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mvaron
Posted (edited)

Hi everyone! Wondering if anyone had experience in adding a decoder to the Kato EF65 1000 311? Thanks in advance!

 

- Mauricio

 

EF66-100-311.jpg

Edited by mvaron

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Kiha66

Can you get the body off?  A picture of the frame would let you know how much work it will take.  From my experience these older models are most likely not DCC ready and would take some work milling out a space inside the body for a decoder.  I believe kato model 311 dates back from the early 1970s before DCC was even a concept.

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mvaron
Posted (edited)

Sure thing. Didn't know it was that vintage! 😮 

 

Screenshot_20190608-185407_Gallery.jpg

Edited by mvaron

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Kiha66

On the plus side it'll have a lot of traction!  You might be able to either install a TCS CN-GP decoder in place of the two lightboards (assuming it has enough longitudinal clearance), or mill out a bit of the frame and install a small wired decoder like a digitrax DZ126.  I would only do either in the locomotive runs flawlessly, if it has any running issues it probably would be better to just upgrade to the modern DCC ready versions which show 40 years of improvement in chassis design.

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mvaron

Well, that's good lol. It does run.

 

Just checked the TCS (42.50 the cheapest I found)  and the DZ126 (found the DZ126PS, 22.97 will that work if modified?) is 29.50 and I would consider that but both decoders are more than the engine 😕. How complicated is the install? Would it be worth it?

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railsquid

As Kiha66 says, you'd be better off getting a modern version, unless you have some burning desire to modify this particular model.

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Kiha66

The DZ126ps should work, the PS just means it has a plug at the end of the wires which you can trim off to get a wired decoder. 

 

To do the install you'll have to disassemble the locomotive and isolate the motor from the frame.  You'll then have to mill out a cutout so the decoder can fit inside with the shell on, as well as a path for the wires.  You'll then attach the motor leads to the motor brush caps, and reassemble the model.  You'll also have to cut apart the light boards to have frame pickup and to wire up the headlights, which you should switch to LEDs if they aren't already. 

 

If you have a milling machine handy and have done wired decoder installations before its not a hard job, just tedious.  I wouldn't recommend it as your first installation unless you are already handy with electronics repair.

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mvaron

I don't have any attachment to it and I didn't realize it was that old.

 

I'm in the middle of my first wired decoder install, finally doing the C62 now Sam 🙂 Unfortunately I don't have any experience with milling or LED installs 😕

 

Thinking I'm going to put this little guy back together and see it it can find a new home on a DC layout...sigh

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chadbag

Yeah, I would skip this unless you want a learning experience.  Figuring out wired installs can be a fun challenge and you rightly feel proud when done 🙂   

 

But it can be a big PITA if you don't like tinkering.  

 

(and if you really want to attempt it, there is a Digitrax DZ126T wired decoder in the forum classifieds 🙂  )

 

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railsquid

Come to think of it, back in the day when I was considering DCC, I examined an older Tomix EF64-1000 series, which is essentially the same body-filling split-chassis design (albeit with the classic Tomix spring worm drive) and concluded that it might be possible to house a small DCC chip under the raised section of the roof with the "toplights", as this is a hollow space on the bodyshell, but looking at my old Kato EF65 it doesn't have a similar space available.
 

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mvaron

I might be able to make it work. You're right (railsquid), the Kato doesn't have the the space but if it is small enough, could fit the decoder inside the vent part on top. I would have to cut out a spot, but that shouldn't be noticable. I'd like to try it out and get that "proud" feeling, if I can get it wired easily and no milling required. My concern really is the motor isolation and other details Sam mentioned. I just don't have any experience with complex installs, but definitely up to learning.

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mvaron

Excellent, thank you!

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chadbag

Yes, just thinking a motor isolation through is enough. The hard part is taking the time to think it through 🙂

 

And to have the patience to test everything with your meter before putting power to it.

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