Model Railway YouTube Community Group Coach Tour 2018

Mark Chapman over at Galgorm Hall OO Gauge Model Railway, in partnership with the Model Railway YouTube Community Group on Facebook, has organised a special coach tour of model railway layouts across the British Isles (and a wee bit further afield too) for summer 2018.

We were delighted for Strathpeffer Junction to be one of the first stops on the tour and the coach spent a week here, undergoing a little work at Fodderty TMD and having a quick run on the emerging layout. We’ve lots of footage to get through and edit down into a video, but we also took some photos too…

The coach has now headed off down the Highland Mainline, hauled by Class 37 An Comunn Gàidhealach, in the direction of Kirkton Road Junction in the Kingdom of Fife, Scotland.

How to use a 21-pin decoder in a locomotive with an 8-pin socket

Whilst we crunch through a mound of unedited video filmed during June 2018, we thought we’d put out a short tutorial outlining one approach for making a custom 21-pin to 8-pin harness to enable the use of a 21-pin decoder in an 8-pin locomotive chassis.

The adaptor is simple to make and works well, but by its very nature, an 8-pin plug will not enable all functions of a 21-pin decoder to be used. This is unlikely to be an issue in most cases, as 8-pin chassis locos tend to have few built-in functions.

If used with a sound decoder, separate wires will need to be soldered to the adaptor for the speaker connections; the schematic below shows the relevant solder pads. Alternatively, in some cases, speaker wires can be soldered directly to the chip.

Download a free PDF file of the wiring diagram here:

Items required for this simple project are:

– MTC 21-pin breakout board (e.g. Laisdcc or ESU)
– 8-pin plug (pre-wired, if possible)
– Reel of decoder wire (for non-wired plugs)
– Soldering iron, solder & liquid flux
– Kapton tape or insulation tape
– Various tools, including: small side cutters, wire stripper and an exacto knife.