Category Archives: DCC

Back working on the layout

Back after a summer of visiting various railroad venues, and getting down to finishing trackwork. I am modifying Shinohara code 70 # 8 switches, to work on DCC.

I am using Micro engineering Code 70 flextrack and # 6 switches, but need some # 8s and also some # 4s on the logging branch, which ME does not offer. On the Shinoharas, I am changing to gapped PC board throw rods and  connecting the running rails and closure rails with wire jumpers soldered to the bottom of the rails.

Modified Shinohara #8 code 70 switch

Also cutting gaps in the rail on either side of the frog, filling the gaps with CA glued plastic, formed to fit, and soldering a wire to the frog rails underneath to connect to a Tortoise switch machine contacts as the switch is thrown to guard against shorting.

Switch frog modified

Colorado and visit to Intermountain Railway Co.

Visiting friends in Colorado, I was able to further my ongoing summer visits to full scale and model railroad sites. First was the Colorado Model Railroad Museum in Greeley CO, and then the Buenavista model railroad society in Buena Vista CO, both of which I will put up further posts in the near future, but the real unexpected treat was a tour of the

Intermountain Railway Co. the model railroad manufacturer in Longmont CO. Kirk was very gracious in showing the whole operation, from their milling the molds for injection molded parts on their CNC milling machines

CNC milling machine

Small detail parts half mold

Just a few of the many machined molds for various products

To explaining their process and inventory.

Small part of inventory

To talking about their quality control, including a final visual inspection of each and every HO engine and actually running each engine through various track situations. A very impressive commitment to quality, and not releasing anything that is not absolutely right.

Engines ready for inspection

engines in the inspection area

All in all an enjoyable morning and an appreciation of a quality company


Adding TCS wow sound decoder to Bachmann Heavy Mtn

After receiving my package from Tonys Train exchange, with my DCC system and sound decoder etc,  I started the installation in the Vanderbilt tender which has limited room in width to install a round speaker. So here are some shots following Erik from Tonys Train Exchange advice , using 2 new mini speakers.

electrical, sound decoders, speakers, DCC, engines, tenders, Tony's Train exchange

Amazingly small TCS Wow sound decoder to install in tender

This decoder has many choices of bells, whistles, engine types, all manner of mechanical injectors, pumps, generators, brake squeal, air release as well as light control and great control of the running engine including very slow speed right out of the box.

electrical, sound decoders, speakers, DCC, engines, tenders

Drilling sound holes on drill press

Holes need to be drilled through the tender bottom to allow the sound exit.

electrical, sound decoders, speakers, DCC

Holes drilled for sound and test fitting speaker enclosures

Checking the fit of the mini speaker enclosures.

electrical, sound decoders, speakers, DCC, engines, tenders, Tony's Train exchange

Engine and Vandy tender, showing TCS sound decoder installed, before mounting speakers.

Showing the decoder installed in top of tender with strong double stick (Scotch exterior mounting tape)

electrical, sound decoders, speakers, DCC, engines, tenders, Tony's Train exchange

2 Supersonic Mini speakers installed in Bachmann C&O Vandy tender bottom

The 2 mini speakers and their enclosures mounted and wired in the tender bottom.

electrical, sound decoders, speakers, DCC, engines, tenders, Tony's Train exchange, Bachmann

Bachmann Heavy Mountain engine with Sound decoder installed, and the sound and control are really terrific.

Engine after install and really pleased with the result, the sound and control.