Having just won two Lima European locomotives from a prominent auction house here in Melbourne, for the princely sum of $AUS129 for both, I now have the job of fitting decoders to each of them. A quick test on the programming track on analogue DC proved both locos ran very nicely (I had reservations about them being Lima!). The Eurosprinter loco has a more modern arrangement with 8-wheel drive from a central can motor with large flywheels. Neither loco is DCC-ready, so both are hard-wiring jobs.
The Swedish T43 type has an older style Lima pancake motor, but it also had the extra pickups on the unpowered bogie, and much finer flanges than earlier models. The finish on the body is very good. It also had white incandescant bulbs, one at each end with a diode arrangement.
Yesterday evening I strated on the T43, and wired a Zimo MX600 decoder in for the motor/track connections only, after snipping off the 8-pin plug. I hauled all of the existing wiring out of the model, desoldering connections to the lights and brushes as I went. There was plenty of empty space at thefront of the long hood, so that's where the decoder is sited, held in place with a bit of Blu-tack. A test on the programming track proved all was well.
This morning I tackled the lighting. The Zimo decoder has provision for two more outputs with a light brown and green wire going spare - I isolated those but didn't cut them too short so thay can be utilised later if I decide to improve the lighting or add other functions. As it is, I soldered the blue return wires to each of the bulb support plates (the front one had to be snipped off the bogie retaining clip to ensure it was isolated from the track feed, although ultimately it would go through that path anyway), then the white wire was soldered to the feed tag for the front bulb, and the yellow (extended) wire went to the equivalent position at the rear.
The front light is floatin a bit, but anchored with Blu-tack for the moment - I will do something better later. Some kapton tape is ensuring that no metal bits that could accidentally contact each other can do so. Another test on the programming track showed that the lights worked directionally as expected on F0.
There is a large white capacitor between the brush holders on the power bogie. Unless I dismantle the model even further than I went, I cannot reach it to snip the connections, so it is still in place at present. The Zimo decoder seems fine with this. The model runs very controllably and will inch along if asked to do so. Not bad for $40 - the decoder probably cost me as much as the locomotive did!
by Jeffrey Lynn
, on Flickr
The other loco has yet to be converted to DCC, but that will involve cutting through some of the tracks on the PCB, which looks to be fairly straightforward, then soldering the decoder connections in to the appropriate spots.
by Jeffrey Lynn
, on Flickr
I have another order from MSL on the way too, so more photos of new (new new as opposed to new old!) items will follow in a few weeks - a BR 245 and some DB Regio coaches.
Incidentally, the one thing I spotted in the auction that I really did want was also Lima, a DSB MR DMU, but it also had the old style pancake motor bogie, so to me it wasn't worth the price it eventually went for. A nice model but not that