Fitting an ESU XL into a Bachmann Shay


The Orchard Line
26 Jan 2020
United Kingdom
I have a number of locos to convert to battery, so I've decided to bite the bullet and start with the 2-truck Shay. Because this doesn't already have a decoder fitted, I figured it made for a good way to ease myself into it.
First step was to pull the PCB out of the firebox. I'm going to use this space for an ESU Loksound XL4 for sound, motion and lights, plus a Revo DCC receiver to control it.


The coal bunker was removed and the old Sierra and it's speaker removed. The plan is to keep everything else in the firebox, try to shoehorn an 18v tool battery in here and to make the bunker magnetic for quick and easy access.
Figuring out the Bachmann wiring loom was fun, mostly because the 'colour scheme' they use seems to be based on whatever colour wire was on the bench at the time


The decoder was loaded with ESUs Shay profile and test fitted into the firebox.

The speaker I had laying around and is the perfect size to fit under the cab floor. Although it's small it's a high quality 5w speaker and seems loud enough. shay4.jpg shay5.jpg

Next up, removing the track pickups from the trucks - necessary because they are directly connected to the motors.and removing them might also help reduce friction a little. I'm trying to make sure that all of the modifications I make are reversible.
shay6.jpg shay7.jpg

The Loksound gets some micro-jst connections to make removal a bit easier

The coal bunker gets some molybdenum magnets to replace the screw connection. This will make getting to the battery quick and easy

The receiver and decoder mounted in the ashpan. A test for range is needed with this configuration as the receiver aerial is pretty low to the ground. If it's not great, the plan is to move the receiver to the coal bunker, to join the battery
The bind button for the receiver screws into a nut which has been epoxied to the back of the smokebox door
Battery location in coal bunker. 5a fuse is just behind it.
Just waiting on a toggle switch for the power.
First test run went fine on the bench supply. The only issue was a programming one for the front and rear lights. I've corrected the settings in the decoder so should be good to go.