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Kato EH500 3037-1 DCC Install


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I think a wired decoder will take you down a rabbit hole. Remember you can sand/file the solder down to get the right fit. I placed solder on the ends so the board could bow if needed. Flipping the existing light board on the rear unit allow for the reuse and nothing had to be alter there. 

 

But then again this is EH500 and you are doing the EH200.

 

Ichi

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I think a wired decoder will take you down a rabbit hole. Remember you can sand/file the solder down to get the right fit. I placed solder on the ends so the board could bow if needed. Flipping the existing light board on the rear unit allow for the reuse and nothing had to be alter there. 

 

But then again this is EH500 and you are doing the EH200.

 

Ichi

 

Yeah, I'm tempted. But not quite ready to give up yet. I think the 200 and 500 are pretty much identical. I want to get a good method down as I intend to get a 500 later and some similar freighters.

 

I was thinking of cutting the copper strands and soldering them to the front and rear of the decoder. If I do much more I'll need to get new copper strands anyway. These ones have seen better days.

Edited by gavino200
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I bought a Digitrax DCS51, DN163K0a, and a handful ofDS51K1's today...

My stock Kato EH500 when I tested in zero stretching mode before the DCC install was ungodly loud...
According to Digitrax "The much larger positive voltage ensures the locomotive moves forward. The brief negative pulse causes a low buzzing that will vary with the speed of the locomotive."...
I'm not sure what "low" means in their books, but a horrible constant buzz was definitely not viable!

 

Installed the DN163K0a following the first batch of instructions here and it works like a champ! Thank you!

There were a few hiccups, but for my first DCC upgrade, I'm pretty damn happy with the results, and so are my ears!
I found that getting the connecting wires between each cab to be just the right length was a bit of an issue, and this was probably my most problematic part of the install.
I chose to use the original LED's, but I switched the polarity on end 2 to keep the wires straight, not crossed. I prefer their softer, slightly yellowish hue over the bright white as shipped with the decoder.

large.IMG_5672.JPG.32ff670523c5a3a22f89ed9d8606af51.JPGlarge.IMG_5669.JPG.889020f1a897f01cc8f1d1459a66d0d8.JPG

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7 minutes ago, defor said:

The brief negative pulse causes a low buzzing that will vary with the speed of the locomotive."...
I'm not sure what "low" means in their books, but a horrible constant buzz was definitely not viable!

This depends on the amount of traffic on the DCC bus. If no other locomotive or accessory is in use, the buzz is proportional to the throttle level, getting higest at 0. To reduce it to a minimum remove all other addresses from use and set the throttle to 100% and keep it there. This way the locomotive will only have a few volts of constant overvoltage and running slightly above max. design speed. Good for testing but unusable for anything else. Don't ever try to run below 50% on the throttle or with more that 1 DCC address dispatched as in this case you are essentially running mostly on AC.

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A note- I was having power issues (I haven't connected the B pickups to the A yet), and I looked into it to find that my rear A pickups weren't making stable contact with the bus bars after they had been bent any time I crossed an insulfrog. After some trial and error running with the top off, I found that the bent bus bars as recommended were the culprit- after straightening them, it's 100% stable for me.

 

So the steps in the end that worked best for me:

  • Insulate the bus bars with kapton tape
  • Shave down the bus bar alignment pins
  • Swap the LED with the original
  • B board LED install:
    • Reverse the LED polarity
    • Flip the B board upside down
    • Remove the diode
    • Desolder the A board rear LED
    • Solder a pair of wires in straight between the A board rear LED pins and where the diode had been

Getting the droop length for the LED wires continues to be a little finicky, as too short, and the covers won't go on without notching the plastic, too long, and the wires will cause rubbing against the A->B driveshaft.

 

Just figured I'd post a followup.

I've got a second on order so when it arrives I'll do another conversion and report back.

