Model Power 2-6-0 Headlight with LokSound Nano

Stephane Savard Jan 1, 2024

  1. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    hmmm, I'm in need to see if anyone knows more about this.

    IMG_20231231_185537976_HDR.JPG

    So I have an Model Power 2-6-0 (MRC version) and I'm installing a LokSound Nano into it. This is not my first LokSound Nano install, but the 2-6-0 is weird!

    So out of the 2-6-0 I have seven wires:

    1. Orange (motor) connects to orange on the nano
    2. Grey (motor) connects to grey on the nano
    3. Red (from the locomotive and from the tender) both connect to red on the nano
    4. Black (from the locomotive and from the tender) both connect to black on the nano
    5. Black (from the light board), ummmm ???

    It's the black wire coming from the lightboard that stumps me, I know if was originally connected in the black/grey bundle of wires when it was DC, so does that mean I can safely connect it to Yellow and control it? (on and off?)

    Or am I forced to connect it to black on nano and always have it on?

    The other "wire" off the light board I know is connected to track power (via a copper stripe that runs down down from the boiler to the track pickup stripe), only a single wire goes from the lightboard to the tender.

    Any insight would be appreciated. Just worried of burning yet another headlight output off a nano :D When I added a loksound nano to my RDC, I burnt out BOTH the headlight and rearlight circuits on the nano because I followed the wrong information on youtube in modifying the lightboards (those outputs are now always on, can't turn them off!) Lucky, I was able to salvage to situation by switching to two AUX outputs that were not needed - but it did make programming the decoder a little trickier :D
     
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  2. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Is the lightboard a bulb or a LED?

    [​IMG]

    Is that the light board at the bottom? If so and some of the circuitry on it is dealing with the DC track power and powering it only in reverse. I'd go a different route. Wire in a resistor and LED and get rid of the light board. The resistor could be in the 1K to 1.5K range and you can further control the intensity with settings in the decoder for the yellow output (the yellow takes the circuit to ground).

    [​IMG]

    The anode side of the LED would go to the blue decoder wire (which can also go to other LEDs) and the cathode side of the LED to the yellow wire. The resistor could be in the wiring on either side of the LED.

    Sumner
     
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  3. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    Heh, that's a keep alive.

    It's a LED, I changed the led on the light board, the other was barely lighting up. I don't know what the board does, but when I hooked up DC power direct to the board, polarity didn't matter, the light would go on regardless. But there's no way for me to send both positive and negative wires back to the tender, there is space only for a single wire in the channel so no chance of bypassing the light board (without major rocket surgery I have no intention of getting into)

    I have a feeling that the single wire connected to yellow will work, basically the actual power would be carried in the blue right? The yellow is just completing a circuit? In which case, the fact that the other end of the board is connected to track power is the same as being connected to blue? Confusing, and I wish MRC had just sent two wires back to the tender. But the way that single wire is routed under the boiler and through the frame to the tender is incredibly tight (I know because I replaced the wire, not easy! The hole is exactly the size of an ESU wire)
     
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  4. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Was going to get back sooner but forgot :(.

    Yes and no. The decoder changes the DCC current into DC. The blue is DC and usually about a volt or so under whatever your DCC power supply/command station is putting out.

    Wiring the circuit like you suggested and people do at times is using the raw DCC current which isn't DC. I've seen people do it using only the DCC buss for layout wiring of LEDs and believe I've seen it done how you are planing on doing it with a decoder but not sure. The LED will go on/off with the alternating DCC current but it is so fast the eye thinks it is on always. I'll be interested in seeing how it works for you since you are using the raw track power as one side of the circuit and the decoder's yellow grounding circuit on the other side. Let us know and also if you are able to use the additional dimming that ESU provides with those circuits via programing the decoder.

    [​IMG]

    You can get some wire that is smaller than the ESU decoder wire if you want to try running two wires. I showed some that I have above. The magnet wire there is very small and the interesting thing with that particular magnet wire is that you can solder it without removing the insulating coating. The coating is a flux itself. I have a couple thousand feet (cost $12) so if you want some PM me an address and I'll send some.

    I could do the same if you wanted one of the LED's in a warm light like the one shown. I use them all the time and get them off Amazon ( HERE ) but could send one or two of those also as they don't cost much.

    Good luck with the project.

    Sumner
     
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  5. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    That's really cool, I didn't know this existed, I always had to burn off the coating, annoying as heck!

