Multi-Power Loco Mark II.... this time it's steam.....

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
17,246
1,707
North Essex
Country flag
Having had success with my first "Multi-Power" loco project using an LGB 2095 Austrian BoBo Diesel, as described here:
https://www.gscalecentral.net/threads/building-the-multi-power-loco.309298/
I've now made a start on the second project, which is putting a similar setup into an LGB Saxon Meyer IVk that I purchased as an analogue model a couple of years back and have been meaning to DCC-chip for a while now. It's the version in the brighter green colour scheme with loco number 132, made in 2000 as a DCC-ready loco with space for two plug-in 55020/55021 decoders on the main PCB, but no sound.

The equipment to be installed is an XLS sound decoder, a Tam Valley DRS Hi-Power receiver for dead-rail operation, toggle switches for selecting battery or track power plus of course the battery pack, which is an Ansmann 14.8volt 2.6Ah 4S1P Li-Ion pack in "flat" form (ie: 4 cells side by side); this is half the capacity of the 4S2P pack I used in the 2095 BoBo, due to the much reduced space available in the Saxon IVk.

Looking inside the loco bodyshell, a lot of the room is taken up with two very big and hefty weights; I wanted to leave as much of them in as possible so as not to lessen the tractive effort or change the front/rear weight balance of the loco, so in the end I decided that the battery pack was going to have to sit between the weights, in the space dedicated to the speaker..... so, in that case, what to do about the speaker? That question was solved by using one of Massoth's "ultra-flat" speakers, which was silicone-glued to the floor of the loco, the battery pack then sitting on top of the speaker protected by a thin pad of foam rubber. I realise that using that type of speaker won't give quite as good a sound as one with a nice big magnet would have done, but hopefully it will be good enough.

This is what it all looks like with the battery pack strapped into place - the only modifications I had to make to the weights was to saw off the two rear-facing "lugs" on the front one, as you may be able to see in the pics - originally both weights were an identical shape. Removing those two small chunks of metal lost me about 70g of ballast weight, which is now more than compensated for by the added weight of the battery pack.

Saxon battery1.jpeg


Saxon battery2.jpeg

In the third pic you can JUST see the rim of the flat speaker visible under the battery pack - also note that I've kept the original plugs and wiring to the gearboxes, in LGB's useful (!) colour scheme of black/black/black/black, but where I've cut off the plugs that went to the main board I've slipped short lengths of heatshrink over the wire ends to identify them according to the standard MTS colours of Green/Brown/White/Yellow.....

Saxon wiring.jpeg

More to follow as the project progresses......

Jon.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
20,692
4,053
73
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Country flag
Having had success with my first "Multi-Power" loco project using an LGB 2095 Austrian BoBo Diesel, as described here:
https://www.gscalecentral.net/threads/building-the-multi-power-loco.309298/
I've now made a start on the second project, which is putting a similar setup into an LGB Saxon Meyer IVk that I purchased as an analogue model a couple of years back and have been meaning to DCC-chip for a while now. It's the version in the brighter green colour scheme with loco number 132, made in 2000 as a DCC-ready loco with space for two plug-in 55020/55021 decoders on the main PCB, but no sound.

The equipment to be installed is an XLS sound decoder, a Tam Valley DRS Hi-Power receiver for dead-rail operation, toggle switches for selecting battery or track power plus of course the battery pack, which is an Ansmann 14.8volt 2.6Ah 4S1P Li-Ion pack in "flat" form (ie: 4 cells side by side); this is half the capacity of the 4S2P pack I used in the 2095 BoBo, due to the much reduced space available in the Saxon IVk.

Looking inside the loco bodyshell, a lot of the room is taken up with two very big and hefty weights; I wanted to leave as much of them in as possible so as not to lessen the tractive effort or change the front/rear weight balance of the loco, so in the end I decided that the battery pack was going to have to sit between the weights, in the space dedicated to the speaker..... so, in that case, what to do about the speaker? That question was solved by using one of Massoth's "ultra-flat" speakers, which was silicone-glued to the floor of the loco, the battery pack then sitting on top of the speaker protected by a thin pad of foam rubber. I realise that using that type of speaker won't give quite as good a sound as one with a nice big magnet would have done, but hopefully it will be good enough.

This is what it all looks like with the battery pack strapped into place - the only modifications I had to make to the weights was to saw off the two rear-facing "lugs" on the front one, as you may be able to see in the pics - originally both weights were an identical shape. Removing those two small chunks of metal lost me about 70g of ballast weight, which is now more than compensated for by the added weight of the battery pack.

