Tuesday, April 16, 2019

MicroAce A-0754 Nankai 50000系 `Rapit` Renewaled Car DCC Conversion

I love in general MicroAce models as they are really exclusive, but I admit I skip many models if I can get them from Kato or Tomix. I feel they are quite tricky to convert for DCC operation. In this case also I found the model not at MicroAce quality level. Seemed too much a "plastic model" to me. Couplers is something to absolutely change and make better, with the standard Arnold couplers the model decreases dramatically its aspect. But let's start with the motor car:

The first difficulty is that it's not possible (I should better say I'm not able) to tin and solder those pad of silver color, like the motor ones. Secondly, you cannot take off the cooper plates from the plastic piece. Finally, there is no place to pass a wire under the seats plastic piece. So you will have to drill a hole in the right positions (check the photo) and solder in the cooper plates without melting the plastic:

The solution for the motor plates is to tin the wires and place them in the right place, under the motor plates, with double sided tape. When closing the shell it will have a good contact, I had no problems in all runs:

And now for the head and tail cars, find a decoder able to switch the current depending on the direction, because Microace light boards are to heavy to modify. I'm not able to flip the led position as you would normally do in any other model. I used a cheap LaisDCC decoder:

I cut the leads that take the current for the light board and solder the motor wires in that place. LaisDCC decoders can be configured in a way that the motor wires can be used for lighting, and depending on the travel direction they invert the polarity so red or white led will light (same principle as if running in analog track). Red and black wires were tinned and inserted in place as you see in the photo, no need to solder them fixed to the pick up current plates:

And the final result, enjoy it!!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

KATO 10-431 Seibu E851 Cement Train

This is a standard Kato electric locomotive dcc conversion. It has the old board with cooper tracks only in one side and there is no need of difficult modifications to this board. Using a tiny decoder, Doehler&Haas PD05A-3 in my case, there is no need of sanding and fits perfectly.

The only modification to the board are:
  • Remove the capacitor in one side of the board. It will have no effect when leds are connected to the decoder
  • Keep the positive lead of each led connected to the track feed by the central resistor. For this, leads of the left led must be swapped
  • Do not solder or cut the negative lead of the led, as this will be connected to the white or yellow wires of the decoder.

First of all remember to isolate the cooper plates in the position were they are in contact with the motor plates. I use Kapton tape for this.

Then I placed the decoder in the center of the board with double sided tape. In this position, it fits exactly in the interior free space of the shell. Having the decoder in place, cut wires as shorter as possible and solder them to the right points as you can see in the photo.

There are no more things to explain, images are quite self-explanatory, if not, write in the comments any doubt.