    Right now it looks like I burned out my decoder. I had everything connected, but was unable to load any sound files onto the decoder - LokProgrammer just kept saying the project was too large, which made no sense to me. Last project I worked on as loading a RDC sound project into my Via Rail RDC, which was also for a Nano. Tried loading that and again, "Sound project too large" error. So I cut the yellow wire connection off the black and tried again, still not working. I have three extra unused nanos, so I opened a new package, took the plastic wrap off the decoder/wire harness, and swapped the nanos while keeping the same wire harness that was hooked into the loco. ah ha! now I can upload the sound project.

    So maybe I soldered the wrong black wire to the yellow (maybe I soldered either the tender or loco pickup black wire instead of the lightboard?! I'll have to double check that after the sound files are finished uploading). Or, I heat damaged the Nano, instead of cutting the wires short, I desoldered them off the harness and then added the capacitor to U+/GND, and I was an idiot and didn't first remove the nano off the harness board. :oops:
     
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  6. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    Okay, so I uploaded the sound project to the new decoder, and risked plugging the yellow back into the light board (after confirming that it was indeed the light board wire! :D). Nothing blew up and I was still able to upload sounds. However, testing with the lokprogammer's cab control, I could not turn on/off the light, it just stayed off. Oh well, I just rewired it back to the black wire bundle (track power), it's just gonna be always on. And I'm okay with that.

    My speaker box doesn't fit in the tender, so printing a new version. I thought I had a lot more space than actually exists in there :eek:

    It did sound good, though, I'll have to make lots of adjustments tomorrow (sound levels, synchronization of chuffs to wheels, etc)
     
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  7. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    My guess is there are two different electrical circuits that are there. One is the decoders DC output, positive/negative. The other is the track voltage which is DCC and not positive/negative but a digital wave form with two elements that form a circuit. I believe that using the yellow for one side of your circuit and track power for the other side you don't have an electrical circuit as they aren't on a common circuit.

    It would be like trying to jump a car battery from two different cars with one of the jumper cables from the dead battery going to the positive on one car and the other cable going to the negative on the other car. No complete circuit.

    Now you have a complete circuit consisting of the track power but no way to have the decoder turn that off/on. All of that is my best guess as to what is going on.

    Are we going to get to see a YouTube and hear the sound? Hope so...

    Sumner
     
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  8. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    Yup, I think you're right, in any case, it won't matter anymore with the light always on. I probably could use the magnet wire you mentioned to get two wires back to the tender in place of the single wire, but the more I try to fix this loco, the worst its getting. Right now too many things are not going my way :cry:

    First, I'm now on printing I think my seventh speaker enclosure, trying to get the maximum internal box size while still allowing the enclosure to fit. It's really not easy, I completely underestimated how much space there really is in the tender.

    Then, something went wrong with the drivers. For some reason I only had two screws in the bottom plate instead of three, and something binded and threw the middle driver out. I had to take off the bottom plate (that was bulging in the middle) and reseat the driver back into place. Now the third screw is back in place, but the engine just isn't running smoothly. It has good slow speed, but it jerks all around when at speed. I took off the BEMF and that smooths out the high speed (though it's noisy) but I need to get to speed step 60+ just to get it moving (at warp speed). Something must be binding somewhere I suppose. I guess it's going to be time to take off all the running gear again and start over getting it back in working order. It was working beautifully on DC, I must have messed something up real good while playing with the innards of the tender (the constant picking up and twisting and trying to stuff the electronics in, etc).

    I even tried the ESU auto-tune for the motor BEMF, but it came up with silly settings, putting CV53 down to 23 (2.3V), and the engine was running really horribly with those settings. So yeah, either something is really binding badly and causing the weird issues, or the motor itself is flaky. But I don't know how to tell.

    Latest thing now is that the headlight is flickering badly, so I imagine when I fixed the bottom plate, I must have bent the silly copper tab that goes from the lightboard to the track pickup, and it's losing contact.

    Anyway, first time I ever have so many issues with a DCC conversion, and I did a Kato RDC! :ROFLMAO:

    I've already spent well over 12 hours tinkering with this thing and I'm getting a bit fed up honestly. I'll post a video I guess whenever I get it running well, but I just don't know when that will be. I'm close to sticking this in a box and never again taking it out, especially after losing an entire decoder to it.
     
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  9. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    Okay, the speaker enclosure is done, it fits now, a bit tight width wise, but should be fine... I managed to get an internal volume of 359.349 mm3, LOL okay, that's what Fusion 360 reports, but it will be a little less than that the actual resin print will have bloated a bit. Let's say between 350 and 360 mm3

    Considering that my first enclosure was a 9x16 (yeah, that lasted all of 10 seconds after the print was cleaned up and I tested fitted the enclosure, haha), then tried to build an 8x12 enclosure at 500 mm3. Mistakes were made and corrected down. Surprisingly, this much smaller enclosure is still rather good sounding. Volume is too loud right now, but that can be adjusted.

