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Hornby Peckett - Zimo sound and stay-alive

Hornby Peckett with sound and stay-alive

Kit: MX648; Minnow4; LifeLink + 2x 470uF Flat Tantalums

Hornby's Peckett is a lovely little model, and with decent weight considering the size. This does of course provide challenges when fitting DCC Sound, as various modifications are required to the chassis to make space for the kit. Though the model runs quite well, we felt that it would benefit greatly from a bit of stay-alive so we were determined to find a way to get a couple of 470uF Tantalum capacitors in too.

These shots are before any work is started, so you can see just how compact and tight everything is - we will have to be creative indeed!

First step is to remove all unnecessary electronics, so the 4pin socket/plug and supressors.

To make it neater, we decide to replace the wires with new ones, for pickups and motor, use ESU decoder wire, which is quite fine and flexible.

With the protective sleeve and all wires removed, we begin to measure up how the MX648 decoder will fit in - looks like an almost perfect fit at the front, vertically.

On the left of the motor is where Hornby had a 4pin connector - this provides just enough space to locate a pair of flat 470uF Tantalum capacitors for our stay-alive. The Minnow4 speaker sits between the decoder and front of the motor - very tight, but we should be able to make this work. We grind off the nuggets at the front so that the decoder can stand vertically.

Time to begin the wiring up... speaker to decoder, LifeLink to decoder, and LifeLink to Tantalums, all using as short a length of wiring as we can get away with for the space.

Thin double-sided tape to mount all the parts - there is no room for BlackTack in this model! Pickup and motor wires are trimmed and soldered direct to the decoder next, so that's all the wiring done. The various components are then protected using Kapton tape and losely placed on the sticky tape in their respective positions.

However, we soon realise that the LifeLink is going to catch on the body shell and there just isn't enough room to slide it all back together, so we grind off a vertical section at the back of the motor and try again...

Sadly, it still isn't enough, and there really is nothing more that can be taken off the motor frame, so we take our Dremel to the inside of the metal body to create just a little more space in the areas that the components will be going into. Lots of patience here, and retrying until it all slides on - don't want to force anything, but don't want to take off more than we need to either!

Eventually we get there - body slides on, screws back in, and all is done - really excellent result, and well worth the effort!


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.

A bit of YouChoos poster art for your enjoyment!