Kit: MS440D; 6x MiniGoldCaps
Very excited about Lionheart's new Small Prairie... presentation excellent, packaging solid, loco in perfect condition... good
A quick test on DC has it running smooth and quiet too.
Body comes off easily, after removing 3 screws. Motor is compact and vertical. 21pin PCB easily accessible on the chassis. All
other connections are made by a series of sprung pins that make contact when the body is attached. This includes speaker and
firebox glow light, so those aspects cannot be tested without the body.
The factory DCC blanking plate has some capacitors on board, which is great design - no need to worry about how to remove them
when going to DCC.
The speaker is a big-magnet round speaker in a sensible box in the body.
A 21pin MS440D (or C would be fine too) is all that is needed to convert to DCC sound.
However, we like stay-alive, so consider 2 options... our good old favourite 17000uF SuperCap, which will fit snuggly up behind
the motor (approx 2 seconds backup time), or an array of mini GoldCaps (6x 2.7V 0.3F giving 16.2V total, and a backup time of
around 10 seconds). We opt for the GoldCaps this time.
This photo shows where the SuperCap would go if we had gone with that option.
The 6 GoldCaps are assembled and joined in series. A little fiddly, but easy enough.
Attach the decoder's stay-alive wires to each end of the series array. No extra components required since the MS440's
stay-alive connection is designed for a 16V capacitor, of unlimited value.
Wrap the caps in Kapton for protection.
A little BlackTack is used to hold the caps in place just inside from where the motor will slot up.
Assembled again, making sure not to pinch the stay-alive wires on anything. The output from the factory speaker is excellent,
so absolutely no need to consider an upgrade there. Very simple conversion, and great results.
CV#267=125 seemed about right on this model for the chuff rate on an MS440.