Author Topic: Custom Locomotive PCB  (Read 855 times)

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Ghillieman777

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Custom Locomotive PCB
« on: September 16, 2019, 08:11:19 PM »
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Has anyone created their own locomotive to replace the analog one, like adding a DCC connector (NEM651 6 pin, NEXT18, etc.) to a pcb that would fit in a locomotive that either does not have a DCC connector or has any decoders out in the market?

wvgca

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Re: Custom Locomotive PCB
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2019, 08:55:39 PM »
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many locos don't have a DCC connector ....
and that's why they make hardwired decoders ..

reinhardtjh

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Re: Custom Locomotive PCB
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2019, 10:51:22 PM »
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Calling @peteski ...
John H. Reinhardt
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peteski

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Re: Custom Locomotive PCB
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2019, 05:11:58 PM »
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Here are few threads about producing PC boards.
https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=43987.0
https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=46077.0

I've been etching my own boards for decades (electronics is another hobby of mine, and profession).

I often produce PC Boards to make my wired-in decoder installs easier, but not really to replace the light boards.  There are plenty plug-n-play DCC decoders on the market which replace the light boards. MY PC boards still use wired-in decoders, but make the wiring job neater and easier.  I also often use PC boards for mounting LEDs and resistors.

The closest I came to doing what you are asking about was a board for Bachmann 44-tonner (replacing its original crappy decoder), but it still uses a wired-in DZ125 decoder (no 6-pin connector or anything  like that). Read more about it in https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=32605.0 .

And here are examples of PC Boards I made to hold LEDs and resistors.






A custom PC board replacing the original with the decoder "embedded" in it (and couple of LED PC boards).

Installed in the model.


This thread shows another custom-made PC Board. https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=38297.0

Here I took a decoder and "embedded" it in the factory PC Board.


--- Peteski de Snarkski

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narrowminded

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Re: Custom Locomotive PCB
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2019, 12:37:37 PM »
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I hadn't seen this done before but it was a logical solution as I was seeking space for some of my critter installs. 8)  There are many instances where even .010" matters and setting the components or even a whole board in a through hole will buy some precious space.  Very cool. :) 
Mark G.

peteski

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Re: Custom Locomotive PCB
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2019, 03:42:20 PM »
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I hadn't seen this done before but it was a logical solution as I was seeking space for some of my critter installs. 8)  There are many instances where even .010" matters and setting the components or even a whole board in a through hole will buy some precious space.  Very cool. :)

Thanks!  That is the exact reason I used that method: limited clearance.
--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm anal retentive!!!"
-"Look at me, I have the most posts evahhhh!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm snarky!!!!"
-"Look at me, I have OCD!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"

Ghillieman777

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Re: Custom Locomotive PCB
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2019, 04:26:29 PM »
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Here are few threads about producing PC boards.
https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=43987.0
https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=46077.0

I've been etching my own boards for decades (electronics is another hobby of mine, and profession).

I often produce PC Boards to make my wired-in decoder installs easier, but not really to replace the light boards.  There are plenty plug-n-play DCC decoders on the market which replace the light boards. MY PC boards still use wired-in decoders, but make the wiring job neater and easier.  I also often use PC boards for mounting LEDs and resistors.

The closest I came to doing what you are asking about was a board for Bachmann 44-tonner (replacing its original crappy decoder), but it still uses a wired-in DZ125 decoder (no 6-pin connector or anything  like that). Read more about it in https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=32605.0 .

And here are examples of PC Boards I made to hold LEDs and resistors.






A custom PC board replacing the original with the decoder "embedded" in it (and couple of LED PC boards).

Installed in the model.


This thread shows another custom-made PC Board. https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=38297.0

Here I took a decoder and "embedded" it in the factory PC Board.



This is pretty much what I am wanting to do. Only difference is I am wanting to add a NEXT18 socket to the board and modding boards per locomotive. Thanks for the reply and the info!

Jbub

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Re: Custom Locomotive PCB
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2019, 04:28:31 PM »
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Finding the connector is going to be your second biggest problem, finding space in your loco for the decoder and extra board is going to be your first.
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wvgca

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Re: Custom Locomotive PCB
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2019, 04:47:42 PM »
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next18 connector is pretty easy to get ... one place is laisdcc   ...no idea what they are worth

Jbub

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Re: Custom Locomotive PCB
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2019, 05:30:51 PM »
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next18 connector is pretty easy to get ... one place is laisdcc   ...no idea what they are worth
I looked through their site and didn't see anything. Do you possibly have a link? Trying to find the socket and/ or plug has been unfruitful for me elsewhere as well. The only place I did find it does not shop to the US
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peteski

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Re: Custom Locomotive PCB
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2019, 06:43:58 PM »
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I see few issues with home-brewed boards using Next18 connectors.

- Space inside N scale models is at premium - often not enough clearance for this type of interface. That is why we do wired installs.

- I draw my PCB artwork by hand on most boards.  The Next18 connector pads are too fine to do by hand (at least for me).

- Even if you have a PCB with Next18 pads on it, it will require some precise soldering by hand to solder the Next18 connector.

Good luck! 


--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm anal retentive!!!"
-"Look at me, I have the most posts evahhhh!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm snarky!!!!"
-"Look at me, I have OCD!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"

wvgca

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Re: Custom Locomotive PCB
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2019, 09:53:37 PM »
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the next18 connector from laisdcc is part of an adapter board that goes from next18 to ordinary wires ....
the next18 connector itself just -seems- to be a ordinary pin header, nothing special ?? except on the small side, lol

misiek

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Re: Custom Locomotive PCB
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2019, 03:08:45 AM »
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My N scale variant of PCB for 6pin NEM decoders.
I have different sizes of front or rear PCB and can install SMD LEDs or ordinary 3mm LEDs.
Tested on Atlas GP7, GP40 but can be installed in wide range of Atlas models (except of RS1, RS3). Also fit in Intermountain SD40T-2 and similar  models.

Cost of PCB:  approx 1-2$ for one set (including resistors, SMD, 6pin socket) - but this is Polish prices ;)

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Note: not NMRA colored wires ;)
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peteski

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--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm anal retentive!!!"
-"Look at me, I have the most posts evahhhh!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm snarky!!!!"
-"Look at me, I have OCD!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"