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Thread: Kato C30-7 Sound Decoder Install

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    Kato C30-7 DCC sound installation - and taking a few pictures of the process

    Before: Kato C30-7 (Santa Fe 8013) at 112g, ready to be attacked.



    Shell removed:



    DC PCB removed:



    Some gentle wiggling with a flat-tip screw-driver to pry loose the tank...



    ...and finally, all the mechanics removed and in one box:



    Right frame half:



    ...as seen from top - this is where the decoder will have some SMT-parts, so the material needs to be removed:



    and from below - the speaker shall fit in the tank, so will need to remove some material here as well:



    Powering up the Dremel-clone with a cut-off disc - remember: 1) They splinter easily, so wear glasses - I don't think safety goggles are required if you are wearing regular glasses as I am - and 2) Buy enough discs - you will destroy some, even if they won't splinter on you, you will pretty certainly grind them down until they are too small to accomplish anything meaningful. I destroyed two discs by splintering and two by just using them up...



    (tbc - hit the 10-pictures-per-posting limit)
    Last edited by Bryan; 5th May 2014 at 07:42 PM. Reason: Updated Image URL's

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    This is where you want to cut for this model. The frame will get hot, which will reduce cutting speed (and may burn your fingers) - so it's a good idea to cool it, I've been using water from a pipette.



    First cut done (note the burr: this is before filing it down):



    from the side... not exactly straight, but good enough for me...



    ...and compared to the other frame half:



    Both halves done:



    Here you can see the piece that was cut off and a side view with a cable channel for the speaker:



    ...continued diagonally across the frame, down to where the speaker will eventually be (needs to be diagonal because the cables are very, very short...):



    Sometimes you don't get into the last corners with the cutoff discs, so it's a good idea to keep the jigsaw handy (plus the neighbors will thank you - btw. this is already making space for the speaker):



    Before and after (both frame halves) - I cut away more then necessary, the speaker is not as high, but that's OK for me... because the frame is much thinner there...



    (more pictures after the commercial - the system counts smilies as pictures...)
    Last edited by Bryan; 5th May 2014 at 07:43 PM. Reason: Updated Image URL's

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    Both frame halves ready:



    Remove the small tab inside the tank:



    Take the drill and make a hole , exactly 6.5mm from the end of the tank so it will be in the center of the speaker - first 1mm diameter, then 3mm diameter:



    ...and finally run the 9mm drill in the machine to get a nice hole:



    Not exactly centered once again...



    Don't forget to isolate the frame halves against potential shorts (probably hard to see - I have been taking scotch tape because I can't get Kapton tape to actually stay in place, the scotch tape is sticky enough for my clumsy fingers):



    Putting it all back together:



    Don't fully push the tank (with the speaker glued into it) back on the frame before you are happy with how the wipers are sitting - the tank holds them in place. No, that is not a decoder but the original DC PCB. Still waiting for replacement decoders after destroying one during my latest installation...



    ...and the final weight: Lost 7g (with speaker, but without decoder - probably won't change much, my other C30-7 also weighs 105g, but with decoder and speaker)



    Hope this will help someone,

    Heiko
    Last edited by Bryan; 5th May 2014 at 07:45 PM. Reason: Updated Image URL's

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    My 1 question why cut a chuck of frame off the fuel tank area instead of making a hole to fit the speaker? But thank you for the tutorial not many people show the secrets.

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    Well, because with my somewhat limited tools and skills I did not succeed in making a nice hole. I started out using a regular drill - won't work for two reasons:

    1) You can't drill into one half at a time, you need to work on both frame halves at once, otherwise the drill will spin away
    2) A regular drill will not make a hole with a flat bottom

    Then I experimented with a cutting bit in my drilling machine, but the fixtures I have are not sufficiently stiff for that (by a few orders of magnitude) so this cutting off chunks is the easiest way to do it, IMHO. Now if there was some space somewhere in the frame where I could just drill a hole through one half, that might work, but there are way too many gearboxes etc. inside the frame for that.

    Heiko

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    It seems to be that there is more to this article than I am able to view. There is a notice that the 10 photo per post limit has been reached. How do I get to the rest?

    EDIT... the day after I post this message it seems that the problem is fixed...
    Last edited by grweldon; 8th Jan 2013 at 11:37 AM.

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    I guess we're wondering what happened to the actual decoder install as this just shows how to prep the frame.


    Marc
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    http://www.nscale.net/forums/images/Flags/Canada/British_Columbia.png

    Think about "what could go right", focus on "how good things are", tell yourself "what an opportunity" - Neale Donald Walsh

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    Yeah, seems something went wrong when Bryan promoted the article to the home page (I'm happy he did, though I didn't expect it).

