Saturday, October 24, 2020

Kato 3061-4 EF65 2000 DCC Install

This locomotive has been in a shelf for a long time because I felt it quite difficult to install in a first inspection. It seems not to have enough space for a decoder, and the light board is not one of those I am used to install. But finally I found a workaround that worked prety well for me. You will see it takes some time to install, but it's not difficult.

First tricky part is to find a place for decoder. The best place I found is under the roof. You can un-clip the roof from the body and also un-clip from this roof the two pieces in the middle. Under the biggest piece there is place enough for a small decoder (ZIMO MX616R Nano in my case) with the help of some drilling:

You can see here how the decoder now fits and shell can be closed:

Now that I found the place, let's go for the tricky part which is always the light board. My basic strategy is always:

  • Remove capacitors
  • Isolate the motor contacts
  • Reroute the positive lead of the lights to the existing resistor, which is feeded from the track current
  • Isolate the negative lead of the lights to connect here the white and yellow wires from the decoder

One easy tip to find the positive and negative side of leds is to use a multimeter. Select the continuity checking position (that one that beeps when there is continuity). When you put the red tip in the positive side and the black tip in the negative side the led will glow, and there is no danger to blow the led.

I made the following diagram:

Red arrows inticate where to cut the cooper tracks:

  • I personally prefer to remove capacitors and coils from the board as I had extrange behaviours in the past in some models where I kept them. So first of all I removed the capacitor at point 8. Don't confuse the resistor in the middle (we need it where it is!!) with the capacitor in one of the sides of the board.
  • Four cuts are needed to isolate the contact with the motor. I will solder orange and gray wires to points (1) and (2)
  • Red and black wires (track current) will be soldered in points (3) and (4)
  • Point (5) is connected to the negative side of the right led and here I will solder the white wire. You can directly solder it to the negative side of the led if you prefer. The positive side of the right led is already connected to the resistor.
  • For the left led (as it is in the photo) you have to bridge the positive side of the led to the resistor track by soldering a small wire between points (7) and (8). The yellow wire will be soldered directly to the negative side of the led (6).

Here you can see the board ready to solder the decoder:

And finally, mount the body taking care to retoure the wires properly, then the roof y finally the top parts of the roof:

That's all, I hope that you found this useful!

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