Sound fitting to the prototype Lion loco.

Discussion in 'Heljan RTR' started by Keith M, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    As anyone who's ever had the body removed from many of Heljans recent offerings will know, they are quite well thought out spacewise and DCC ready to boot, mostly a "Plug-and-play" setup. Certainly, many of the diesel loco's have various options for speaker fitting positions, although Class 14/15/20 are a tight fit for the decoder alone! "Lion" however, is a fairly easy fit, with several possible speaker size and position options. Having already done Heljans "DP2", "Hymek" and a "Warship" sound conversions, speaker positions are often easier if you use the central underslung 'fuel tanks' area, since these parts are easily removable with sufficient space for 1 or 2 speakers to choice. I decided on a single speaker which fitted leaving plenty of space around it,- unfortunately my initial speaker choice which would have completely filled the available space, has been discontinued by Zimo. At least when using Zimo decoders, YOU have the choice of speaker sizes, unlike ESU which supplies a "one size fits all" speaker, ok if you have the space, but no use if you then have to go out and buy the correct size if the ESU one won't fit,- just another reason why I personally prefer Zimo. I had issues with the only ESU decoder I ever tried, original failed, as did the replacement, so I avoid these, although others may have different opinions. Anyway, on with the fit! Body off first, no screws on this one, just ease apart the sides and the chassis drops out,- for obvious reasons, do this over the workbench! With the body off, unplug the motor from the circuit board.

    Attached files [​IMG]
     
  2. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    As you need to drill a hole through the chassis into the "Fuel tanks" space, the motor has to come out, PCB first though, so just ease away the lip of one side of the rubber holding it and lift it away to one side. On this model, there was sufficient wire length to move the PCB to one side, but this is not always the case with other models, so if you have to unplug any lighting plugs to clear space to remove the motor, make sure to mark them first! The motor is easily removed by gently easing the rubber mounts from the lower slots in the chassis with a large screwdriver, then lifting the motor upwards, making sure not to lose the Cardan shafts when they drop clear of the flywheels. You need to choose a position to drill a 3mm hole for the speaker wires which will clear the flywheel, since it could rub through the speaker wire insulation in the course of time, and short the speaker, damaging the decoder. I kept the hole close to one end of the motor, as far away from the flywheel as possible.

    Attached files [​IMG]
     
  3. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    This shot shows the motor removed ready for drilling the speaker wire hole, and speaker in intended fixing position in the "Fuel tank".

    Attached files [​IMG]
     
  4. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    The chassis itself is only about 2mm thick at the base where the hole is to be drilled, so it's no hardship to use a pin vice for this. It's only an alloy, so no need to use a powered drill for this, and advisable really, since you have more control with a pin vice. Once the hole is drilled, I always "countersink" it at both sides with a larger drill, just to make sure there are no 'burrs' which could chafe the wires insulation. The speaker wires from the decoder are then threaded down from top to the "Fuel tanks" position,- I knot them at this point so they can't slip back out as I'm re-assembling the motor and PCB to the chassis. The speakers sound enclosure is sealed, so rather than risk breaking it attempting to fit decoder speaker cables direct to the speaker itself, I just cut the speaker wires short, soldering the wires together close within the "tank" itself, insulating them with heat shrink sleeving. I also slipped a short piece of heat shrink over the speaker wires where they go through the newly drilled hole in the chassis.....safety first! I fitted the speaker to the "Fuel tank" itself with 'sticky pads', securing the soldered and insulated wire joints at the side of it with a blob of "Blu-tack", having previously drilled a hole through the base of the "Tank" centrally, large enough to clear the full diameter of the speaker cone.

    Attached files [​IMG]
     
  5. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Here you can see the bottom of the "Fuel tank", with speaker hole drilled and speaker fitted centrally.

    Attached files [​IMG]
     
  6. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Now it's time to refit the "Fuel tank" back to the underside of the chassis, then refit the motor, ensuring as it slides down into position, that you ensure the Cardan shafts are correctly replaced, also taking care not to trap the speaker wires as you do so. Once the motor and shafts are all back in their correct locations, it's time to clip the PCB back into the top of the rubber mounts, allowing the speaker wires to exit the motor area without being trapped. Now this is done, it remains to plug in the decoder, secure it and it's wiring, then refit the body. This particular decoder comes complete with a "Stay-Alive" capacitor and connections, but the Heljan wheel pickups work well, so I decided not to use them on this particular loco. (If it were for example, the Class 14 "Teddy Bear", I'd definitely use this- if I could find space!). Again, "Blu-Tack" comes in useful for securing wires and decoder.

    Attached files [​IMG]
     
  7. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Now it's time for body on and test. I had previously fitted this loco with directionally controlled, separately switched cab lights, so I had to solder the wires for these directly onto the 8 pin decoder plug. All that remained now was to put the loco on the rolling road for programming and testing.

    Attached files [​IMG]
     
  8. Ron

    Ron Staff Member Moderator

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    Love to hear it Keith?? :)

    Cheers
    Ron
     
  9. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Great how to Keith

    I have a B1 waiting to get its sound decoder fitted, I will need to fit tender pickups as well .... maybe one day. :facepalm:

    Paul
     
  10. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    That's great, Keith. A nice clear set of steps and great photos to help others too.
    I have fitted several Heljan diesels with sound, usually LokSound but one with Zimo, but i always change the speakers to suit anyway. I like the separate fuel tank mouldings on most Heljan locos as they can usually accommodate a speaker, with a few holes drilled into the bottom of the tanks to allow sound out towards the tracks. I usually add a second speaker in parallel, over one of the bogie towers pointing downwards.

    I am lazy with my installations, usually just running the wires to the speaker in the tanks around the bogie gap at the rear, where the wires don't foul the wheels, sideframes or the swing of the bogie.

    I have been tempted several times to do my Lion, but so far the only prototype diesel I have fitted with sound is Kestrel (although Falcon did have sound for a very short spell - that decoder got reblown after that).

    If you get a chance, it would be nice to see and hear videos of your recent sound installations in Lion and Bude.
     
  11. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Brave man.
    looks straight forward enough but its just taking that initial step. Good to see it Keith.

    Toto
     
  12. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    I also have the "Kestrel" loco, but not seen any actual sound recordings of that one, only a 'generic' one offered by 'Olivia's Trains', so haven't bothered. I understand it was powered by a unique modified marine engine, but as "Kestrel" was sold to the Russians and later broken up, unless any individuals have actual recordings taken at the time, they'll all be 'generic' sounds. Unfortunately I have no idea how to use, or an account with Utube, and won't use 'Faceache' or 'Twatter', so can't post videos, sound or otherwise. Toto, it's honestly no more difficult than fitting a DCC decoder, of which you've already done a good few.........you're 80% of the way there already, as most of the diesels are a doddle! My current project is a Lima Class 73 Electro-diesel which I'm doing some detailing on and a motor transplant when the replacement motor arrives from Finland. Watch this space!
    Keith.
     
  13. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    My Kestrel has the Howes sound project, although that also is, of necessity, a 'generic' project, using recordings from a French locomotive with a similar power unit, I believe, plus any sounds salvageable from archive recordings.
     

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