Kit: Zimo MX648, YouChoos SugarCube7, crew figures
Excellent model from DJM, nice and heavy, good detailing, and very smooth runner. However, not a lot of space!
If you don't mind some intricate soldering, direct to the decoder, then this approach gives you more space in the boiler to
Given how tight it was, we decided to go minimal with wiring, and the plan was to solder the model's 6 wires (2x pickup, 2x
motor, 2x speaker) direct to the decoder, thus we need to remove ALL wires from the decoder to begin with. Probably could have
got away with short joins, but this approach certainly makes it simple to squeeze into the boiler at the end...
All 3 sets of wires in the model are RED+BLACK (argh!), so methodical transfer of the wires from the unwanted 6pin socket board
to the decoder is essential. We move the pickups first...
Now the motor wires...
Finally the speaker wires...
Protect the exposed end of the decoder and gently feed the decoder into the boiler. There is plenty of depth here, so push
right in, and tuck wires in at the front, then pop on the magnetic boiler door.
Now, for the speaker... DJM have provided a slightly odd mount for a SugarCube speaker without any enclosure, but frankly,
that's not going to work terribly well - SugarCubes really need a proper seal, so we'll remove the black bit of plastic which
serves as this mount, and place a proper SugarCube7 in the bunker - no modification required to anything - just removal of the
black plastic muount.
Take off the coal...
Undo the 2 screws that hold on the cab back and roof...
Remove the handrail that joins onto the roof on one side...
Slide up the cab (careful of the whistles)...
Slide up the cab back interior (with the nice detail) also the black plastic speaker mount, and you'll find that the cab doors
fall out at this point too...
Wire up the SugarCube7...
Add some crew figures while we've got the cab open...
Now the tricky bit... stick the speaker to the back of the bunker (some double-sided tape is fine for this), then slide the
detailed cab back panel back down into place, ensuring to put the doors back into position as it goes down (this is fiddly, so
be patient and steady!), then the cab roof can be slid back into place to hold all this down, adding the pair of screws back
into the bunker again to secure it all.
Tuck the excess speaker wire into the bunker - I used a blob of BlackTack to keep it all down
Add the coal load back in, and you're done!
All in all, a little bit fiddly to do, but not too difficult. You need to have reasonable soldering skills to use the approach
of soldering the model's wires direct to the decoder, but otherwise, no major headaches!
Kit: MX649N; SugarCube7
In theory, this approach of using a 6pin direct plug-in sound decoder should be much easier, but we've found that the length is
just too much on some models, though not all. Perhaps there has been some minor retooling, or the wires are finer gauge than
they were in the first run of models, but we have managed to get the direct plugin decoder to go in on more recent Hattons 14XX
Remember that the plastic piece provided for the speaker enclosure is uselss, so this needs to be removed from the bunker. Then
a SugarCube7 speaker fits in quite easily.
Prepare the MX649N by removing the heat shrink sleeve, and re-covering with Kapton tape to make it smaller. The pins needs to
be angled a bit in order to plugin, as far into the socket as possible.
Oh, it is tight, but it just goes in!