Author Topic: ESU LokSound in a Bachmann 10-wheeler  (Read 1079 times)

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jdcolombo

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ESU LokSound in a Bachmann 10-wheeler
« on: February 01, 2020, 06:07:33 PM »
+12
Hi everyone.

A couple of years ago when Bachmann released its Ten Wheeler in NKP paint, I bought one just for the heck of it.  I intended to use it on our club's Ntrak layout, but I found that it didn't have the greatest electrical pickup, and would regularly stall even on clean track.  Plus, I had grown accustomed to sound in my steam locos, and a silent steamer just somehow seemed wrong to me.

Occasionally, I'd wonder about the possibility of putting sound in it, but I wanted to be able to use a fairly hefty keep alive to overcome the Ten Wheeler's electrical pickup issues.  Well, last week I got a stash of TCS KA-1 keep alives, which are much smaller (about 25mm x 9mm x 6mm) than ones TCS has had before.  So today I decided to see if I could stash a TCS KA-1 and a LokSound 5 DCC micro plus an 8x12 speaker in my Ten Wheeler.

Yep.  Here's the video.


Here are a few photos.  First, I completely stripped out the inside of the tender, including the plastic "insulator" that sits on top of the frame.  But I cut off the ends of the insulator to re-use.  The ends have a plastic "sleeve" on each side to fit around the tender truck wiper "fingers" so they cannot hit the tender frame, which is all metal.  I installed the TCS on its side on one side of the tender floor.  I also milled off the tiny "lip" on the other side of the frame so the decoder could sit flat next to the keep alive.  Then I hard-wired the tender trucks with some ESU 36-gauge decoder wire, reinstalled the plastic sleeves around the openings for the truck wiper fingers and connected the wires to a small piece of circuit board I mounted at the back of the tender floor.  I mounted another small piece of circuit board at the front for wires from the boiler.  The Ten Wheeler has six wires from the bolier (track, motor and headlight), but I only used the motor and headlight wires - the tender drawbar also picks up power from the engine via wires that contact a post on the engine, and two fewer wires going to the tender was helpful given the lack of space for everything.  So the front circuit board is for the orange, blue, white and gray wires from the decoder.  I used an 8x12mm speaker in one of Lemosteam's enclosures, and wired that directly to the Next18 adapter board on the decoder.  The speaker sits right at the front of the tender, firing up into the coal load.

Here are photos of the installation.  First, the tender, stripped out with the TCS KA-1 installed on its side:

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Next, the decoder wired up:

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This one shows the placement of the speaker:

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Looks like I'll be using the Ten Wheeler at our next NTrak setup!

John C.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2020, 12:07:39 PM by jdcolombo »

carlso

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Re: ESU LokSound in a Bachmann 10-wheeler
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2020, 09:12:44 PM »
0

Very nice John and thank you for sharing. The tender work is outstanding and so neat, it gives me an idea for my KATO Mike.

Thanks again,
Carl
Carl Sowell
El Paso, Texas
Southern New Mexico N Scalers, Las Cruces, New Mexico

Cajonpassfan

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Re: ESU LokSound in a Bachmann 10-wheeler
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2020, 11:20:56 PM »
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Very nice, John, and what a sweet running loco!
Otto

CodyO

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Re: ESU LokSound in a Bachmann 10-wheeler
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2020, 10:22:53 AM »
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@jdcolombo Where did you wire the keep alive to on the ESU board?

I`m debating putting one of these KA`s in my Brass L1 Install.
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RBrodzinsky

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Re: ESU LokSound in a Bachmann 10-wheeler
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2020, 10:39:24 AM »
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Interesting.  Did you remove the Aux1/2 and speaker wires from the top side of the Next18 Adapter?  Which file did you use, the new 2-8-2 LS-5 file, or convert a V4?

Great job.
Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
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jdcolombo

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Re: ESU LokSound in a Bachmann 10-wheeler
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2020, 11:39:37 AM »
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@jdcolombo Where did you wire the keep alive to on the ESU board?

