NOTICE TO MEMBERS
In particular, although most DCC chips are at least four functions, on the eight pin “DCC ready” sockets often only two of these functions are utilised. Normally the front and rear lights are interconnected so that the rear lights are always on if the front lights are on. This is done to make the models compatible with analogue operation but clearly this is not satisfactory if the locomotive is pulling a train when the rear lights should be extinguished as in the prototype.
The new mission is
to separate the rear lights from the front lights so that they can be
independently switched on and off.
First up is my Bachmann Class 66: This also has an issue in that the marker lights don’t illuminate.
There are kits on the market for these but being the notorious tightwad that I am I decided I wasn’t going to splash out £20 on a kit, however
I did look at
YouTube to see what other people have done.
One idea was to paint the inside of the rear lights area white (avoiding the red LEDs) to provide reflection and install two white LEDs alongside the existing red LEDs.
The next problem is how
to wire them up. The wiring in the Bachmann 66 is quite complicated
and allows for switching between right and left headlights for
daytime or night-time running. As the marker lights are
on for both day or night running any wiring through the headlights
would be very difficult.
However, you may recall
that one of the purposes of this exercise was to separate the tail
light operation from the headlights. This freed up the existing
taillight connections which are switched on and off with the
headlights (both left and right). I used these connections on the circuit board to supply the new marker lights.
A quick visit to the programming track and the rear lights illuminate with F1 as appropriate dependant on the locomotive direction.
Conversely of course if you are running the Royal Scotsman with a Class 66 top and tail you can put off the headlights on the rear locomotive and run with only the tail lights on.
Overall cost was about £4 for the locomotive and £10 in the swear box for my burnt fingers and the fiddly wires and putting it all back together without snagging the wires in the screw holes.
Class 66 near Poltalloch Ferry Station in daylight
Class 66 near Poltalloch Ferry Station at night