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Author Topic Next Topic: MRC Prodigy throttle control bus wiring?  

john holt
Engine Wiper



Posted - 08/23/2019 :  2:17:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Has anyone installed a decoder/speaker combo in one of the P2k FA2 locos? The unit I am talking about has the belt driven, operating fan. It appears to be NOT DCC ready. I have no problem in losing the operating fan to do an install. Thanks....John

GULF COAST & WESTERN


Country: USA | Posts: 364

desertdrover
Engineer



Posted - 08/24/2019 :  09:35:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi John, I have a set of PK2 FA-1's that I put sound decoders into. Is there a question you need referred too about the install?




Louis
Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast
Post count: 2000 posts added to below count.

Country: USA | Posts: 17227 Go to Top of Page

BurleyJim
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 08/24/2019 :  10:21:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
John,

First thing to do is to check the motor. The older motors draw too much current that burn out a 1 amp decoder fairly quick. Without pulling anything apart, put your VOM in series with the power supply and the track. Set the scale to 1-2 amps. Run the locomotive at full speed while holding on the track to 'stall' the engine. If it exceeds an Amp, step #2 is to get a new motor. Athearn sells the drop=in replacement motors for about $30.

Tip: Get a hold of some Kapton tape (Amazon) it's super thin, tough, and a great insulator.

Jim





Country: USA | Posts: 4489 Go to Top of Page

k9wrangler
Engineer



Posted - 08/24/2019 :  1:49:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Iíve done several. I remove the superfluous fan mechanism, take the trucks off. Clean the peanut butter fudge out of the gear box. REPLACE the gears, they will be cracked, 24 out of 28 I did were, button the gears up with a light touch of Labelle plastic compatible grease. You then wire much like an Athearn blue box locomotive.

I used Loksound v4 micro decoders and no issues. Sugar cube speakers fit well.


Karl Scribner
Sunfield Twp. Michigan
H.M.F.I.C
Kentucky Southern Railway
The Spartan Line

Country: USA | Posts: 10308 Go to Top of Page

john holt
Engine Wiper



Posted - 08/24/2019 :  3:41:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks to all who have replied. Louis you disappointed me. I felt for sure you would at least provide 10 or more color photos complete with captions and a step by step tutorial. Just kidding. Your input is always greatly appreciated and you seem to always have useful info on most all topics. Jim, thanks for heads up on current draw. I hope the original motor will pass. Karl, I too was wanting to go with the new ESU , v5 decoder (small size) and knew the fan mechanism would have to go. I have some cell phone speakers that were featured in a "sound" video/article a few years back and I may try those for this project. Was hoping for a keep-alive but space is tight. I looked at the TCS website on decoder installs just for some direction and they stated there that this was a rather difficult procedure and they did not even install a sound decoder. If all goes well, I may post some photos. Thanks again....John

GULF COAST & WESTERN


Country: USA | Posts: 364 Go to Top of Page

k9wrangler
Engineer



Posted - 08/24/2019 :  9:13:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
FYI the new TCS ka-1 and ka-2 (keep alive)are about half the size of earlier models and may work in the proto alco. The TCS tutorials are helpful but not all inclusive. Enjoy the project.

Karl Scribner
Sunfield Twp. Michigan
H.M.F.I.C
Kentucky Southern Railway
The Spartan Line

Edited by - k9wrangler on 08/24/2019 9:39:09 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 10308 Go to Top of Page

desertdrover
Engineer



Posted - 08/25/2019 :  09:38:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by john holt

Thanks to all who have replied. Louis you disappointed me. I felt for sure you would at least provide 10 or more color photos complete with captions and a step by step tutorial. Just kidding. Your input is always greatly appreciated and you seem to always have useful info on most all topics............................ Thanks again....John


Well, that was just an introduction, I was keeping any other install pictures out until I know if you needed to see anything inside the shells. Don't want to strip them down unless you really need to view something done. However, always willing to help out others, so if tear down is needed, it will be done.



Louis
Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast
Post count: 2000 posts added to below count.

