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Verne Niner's Tsunami Install in 2-6-0 Porter

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  • Verne Niner's Tsunami Install in 2-6-0 Porter

    The following tutorial was originally posted by Verne Niner in the On30 forum. The thread is still open for comments, questions, and discussion.

    This copy was placed here for reference.

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    Here's a how-to for installing DCC and Tsunami sound into a little 2-6-0 Porter.

    This little gem is from Backwoods Miniatures, and features a brass superstructure over a Bachmann HO 0-6-0 mechanism. Why I picked this as my first DCC conversion, I don't know...I just really wanted to see this loco moving with sound and DCC performance.

    The decoder is a Soundtraxx Tsunami TSU-750. and I chose a SP-27RHB-08 high bass speaker from Litchfield Station. The project also required Miniatronics 50-001-02 micro connectors, hookup wire, a Backwoods Miniatures Porter tender kit, a Bachmann passenger truck, and other assorted parts described in this thread.

    First, I made new lead truck frames from brass, using Bachmann Porter trailing truck axles and wheels. They track and look much better than the stock lead trucks.

    Here's the tender kit under constructon. The link & pin drawhead is from Foothill Model Works, and the water filler was extended using a Boulder Valley Models part. I piled extra lump coal on the tender deck and bonded it with Aileen's Tacky glue, then an overcoat of Polly S Oily Black straight out of the bottle.

    Here's the reverse side. The drawbar is a recycled Porter 0-4-0 siderod with washers soldered over the crankpin holes. It is strong and works great! To be continued...

    Let's finish the tender and mount the speaker.

    Here's the Bachmann passenger truck with custom wipers I made from bronze soldered to a small piece of circuit board screwed to the truck bolster plate. The left rail pickup happens through the axle bearings and sideframe. With those small drivers, every little bit of current pickup helps. I actually added this after finding my original install needed a little electrical pickup help.

    Here is the tender chassis getting wired up. Those connectors from Miniatronics strung across the speaker opening will connect the truck pickups and speaker wires to the decoder in the cab.

    I mounted the speaker to the frame using silicone caulk, applied in very thin beads and spread with a flat toothpick where necessary. Once in place, I added another bead around the metal gasket around the ouside edge of the speaker.

    Here's the finished tender chassis ready to connect to the locomotive. Next installment, we'll get into the guts of the Porter.

    Let's do the decoder install next.

    I mounted the decoder to the fireman's side of the cab, right against the cab wall with gray double sided foam tape. The small capacitor is glued to the cab floor just behind the front cab wall. I had to drill a small hole with a pin vise through the boiler on the fireman's side to pass the wires into the body shell to the circuit board on top of the motor. The two red circles highlight the small screws that have to be removed to free the cab and baseplate from the locmotive frame. I had to position the fireman carefully to both hide the decoder and allow access to the screws.

    Here is the hookup to the circuit board on top of the motor. I made a small shroud from scrap styrene to protect wires from coming into contact with the worm gear. Heat shrink tubing protects the wires from fraying on the brass edges of the shell. You can see the connectors that will drop down from the motor to the frame and back to the cab and tender. I wired the speaker connector as male and the track power as female so they could not accidentally be switched. If I could screw something up like that, I would do it every time! []

    I glued short lengths of heat shrink tubing to act as conduits to help hold the connector wires in place as the sneak unnoticed under the cab to the rear pilot. Once the ACC cured, I slit them along their back side so the wires can be tucked in them. It works pretty well.

    Here are the connectors and drawbar connected. Everything is ready to go for a test run!

    I oversprayed the engine with several different shades of Krylon and Rustoleum paint. I never would have dreamed of using this paint in N scale, but that's one of the advantages of 1/48! I highlighted details and began to suggest weathering, but there's still much more to do to finish the look. It runs and sounds beautiful!

    Verne Niner

    Overseer of Trivial Details

    Estrella & Sonora Grande RR

    See my layout here: