Mounting Soudtraxx DSX in Athearn Dummy

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by jflessne, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. jflessne

    jflessne Member

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    I have a IC SD40 with a matching dummy engine. The engine already has a working NCE decoder.

    I read some place you can mount a Soundtraxx DSX decoder in the dummy????


    Anyone do this before? Any pictures of the process? I'm a visual leaner. :)

    Thanks.
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    I don't see why you can't do this, but if the sound-only decoder (DSX?) needs a connection with the "controlling" decoder, you may need to either find a way to put a plug in so the units can be separated, or connect them with a drawbar so they cannot accidentally be separated and yank out the wires.

    Andrew
  3. jflessne

    jflessne Member

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  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Does the manufacturer (Soundtraxx) have any info? How about a local club near you? Or hobby shop?

    I had some great help from one of the DCC gurus at our local modular club when I installed my sound decoder in a P2K 0-6-0 switcher...

    Andrew
  5. caellis

    caellis Member

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    I don't see why this is any different than installing a decoder/sound in a steam tender.

    I installed the decoders in the tender of all my steam loco's. I had to run track pickup, motor and front light wires to the engine. I used #30 wire for all of this and have not experienced any problems in over a year of running.

    Where the decoder goes depends on space and if you are using a 'dummy' it is a no-brainer as to what I would do.
  6. caliban

    caliban Member

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    Hi jflessne,

    It should be possible to put sound in the dummy, but you will need the trucks or minimum the wheelsets from a powered unit. Athearn dummy's have plastic wheels and you need to pic up the power fromthe tracks somehow. I've found something that might be helpfull, follow the link:
    http://www.litchfieldstation.com/installation/html/ath-gp.html

    Good luck,

    Tobias
  7. caellis

    caellis Member

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    You would not need powered trucks in the dummy if you bring the power from the powered unit.
  8. jflessne

    jflessne Member

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    Great information guys. Excited to get this started. It will be my first sound loco.
  9. caliban

    caliban Member

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  10. Freelancer

    Freelancer Member

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    I am not sure of what help I will be, as I am currently in the middle of installating my first sound decoder as well. I am putting in a Soundtraxx DSD-100LC into an Athearn dummy. I will post what I have done and maybe someone that really knows what they are doing can expound a little, and help fix any errors that I have made.

    I wanted to run the least amount of wires between the two units so I decided that I would just pull power from the dummy. Besides the fact that I needed to replace the plastic wheels with metal ones, I also found that the dummy has two left hand trucks. (at least mine did) With the plastic wheels it was not a problem, but as soon as I replaced them with metal wheels the chassis would short out. I found that I needed to hard wire the pickups, and try to insulate one of the trucks from the frame.

    The first truck I just hard wired the right hand side pickup (Red) and just left the left hand side the way it would normally transfer power through the chassis. The second truck however, I had to hard wire both connections and insulate the left hand side pickup by placing electrical tape over the plate that connects to the chassis.

    Attached Files:

  11. Freelancer

    Freelancer Member

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    I then put the chassis on the track to make sure that there were no more shorts. After I was pleased to find that there were no more shorts I drilled a 3/36" hole, and placed an appropriately sized screw in the hole. I then soldered the left hand connection (Black wire) to that screw, and then another black wire back to the decoder. (The only reason I put the screw in was because for some reason the solder would not stick to the chassis.)

    I then soldered the right hand pickups (Red) together, and then to the decoder.

    Attached Files:

  12. Freelancer

    Freelancer Member

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    Next I soldered the resistor (that was included with the decoder) into one of the purple wires. The purple wires then went through two #36 holes that I drilled into the speaker enclosure, and were soldered to the speaker. I then snapped the speaker into the enclosure and glued the speaker/enclosure to the frame with a few dabs of hot glue.

    Attached Files:

  13. Freelancer

    Freelancer Member

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    After the hot glue cooled, I placed the decoder on top of the speaker enclosure and strapped it down with some electrical tape and a bit more hot glue. I also wrapped the exposed wires with some electrical tape and tacked them with some more hot glue.

    Attached Files:

  14. Freelancer

    Freelancer Member

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    I hope I got everything, if not hopefully someone will fill us in. I am not sure what the differences are on the DSX but I hope that this helps give you an idea of where to start. If you can, I would suggest pulling the power from the dummy so that you could lash up the dummy with any of your motive power to have sound whenever you wanted with whatever consist you wanted.

    Good luck!

    Freelancer
  15. jflessne

    jflessne Member

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    Wow this is great. Do you mind giving me a parts list? I can't wait to get started.

    Thank you!
  16. Freelancer

    Freelancer Member

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    Lets see.....

    Parts-
    Decoder (obviously)
    Speaker
    Speaker enclosure- not necissary, but highly recommended
    Resistor - hopefully it came with the decoder
    Solder
    Flux
    Electrical tape or heat shrink tubing
    Set of powered trucks, or at least some metal loco wheels
    Hot glue
    Wire- or you could use the excess from the decoder

    Tools-
    Decoder instructions!
    Soldering iron
    Brush- to apply flux
    Scissors
    Wire cutters
    Screwdriver
    Hot glue gun
    Drill with your choice of bit size with appropriately fitting screw
    Camera- so you can post pictures of your progress
    PATIENCE! (something I didn't have enough of before starting the installation)

    I think that is about it.

    Freelancer
  17. Freelancer

    Freelancer Member

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    Oops double post.hamr I couldn't find the last post and there was no second page, so I posted it again, and vuala, found both posts. Weird:eek:

    Freelancer