I`m debating putting one of these KA`s in my Brass L1 Install.

The keep alive positive is wired to the common function positive - e.g., the blue wire or a pad identified as U+.  The negative is wired to the GND pad, which is the first pad on the board on right side of the Next18 plug (as you are looking at the Next18 adapter head on from the front).  The LokSound 5 manual has a diagram that shows the correct pad and you can see in the second photo of my original post where the black/white stripe wire from the TCS KA-1 (the negative wire) is soldered to the pad on the outside of the decoder.

John C.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2020, 12:10:43 PM by jdcolombo »

jdcolombo

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Re: ESU LokSound in a Bachmann 10-wheeler
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2020, 11:49:38 AM »
+1
Interesting.  Did you remove the Aux1/2 and speaker wires from the top side of the Next18 Adapter?  Which file did you use, the new 2-8-2 LS-5 file, or convert a V4?

Great job.

Yes, I removed them.  Didn't need the Aux wires for this install, and I soldered the speaker leads directly to the speaker pads on the adapter.  Also took off the yellow wire, since there is no backup light on this model. There is so little room in the tender that I didn't want excess wire clogging things up.

I used the LokSound 5 UP 844 sound file, with the Soo Line 2-8-2 whistle and bell.  I didn't realize the Soo 2-8-2 file had been released for the Lok 5 (it must have been last week - the file has a 1/24/2020 date on it), or I probably would have used that one.  I already had the UP file on my computer and I figured chuffs are pretty much chuffs, so it was really the bell and whistle I needed to worry about.   Fortunately, Matt included a bunch of different bells and whistles (literally!) in the LS5 UP844 file and it appears he did the same thing for the Soo file.  So you could use either one, depending on which chuff sounds you liked best.

I will say that the TCS KA-1 really works wonders for my steam locos.  I've now put them in the BLI Mikados I have, along with this one.   I'm going to add them to my Berks and Kato Mikes as well.  My home-grown keep alive using two 220uf caps in parallel works fine for avoiding sound dropouts, but it won't keep a motor alive for more than a millisecond; this usually isn't an issue with a MU lashup of diesels, but it sometimes is an issue for a single steam loco, particularly when doing slow-speed switching.

I don't care much for TCS's decoders, but kudos to them for the keep alives and making them smaller as technology marches on.

BTW - I also had to modify the BEMF settings for this engine.  With the factory CV54/55 settings, the engine bucked badly at slow speed.  Turns out that it much prefers having both CV54 and CV55 turned way down - I used a value of 10 for both and the engine seems to run very smoothly with those values.

John C.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2020, 11:52:24 AM by jdcolombo »

Sharky_McSharknose

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Re: ESU LokSound in a Bachmann 10-wheeler
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2020, 07:04:53 PM »
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That's the Bachmann USRA Medium tender, right? I have one of those tenders and an older B-mann Consolidation with the space in the boiler weight for a Z-scale decoder. I'll definitely keep this install in mind whenever I get back around to the Connie.

SandyEggoJake

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Re: ESU LokSound in a Bachmann 10-wheeler
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2020, 08:41:12 PM »
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Nice job John!  I've got 5 of the Bmann Ten Wheelers waiting for a similar stuff.  Great to learn of the TCS KA-1 keep alives as that is has been a key gating factor for me to make the investment into them. 

When you say you "milled off the tiny "lip" on the other side of the frame" (fireman's side) I'm guessing that was done with just a simple file manually, yes? 

And did you need to add drill holes to the coal to get you sound out?  It's one of my worries, as mine will all have a replacement oil bunker mod.

-Jake

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Re: ESU LokSound in a Bachmann 10-wheeler
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2020, 08:45:52 PM »
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Nice job John!  I've got 5 of the Bmann Ten Wheelers waiting for a similar stuff.  Great to learn of the TCS KA-1 keep alives as that is has been a key gating factor for me to make the investment into them. 

