Author Topic: N Scale TR2 “Calf” with Loksound v5 Micro (Lifelike chassis)  (Read 804 times)

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Jim Starbuck

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N Scale TR2 “Calf” with Loksound v5 Micro (Lifelike chassis)
« on: September 06, 2020, 02:29:09 PM »
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This install is similar to the Lifelike SW9/1200 install with a few variations.
The basic differences are using the fuel tank for a speaker enclosure, having a flywheel on only one end of the motor and some minor milling to allow clearance for the extra thickness of the Loksound 58823 .

The Lifelike chassis was narrowed at the cab end with a Dremel cutoff wheel until it fit under the narrow end of the shell.
This particular shell is a Kato NW2 with a Rivarossi narrow end grafted on then fitted to a Lifelike sill with the front steps blocked in. I had built this model previously and it was originally powered with a stock Lifelike motor before this sound upgrade.

Skytop Models (http://www.skytopmodels.com/) offers an excellent TR4B resin shell with sill should you want to build a TR set.

This install would also be easier using a Loksound v4 Micro decoder without the added connector and sub board of the v5 if you are fortunate enough to have one of those. The only differences from the SW9 install would be the speaker placement and hardwiring the front truck

First up was to make room for the 8x12 Soberton speaker.
The fuel tank area was milled off leaving enough material to still establish the plastic fuel tank location.

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The plastic fuel tank was then made into the speaker enclosure by cutting the speaker flush into the floor and adding .010” styrene to create the top of the enclosure.

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The last photo was taken before the speaker wires were attached and fed up through holes in the styrene “roof”.

The next thing to be addressed was how to fit the extra height of the v5 board under the shell.  To make room at the rear of the chassis I used a 7 x 16 double shaft coreless motor and turned a brass flywheel for only the front end leaving room above the rear worm to be occupied by the sub board on the decoder. The motor is cradled in a plastic holder from a Bachmann S4 the same as in my earlier SW9 conversation.

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Some of the inboard rear post was milled off to allow the decoder to be placed far enough rearward so the sub board would step down over the end of the motor.
A slot was also milled into the frame half to make room for the width of the sub board.
Before milling these areas I filled the groove where the original light board plugged in with JB Weld epoxy because the new slot wouldn’t have left much material there in the frame half.

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The decoder now has ample room for the shell to fit down properly.

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Tomix brass worms were cut to length then connected to the motor shafts using stainless capillary tubing with a touch of red Locktite to secure them much the same as the SW9 installation.

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Two 25v 220 UF capacitors were placed on the rear shelf and an 0603 LED with a 3k SMD resistor soldered in line was placed on top to feed the stock light pipe.
The front (narrow end) truck is hardwired with the wires soldered to the bottom of the truck tabs. The rear truck pickups use stock Lifelike tabs screwed to the chassis with 00-90 brass screws and have wires soldered to the tabs and connected to the track pickup wires on the decoder. This gives a direct path to the decoder so no current flows through the frame.

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When programming under the motor settings I used predefined by motor type “coreless with small diameter” and it was a good place to start to get nice running characteristics.

This unit is admittedly light with all the material removed from the frame but it will always be run with the A unit and the  capacitors and improved track pickup have proved to be quite sufficient for reliable operation.
There is room to add weight above the flywheel and behind the caps but it seems to run fine without it.
The A/B pair pull a 15 car train around  level 11 1/2” Unitrack curves with no problem. It would probably pull more although I haven’t maxed it out to see just how much.
The A unit in the video has a pretty much stock Lifelike mechanism with an ESU v4 Nano non sound decoder installed.

« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 08:09:14 AM by Jim Starbuck »
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tehachapifan

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Re: N Scale TR2 “calf” with Loksound v5 Micro
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2020, 04:26:38 PM »
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Jeez, Jim....you keep outdoing yourself! Amazing install!! :o

Jim Starbuck

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Re: N Scale TR2 “calf” with Loksound v5 Micro
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2020, 05:33:36 PM »
+1
Jeez, Jim....you keep outdoing yourself! Amazing install!! :o

Thanks Russ!
I love the Loksound v5 micro but I sure wish ESU would manufacture one without the extra board and just simple wires like the v4 had.
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tehachapifan

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Re: N Scale TR2 “calf” with Loksound v5 Micro
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2020, 05:39:15 PM »
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Thanks Russ!
I love the Loksound v5 micro but I sure wish ESU would manufacture one without the extra board and just simple wires like the v4 had.

Roger that!

tehachapifan

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Re: N Scale TR2 “calf” with Loksound v5 Micro
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2020, 07:18:00 PM »
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jdcolombo

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Re: N Scale TR2 “calf” with Loksound v5 Micro
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2020, 07:18:40 PM »
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Another vote for "amazing!". 