View attachment 225132


View attachment 225133

In the third pic you can JUST see the rim of the flat speaker visible under the battery pack - also note that I've kept the original plugs and wiring to the gearboxes, in LGB's useful (!) colour scheme of black/black/black/black, but where I've cut off the plugs that went to the main board I've slipped short lengths of heatshrink over the wire ends to identify them according to the standard MTS colours of Green/Brown/White/Yellow.....

View attachment 225134

More to follow as the project progresses......

Jon.
Can you make your next project the Harz LGB 2-10-2 then the 2-6-2 please? Oh then after that the Trainline Mallets as well! Better still I will bring them over for you to do, then I will be pretty much free of Track Power.
JonD
 

Cliff George

Registered
24 Oct 2009
2,122
16
City of Chelmsford
Country flag
Looking forward to seeing how your latest install goes Jon. Keep up the good work.

Sorry to somewhat hijack your thread Jon but Tam Valley have just brought out their own DRS DCC Radio Throttle, available as standard in 869Mhz. I don't know how it compares with the S-Cab in terms of speed steps, num of functions, number that can be used simultaneously, length of battery charge, range etc, but it might be a project for someone to find out. The number of buttons looks less than the S-Cab so maybe not as capable, but that is just me surmising. It might even rekindle my interest to investigate it!

http://www.tamvalleydepot.com/products/drs1deadrailcomponents.html

P.S. Just sent an email to Duncan to try and get some of the answers.
 
Last edited:

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
17,246
1,707
North Essex
Country flag
Hi Cliff, very interesting that TVD have released their own radio throttle unit.... will be interested to hear what response you get to your email for more details. It does look like it doesn't have the full range of function buttons, as you say, so I wonder how it gets round that....? Will look forward to hearing more info!

Jon.
 

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
17,246
1,707
North Essex
Country flag
Can you make your next project the Harz LGB 2-10-2 then the 2-6-2 please? Oh then after that the Trainline Mallets as well! Better still I will bring them over for you to do, then I will be pretty much free of Track Power.
JonD

As you've already got the Tam Valley gear, JonD, why not have a go? I reckon the 2-10-2 would be quite straightforward - plenty of room inside for the bigger battery block that I used on the BoBo... the 2-6-2 might be a tighter fit, but is probably do-able - I'd suggest one of the 4S1P packs in the "square" block form, only a little bigger than a 4xAA pack.....
The TL mallets might be a bit of a challenge too but I reckon they could be done.
Happy to pass on any advice that I can.....?

Jon.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
17,246
1,707
North Essex
Country flag
Next bit.... the selector switches. Two DPDT Centre-Off toggles, rated 6A, one for the battery pack, giving run/off/charge, one for the power mode select, track/off/battery. They will be wired up just the same as the ones in the 2095 BoBo, but rather than put them underneath the chassis this time I decided, after some consideration, to put them in the loco cab. As the Saxon IVk has a large firebox/backhead moulding that protrudes quite a way into the cab space, I drilled holes in the curved upper surface of that moulding and am going to mount the switches at an angle so that they are easily operated by a finger through the cab side openings - as shown in the photos below. When I bought the switches from Rapid, I also got a couple of screw-on black rubber switch covers - these simply replace the securing nut for the switch, and easily do up finger-tight. With these covers fitted over the switch toggles, they really shouldn't be visible against the black backhead at normal viewing distances while the loco is running.
The pics show the switches test-fitted only, of course they will be removed for soldering all the connections to them.....

Saxon switches4.jpeg

Saxon switches3.jpeg Saxon switches2.jpeg

Jon.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

beavercreek

Travel, Art, Theatre, Music, Photography, Trains
24 Oct 2009
17,577
680
East Anglia
www.facebook.com
Country flag
Nice job with the switches...they will be pretty well disguised when inside the cab...they do give the backhead the feel of an old power generator with crackling sparks flying across... "More power Igor!!"
 

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
17,246
1,707
North Essex
Country flag
Thanks Mike, yes, I thought exactly the same when I first test-fitted them! I needed them to be visually unobtrusive but at the same time easy to access and operate...

Jon.
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
20,692
4,053
73
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Country flag
As you've already got the Tam Valley gear, JonD, why not have a go? I reckon the 2-10-2 would be quite straightforward - plenty of room inside for the bigger battery block that I used on the BoBo... the 2-6-2 might be a tighter fit, but is probably do-able - I'd suggest one of the 4S1P packs in the "square" block form, only a little bigger than a 4xAA pack.....
The TL mallets might be a bit of a challenge too but I reckon they could be done.
Happy to pass on any advice that I can.....?

