Class 166 to convert to DCC

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georgehgv
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Class 166 to convert to DCC

Postby georgehgv » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:24 am

Hi. I am hoping to convert a Class 166 First Great Western Link DMU 3 car I managed to acquire recently, new and unused it is a gem. Anyway I am not over fussy about directional lights etc but hoped that after I have chipped it the lights will still remain on as they are on DC mode now. I usually just intercept the red,black etc and connect to 8 pin socket and then plug in the chip. Simpler for an oldie like me and I am fairly happy with the resultant controllability.

Anyone guide me on the lights still working without extra work? And aslo any info on removing the casing and a wiring diagram.

Thanks, Geo,
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hairyhandedfool
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Re: Class 166 to convert to DCC

Postby hairyhandedfool » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:04 am

I assume by 'the casing' you mean 'the body', in which case there are two screws on each vehicle, they are quite short so be careful. The screws are located on the underside and are obstructed by the bogie mounted couplings. There are also clips in the side as I recall.

The wiring for the motor is simply feed wires from each bogie to the motor, so that's two on each side. There is nothing particularly special about the lights either, they are LEDs fed from the cab end bogie via a couple of resisters and a connector. The red LEDs are wired to the same connections as the white (well, kind of yellow) lights, but the opposite way round.

If you do not fit a decoder to the lights, but leave them connected to the 'pick-up' feeds, the DCC supply will light both head and tail lights together at both ends. I can't say what the long term effects of that would be.
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Bigmet
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Re: Class 166 to convert to DCC

Postby Bigmet » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:04 am

George,

Unfortunately these models date from before DCC provision was standard, and Bachmann have not updated them yet to the best of my knowledge. The motor control conversion is a piece of cake as it is a very simple interior layout. There is no 'simple' solution to working directional lighting when converting to DCC. The choices are:

All lights full on at all times as already mentioned,
or,
disconnect all lights from track power ( the simplest alteration),
or,
go to the trouble of wiring up the lights to the decoder for directional control,
or,
some other solution of your own devising - which doesn't make much sense when an appropriate decoder running the motor will also control the lighting.

georgehgv
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:14 am

Re: Class 166 to convert to DCC

Postby georgehgv » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:14 am

Thanks for that. I will wire in the decoder and leave the lighting alone and running. I did the same with a 2 car Bachmann 170 and that went ok.
Enjoying the ride playing trains like never before. Building a model railway but not too specialised.

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SRman
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Re: Class 166 to convert to DCC

Postby SRman » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:11 pm

The 170 is actually easier to do the lighting as it uses incandescent bulbs where the 166 (and 158/9, which have almost identical chassis to the 166) use LEDs.

I am still working on converting a 159 and a 166, both of which run fine on DCC (the motor wiring to a decoder is dead easy, as already indicated). I am using three pin connectors to run the lighting wires to the decoder from each end but I haven't yet rewired the pcbs/LEDs to suit.

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Metadyneman
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Re: Class 166 to convert to DCC

Postby Metadyneman » Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:55 pm

I have two class 159s (identically wired to the 166) and I decided to rip out the lighting clusters altogether and wire in my own using "lighthouse" LEDs and plasticard. Both my 159's now run with three decoders in each unit and fully working directional lighting as well as interior lights made up from Self adhesive "ribbon" type LED lights. The effect of the interior lights against the tinted windows of these units is very pleasing indeed.
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SRman
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Re: Class 166 to convert to DCC

Postby SRman » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:12 pm

Oh dear.

Metadyneman, I don't like you!!!! You're giving me more ideas! :P :lol:

I like your idea of the interior strip lighting. That would not necessarily need to be wired through a decoder either as it could be left permanently on. The only down side I can see to this is that it will highlight the lack of seats in the motorised coaches of each unit.

Incidentally, I also have been fiddling with the lighthouse LEDs on the 159 and have drilled and filed out the little marker lights on the outer ends of the lighting cluster. I have used warm white LEDs for the headlights rather than the yellow that Bachmann chose to use (white LEDs were rather expensive at the time the 158/159 came out, I think). I still haven't wired them properly as I am trying to make a neat and unobtrusive job of it ... unlike the Lima class 59 I did!


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