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Accurascale OO Manor

Example 1 - Accurascale OO GWR Manor - simplest Zimo sound

Kit: MS580/MS581

The Manor is Accurascale's first steam model in OO, and the first thing you notice about it compared to other OO steam models is the sheer weight - it has some serious gravity to it! Hopefully a sign of good engineering, and not over-engineering (ref Heljan's O2 Tango!).

Example 1

Thankfully it does appear to be good engineering - solid, detailed and well put together. Electrics are also good, wtih a neat Next18 PCB in the tender, and 2x 8 ohm SugarCube speakers pre-fitted (one under the PCB in the tender, and another in the boiler). The PCB also has a couple of GoldCaps on board, which mean there is an excellent stay-alive out-of-the-box - once charged up, these provide a few seconds of run-on time.

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Unscrew the PCB and flip it up, revealing the tender speaker - a press-fit onto contact pads. While this is designed for an ESU LokSound decoder, it does present a challenge for the Zimo MS580, as this should not go below 8 ohm (2x 8ohm speakers in parallel give 4 ohm overall). So for the MS580 we have to remove one of the speakers - the easiest one to take out is the tender speaker, so we just ping that out. With the MS581 (successor to the MS580) this is NOT a problem, as it supports 4 ohm and up to 3W, so very simple!

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So for the simplest installation, that's it - removing the tender speaker and installing an MS580 sound decoder - all done! (or just use an MS581, nothing else to change)

Example 2 - improved speaker

The above approach is certainly simple, and the model runs well, and sounds 'acceptable'. However, the volume is fairly low, so we look at how the boiler speaker can be improved. Another approach would be to gut the tender and hard-wire an MS450R, which would give the option of 2x 8 ohm speakers... however, that is a lot more work, so we investigate just improving the boiler speaker for now.

Disconnecting the loco from tender is a little fiddly, as the multi-wire connector is quite stiff to unplug, but we need to separate them in order to be able to work on the loco comfortably.

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The firebox glow is nicely done in this model - much better than the Dapol approach (which are often dim and hard to see).

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There is a lot of detail on the loco, so great care is needed to separate things. The body comes off the chassis quite easily, but a little more care is required to remove the frame from the boiler. The speaker is part of an assembly that unscrews from the base of the boiler, so the frame does have to come off to get access to it.

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Just for laughs, we test-fit a dual SugarCube 24X15X07 speaker to see if it would fit... of course we cannot use this with the MS580, as that needs 8 ohms, not 4 ohms, but it proves the potential for a dual speaker if we were to gut the tender in favour of hard-wiring an MS450 (as some customers have done).

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To replace the existing 15x11mm speaker we have to unattach it from the boiler curved section and flatten the plastic off a little. An IceCube18X13X09 fits neatly in here - wrapped in Kapton tape and fresh wires put on.

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A blob of BlackTack below, and another above will help to keep it in position and avoid any vibrations, then screw the curved boiler base section back into position.

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Put the frame back on, ensuring the various bits of detail are repositioned correctly, then connect our new speaker's wires to the original wires that come from the loco-to-tender plug.

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With the loco reassembled, plug in the tender and test the MS580, hopefully with clear improvements over the volume level... still not very loud as it is only a single speaker, but should be notably better than the original boiler speaker.

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Tender body back on, and a final test - quite pleasing results. If volume is still not at the desired level, then the only option would be to go dual speaker and hard-wire an MS450 instead, but for most people, the single IceCube will likely be sufficient.

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Disclaimer

Please note that these guides are provided as useful resources for you, as-is. YouChoos cannot be held responsible for errors in the information, or for any damage caused to your models or equipment if you choose to follow any of the steps detailed here.

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