When you say you "milled off the tiny "lip" on the other side of the frame" (fireman's side) I'm guessing that was done with just a simple file manually, yes? 

And did you need to add drill holes to the coal to get you sound out?  It's one of my worries, as mine will all have a replacement oil bunker mod.

-Jake

Just use an old pair of Xurons to snip away the majority of material and file the remainder off.

jdcolombo

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Re: ESU LokSound in a Bachmann 10-wheeler
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2020, 10:08:06 PM »
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Nice job John!  I've got 5 of the Bmann Ten Wheelers waiting for a similar stuff.  Great to learn of the TCS KA-1 keep alives as that is has been a key gating factor for me to make the investment into them. 

When you say you "milled off the tiny "lip" on the other side of the frame" (fireman's side) I'm guessing that was done with just a simple file manually, yes? 

And did you need to add drill holes to the coal to get you sound out?  It's one of my worries, as mine will all have a replacement oil bunker mod.

-Jake

Hi Jake.

Actually, it's the engineer's side (right side) of the tender floor.  I used a carbon-steel cutter in a Dremel to do the job.  But a file would work.  The lip isn't very big - maybe a half-mm deep.  But it was interfering with the "seating" of the LokSound on the tender floor, so I got rid of it.  I left the one on the fireman's side, because it provided a nice "wall" to butt the TCS KA-1 up next to.

No holes.  There are plenty of holes already in the tender - in the floor where the truck wiper fingers are, in the front of the shell where the wires enter, etc.  Just make sure the speaker cone isn’t hitting anything and you’ll be fine.
John C.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 10:31:03 PM by jdcolombo »

jdcolombo

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Re: ESU LokSound in a Bachmann 10-wheeler
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2020, 10:14:56 PM »
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That's the Bachmann USRA Medium tender, right? I have one of those tenders and an older B-mann Consolidation with the space in the boiler weight for a Z-scale decoder. I'll definitely keep this install in mind whenever I get back around to the Connie.

I'm not sure exactly what tender it is - it's whatever came with the Ten Wheeler.  But it looks to be the same as the tender on my Bachmann 2-8-0's. 

I've done a LokSound install without a commercial keep alive in the Connie - see this thread:

https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=36608.0

If I were doing the Connies today, I'd probably do the same install as I did for this Ten Wheeler, with the TCS KA-1 instead of a home-grown keep alive.

John C.


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Re: ESU LokSound in a Bachmann 10-wheeler
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2020, 04:00:17 PM »
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So the programming has to be done before the keep alive is hooked up?
Modeling the C&O in Kentucky.

“Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. ... Everything science has taught me-and continues to teach me-strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death. Nothing disappears without a trace.” Wernher von Braun

jdcolombo

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Re: ESU LokSound in a Bachmann 10-wheeler
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2020, 09:04:06 PM »
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If you are using a LokProgrammer to load the sound file or make CV changes, then yes.  You can also add a choke in series with the keep alive to eliminate problems with the LokProgrammer reading/writing to the decoder, but that takes space.

See the following thread:
https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=45354.0

I don't put in a choke.  Instead, I program the decoder with the sound file and whatever basic settings (e.g., address, function key assignments, etc.) that I want; the LokProgrammer has a "throttle" mode where you can test out the programming, and I do that and tweak my programming at this stage.  Then I hook up the keep alive.  After that, I can make changes to simple things like sound volume levels using ops mode programming (programming on the main) with a throttle.

John C.


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Re: ESU LokSound in a Bachmann 10-wheeler
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2020, 05:18:49 PM »
+1
I just completed this installation using a 9x16 speaker. It is possible, you just have to take out some of the front bulkhead of the tender. I’m not saying it’s better.  :)

I also had to dremel a groove in the metal floor of the tender to get enough clearance for the KA-1.


Modeling the C&O in Kentucky.

“Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. ... Everything science has taught me-and continues to teach me-strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death. Nothing disappears without a trace.” Wernher von Braun