Agree that we could use a hard-wired V5 micro. 

I need to update the master install list - this, the Atlas Shay thread, etc. - we're really pushing the envelope here!

John C.

carlso

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Re: N Scale TR2 “calf” with Loksound v5 Micro
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2020, 08:27:23 PM »
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I'm sure you all know this, but maybe I am missing something. There is a hard wire LS V5 Micro decoder, ESU #58823. I put one into my Key Challenger.

Stay well,
Carl
Carl Sowell
El Paso, Texas
Southern New Mexico N Scalers, Las Cruces, New Mexico

tehachapifan

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Re: N Scale TR2 “calf” with Loksound v5 Micro
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2020, 08:35:31 PM »
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I'm sure you all know this, but maybe I am missing something. There is a hard wire LS V5 Micro decoder, ESU #58823. I put one into my Key Challenger.

Stay well,
Carl

Yes but the wires on the 58823 connect to a plug that then connects to the decoder, This is bulkier (taller) than what the pre V5 sound decoders had, with wires soldered right to the board itself.

Jim Starbuck

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Re: N Scale TR2 “calf” with Loksound v5 Micro
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2020, 08:51:47 PM »
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Yes, I should have specified that this install is a 58823 instead of just a v5 Micro.
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carlso

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Re: N Scale TR2 “calf” with Loksound v5 Micro
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2020, 11:02:56 PM »
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Sorry 'bout that! I guess I did not think about Jim's original comment about the V5. The one I used, #58823, was less than 4mm tall and fit in the Challenger tender fairly easily.

I agree, it would be nice to have the output wires attached to the board.
Carl Sowell
El Paso, Texas
Southern New Mexico N Scalers, Las Cruces, New Mexico

tehachapifan

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Re: N Scale TR2 “calf” with Loksound v5 Micro
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2020, 11:20:39 PM »
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Yes, I should have specified that this install is a 58823 instead of just a v5 Micro.

But I don't think there's a smaller V5 than the 58823. They all have a connector attached.

peteski

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Re: N Scale TR2 “calf” with Loksound v5 Micro
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2020, 12:59:56 AM »
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Yes, all the "wired" V5 decoders use the Next18 wire dongle which is relatively bulky.  That is why I tried to buy all the wired micro V4 decoders I could get my hands on while they were being discontinued.

Jim, you did another very clever and neat install!
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 01:01:29 AM by peteski »
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craigolio1

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Re: N Scale TR2 “calf” with Loksound v5 Micro
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2020, 12:50:40 PM »
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These SW installs are my favourite ones. Even after seeing the photos of it being done, I still look at mine and think how is that even possible?! 

Awesome work.

I have a BC Hydro rail train which will just be a trainshow runner. The consist is SD38-2, SD38-2, MP15, SW900.

I feel like I want to put Loksound in one of the SD38-2 and the SW900. The two have such different sounds, it will be very unique.

What was your source for the motor and the cradle? Did you have to plunder it can you buy these items?

Craig

Jim Starbuck

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Re: N Scale TR2 “calf” with Loksound v5 Micro
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2020, 02:03:20 PM »
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Craig,

Thank you for the kind words. I think the same thing when I look at your Shay install.

 The first SW9/1200 conversions I did used the 7x16 coreless motor with flywheels from a Bachmann S4. They were sourced from the Bachmann parts department but have since sold out.
This same motor is available on EBay without the flywheels.  https://www.ebay.com/itm/283279350872
Tramfabriek also has a website and offer various coreless motors, flywheels and other small driveline parts. I have purchased from them on EBay a couple of times and have no problem recommending them as a seller. My experience has been very good.

The motor holder I use is also from the Bachmann S4 parts source.
The S4 has the lower part of the motor cradle cast into the metal chassis and this plastic part is intended to snap down over the motor retaining in the chassis. When used as intended in the S4, pegs point upward and provided a mounting place for the stock decoder.

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This part works great however when flipped over and used as a motor cradle. The pegs and latches get trimmed off for an SW install but work great as legs in an application with a flat chassis such as an Arnold S2. I just use kapton tape to hold the motor into the plastic cradle which might draw criticism from some but I’ve probably done 7 or 8 conversions like this without any problems.

Jim

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peteski

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Re: N Scale TR2 “calf” with Loksound v5 Micro
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2020, 04:38:35 PM »
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Over the last couple of years I amassed a small collection of those S4 motors (usually waiting for the parts sale, to get them at a discount).  They are out of stock now, but the SD 45 sound value motor is pretty much the same.  And the parts sale might still be active (see my post about it on the Product Discussion thread).

Here is the motor: https://estore.bachmanntrains.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=70_699&products_id=10547



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