Author Topic: Loksound 5 Nano  (Read 3314 times)

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GM50 4164

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Loksound 5 Nano
« on: July 20, 2021, 11:30:05 AM »
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Hello everyone, I stumbled across a page on FB of a N scale ConCor galloping goose with the nano inside. I went to the shops page, Buckambool Model Trains page on FB! They have actual photos of the nano for different angles as well. They also have several videos using the Zimo sound decoders.


Benjamin H

Southern1970

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Re: Loksound 5 Nano
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2021, 04:14:43 AM »
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Jarryd @ Buckambool is who I purchased my 12x8mm speakers from. 

RBrodzinsky

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Re: Loksound 5 Nano
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2021, 10:47:57 AM »
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In answer to my question about actual decoder size, he says 25x8.5x4mm.  So a touch thicker than the LS V4/Select Micro, but 1.5mm narrower.  Will have to see how well these fit in older Atlas diesels, once they are available here in the US
Rick Brodzinsky
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RBrodzinsky

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Re: Loksound 5 Nano
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2021, 11:01:45 AM »
+1
Here are the photos that Jarryd posted on Facebook of the Nano

Overall decoder with connector board attached (he had started peeling the shrinkwrap)
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Underside of decoder

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Connector board with E24 connector


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Note the two solder pads available.  The markings on the board indicate they are Aux8 and Aux 7.   I was hoping, based on Figure 14 in the latest LokSound 5 model, that the pad along the edge would be decoder ground (for keep alive attachment).  It seems there is no clean spot for accessing ground (will need to check the small contacts on the connector edge of the board.
Rick Brodzinsky
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Maletrain

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Re: Loksound 5 Nano
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2021, 12:12:11 PM »
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It seems odd to me that a leading manufacturer of ultra small sound decoders for N scale locos doesn't have a priority for their design to provide for attachment of a "keep alive".

peteski

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Re: Loksound 5 Nano
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2021, 02:14:46 PM »
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It is really too bad that they abandoned the direct wired-in design, and rely on a miniature connector and a a wire "dongle". Yes, this connector looks smaller than Next18, but it with the dongle still increases the thickness and length of the otherwise tiny decoder.  No thumbs up from me.

That connector has even more pins (24) than Next18, so it would likely be even harder to remove it and solder wires directly to those microscopic pads (to minimize the decoder's size.
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daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Loksound 5 Nano
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2021, 07:38:30 PM »
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It is really too bad that they abandoned the direct wired-in design, and rely on a miniature connector and a a wire "dongle". Yes, this connector looks smaller than Next18, but it with the dongle still increases the thickness and length of the otherwise tiny decoder.  No thumbs up from me.

That connector has even more pins (24) than Next18, so it would likely be even harder to remove it and solder wires directly to those microscopic pads (to minimize the decoder's size.

What they really need is the connector going to a flex cable instead of a mini PC board. The flex cable could have solder-pads or wires soldered directly to the cable. If done correctly, this wouldn't increase the thickness any more than the decoder board itself, though it would make it 5-10mm longer.
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peteski

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Re: Loksound 5 Nano
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2021, 10:47:10 PM »
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What they really need is the connector going to a flex cable instead of a mini PC board. The flex cable could have solder-pads or wires soldered directly to the cable. If done correctly, this wouldn't increase the thickness any more than the decoder board itself, though it would make it 5-10mm longer.

That sure would decrease the thickness.  However in my experience, flexible circuit boards are rather fragile: the copper pads/traces very easily delaminate from the substrate during soldering.  I suspect this is due to the fact that the adhesive does not bond well to the Kapton substrate. or whatever those are made of).  While a good idea, they would have to be handled/soldered with extra care.
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trainzluvr

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Re: Loksound 5 Nano
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2021, 11:08:30 PM »
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Who knows, maybe ESU's didn't really care about better usability of their new decoders.

Instead they focused on protecting their IP from being copied, thus the use of 0402/0201 components, in the style of big boys like Apple.

They can rot in hell for that, both ESU and Apple.

jdcolombo

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Re: Loksound 5 Nano
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2021, 09:24:05 AM »
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I wonder if this is more of the (wrong-headed) "well the engines that this decoder is designed for don't have room for a Power Pack, so we won't provide a connection for that" kind of thinking.  Honestly, I don't think ESU engineers are aware of what we do here in the US with home-grown "keep alives" made from a couple of 220uf caps.  They seem to think that unless you have room to use a 2200uf electrolytic cap or one of their Power Packs, you're not going to use/need a keep alive connection.   I think that's why the "drop in" boards didn't have them, either.

But I'll bet one of those 21 pins is a ground.  Which probably means there is a ground trace somewhere on that plug-in piece of PC board.  Rick and/or Peteski will find it, I'm sure!

John C.

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Re: Loksound 5 Nano
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2021, 09:30:20 AM »
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Those nanos will be used in steam locos with tenders that can house keep alive capacitors.

And, even with narrow hood diesels, it is not much problem to "permanently consist" another dummy unit with a hard-wired keep alive in it for a 2-unit consist.

Hoping to see a sequel titled "Peteski finds the ground"  :P

RBrodzinsky

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Re: Loksound 5 Nano
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2021, 11:11:32 AM »
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But I'll bet one of those 21 pins is a ground.  Which probably means there is a ground trace somewhere on that plug-in piece of PC board.  Rick and/or Peteski will find it, I'm sure!



As I said above, my guess it is one of those small connections at the right side of the connector board in the photo above.  Shouldn't take too long to figure out, once I get one in my hands.  But fully agree, poor design decision on their part, since it means we're going to be soldering on the board.
Rick Brodzinsky
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trainzluvr

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Re: Loksound 5 Nano
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2021, 11:47:54 AM »
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The largest continuous surface of any PCB is usually ground (and seldomly a power bus).

This is most likely a multi-layered board as well, but I would guesstimate that you could tap the ground by scratching off the protective blue coating anywhere in the large area, if needed.

Also, the connector edges/shield is generally also grounded, and you can test that using a conductivity option of your DVM.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2021, 03:45:48 PM by trainzluvr »

woodone

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Re: Loksound 5 Nano
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2021, 03:27:51 PM »
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WOW ! That sure looks different than the first picture of the “nano” I saw.
Do not know if this is good or bad until I see one in my hands.

u18b

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Re: Loksound 5 Nano
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2021, 12:17:56 PM »
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That ancillary NEXT board adds a LOT of thickness when you are looking at a tight installation- like my N scale brass Overland Western Maryland Shay with the decoder installed in the ash pan.  I don't want to install it in the tender and have at least eight wires between the tender and the loco.

I also wish I could have a plain hard wired ESU sound decoder.

Is it possible to dissect the V5 micro and get rid of the NEXT board?  I don't even need 6 functions- I only need 2.  (I know, that would be a different thread).

If anyone successfully re-wired a v5 and posted a how to thread, I'd probably attempt it.

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