A sound equipped DCC decoder install is tempting, but I'm a bit wary of the amount of modifications to the motor mounts that must be done...

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Hi All,

 

I'm attempting this installation and unable to see the pictures from the OP, can anyone describe or show the kapton tape isolation step in a little more detail?

I was trying to go off of Defor's post but I'm not sure why the tape is in that position and what it's doing there.

If anyone can help, I'd really appreciate it and I will upload pictures of my installation to maybe help anyone else out.

 

Thanks!

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Image links updated.

 

I have converted to using ESU decoders for the most part and have a new install procedure that utilized ESU lok Pilot.

I'm testing it out now and it looks good so far. I have it installed on both EH200 and 500.

 

Inobu

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gavino200

Thanks for adding back in your images. I remember this thread. I tried to follow follow this path to install an EH200. There are a few important differences between the 200 and 500 that prevent the decoder from fitting correctly. I'm a little more experienced with installation now (but not much). It's possible I might be able to get it to work now, but perhaps not. Unless there has been a different board released, I'd advise caution to anyone trying to apply these instructions to the EH200.

 

It's a beautifully made guide, inobu.

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Thanks,

 

I feel bad because the links were broken again after the second server move and I didn't catch it. The images are

embedded in the thread so it should be good now.

 

Inobu

  • Like 3
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PreyOS

Thank you for updating your pictures! I still had quite a lot of trouble trying the 1st method with kapton tape. I couldn't get good connectivity and it was just very fiddly. I ended up doing the 2nd method and feeding the contacts through the slots and then actually soldering them to the decoder. This was the only way I could get proper contact and it seems more robust. Wiring up the B unit light board was also a challenge. I'm horrible with the soldering iron, had trouble with the LED polarity, and as Defor mentioned, getting the length of the wires right was troublesome. This took me an embarrassingly long time, but it's my first real decoder install that doesn't just drop in. Happy to report that everything works as intended though. Thanks again!

 

PXL_20220531_232852394.jpg

PXL_20220531_232857660.jpg

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cteno4

Prey,

 

on the soldering just take some wire and do a bunch of practice solders, it’s all about practice. Pre-tin the wire and the pad then just fuse them with a fast touch of the iron tip to the pad and wire solder at the same time and book a nice fusion fast. Trying to solder the two parts at the same time is always an issue as each are different surfaces, heat sinks, positions, temp, etc so the solder tends to move to one or the other and hard to get that nice fusion. YouTube videos are also a help.

 

keep at it as it’s all about practice. When ever I sit down to solder I do a couple of fast practice solders to get my mojo working.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Most shops won't do this install as it takes too much time. The labor cost eats into the profit

so they won't do it.

 

The R&D time it takes to get the install right further takes away from the bottom line as there's

not enough unit installs (in U.S.) to justify the R&D time.

 

So you did good in both aspects, install completion and first job.

 

Inobu

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Posted (edited)

I'm really impressed to see this DCC conversion flipping one of the boards! Really ingenious!!

I have my EH500 already converted using a wired decoder, but I would have tried this method if I had seen it before.

 

On 2/20/2022 at 7:59 PM, gavino200 said:

Thanks for adding back in your images. I remember this thread. I tried to follow follow this path to install an EH200. There are a few important differences between the 200 and 500 that prevent the decoder from fitting correctly. I'm a little more experienced with installation now (but not much). It's possible I might be able to get it to work now, but perhaps not. Unless there has been a different board released, I'd advise caution to anyone trying to apply these instructions to the EH200.

 

It's a beautifully made guide, inobu.

 

@gavino200, I already converted EH200, may be this can help you if you are still in the process: http://www.clubncaldes.com/2019/05/kato-3045-eh200-dcc-conversion.html

 

I used a very tiny decoder (Doehler Haass PD05A-3), the same I used for EH500. It needs some milling, but it works.

 

DSC_1460.JPG

 

DSC_1463.JPG

Edited by Dani
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