rather than the board. Since these are very bright, I covered the light pipes with electrical tape, preventing (most) light leakage through them.

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

RBrodzinsky

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Re: ESU LokSound Select Micro install in Kato MP36PH CalTrain #928
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 02:57:11 PM »
+2
Here we see the speaker and my resistor board at the rear of the loco. The speaker is an 8x12mm Soberton from DigiKey with Shapeways enclosure.  The F0-F (white), F0-R (yellow), Aux 1 and Aux 2 (purple/green) wires from the decoder feed the board, which has 4 1K-ohm SMD resistors.  You can see the magnet wire for the three new LEDs coming off, and if you look very closely at the bottom left, you can see the white wire which goes to the solder point on the trace of the modified circuit board.

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Looking under the plastic, you can see how the decoder sits over the board, and how the motor and frame connections were made.  I have not, yet, attached any tantalum capacitors, but there is room over the resistor board, if I find them necessary.

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And here is everything installed and ready to be buttoned up

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

RBrodzinsky

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Re: ESU LokSound Select Micro install in Kato MP36PH CalTrain #928
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 02:58:41 PM »
+2
Here are shots with the lights on

Forward running, with ditch lights (the ditch lights are brighter than the headlight, but both are nicely visible when running)

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The ditch lights alternate when the grade crossing logic is activated with the horn.

Reverse running red.
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I still need to do final sound and speed configurations on my test track, and then take this for a run around the JACALAR.  It should be making its public debut in October, at the Central California Railroad Festival in San Luis Obispo, where the SV FreeMoN group will be running.
Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
Silicon Valley FreeMo-N

jdcolombo

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Re: ESU LokSound Select Micro install in Kato MP36PH CalTrain #928
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 04:24:49 PM »
+1
Hi Rick.

That is VERY impressive work.  Wiring the ditch lights would have driven me insane . . . Nice use of the smt-resistor/circuit board idea, too.

It's fun to see how far we've come with sound and lighting effects in N scale since I started hacking away at my Atlas/China RS11 frame back in November 2013 . . .

John C.


RBrodzinsky

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Re: ESU LokSound Select Micro install in Kato MP36PH CalTrain #928
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2017, 06:36:31 PM »
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Thanks, John. All in all, this was a simple install, which I managed to drag out over about 5 weeks. Between two major trips and some significant heat where one didn't want to do anything, this retirement gig sure seems to fill up the time!
Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
Silicon Valley FreeMo-N

tehachapifan

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Re: ESU LokSound Select Micro install in Kato MP36PH CalTrain #928
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2017, 08:10:21 PM »
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Nice install!

RBrodzinsky

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Re: ESU LokSound Select Micro install in Kato MP36PH CalTrain #928
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2017, 04:31:05 PM »
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Finally got a chance to get everything programmed, and get this onto the layout. Here is a short YouTube video of the unit in action


Have also received the first group of the Bombardier cars.

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