N Scale ESU LokSound 5 Micro Next18 Adapter for Kato F2, F3, F7, FP7, F40PH, P42

skent Sep 24, 2020

  1. skent

    skent New Member

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    Hi All!

    I've been lurking on TrainBoard for a few months now, but just recently decided to finally create an account so I could share some projects that I've been working on lately that have made my life MUCH easier. I wasn't sure which forum to post in, but I figured this would help N scalers the most... I thought that if these projects are making my life easier, then they are most likely going to make other people's lives easier as well :)

    So... I was getting a little tired of the rats nest of wires, cutting of traces, and overall nightmare that came with upgrading my locomotives to include LokSound 5 Micro decoders so I worked up a solution for a compact adapter board that could be put into place that breaks out all of the required connections for peripherals to their appropriate locations. I ended up coming up with something kind of nifty and worked with my friend Wutter to create a run of 250 units of this design that we're selling on his eBay here: ESU Loksound 5 Micro Adapter for Kato F2, F3, F7, FP7, F40PH, P42

    You can find a video of me assembling these boards on my YouTube channel here:


    Every board gets individually inspected and tested before being sold, so you can rest assured that you are receiving the highest quality product from Wutter and I!

    Here is a video showing the design functioning on a test unit:


    Please excuse the wild LED and speaker wiring as this video is just showing the initial power-on testing of functionality.

    assembled.png

    -Shane
     
  2. drbnc

    drbnc TrainBoard Member

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    Mine are on the way! Do you have a recommended maximum speaker size? You list a few in the docs, but do you have a preference?
     
  3. skent

    skent New Member

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    Wutter and I have preferred to use these 8mm x 12mm speakers: https://www.ebay.com/itm/193674929502. It truly depends on your personal preference, but that's what seems to be a solid solution.

    -Shane
     
    drbnc likes this.
  4. Nick Lorusso

    Nick Lorusso TrainBoard Member

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    Just received mine will be doing 2 installs this weekend.
     
  5. skent

    skent New Member

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    That's great news! Definitely post some pictures along the way!

    -S
     
  6. drbnc

    drbnc TrainBoard Member

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    Perfect, thanks!
     
  7. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

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    Wow! This looks handy! Might have to give it a try!

    What strength(?) resistors are included for LED's?
     
  8. Wuttermelon

    Wuttermelon TrainBoard Member

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    All the functions have 1k ohm resistors on them, which allow you to dial down the brightness further using CVs, we were considering using a higher value but since the default brightness on ESU functions can be adjusted from 1-31 bits, 1 is plenty dim even when using a 1k resistor.
     
    Carl Sowell, MK, drbnc and 2 others like this.
  9. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

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    OK, thanks!
     
  10. drbnc

    drbnc TrainBoard Member

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    4 installed, 8 more ordered! These boards make it soooo easy. 2 in the pic are waiting for decoders. Going to try some separate LED's to get a Mars light.

    20201005_094105.jpg
     
  11. urodoji

    urodoji TrainBoard Member

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    Richmond Controls has their EZ-FIT LEDs with SMLEDs cast into lenses to fit the F units. For my installs, I painted the inside of the nose and most of the hole black, and painted the lens with Stuart Semple Black 2.0 to prevent light leakage. I think my future installs will have a coat of light grey paint on the lens with Black 2.0 over that. Then you solder the LED leads down to the decoder. I used a TCS decoder on my installs, so no resistor was needed.

    CD216436-920B-4315-9BEE-41B1CE179E93.jpeg
     
    drbnc likes this.
  12. urodoji

    urodoji TrainBoard Member

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    Did that speaker/enclosure require any machining to fit?
     
  13. drbnc

    drbnc TrainBoard Member

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    Just shaved a tiny bit off the back of the enclosure to clear the nubs on the Kato chassis.
     
  14. drbnc

    drbnc TrainBoard Member

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    Do you have a part number for those? Their website doesn't list them - or it might and I didn't see them.
     
  15. urodoji

    urodoji TrainBoard Member

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    I recommend emailing Jim directly at sales@richmondcontrols.com. Let him know what locomotive you’re putting them in so he can select the correct diameter, and what color you want. I used golden white on mine. I think it’s the same size for the dual headlight Kato E8/9, and F2/3/7s.
     
    drbnc likes this.
  16. urodoji

    urodoji TrainBoard Member

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    Doubletap.
     
  17. nightmare0331

    nightmare0331 TrainBoard Member

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    Here is a quick overview video I did a few days ago of one of these installed in a Kato Amtrak version F40PH.



    The Nex18 board is backwards in the video, but that actually doesn't matter with what I'm trying to show.

    Anywhoo...hope this helps someone and enjoy!

    Kelley.
    www.dufordmodelworks.com
     
    John Raid, drbnc and MK like this.
  18. ns737

    ns737 TrainBoard Supporter

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    do's the bottom of the board just touch the wiper strips?
     
  19. ns737

    ns737 TrainBoard Supporter

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    witch loksound decoder are you using?
     
  20. drbnc

    drbnc TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, contact is fine.
     

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