LGB 65001 USA Steam Sound Install in Analog 2018D Mogul - myLargescale.com > Community > Forums


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Old 05-24-2017, 05:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation LGB 65001 USA Steam Sound Install in Analog 2018D Mogul

Update: Mogul sound install is complete and successful with the utilization of diodes soldered into a bridge to restrict motor voltage, thereby matching the pace of the tender's sound. Took a month of patience and on/off work and a couple dollars, (read: nearly $300) to retrofit a 1st gen LGB mogul into having a modern analog LGB 65001 sound system.


Proof of the fun and mayhem, after a lot of frustration, headscratching, finger burning and patient waiting for parts in the mail.

---

Greetings all. Recently I decided to purchase and try out LGB's USA steam sound unit to give my old 2018D mogul a voice instead of clicking along silently. As my first attempt with sound, and a non-DCC setup, I ordered the sound unit itself, the whistle/bell magnet detector, and four ball-bearing axles, which have all been wired together into the tender and as a standalone setup, work perfectly. All four tender axles deliver power to the tender's T-shaped board, and the sound unit feeds off of the voltage supplied through the factory pins and press-fit plugs. The sound is loud and works fine, however as I encountered, and read about in many places here on the internet, the Buehler motor of the mogul is so power-efficient that the sound system barely gets a chuff in while the locomotive is roaring along at a scale 20mph. A bit disappointing, initially.

To fix this, after some brainstorming, I decided it would be worth a try to wire in a 10 watt resister into one of the motor leads to slow down the locomotive. After initial failure with a 10ohm resistor, I stepped it up to 20ohms, only to realize that the locomotive was still picking up track power on its own through the sliding contacts and brass strips present in the chassis. After removing all track power pickup parts from the locomotive, it now is supplied power through the ball-bearing axles on the tender, and has so far proven to operate fine in this manner. After removing the contacts, the resistor was now doing its intended work, however 20ohms/10 watts still wasn't enough. Connecting the 20 and the prior 10 ohm resistors, for a total of 30ohms, now had the sound unit chuffing faster than the locomotive.

The sweet spot, 25ohms, seemed the likely candidate. The inevitable problem, however, is squeezing the darn thing into the chassis. I previously cut and drilled a small metal plate to act as a heat sink, and after ordering the resistor, began several hours of a quite troublesome head-scratching humdinger of an install, and in my folly of not ordering a spare, broke one of the wire leads off the resistor. I have however proven that the locomotive functions reasonably well versus the sound unit's speed, however before ordering another couple of 25ohm/10 watt resistors, I'm now wondering.

Is there a better way to go about this whole setup, as far as making the locomotive operate with reduced voltage to match the sound's factory speed? Am I going about some part of this completely wrong?

So far I've found very little information regarding putting sound in an analog locomotive, and I'd like to change this through my own experiences and provide information to others. If anyone can provide input, without automatically suggesting conversion to battery/DCC, please feel free to share. Any information would be greatly appreciated!

Last edited by Sampug394; 06-12-2017 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Use diodes to drop the voltage, and you should be able to put the voltage dropping electronics on one motor lead.

If this loco has the motor directly connected to the track pickups, you need to interrupt that. I think it is not a good idea to power the entire loco from the tender, and also ball bearing wheels are not designed for high current.

Yes, I do understand that the LGB motors draw less current.

Remember you are now running the motor AND the sound unit from the tender.

Also, you may get some stalling if you bypass all the wheel and skate pickups on the loco itself.

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Old 05-25-2017, 12:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Greg Elmassian View Post
Use diodes to drop the voltage, and you should be able to put the voltage dropping electronics on one motor lead.

If this loco has the motor directly connected to the track pickups, you need to interrupt that. I think it is not a good idea to power the entire loco from the tender, and also ball bearing wheels are not designed for high current.

Remember you are now running the motor AND the sound unit from the tender.

Also, you may get some stalling if you bypass all the wheel and skate pickups on the loco itself.
Greg, thank you for your input. I have honestly been dubious about having the locomotive powered by the tender, and personally was not aware that ball bearing axles were not intended to power high current for a motor, so that's something learned right there.

