American Z Line First AZL RS-3 DCC Conversion

rray Jun 23, 2020

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  1. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Hmmm, the RS2 predated the GP7 by several years, and I thought the GP7 was the first of it's kind...
     
  2. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Maybe a M-T coupler swap might help on tight radius track?
     
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  3. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    That’s an idea but the only other loco I have with this problem is an MTL with body mount couplers also...
     
  4. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    The MTL coupler needs most of the backside of the coupler gladhands sanded off, as well as the backside of the coupler box. Then the locomotive coupler pocket needs that bump sanded off so the coupler can swing.
     
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  5. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    I'll look later (getting my pulled pork in the smoker right now) but I never heard the term "gladhands" before, kinda cool, looked it up on wiki. But I get the idea now, remove material wherever I can to allow greater side to side movement of the coupler "hand". I will definitely try to do this as 195R is pretty typical in Rokuhan track so I'd like to be able to use it.
    While we are at it any idea why I am unable to push this RS2/3 coupler against a couple of my MTL cars and have it engage? I looked from above and the coupler hand "fingertips" appear to be too wide to push past each other. This is the first time I have had this happen so I'm loath to start trimming back the "finger tips" on the loco or cars that have this problem. It could be just a bit of molding flash. Anyway, how common is this and what do you guys suggest if it is a "known" issue?
     
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  6. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    I found this in the always amazing "Do it yourself in Z scale":

    "Alas, there remain three drawbacks to the Auto-Latch design. First, the coupler spring is extremely stiff; it doesn't sway from side-to-side as easily as MTL or Marklin couplers, and therefore may cause derailing with mixed-mounted couplers (though I haven't encountered this personally)."

    So it is nothing new!
    And I decided not to entertain swapping all my couplers to one type or another generally. But I might put MTL magnetic couplers on a switcher for use in a yard with other MTL cars. Jeff's recent article about magnetic track switching made it look like a fun thing to do.
     
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  7. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    I’ll be using a buffer 40’ Gondola or maybe a 33’ or so to do my switching. This should help, at least on the MTL side. Most all of the rolling stock I’ll be switching would be MTL. The majority of my AZL freight are long and used for show running. As I get a layout built, this likely will change some.
     
  8. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    How do you determine if the diodes and caps can be left on the stock DC board or have to be removed? I see Robert removed them (and cut the stock board) but the fellow that used the TCS Z2 did not. I want to try this with a Lokpilot DCC board which is about the same size as the TCS Z2. I don't see replacement AZL DC boards available as parts so I wonder if removing the diodes and caps is reversible? Is it possible to solder them back on if the DCC conversion doesn't work out? I'm getting cold feet about possibly ruining my loco! LOL I hadn't thought about the risk involved. Now I have even more respect for those of you willing to do this kind of work ;) It will be interesting to see how Jeff's conversion is done.
     
  9. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    Its complicated. The 2 diodes are for Power pickup for the LED's. They aren't used for DCC. If you can WAIT a day or so, I am trying to Crop, Reduce size and post a step-by-step for the TCS. You will need to CUT some traces and either drill out 2 of the feedthroughs (#77, o.021") so there is not electrical paths that will toast your decoder. I've drawn out the schematic but is is more about the easiest points to make connections (and where to cut).

    The LED end of the of the Diodes will be where you connect the Blue wire. The 2 LED connections are the 221 (2.21K) resistors (closest to the middle). There are feedthroughs under the white silkscreen so . . . get your Ohm meter out and make sure nothing top to bottom or the large coil pad has one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021

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