Jon.
Need to get a UK Valid Controller first. Then it will probably be all systems go.
JonD
 

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
17,246
1,707
North Essex
Country flag
I should also mention that the backhead moulding on the IVk is screwed to the footplate, but not to the bodyshell - which makes it particularly suitable in this case, as the switches and all the wiring will be part of the "running chassis" which will be testable with the shell still off, the only thing that will need to be connected between chassis and body will be the lighting wires, which I will do via a 4-pin plug and socket (2 wires for the front lamps, 2 for the rear) for easy body separation.
This time, instead of the bulkier voltage regulator boards I used in the 2095, I've bought a couple of these very small ones from PhilP (in his RC Trains guise):
http://rctrains.co.uk/Accessories.htm#Voltage_reg
These will be fed from the lighting outputs of the XLS decoder, one reg board each for the front and rear light groups, to run the 5v bulbs at constant brightness whether the loco is running on the 14.8v battery or on 22-24v track power.

Jon.
 

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
17,246
1,707
North Essex
Country flag
Need to get a UK Valid Controller first. Then it will probably be all systems go.
JonD


If you've already got the little Tam Valley transmitter, JonD, you can always just connect that to the output of your present DCC control system and get the locos running that way, while you wait for an S-Cab to arrive?
Might also be worth waiting till we know more about Tam Valley's own new handheld wireless controller/transmitter that Cliff posted about above, that may (or may not) prove to be a viable alternative?

Jon.
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
20,692
4,053
73
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Country flag
If you've already got the little Tam Valley transmitter, JonD, you can always just connect that to the output of your present DCC control system and get the locos running that way, while you wait for an S-Cab to arrive?
Might also be worth waiting till we know more about Tam Valley's own new handheld wireless controller/transmitter that Cliff posted about above, that may (or may not) prove to be a viable alternative?

Jon.
I never read the post from Cliff, shows what you can easily miss. That is more like the Massoth DRC in price context and may be the way to go. Though I think I will be going for your dual option wherever I can. As for Locomotives I have 3 of the Harz 2-6-2's, a chipped one a very old Sound one and a Newquid one. Newquid will probably be a cheepie Batt conversion but the old one might be the one for experimentation as it is an old 3 wire motor lob so little loss in making it Battery only. Thanks for your observations, looks like it may be a busy winter.
JonD
 

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
17,246
1,707
North Essex
Country flag
Today's progress: running chassis and switches all wired up, DRS receiver and XLS both wired in and stuck firmly in place, all tested and working fine - pics to follow!
So that is all the wiring done except for the lights - tomorrow morning I may get to test-fit the body back on and possibly even take the loco to the GSS open day that's on in the afternoon.....

Having now done the 2095 and the Saxon IVk and having them both work correctly right from the off, I think I can say that the technology (and my method of installing it) all works pretty well. :)

Jon.
 

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
17,246
1,707
North Essex
Country flag
As promised in last poist, some pics taken last night when I'd wired everything up for initial running trials.... everything worked fine, the only thing left to do is the lamp wiring and the 5v regulators to feed them, but I decided to put the body shell on anyway this morning and then took the loco along to MMTS's open day this afternoon - the loco ran very well pulling the rake of Saxon historic coaches (3 bogie coaches plus the brown baggage car). Sound is very good despite the very low-profile speaker, and all functions worked just as they should. I probably ran it for the best part of an hour before the heavens opened - thankfully there was plenty of shelter and we carried on running stuff all afternoon, both track power and RC, despite the rain.

Pics of the first power trials on the rollers, running on the battery pack (in some of the pics you can just about see the green glow of the "on" LED on the Tam Valley DRS receiver board):

Saxon wired1.jpeg

Saxon wired2.jpeg

Sound Decoder (Massoth XLS) mounted on the front weight - as I did with the BoBo, all the electronics boards are stuck in place with extremely strong and thick double-sided pads from Halfords, meant for attaching number plates to cars. So far only the basic driving fuctions and the speaker are wired in to the XLS, the lights are still to be done....

Saxon decoder.jpeg

....and the Tam Valley DRS receiver board mounted on the rear weight, just in front of the firebox/backhead moulding which carries the two selector switches. Note the charging lead for the battery pack, which is fed through the old LGB switch hole in the backhead and will simply lie curled on the cab floor until needed for charging, and also the small hole I drilled to poke the DRS aerial through (the length of reddish varnish-coated stiff copper wire), which will be curved around the cab roof interior for best reception.

Saxon DRS.jpeg

Jon.