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JeTFiN

Kunter CRH380AL DCC Installation [N Scale]

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JeTFiN

I decided to write this post to encourage any users like me who are interested in purchasing the Kunter CRH380AL but were nervous about the lack of DCC provisions.  This was done with Kunter 10-301a (couplers improved from previous 10-301), Kunter 10-301c, and quantity four Digitrax DZ123.  I will post the guide on Imgur since all the images are larger than 2MB.

https://imgur.com/gallery/sAjPf3G

EDIT: See compressed images with captions below if the imgur link isn't working.
 

PXL_20201120_224955187.MPa.jpg

Edited by JeTFiN
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gavino200

It looks great all lit up. I can't wait to light mine. Thanks for blazing a trail with the DCC conversion! 

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Yavianice

Hi @JeTFiN, The IMGUR Link does not really work for me, it just stays at loading forever, on iPad or PC. Can you perhaps compress the images and then upload them to the forum? It also helps that if IMGUR takes the images offline in the future, they will still be visible here.

 

Also, the train uses warm lighting, not cold lighting, I think it also says this in the manual, but it can also be clearly seen in videos e.g. at 1:04 in this video 

 

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JeTFiN

PXL_20201120_224955187_MPa.thumb.jpg.deaeb0d2380e949bfadf16533baa8f30.jpg
 

This model looks spectacular with lighting kits installed! Please read through this entire guide before starting so you know what to expect. This process took me about 4 hours total, but likely would have gone more quickly if I had a guide like this. I am not responsible for any damage done to your model! For this model I used: Qty 1: Kunter 10-301a (purchased here: https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10697916 [be sure to get 10-301a and not 10-301, as "a" has improved couplers with springs in them - packaging is identical]) Qty 1: Kunter 10-301c (purchased here: https://cart.eztranscom.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=103&product_id=130) Qty 3: 鉄制所 室內燈7支裝 KATO用- 青白色 (lighting kit purchased here: https://cart.eztranscom.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=106_107&product_id=157 [2 kits used now, one later when additional 5 car set comes out]) Qty 4: Digitrax DZ123 Decoder (purchased here: https://yankeedabbler.com/all-scales-dig-dz123-mobile-dcc-decoders-wired-1-0-amp-2-functi [2 used in this guide, and 2 others will be used in cab ends to control lights]) Tools required: soldering iron, flush cutter, needle nose pliers, number 60 or 1mm drill, number 53 or 1.5mm drill, drill (drill press preferred), super glue

PXL_20201120_163526059_MP.thumb.jpg.861fbb4760bd5f34fc0fb81a25f895bb.jpg
 

Remove shell by pressing included plastic flaps between shell and chassis and prying chassis from one of the ends.

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JeTFiN

PXL_20201120_163745164_MPA.thumb.jpg.7a2a47f00f02756c7c5841af3cb960e3.jpg

 

Remove white cover by pressing fingernails or flathead screwdriver under snaps.

 

PXL_20201120_163806568_MP.thumb.jpg.79c3d182ba34929a236e0ac0513a30d9.jpg

 

Remove pickup strips with thin flathead or knife. Pry up to pull off of posts, but do not damage posts as they are helpful for alignment later.

 

PXL_20201120_164032701_MP.thumb.jpg.169677281bd5bf7a4589ceccf1d98ba6.jpg

 

Snip away the angled portions of the pickup strips to turn the strip into three isolated sections. Discard tiny left over pieces.

 

PXL_20201120_164158089_MP.thumb.jpg.cface14540722acf3d4f92cfa9c694d0.jpg

 

Mark 8 spots as shown here to drill holes through, making sure to avoid the seats. Some later pictures will show 9 holes - please ignore the 9th hole.

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JeTFiN

PXL_20201120_164429472_MP.thumb.jpg.6dda5a0b677931b156597b64040ed287.jpg

 

Holes drilled with number 60 drill bit (0.040"/1.016mm) for wires to pass through. I later expanded these holes with a number 53 drill bit (0.0595"/1.511mm)

 

PXL_20201120_170317531_MP.thumb.jpg.c455237c78d038d14d1e66b9e261070b.jpg

 

Picture showing the disarray in progress 🙂

 

PXL_20201120_170705427_MP.thumb.jpg.8610a501a051dac4b3d55b655b1bf324.jpg

 

Line up strips to the side and add marks to be drilled in strips. It may be viable to drill through the strips before removing them, but I didn't think of that until later. This image also shows a hole drilled in the strip to the left with a number 60 drill bit (0.040"/1.016mm).