    Check this link: http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...ecoder-Install - leading to the "Tutorials" forum, hope you can see the other two posts with pictures there.

    Spoiler alert: I currently don't have any decoder ready so the last pic shows the engine with the speaker installed but with the original PCB on top. I've already ordered the decoders and will update this thread with one or two pics when I finally install one in here.

    Heiko

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    Two thumbs up man! Super-clever idea, to me anyway, to cut a "square hole" and glue the speaker to the tank.... I've always made round holes for round speakers, and now I just feel foolish for having done so much extra work all this time....

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    Nice tutorial!
    Which decoder are you planning to install? The SDN144K1E?

    Kyle.

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    Yes, that one. The speaker I installed actually came from one which I destroyed...

    Heiko

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    I understand why you have to do all that, which makes me say this:

    Come on manufacturers - both decoder and locomotive designers! Get with the program and start designing the parts for an integrated solution for sound!

    For pete's sake it's 2013 ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heiko View Post
    Yes, that one. The speaker I installed actually came from one which I destroyed...

    Heiko
    Where are you planning on putting the capacitor? By the speaker?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrGonzo View Post
    Where are you planning on putting the capacitor? By the speaker?
    I just looked at the DigiTrax installation instructions and it seems that the capacitor goes on the top
    inside the plastic clip. What is that in that space in your picture? Did you put a different capacitor
    in there? A smaller one from the looks of it maybe?

    IMG_0292.JPG

    Und viele Gre aus Los Angeles!

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    You are spot on. I used four of these: http://www.digikey.com/product-detai...89-2-ND/965903 soldered together in parallel, resulting in approx 90F. Using the capacitor Digitrax provides would require extra work on the frame, even on the SD40-2.

    For the SD40-2 I used three of the same capacitors, fitting nicely under the roof hatch, for the C44-9W I used four as well IIRC, under the rear end of the decoder. I can add a few pictures of those other engines maybe next weekend.

    Heiko

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heiko View Post
    You are spot on.
    ...
    Heiko
    Slick move!
    Do you see any difference in decoder behavior to the original cap? This sure makes the install easier.
    Thanks for sharing this Heiko!

    Kyle.

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    I haven't done much testing, so I can't really say if there is any difference. I can tell you though that you don't want to run the decoder without any capacitor - sound will restart frequently as soon as you start moving the loco. This does not happen with the small SMD caps and it does not happen with the OEM Digitrax cap either.

    Heiko

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heiko View Post
    I haven't done much testing, so I can't really say if there is any difference. I can tell you though that you don't want to run the decoder without any capacitor - sound will restart frequently as soon as you start moving the loco. This does not happen with the small SMD caps and it does not happen with the OEM Digitrax cap either.

    Heiko
    Heiko, from what I've read it seems like Tantalum SMD caps are the best replacement for the larger "regular" electrolytic caps.
    I have found some pretty cheap on eBay and will give that a go. Any idea when your decoder will come? Can't wait to see
    (and hopefully hear!) it installed.

    Kyle.

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    Kyle,

    Quote Originally Posted by DrGonzo View Post
    Heiko, from what I've read it seems like Tantalum SMD caps are the best replacement for the larger "regular" electrolytic caps.
    Yes, if they are small enough they certainly are a good replacement. These ceramic capacitors are even smaller - this was important for the SD40-2 and also for the C44-9. The C30-7 would probably also be able to accomodate a tantalum cap, though you'd have to be more careful not to block the LED for the front lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrGonzo View Post
    Any idea when your decoder will come? Can't wait to see
    (and hopefully hear!) it installed.
    No idea at all, actually. I have ordered them from a German hobby shop, along with some other stuff they will have to import as well. Sometimes they will receive and forward the stuff within two weeks, sometimes it takes months, due to many different reasons - from Walthers not delivering to the carrier having trouble to customs being slow or a PITA.

    I placed the order Dec 18, hoping I might be able to go past their shop (600km from here) ob my end-of-January-trip and pick up the stuff, but... you never know.

    However, I have some more engines with sound, including another C30-7. Might try to take a video from one of them on the weekend, even though the sound is still the factory-installed SD40-2 16 cyl two stroke (645) sound and I'd also have to find some webspace for a vid...

    Heiko

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    Thanks Heiko.
    I have ordered some 100uF and 220uF 16v SMD tantalum caps, just in case I get around to installing a sound decoder into one of
    my engines. I have a couple of stationary sound decoders on my layout, and while the sound quality through the 2.1 speakers is pretty
    good, the fact that the sound doesn't move with the engines is somewhat.. irritating after a while. At least to me.

    Webspace for your video? I'm sure you've heard of YouTube, no?

    Kyle.

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