Country: USA | Posts: 17227 Go to Top of Page

john holt
Engine Wiper



Posted - 08/25/2019 :  3:20:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the offer, Louis. I'll be looking at this project as a new "challenge". Karl....I'll be ordering my decoder this week and will ask the salesperson which is the most compact keep-alive. Thanks for the heads-up. Where I purchase my decoders (trying not to advertise here) the sales people are very helpful and knowledgeable on DCC, as they also do installs, and don't mind pulling a part up to answer any of my questions. The ESU decoder I plan to use will handle up to 1.5 amps motor draw. I will be checking current draw today and hope I am in the 1 amp or less area. Thanks again your replies....John

GULF COAST & WESTERN


Country: USA | Posts: 364 Go to Top of Page

john holt
Engine Wiper



Posted - 08/27/2019 :  2:14:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I'll have to say I was pleasantly surprised when checking out my FA2 loco. The current draw was only 0.80, less than 1 amp and no cracked gears. The loco ran nice and smooth on low speed with just the DC power. I am still going to remove trucks, clean and apply some fresh LaBelle grease. Ordering decoder today.

GULF COAST & WESTERN


Country: USA | Posts: 364 Go to Top of Page

desertdrover
Engineer



Posted - 08/27/2019 :  4:48:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by john holt

Well, I'll have to say I was pleasantly surprised when checking out my FA2 loco. The current draw was only 0.80, less than 1 amp and no cracked gears. The loco ran nice and smooth on low speed with just the DC power. I am still going to remove trucks, clean and apply some fresh LaBelle grease. Ordering decoder today.


Patiently waiting for your progress John.
In my FA units, I used a soundtraxx DSD-LL110LC Alco #820072 with 1" speaker in my A unit, and a DSD 090LC with 1" speaker in my B unit. The C unit is just a Digitrax DH123 motor decoder set for reverse direction.



Louis
Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast
Post count: 2000 posts added to below count.

Country: USA | Posts: 17227 Go to Top of Page

john holt
Engine Wiper



Posted - 08/28/2019 :  2:07:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I ordered an ESU #58420, v5 decoder and a TCS KA-2 keep-alive. I plan to use an i-phone 5 speaker. Link for speaker info is : http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/28430.
The ESU comes with an eight pin plug (which I will remove), speaker wires and keep-alive wires all soldered to the board. All I have to do is cut & splice wires after mounting decoder. I will also have to download sound file to the ESU decoder. The KA-2 is one of the smallest KAs available, just hope I can make it fit. You can check the link at MRH about the speaker prep. On another related note, I have installed a new SSD in my laptop computer, up-graded to Windows 10 and now have to reload software for JMRI decoder pro, ESU sound loader files and software download for my Digitrax PR3. I hope to have the laptop ready before decoder parts arrive. So much to do and so little time.


GULF COAST & WESTERN


Country: USA | Posts: 364 Go to Top of Page

k9wrangler
Engineer



Posted - 08/28/2019 :  2:49:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have used the iPhone 5 speaker you linked to successfully. It have fine sound.

Karl Scribner
Sunfield Twp. Michigan
H.M.F.I.C
Kentucky Southern Railway
The Spartan Line

Country: USA | Posts: 10308 Go to Top of Page

john holt
Engine Wiper



Posted - 09/13/2019 :  6:45:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a few photos and update on my decoder install. I will try to download photos in order of progress.
1. Original factory setup.
2. Weight modifications.
3. Frame modifications & misc pieces.
4. Weight with KA-2 installed with some shims.
5. New engineer and some unused wires on decoder closed off with shrink wrap. I left these a little long in case I decide to use them later. They are aux light connections
6. Side view. Please note decoder is NOT in final position, still loose. This is the "OMG, look at all those wires" moment.
7. Top view. Decoder still loose. You can see the speaker & such in this photo. I used the "stands" saw cut from original fan support to work as a speaker support with an added piece of styrene.
8. Corner shot of chassis.
At this point I still need to secure the decoder in its final position, cut & solder wires. I will post final photos in a few days. Thanks....John

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GULF COAST & WESTERN


Country: USA | Posts: 364 Go to Top of Page

k9wrangler
Engineer



Posted - 09/13/2019 :  10:38:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looking good

Karl Scribner
Sunfield Twp. Michigan
H.M.F.I.C
Kentucky Southern Railway
The Spartan Line

Country: USA | Posts: 10308 Go to Top of Page
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