 

PXL_20201120_180448037_MP.thumb.jpg.ec91844b22c68217e10a590429d057ac.jpg

 

After drilling through the strips, add solder to make wire mounting easier. I later poked through the holes with the soldering iron to allow wires to pass through easily. The purpose of removing the strips becomes evident here, as soldering would melt your model. DO NOT BRING SOLDERING IRON NEAR PLASTIC PARTS.

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JeTFiN

PXL_20201120_185620023_MP.thumb.jpg.9a57b6664c6d3d62d826abb85677adea.jpg

 

Strip wires and solder to the strips through the white plastic in the air. When wires are soldered to the strips, glue them back to their original locations, using alignment pins as a guide.

 

PXL_20201120_185622390_MP.thumb.jpg.6decdf2d202394de2afcd3edc66579d7.jpg

 

This shows the wiring. IGNORE THE BLUE WIRE, as it was a misunderstanding on my behalf. I snipped blue, yellow, and white wires since they aren't needed in the power cars. Red goes to one power pickup strip, black to the other, orange goes to one of the middle motor strips, grey to the other, and I added a jumper wire between the front and rear pickup strip on each side to maintain 8 wheel pickup. Again, IGNORE THE BLUE WIRE in the picture. I later snipped it off. Provide a couple inches of extra wire to prevent a mistake from being catastrophic.

 

PXL_20201120_193411744_MP.thumb.jpg.3c6b0057bbe5d1dba597db5334f8f037.jpg

 

Lay wires and decoder down flat as neatly as you can.

 

PXL_20201120_194038681_MP.thumb.jpg.a5fb1d76ab3f68de9b349349685de9c2.jpg

 

The decoder hardly even shows up in the finished model!

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JeTFiN
26 minutes ago, Yavianice said:

Hi @JeTFiN, The IMGUR Link does not really work for me, it just stays at loading forever, on iPad or PC. Can you perhaps compress the images and then upload them to the forum? It also helps that if IMGUR takes the images offline in the future, they will still be visible here.

 

Also, the train uses warm lighting, not cold lighting, I think it also says this in the manual, but it can also be clearly seen in videos e.g. at 1:04 in this video 

 

I've compressed and uploaded the images so you can see - if you have the correct model lighting kit to use that's available on eztranscom.com I would appreciate that.  I haven't installed lighting kits before so it was all new to me and I purchased the one recommended by the shop owner via email.  Add in the additional difficulty of having to manually translate the manual as  a pasty white American with no knowledge of Chinese or Japanese.  🙂  I noticed they are a bit bluer than I wanted, but they'd fit just fine in coaches for a Chinese green train I anticipate purchasing in the future!  I'll just switch in the warmer lights when making the next order from HK later.

@gavino200 Thank you for the high praise!  It's a beautiful model and I hope you enjoy the lights on yours.  If you'd like, could you tell me what model light you go with?  I might switch these out with warmer ones later, I'm just too unfamiliar with the topic.

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Yavianice
Just now, JeTFiN said:

I've compressed and uploaded the images so you can see - if you have the correct model lighting kit to use that's available on eztranscom.com I would appreciate that.  I haven't installed lighting kits before so it was all new to me and I purchased the one recommended by the shop owner via email.  Add in the additional difficulty of having to manually translate the manual as  a pasty white American with no knowledge of Chinese or Japanese.  🙂  I noticed they are a bit bluer than I wanted, but they'd fit just fine in coaches for a Chinese green train I anticipate purchasing in the future!  I'll just switch in the warmer lights when making the next order from HK later.

Thank you very much @JeTFiN!

 

As for the lighting kits, the standard KATO 11-213 fits in it just fine. But since you already have the lighting kits installed, you can also paint the LED or use some tape to make it more yellow (I used Tamiya masking tape myself).

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JeTFiN
14 minutes ago, Yavianice said:

Thank you very much @JeTFiN!

 

As for the lighting kits, the standard KATO 11-213 fits in it just fine. But since you already have the lighting kits installed, you can also paint the LED or use some tape to make it more yellow (I used Tamiya masking tape myself).
 

That's a good idea.  I've got some orange kapton tape coming in the mail soon and I wonder how it would look with that covering the LEDs.

Edit: And you're very welcome!

Edited by JeTFiN

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Kiha66

Wow, nice work Jet, thanks for the writeup! 

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