Firstly, I am assuming you mean Zener diodes so the motor can see reverse voltage. What would be the basis of power rating/limiting? With zero resistance the buehler motor is able to move the locomotive between 4-5 volts, and the sound pops on around 9-10 volts. This was the reasoning for finding a resistor that makes the voltage levels meet in the middle.

I also am curious about having the locomotive being electronically separate from the tender, as in having the three-pin plug between them remaining disconnected so that the locomotive only sees power from its own driving wheels, and the tender only receives power from the ball-bearing axles underneath. Is there any wisdom in a setup like this?

This also brings to mind the physical power connections in the chassis - Will having one motor lead split with a diode still act upon the voltage being picked up physically? The motor is connected to the circuit board housed inside the boiler, but I am fairly certain that it will operate independently regardless of the board being present or not. This particular locomotive is a 1985 mogul, and it has brushes, brass strips and contact pins in the chassis moving electricity to the motor's contact tangs. No wires in the chassis until you get to the headlight leads and circuit board above.
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Old 05-25-2017, 03:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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No, go to my site and search 'VOLTAGE DROPPER' and you can see it is done with ordinary diodes... and it will be easier to 'adjust' ...

yes, you have to break the connection to the motor in the motor block.

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Old 05-25-2017, 07:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I would put the engine power pickup back in use.
The outer pins on the motor block are the motor contacts and you can use diodes to drop the voltage on the outer lead.

The 2018D lgb engine has one rail tied to the motor and the other to the rear switch on the firebox.

So, the single pin on one side of the motor block is track and motor power. the dual set of pins are inner is track, outer is motor power.
So, 2018D (and most other LGB engine connections are:
both blank track motor
4 wire motor blocks are:
Motor Track Track Motor (note USA trains is the same)

The FRR engines are track Motor Motor Track in the motor blocks (Chloe, olmana etc.)
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Old 05-25-2017, 09:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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This is why LGB offered a set of backup capacitors that helped keep the sound alive at slower voltages on not MTS layouts. They are a nice sound, but limited what you can control and quite expensive for what you get normally. Gregs idea for diodes to slow the motor down to allow the sound to be working is a good one. I will try that myself as I have the Euro steam sound unit kicking around here. Eventually I will have an engine I can fit it and the batteries in. My 2073d is full of batteries with no room for that sound unit. Mike
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Old 05-26-2017, 08:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The backup super caps do work for dirty track whether DC or DCC.
On older (pre 1995) LGB sound units they used a 9 volt battery!! (Moguls and 2080's for 2 models).
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Does anyone have a picture of the mods to "disconnect" the motor to track connection in an LGB block?

I should have taken one of the Fourney I had. It was done very simply with a sleeve of heat shrink over the connection. Easy, reversable. Then you add a wire from the motor, put your voltage dropper in it, and connect that to the track pickup.

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Old 05-28-2017, 07:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have seen finger nail polish and heat shrink used as an insulator, but reassembly of the block can create a connection of track to motor, therefore, I drill a hole in the corner where the single pin is located and cut the motor lead to disable any connection to the track pin. I solder a wire (with enough extra length to allow the motor block removal in the future) to the motor and run it through the hole I drilled.
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Old 05-28-2017, 11:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Greetings all, have been very pleased to see further responses on this matter. As of late I have restored the mogul's physical power pickup through the track and isolated the engine and tender electrically. The tender and its sound unit setup now receives all voltage through its ball bearing axles, and the locomotive operates independently with the motor feeding from the physical pickups on the rails. Upon testing I discovered it requires the circuit board in the cab to operate properly and cannot move without it, which in turn means the isolation switch on the backhead is still integral to the mogul's operation.

Now to the matter of resistors versus diodes. I researched Greg's voltage dropper setup, which curiously had no diagram aside from the regular full wave bridge, (whatever image for it is not there) and studied the other images several times. It strikes me as being curious for requiring a number of 0.7 volt diodes. Is there a specific need for so many smaller rating diodes, as opposed to fewer larger volt-limiting ones?

Last edited by Sampug394; 05-28-2017 at 05:40 PM.
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