Hornby Class 43 HST DCC & TTS Sound Speaker Upgrade or Replacement (R3602TTS)

Hornby have just released a brand new Class 43/HST set with TTS sound. It’s a fantastic model and the sound decoder is pretty decent too for the money, but, as is the case with most sound decoders, the factory-fitted speaker is a little tinny and doesn’t have much bass response to it.

In this in-depth video, I show you all you need to know about upgrading/replacing stock TTS & DCC sound speakers with a far superior Mega Bass speaker, including rewiring, body preparation (for anyone who doesn’t have a sound-fitted model) and installation. The improvement to sound and bass response from these new speakers is fantastic.

The HST set featured in the video is not a TTS-fitted model, however the steps involved in replacing the speaker are exactly the same for a TTS chip as they are a LokSound or Zimo decoder.

We look at both TTS and LokSound V4 decoders; the only difference being that a TTS (and Zimo) decoders must use an 8 ohm speaker, while the LokSound V4 can use anything between 4 and 16 ohms.

Speaker impedance and decoder specifications are explained in more detail in our free guide, which you can download here:

Looking to buy replacement speakers?

There are a variety of different retailers selling Mega Bass speakers (also called ‘High Bass’). Here are some options:

* Megabass speakers on AliExpress

Megabass speakers on eBay

* Highbass speakers from Coasal DCC

 

Please note: If you choose to follow any of the steps or suggestions outlined in the video, you do so at your own risk and any damage or injury to yourself, your models, your equipment or others is your own responsibility.

Making a Test Board & Rolling Road for Analogue & DCC Model Locos

I’ve been doing an increasing number of DCC decoder installations and model locomotive repair jobs – both for myself and others – and setting up my tester and rolling road each and every time I needed them was becoming a bit tiresome (not to mention the rat’s nest of cables).

After pulling what’s left of my hair out for the final time, I decided to put together a small loco and decoder test board, incorporating my LokProgrammer and SPROG, as well as accommodating off-board control integration (DCC and DC/Analogue).

The board also features a rolling road, using DCC Concepts rolling road modules, and my own take on a means to permanently integrate them into a test set up and improve usability, using acrylic sheet, spacers and screws.

You can download a PDF version of the wiring diagram for the test board featured in the video via the link below:

This is only one way of approaching a decoder test board setup and there other examples out there. I do recommend that you consider something like this if you’re intending to do a lot of decoder installation and maintenance – it saves a lot of time and hassle!

CORRECTION: in the video, I mention the acrylic/perspex sheet as being 6mm when it is actually 4mm. A thickness of 6mm is likely to be too thick and may interfere with the wheel flanges.

Project Components

You can buy some components for this how-to project via the links below. Buying via Amazon affiliate links means I get a (very) small donation and helps to support the website and channel:

– DCC Concepts rolling road: https://amzn.to/2C1IB6t
– Red and black wire pack: https://amzn.to/2C1Infx
– Green 2-pin terminal plugs/sockets: https://amzn.to/2PiVfiW
– Peco straight track: https://amzn.to/2LGgPM7
– A4 clear acrylic sheet (4mm thick): https://amzn.to/2Cae1Yk
– M5x8mm black nylon spacer: https://amzn.to/2Pq7tX4
– A4 plywood 12mm: https://ebay.us/LGRLYW
– A4 plywood 3mm: https://amzn.to/2C03bE2
– ESU decoder tester: https://ebay.us/aBLzSi
– SPROG dcc module: http://www.sprog-dcc.co.uk
– Green power panel-mount socket/plug: https://ebay.us/nBLfXz
– DC power-style socket: https://ebay.us/nBLfXz
– 3 position, 2-pole switch: https://ebay.us/WyKD3b

3D Printer STL Files

If you’ve got a 3D printer, you can download STL file for the 3D-designed parts for free and print yourself a copy:

Switch box/enclosure: https://skfb.ly/6B6Cy
SPROG3 cradle: https://skfb.ly/6B6DY

Please note: If you choose to follow any of the steps or suggestions outlined in the video, you do so at your own risk and any damage or injury to yourself, your models, your equipment or others is your own responsibility. Your own test board wiring requirements will vary depending on the components that you use and also the specifics of your design. The diagram provided above is only a guide and you must work out your own wiring needs yourself to avoid costly damage to programmers, testers and decoders.

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.

Ringfield Motor Upgrade Using a 3D Printed Adaptor

In this video, we take a look at an alternative method for replacing the ringfield/pancake motor in older Lima and Hornby models with a brand new CD/DVD drive motor.

We’ve used glue and brass tube in earlier projects to support the new motor, and while it works well, it can be a fiddly process, it takes time and can be hard to reverse.

Using a computer-designed and 3D-printed adaptor, you can quickly and simply install and perfectly align a replacement DC motor.

If you ever needed to replace a component, or indeed wanted to reinstall the original ringfield motor, it’s entirely possible to do so. This is a non-invasive alternative!

This is a detailed, step-by-step video and you’ll probably want a cup of tea or coffee and a comfy chair. The methods used in this video are not necessarily the only way to do it, nor necessarily the best.

Some things to consider

The 10mm CD/DVD drive motor should work in most Lima models locomotives of the following OO gauge classes: 08, 09, 31, 37, 40, 47, 52, 59, 60, 66 and 92. Other models may be able to accommodate a 12mm motor, but you must check dimensions yourself first and the 3D printed part would have to be altered accordingly.