    I just want to fix the running issue first before moving on to fixing the sound levels.

    2-6-0-speaker-enclosure.png

    The key turned out to be the bottom indent, even with the loksound nano wrapped only in Kapton tape, it takes up a lot of room! The back of the speaker fits right into the curved coal area of the tender shell.
     
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  10. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    I'm sure you will end up sticking with it and getting it going. Later if you want the wire just PM me.

    When I started model railroading in the late 60's early 70's (before my many gap years) I was living in Laramie, Wyo, for a while 30 feet from their main and yard tracks. I was only interested in steam even though there was none running there then. I saw all the diesels from that time period a lot there and delivering milk north taking the highway that paralleled UP's main line.

    Now for some reason I have little interest in steam and a lot in the diesels I saw during that time period and didn't really know much about. Never saw steam run except a few times as a kid growing up outside St. Louis. Also at my age don't want to mess with the mechanics of the steam engines prefer the simpleness of the diesels. Who knows that may change but your aren't encouraging that change ;).

    Sumner
     
  11. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    lol, I've never seen a single 1:1 steam locomotive run, though seen a few at the railroad museum. When I started my layout it was definitely all modern (first loco was a Kato ES44AC), though I've bought a few older diesels (GMD-1, RDC). However in the past year I've been sorta wanting to be doing prototypical steam layout, around the 1910s, 1920s, and especially logging. All because I read a book on the Fossmill Logging company in Ontario. Now I own two Atlas Shays, a Broadway Limited 2-8-2 and a this Model Power 2-6-0. Only problem, I have no place for a second layout :ROFLMAO:
     
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  12. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    one step forward, two steps back!



    Well, there you go, the headlight has died.

    I managed to fix the rolling issue, I took all of the running gear off, turned it upside down in a foam cradle, and applied power to the wheels. The middle and rear drivers ran beautifully, no issues there! The front driver isn't geared, so it stayed put. But when I tried to move the front driver by hand, wow, it was super difficult to turn! Turns out that the screws on the bottom plate have to be barely tight else the drivers become too tight and won't turn properly. So now I tighten the screws until they just barely start to give any resistance - the drivers are loose enough and spin freely. That maybe the reason the headlight doesn't turn on anymore, there's a copper tab that reaches down from the board down to touch the copper pickups attached to the bottom plate. maybe with the screws looser, the connection is no longer made? sheesh.

    So yeah, no head light, but the motor and drivers are smooth up to speed step 34-36. I don't know what scale speed this is, but if I go anywhere higher than speed step 36, the locomotive starts to jackrabbit pretty bad. I tried playing with the BEMF settings, but nothing helps, and then the slow speed suffers badly. Out of curiousity, I disabled load compensation entirely, and the engine won't start moving until the speed step is about 55-60. And then zero jackrabitting even at speed step 128. Just smooth. However no BEMF is not an option, the slow speed is terrible.

    I even tried to use the auto-bemf adjustments ESU has, but like before, it gives weird results. It moves forward only about 6-8 inches before stopping and returns these settings:

    bemf.png

    CV53 set to 2.8V?! it also runs absolutely terrible with these settings, usually the auto settings thing does a fairly good job of making it run smoothly.

    Anyway, I'm putting it away for a bit, I need a break from this thing. I'll just first check to see what scale speed speed step 36 is supposed to be. I know the 2-6-0 was not a very fast engine, so if it's in the ballpark, maybe I'll just find a way to limit it where speed step 36 appears at 128 :)

    By the way, in the video, near the end I do run past speed step 46, but it didn't jackrabbit all too much this once (must be camera shy, LOL), or shaky cam doesn't show it much. At least the chuff sync is pretty well adjusted, and the sounds are almost well adjusted. I need to adjust some of them down (especially the initial clearing of cylinders chuffs, those are waaay too loud, but couldn't figure out in the short time I played with it which volume that was on.

    The video was just from my test track connected to the LokProgrammer and using the programmer's cab control. I wanted to take a video on my layout proper, but I can't film and control the loco using the same mobile, too lazy to get the camera out :)
     
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  13. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Nice work, I'd knew you would stick with it. I'd better not watch that too many times or I'll maybe order a steamer :unsure:

    Sumner
     
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  14. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    Let's cure that right here :D



    Jackrabbit after speed step 36, and awful noise, my noisiest loco by far. Oh, and turns out speed step 36 is 21 scale mph.
     
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