Upgrade Kato/Con-Cor E8 from DCC to sound

GGNInNScale Jan 25, 2024

  1. GGNInNScale

    GGNInNScale TrainBoard Member

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    I started converting my old Kato/Con-Cor E8 from DCC to Sound. I used an ESU 58816 decoder with a 51993 wired plug I had this decoder leftover from an attempted conversion of a Hornby/Arnold U25B. I milled out the rear area, with "minimal" metal removal. I used a Dremel milling bit in my drill press, with a drill press vise to hold the frame. I shaped the cavity for a snug fit by hand. I milled a groove in the top of the frame for the power, motor and lighting wires, then cleaned the frame. I filled the cavity with Kapton tape for insulation. I designed a 3D speaker case, resin printed. It is a complex design, fits over the drive shaft, and allows a lot of volume for the backside of the speaker. The speaker is an OWS 9x16mm unit, superglued to the case rim (see pictures). I slipped the decoder into position, and retained it with a single strip of Kapton tape. The speaker case is attached to the frame with double-sided tape. More pictures as I progress...
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    BNSF FAN, Sumner, RCMan and 1 other person like this.
  2. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Nice work. Does the drill press vise have X & Y travel? I see that decoder has a ribbon cable with a male plug on the end. Since that loco doesn't have a female plug ( I believe) what are you going to do for those connections.

    Looking forward to the rest of the build.

    Sumner
     
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  3. GGNInNScale

    GGNInNScale TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Sumner The vise has precision x-y, otherwise known as my hands... it weighs a lot so it does not move much on the drill press plate! The cable that I have is an ESU 51993 plug with free wires. I will unsolder the wires I do not need, then connect the two power leads (I tapped in two screws on the frame in the front for connections), the two motor leads, and the two speaker wires. Stay tuned.
     
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  4. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Those vises are not very expensive, less than your hands or a frame ;). I know some aren't fond of using a drill press as a mill but I believe a larger one with some heft is fine as we are taking very small cuts when milling a frame. Noting like what one would consider....

    [​IMG]
    https://purplesagetradingpost.com/sumner/bvillecar/construction page-5.html

    ... taking when milling on some jobs. I'd get one of the vises for under $60 though with x/y capabilities. I use my large, way large, mill and my problem isn't the mill but making sure I don't crush the frame in the vise on the mill.

    Sumner
     
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  5. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Nice job!

    But beware of using a drill press with an unsecured*, morse taper mounted chuck. Sideways thrust on the cutter can dislodge the chuck/mount and "ruin your day" (if you are lucky). This is more likely with a cutter that pulls itself down into the work (and ejects chips upward and out of the way).

    A reverse twist cutter, will push down on the work (and thus, upward on the cutter) in use, thus helping keep the morse taper seated in the driving socket. However, one of those will not bore it's own hole, and can only advance from the side of the surface being cut. You could drill a clearance hole for the cutter, and then advance cutting sideways from the bore hole, if needed for an internal cut. Downward cutting bits will also not eject chips upward, thus needing clearance below and/or to the side for chip ejection.

    * Some drill chucks are secured to a tapered mandrel with a screw inside the chuck (with the chuck open wide, look up into it to see if a screw head is present.) But if the tapered mandrel is not secured in the drill press' arbor socket, you still have a problem using a cutter that tries to pull downward into the work. Drill presses are designed for drilling, where pressure to advance the bit keeps the chuck taper seated. When used for other jobs, appropriate measures must be taken.
     
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  6. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I've not yet done milling on my drill press, but I'd have never thought of that. With their quiet and controlled action, drill presses are sometimes less respected than other stationary tools, yet they can pack a powerful punch to hands, face and chest when the unexpected happens.
     

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