Kit: MS480; SugarCurve9; STACO3A stay-alive, or STACO1, 2x mini cab lights; drivers
Revisiting an old favourite here with the Farish DP1 to see what the latest kit offers in terms of MS decoders and
A reminder of the internal layout, which is very neat on the DP1/Deltic models, including cab interiors as part of the chassis,
instead of being in the body. This means we can do all our work without having to worry about wires up to the body for cab
We're going for the biggest speaker possible, so total disassembly first - we'll be milling part of the chassis so don't want
metal dust getting in the motor.
With the chassis milled down at the front end, not too thin so there is plenty of support still there. This is enough to get a
SugarCurve9 speaker in, as the body height of the DP1 is good.
Solder orange/grey wires to the motor terminals, then reassemble the chassis. A layer of electrical tape, followed by some thin
double-sided tape is placed where the speaker will go.
The directional lighting units are rewired using more familiar colours - blue for common positive, white for headlights and
yellow for red tail lights - same as both ends for consistency. We use ESU decoder wire for all the wiring in N gauge, as it is
quite fine, but tough too.
The bird's best of wires looks bad at this point, but we just work methodically through everything. Mini SMD white LEDs have
been glued in for the cab lights, and our own 3D printed N gauge driver figures seated comfortably.
With more electrical tape and double-sided tape along the length of the chassis, we can now add our decoder in, and begin
wiring it all up. To protect the LEDs, we have snipped out the bank of 4 SMD resistors from the model's original PCB, as well
as the screw-rings so we can connect for track pickups. The remainder of the original PCB is discarded.
In goes the MS480 decoder, with sleeve removed, and all wires removed too - we're going to be soldering our own wires onto the
decoder directly to avoid lots of joins. It takes some skill and confidence to do this, but it simplifies the wiring overall.
Our SugarCurve9 speaker has also been added at this point.
The 4 resistors are for: front lights; rear lights; front cab; rear cab.
Outputs are assumed to be:
F0R: rear whites
FA1: front reds
FA2: rear reds
FA5: front cab
FA6: rear cab
FA3 and FA4 are
avoided on the MS480 because they are Logic Level outputs rather than full power outputs.
At this point we have stay-alive wires attached ready to accept a pair of 470uF Tantalum capacitors - up to 1000uF/16V can be
attached to the MS480 directly, so it is a simple approach. However, we decide to go big on stay-alive, so different
connections are required to add a STACO1 kit. The +VE/GROUND wires for this are a pair of pads at the 'other' end of the MS480.
A STACO3A kit would have been a great choice too - slightly easier too, as there are only 2 GoldCaps on that kit.
The STACO1's 3x mini GoldCaps are joined in series, via the STACO PCB, and then onto the decoder's +VE/GND.
Some Kapton used for insulation, the GoldCaps squeeze in before the speaker.
Everything is now connected and tested, and finally tidied up with some strips of Kapton tape.
Body on, nice and flush, and time for a photo-shoot! The stay-alive performs amazingly, providing a number of seconds backup
time once fully charged, and slow-running is quite stunning!