Category Archives: Layout Construction

New Milwaukee SW1 switcher

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.

New Facia

I finally designed and installed the fascia with hinges so each panel can be swung down, out of the way when working on the wiring on the back side of the board.  My previous installation only allowed the fascia to lower to horizontal, which got in the way when reaching under the layout.

Fascia design

I’m working on designing a 10″ fascia around the layout, with room for turnout control switches with LED lights, and that can be hinged to lay flat for working on the wiring. I’m also wiring in Tortoise switch machines on the main line.