Tech Talk: No NEM-652 Interface Socket? Part 2

Concluding his two-part feature about hard-wiring OO-scale models, Nigel Burkin looks at the Hornby ‘Terrier’ 0-6-0 tank locomotive

In the first part of this article on how to convert older locomotive models without any provision to convert them to DCC, we took a look at the recently re-issued Hornby ‘Railroad’ 14XX Class locomotive BR No. 1424. Now it’s time to examine another oldie but goodie from the Hornby range – the ‘OO’ gauge ‘Terrier’ tank locomotive.

Once again, the modeller has to contend with the issue of space and where to fit a decoder in models which are usually crammed with weight to give them good adhesion properties.

The model is not equipped with a NEM-652 DCC interface socket and with little apparent room inside the body shell, a decoder installation appears to be challenging at first glance.

Few manufacturers were thinking of DCC when these models were designed, but thankfully that has changed today, and even models as small as the Hornby ‘OO’ gauge ‘Peckett’ are equipped with provision to fit a decoder.

As awkward as some of these models might appear, a little thought and some tinkering time soon reveals where a decoder could be fitted.

A common paradox in DCC is that you end up using more expensive micro-decoders in lower cost and older models, for usually, the more refined models designed in the last 10 years or so, with their high-quality mechanisms and quiet, smooth operation, will perform well with lower specification decoders.

Do not forget

There are a few things that must always be thought about before making a start on a hard-wire decoder installation, or indeed any DCC conversion. First, always test the model with a conventional DC power pack. If it does not run well on traditional analogue power, a decoder is not going to improve matters.

For the full article and to view more images, see the December edition of Modelling – available now!

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