Is this the impossible install?

Sierra117 Feb 21, 2012

  1. Sierra117

    Sierra117 TrainBoard Member

    554
    1
    14
    I have an Athearn (or possibly Roundhouse, I got it used and no box) 2-8-0 (N scale of course!) that I would like to put a TSU-750 MicroTsunami in and I am wondering if it's even possible? I just picked it up and from the looks of it, all the power pickup and the motor is all in the tender and a drive shaft runs from the tender to the loco to drive it. If anyone has done this or know of anyone who has, can you please point me in the direction of some instructions? Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

    1,250
    148
    24
    Sounds quite difficult.... any reason you couldn't just isolate motor contacts, use superfine decoder wire & actually place the decoder in the loco body? I haven't looked closely at this unit yet (I have the same one and the same eventual "want") but I am certain there's room for a thumbnail sized chip somewhere..... maybe under the tender body (mill out space in tender floor?)
     
  3. Sierra117

    Sierra117 TrainBoard Member

    554
    1
    14
    Not sure. To be honest it would be my first experience doing any kind of modifications like that but considering I picked up the loco and a 4 pack of Roundhouse overland 50' passenger cars in matching paint for $40, I wouldn't be too upset if I messed it up as long as I could recover the decoder and try again on a new loco. :tb-biggrin:
     
  4. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    10,534
    4,915
    149
    Spookshow does a review of this loco and has a small picture of the disassembled loco. http://www.visi.com/~spookshow/mdc280.html

    It has been a long while since I had mine apart to install a oil bunk in the tender so I can't remember how much space between motor and coal load. In Spookshows review he states there is no place to mount a decoder. But I wonder if one was to do a coal bunk with side extensions thereby raising it slightly and maybe be able to still get a decoder in there. The other option might be to fabricate an oil bunker in place of the coal load out of styrene and put it under the bunker.

    All else fails and you still need a decoder go for an auxillary tender to attach behind the regular tender. Using a small Bmann tender with pick-up could improve electrical pick-up, and give plenty of room for a decoder. Small flexible wires between the auxillary tender and the regular tender would have to be run but it might do the trick.
     
  5. TrainsNTractors

    TrainsNTractors TrainBoard Member

    164
    8
    19
  6. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    10,534
    4,915
    149
    So from the video comments raising the coal load seems to be the option. It worked there anyway. And the coal load being slightly above the cab is prototype for a number of roads that added coal bunk extensions to increase distance between fuel stops. Also don't forget to add a water fill hatch on the rear, evidently an oversight on the manufacturer's part. Have to get water in that tank somehow. Did notice in the comments and questions that there was no reply so you may have to E-mail the gentleman directly.
     
  7. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

    1,250
    148
    24
  8. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

    2,957
    148
    44
    Search this board, somebody from here did it. He put the decoder in the coal load and the speaker in the roof of the cab of the loco. In my opinion, the speaker placement was not the best way to do it but it did work. Your choices are quite limited. Basically what he did will void the warranty on the Tsunami because it is now encapsulated in the coal load.
     
  9. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

    1,250
    148
    24
    use some brass/metal fine mesh screen, bend it to shape, paint it black and glue on scale coal. There's your new coal load that should provide room for the decoder! Maybe even a tiny speaker? :)
     
  10. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

    2,957
    148
    44
    Keep in mind that the motor is taking up some of the space in the coal load now. The space in the tender shell is used to its maximum. If I remember, he had to give up the stay alive cap because of lack of space.
     
  11. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    10,534
    4,915
    149
    Still thinking about this while painting some stuff so I dug out my 2-8-0 and a couple of Bmann tenders.
    [​IMG]

    The bottom is the Bmann short and the top is the Bmann medium that came with the 4-6-0. Looking at the picture on Spookshow's site and how many pieces the MDC tender disassembles into makes me wonder if it is possible to transfer the motor assembly into the medium tender and use Bmanns all wheel pick-up and possibly drawbar.The loco has a split post hookup. That might leave just enough room for a small decoder in the tender rear area. The Bmann short tender, upon looking at it, doesn't seem to have tall enough sides but the medium appears to. The large tender that comes with the heavy mountain would be too large for this loco.

    A quick addition. While putting everything away I thought to look at the drawbars. The Bmann drawbar is a tad too long and would have to be modified.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2012
  12. Fotheringill

    Fotheringill Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    5,982
    0
    74
    I like easy and Mr. Moore's suggestion about a second tender (or even a boxcar as the lead car) seems to be a viable solution that is relatively easy compared to the alternatives.

    As to the screening- wire mesh will conduct electricity. How about fiberglass mesh used for replacement window screens? I use it all of the time for contouring in scenery. It is more pliable than the wire mesh and easier to cut with scissors or an Exacto.
     
  13. Tudor

    Tudor TrainBoard Member

    1,747
    11
    28
    I have a Roundhouse Mogul I installed DCC in. It isn't as hard as I had first thought. Search my old posts (probably from a couple years ago) here and I have a pretty detailed "how to" here. Of course I didn't do it with sound, but my installation is a bit different and might give ya some ideas on your install.
     
  14. Sierra117

    Sierra117 TrainBoard Member

    554
    1
    14
    I have been looking this thing over again and again and I cannot for the life of me figure it out so I'm thinking I might just send it off to my miracle worker and pay some extra for the install on this one and let a pro do it. He has done bigger things with smaller spaces. Now I just need to find some pics and a tutorial on swapping the stock MRC decoder in an Athearn Big Boy with a Tsunami.
     
  15. Alan C.

    Alan C. TrainBoard Member

    206
    6
    12
    For what it's worth get a good box car%%^^ and put the decoder in there and run it behind the engine, of coarse this car will be (dedicated)
     

Share This Page