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Thread: Atlas/Kato ALCO RS-3 DCC

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    Default Atlas/Kato ALCO RS-3 DCC

    So I have recently purchased an early Atlas/Kato RS-3 that was customized for my liking. Problem is it’s DC and I want it for a DCC layout.

    Does anyone know of a drop in decoder that would work for it? Sound would be great too. I have seen others that have been converted online, but the info was outdated.

    Any help would be, well, helpful!

    Ron

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    @Cribbs74

    Which specific version of the RS-3 do you have?

    Compare yours to Mark's webpage on the Kato & Atlas RS-3's.

    Moose did an Atlas Classic RS-3 DCC conversion you may want to review.
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    Train Control Systems' CN decoder should do the trick, @Cribbs74.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    Train Control Systems' CN decoder should do the trick, @Cribbs74.
    Paul, will the CN work in the earliest RS-3 that Ron might have, and without milling the frame?
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose2013 View Post
    Paul, will the CN work in the earliest RS-3 that Ron might have, and without milling the frame?
    Well, looking through the installation instructions, TCS says no frame modifications are needed for RS-3s with the CN type decoder. That's the decoder only, no sound or keep-alive cap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    TCS says no frame modifications are needed for RS-3s
    Now that Moose looks at Spookshow's Kato/Atlas RS-3 webpage in daylight, on computer instead of tiny phone, while awake, after having some coffee, Moose now see that frame should take CN decoder, regardless of which version Ron (OP) has ... Moose wonder if getting wires to motor is as simple in first run as later runs given far more closed-up frame of first run...

    Sound? Yeah, no manufacturer to date has made sound decoder that fits without frame milling. If experienced with milling frames, maybe someone can figure out a good way to mill for speaker as well ... Where's @gamitzu ? He might have done one, Moose no recall...
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    So,

    Going off of that site I have the early version with split frame, no flywheels and no traction bands. Does that help any? I can take a picture if that sheds more light.

    I am not afraid to mill anything if needed. Thanks for all the responses guys. It appears that sound is the only hiccup in tre conversion.

    Is this the decoder I need? http://tcsdcc.com/1278

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    @Cribbs74

    Moose think that if you really want sound, go for it!

    Moose wonder if the frame could be milled enough to fit a Zimo or LokSound sound decoder to the left of the motor, modify the existing light boards to work with the decoder and mill the frame below the motor enough to fit a shallow sugar cube speaker...

    From Mark's spookshow webpage on the Kato/Atlas RS-3:



    Moose no know if there is an RS-# appropriate sound file for the Zimo decoder. Couldn't find one on the Zimo website.

    Moose no know if any of the sound files for the ESU LokSound decoders are close enough to an RS-3 for your interests. See ESU website.

    There may be other websites that provide a suitable sound file for one of these sound decoders...
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    Thanks Moose. Lot’s to chew on!

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    So I may have shot myself in the foot. I found a TCS CN decoder for $40 shipped so I jumped on it, I didn’t realize that I have to buy a whole separate card for sound. I can’t see how I can fit all that in this tiny thing!

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    @Cribbs74

    If you want sound in an Atlas RS-3 or similar unit, then I'd suggest you contact John Colombo @jdcolombo, who I think is on this forum?

    He has become quite good at installing DCC and sound in N scale locos both steam and diesels.
    Here is his NKP RS3


    The Little Rock Line blog


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

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    @Allen H.

    Nice!

    Having someone like Mr Colombo perform the conversions is certainly a good option, but what if people want to save the expensive of paying someone else plus the shipping?

    It would be nice to know what sound decoder, sound file and speaker they used, where the frame how to be milled and how much, etc.
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    For me look enough space for a loksound or Zimo and a sugar cube speaker. Just to cut in front and rear of engine(red lines). In the back the decoder, in front the speaker. Alternative is to cut the fuel tank to mount the speaker there (green line).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose2013 View Post
    @Allen H.

    Nice!

    Having someone like Mr Colombo perform the conversions is certainly a good option, but what if people want to save the expensive of paying someone else plus the shipping?

    It would be nice to know what sound decoder, sound file and speaker they used, where the frame how to be milled and how much, etc.
    Moose,
    No where did I say "Contact John and have him perform the conversion".
    I only suggested to "Contact John"
    I should have said "Contact John to ask him some questions about his conversions", I should have been a little clearer.

    Here, I've done a little digging...

    https://www.therailwire.net/forum/in...?topic=31953.0
    The Little Rock Line blog


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen H. View Post
    Moose,
    No where did I say "Contact John and have him perform the conversion".
    I only suggested to "Contact John"
    I should have said "Contact John to ask him some questions about his conversions", I should have been a little clearer.

    Here, I've done a little digging...

    https://www.therailwire.net/forum/in...?topic=31953.0
    Doh!

    Sorry Allen! Moose ashamed of moose self...

    Okay, this is what Moose is talking about!

    Moose make copy of John's conversion post "on that other forum" for future guidance...

    BTW he appears to have used a Loksound V4 micro decoder - see decoder labeled as ESU LS4N in one of his photos.
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    Don't be ashamed Moose.
    I should have been a little more clear myself.
    The Little Rock Line blog


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen H. View Post
    Don't be ashamed Moose.
    Moose still going to hide behind chair...
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    Hi Moose.

    The decoder I installed in my RS3's was a LokSound Select Micro. These are no longer available, having been discontinued by LokSound in February. The replacement is the LokSound V5 micro, which actually will make this installation a tiny bit easier, because the replacement decoder is 4mm shorter and .6mm narrower, thus avoiding the need to sand down the inside of the shell to fit the decoder.

    BUT . . . the LokSound V5 isn't available yet - ESU is waiting on a critical component to be supplied before they can start manufacturing the V5 micro.

    The speaker I used is an 8x12mm "cell phone" type, which is available from Digikey. It is the Soberton SP-1208: https://www.digikey.com/products/en/...=1&pageSize=25

    I also used a 220uf, 16v tantalum "chip" cap for a keep alive. I would not do a sound installation without adding at least 220uf of keep alive capacitance to the install; without it, you will get frustrating sound drop-outs. Tantalum chip caps are also available from Digikey.

    You should be able to do the installation in about 4 hours, using a Dremel with various cutting tools. A small milling machine would make everything faster and easier, but isn't necessary.

    There is a very active sound-installation community at TRW, and there are many threads documenting sound installations by me and others. Here is a link to a master list of those threads for anyone interested in doing their own sound installations:

    https://www.therailwire.net/forum/in...?topic=31981.0

    John C.

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    @jdcolombo

    You da man! Thank you very much, good sir. Moose now have to do some tinkin' and schemin'...
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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