I now have the mainline roadbed laid through Chehalis, to the gauntlet swing bridge. Next comes track and turnouts, some of which I will build by hand. But first comes our club trip to four Salt Lake City layouts. I will post pictures on Facebook.
I purchased a new 10 foot roll of EasyMat, the tile underlayment that I cut & use for roadbed on the layout. In the picture I am using the cutting board I built from instructions in the October 2010 Model Railroader article “Make your own Roadbed”, page 45, by Jim Richards. I much prefer this material rather than using cork for roadbed.
While rummaging in my spare parts drawer I came upon the perfect solution for a DCC decoder for my new Walthers SW1 Milwaukee switcher, a Soundtraxx MC1H102P8. I purchased this 8-pin chip for a different engine, but it would not fit under that hood. Problem solved.
I installed an 8-pin plug DCC conversion harness and a Digitrax decoder in my new Walthers Milwaukee SW-1 HO switch engine. The engine is now running fine, however I’m not happy with the way I had to fold the wiring harness in order to install the decoder in an open space atop the PC board. I’m now either looking for a shorter DCC harness or cutting and re-soldering the harness wires. Likely a lot of work for a small return. Do they make a shorter harness?
Today I purchased a new Walthers EMD SW1 Milwaukee HO gauge engine (see photo). It’s advertised as DCC plug in ready with instructions on “Conversion to DCC”. However the instructions for the conversion don’t seem to make any reasonable sense. The following are the steps:
1. Remove the body shell (their instructions for removing the shell were wrong also. Their instructions say to remove the front coupler box. But, it has nothing to do with the body shell.)
2. Unplug the DC jumper from the large PC board. (OK, that’s a usual step.)
3. Unscrew two screws from (the) large PC board and discard the large PC board, You will no longer need it. (forget the sentence structure, now comes the crazy part).
4. Plug in 8-pin decoder of choice. (If I followed their instructions, I just took off the “large PC board” that has the 8-pin plug on it. What am I suppose to plug the decoder into?)
The last steps instruct to insulate and secure the decoder and replace the body shell. I think I will have to call their “Assistance” line and see what kind of excuse I get.