The replacement motor is a 12000rpm, 6V, 0.03A DC motor. The output from a DCC decoder or a DC controller can reach 12V DC (sometimes a little higher) at the top end. In order to avoid motor burn-out and prolong motor life:

1. Diodes should be used to reduce voltage (as shown in the video),
2. DCC decoders should have their CV5 value reduced (if available), and
3. Top speeds should be kept to a minimum and run at higher speeds for short periods only.

The PLA+ plastic filament used in the production of the adaptor has a glass transition temperature of 50°-60°C (the point at which it may begin to soften). Our trials showed the motor got up to about 47.6°C after an hour of constant running at medium-to-fast speeds.

Under normal ‘home’ use, it’s unlikely that the plastic will be adversely affected by motor temperature, however if the motor is used for very long periods or worked hard with a long rake etc., its temperature may begin to exceed the glass transition temperature of the plastic and it may begin to soften.

Please note: I’ve drawn upon ideas and suggestions from a range of sources, as well as implementing my own. If you choose to follow any of the steps outlined in this article or video, you do so at your own risk and any damage to yourself, your models or your equipment is your own responsibility.

Upgrading a Lima Class 47: Ringfield Motor Replacement

Earlier in the year, we started an in-depth mini-series on a variety of upgrades to an old Lima Class 47 loco. On 8 June 2018, we published the fourth and fifth videos in the series, which focus on replacing the ringfield/pancake motor with a brand new CD/DVD drive motor.

In Part A, we look at dismantling the old motor, removing the gears for cleaning, adapting the plain bearing to accommodate a smaller drive shaft and positioning the new motor ready for gluing.

Part B then focuses on fixing the motor into place, creating a small diode array to drop some volts so that the motor is less stressed by higher voltages and then wiring it all up to the DCC decoder.

These are detailed, step-by-step videos. If you want a brief overview, you’ll find other options on YouTube and elsewhere. The methods used in the videos are not necessarily the only way to do it, nor necessarily the best.

Diode voltage dropper

In the project, we use a simple diode circuit to drop down voltage to the motor by ~2V. This is to help reduce potential for the 6V motor to be burnt out by over-voltage when running at higher speeds.

We produced a quick reference diagram for the diode voltage dropper, which should hopefully make the soldering process straightforward. The circuit is not mandatory per se and decoders with CV5 may be able to keep voltage down via other means, but we still recommend it.

Diode voltage dropper circuit for Lima motor conversion

Note: our diode circuit features SMD (surface mount) components, but the configuration is the same for the through-hole variety; you can just twist the legs together and solder, rather than using copper-clad circuit board.

Some technical considerations

The 10mm CD/DVD drive motor should work in most Lima models locomotives of the following OO gauge classes: 08, 09, 31, 37, 40, 47, 52, 59, 60, 66 and 92. Other models may be able to accommodate a 12mm motor, but you must check dimensions yourself first.

The replacement motor is a 12000rpm, 6V, 0.03A DC motor. The output from a DCC decoder or a DC controller can reach 12V DC (sometimes a little higher) at the top end. In order to avoid motor burn-out and prolong motor life:

1. Diodes should be used to reduce voltage (as shown in the video),
2. DCC decoders should have their CV5 value reduced (if available), and
3. Top speeds should be kept to a minimum and run at higher speeds for short periods only.

Parts & consumables

To save you having to trawl the web for the parts and consumables used in the videos, we’ve compiled a few Amazon affiliate links for your convenience:

* 10mm 6V motor: https://amzn.to/2HtkpYa
* 8-tooth, 2mm ID/5mm OD gears: https://amzn.to/2HtWI1C
* 2.5mm OD brass tube here: https://tinyurl.com/2-5mm-brass-tube
* Surface mount (SMD) rectifier diodes: https://amzn.to/2JnqkDE
* Through-hole rectifier diodes: https://amzn.to/2sQweSH

Ringfield motor gear layout

We always recommend that you take a photo of things before dismantling anything. However, just in case you’ve taken your motor apart and forgotten which way round the gears go, here’s a photo we took during one of our conversion jobs…

Lima Ringfield motor gears

Please note: I’ve drawn upon ideas and suggestions from a range of channels and people, as well as implementing my own. If you choose to follow any of the steps outlined in the video, you do so at your own risk and any damage to yourself, your models or your equipment is your own responsibility.

DCC Decoder Wiring Diagrams for Non-DCC Ready Locomotives

We’re working on a short tutorial looking at DCC decoder installation in older locomotives, such as Lima and Hornby, that are powered by ringfield/pancake-style motors.

To accompany the tutorial, we’ve produced a PDF containing a series of basic wiring diagrams to help with the installation process. They cover the more modern can-style motors (as found in Bachmann, Heljan, Dapol etc.) as well as the older ringfield ones (similar to those found in many Hornby and Lima models).

 

There’s also a basic diagram for directional lighting and a single Aux channel, such as the Aux 1/green wire available on most low/mid-range decoders, such as Hornby’s entry level R8249 8-pin variety.

The wiring principles would be the same for older ‘grain of wheat’ bulbs, although the resistor value would need to be altered to suit the bulb and track voltage.

You can download the PDF by clicking here.