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Tomix Thomas Decoder Installation

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Martijn Meerts

I came across this one when trying to find a solution to soldering onto the frame (as they do here with Thomas). However, Thomas is a small loco, so it's quite doable to solder on the frame. With bigger loco's like DD51, EF510 etc, you won't be able to get the frame hot enough to melt the tin.

 

There are ways around that buy using a very powerful soldering iron or a small torch, but that means you need to remove every little bit of plastic that's touching the metal frame. In most cases it means you have to take the whole thing apart. While this isn't a problem with most diesels and electrics, it'll pose a challenge with steam locomotives. Getting the wheels and drive rods installed correctly again is difficult to do...

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CaptOblivious

I wonder if a small tap-and-die set might be of some assistance? Perhaps solder the wires onto some kind of screw that could be afixed to the frame, with a little conductive silver paste for good measure? Of course, you'd twist up the wires in the process. Or perhaps, more simply, dispense with the tap and just use conductive silver epoxy to affix the wire directly?

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Martijn Meerts

I already have a tap and die set on order, ranging from M1 to M2.5. It should arrive sometime soon, so I'll know how it works.

 

What I was thinking though, is to first put in the screw (using a bit of thread lock), and then solder the wire. With a good soldering iron and low heat it should work fine.

 

Conductive epoxy might work, but you need to find the right one. Superglue for example doesn't stick too well on the metal of the frame either. I haven't a clue what that stuff is made of, but it's nasty =)

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CaptOblivious

Even better idea, don't know why I didn't think of this first: Solder the wires to a tiny washer/o-ring terminal, which are held to the frame by screws put into drilled and tapped holes. Or, easier but less reliable, just twist the wire around the screw, under the head, directly.

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Martijn Meerts

A washer will work in most cases probably, in those with little to no space you'll need to sink the screws into the frame though.

 

Anyway, with a bit of luck I'll have my tap and die set later this week, although judging by the Norwegian postal services and customs, it could as easily be late next week. My first project which will require this type of solution is Kato's C57-180, the Banetsu Monogatari event train locomotive.

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crocky

Hi Bill,

 

Thanks for the info, I have ordered a decoder now and we will wait for it's arrival :)

 

Good info....

 

Cheers,

Bob

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Webskipper

Will a TCS Z2 decoder work for Thomas or is the M1 best?

Edited by Webskipper

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