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Bachmann OO Gauge LMS Fairburn Tank with DCC Sound and Stay-Alive

Kit: Zimo MX645; PowerCube9 speaker; YouChoos SuperCap17000uF; Firebox glow; Crew

Still one of my favourite locomotives, the Bachmann Fairburn Tank is a great model. There is sufficient space to fit a good level of kit too. An easy install would have been to use the MX645R sound decoder with a SugarCurve7 speaker, which slot snuggly into the boiler with the 8pin plug plugging straight into the model's DCC socket. However, we like stay-alive, a slightly nore powerful speaker and firebox glow, so a little more work, though still not too bad... We opt for the MX645 to be hard-wired, and use a PowerCube9 speaker where the DCC socket currently sits, and a huge 17000uF SuperCap in the bunker.

Remove the DCC socket from the model, and suppressor components so we only have the 2 pickup wires left.

The PowerCube9 speaker slots between the screw mounts, so we don't even need to grind those off!

Next we prepare the firebox glow by drilling a hole through and carefully filing it until the SMD LED fits neatly into the aperture. There isn't much space behind the bulk-head, so the LED has to fit flush into the hole.

We have removed all unwanted wires from the decoder and recovered it in Kapton tape. Now all wired up to the model's motor, pickups and speaker. You can also see the blue and green wires prepared for the firebox glow light.

With the cab-back moulding removed, we have access to add some weathered crew too.

The SuperCap17000uF slots into the bunker between the screw mouts - it is the perfect height! Cover in Kapton tape to insulate it from the cab floor which is metal. Drill a small hole through the plastic back wall of the cab and feed the stay-alive wires through. These will trail across the cab floor, painted in black to hide.

Cab back on, and wires threaded through into the main body, we neaten and protect the stay-alive wires and firebox LED wires by placing some electrical tape to guide them up high into the roof.

Carefully secure the wires into the body using tape and Black Tack, and the body should go back on without too much trouble. Decoder of course is slotted up under the chimney.


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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