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Getting connected

One of the great things about insomnia is the amount of thinking you can get done.  Here’s the outcome of pondering how to achieve fitting the DCC chip into the W bunker in a tidy way that would still allow maintenance.

The problems are:

  • There is not a lot of room
  • The Loksound chip comes with an 8 pin plug, yet has 9 plus wires depending on whether you want auxillary functions or not.
  • The chip, lighting and speaker are typically within the loco body, while the motor and track pickup are part of the chassis.
  • There are a whole bunch of wires that need to be properly connected as well as resistors to fit (if using LEDs)
  • The lighting common needs some sort of bus.

Just arrived in the mail is a batch of the little board illustrated here. It’s properly engineered at 15 x 25mm with solder masks, through plated holes and screen printed labels.

The board top and bottom.

The features are:

  • Connections for the Loksound chip, labelled and with a labyrinth to secure and protect the wires.
  • Plug connections for the motor and track
  • Pads for LED resistors (or jumpers if using bulbs)
  • Pads for the speaker, head and tail lights
  • There should be no need for any other connections in the chip install.


The EL001 board wired to a Loksound V4.0 micro decoder.

The boards, complete with sockets and wired plugs for motor and power connection will are available in the emporium. Prewired LEDs and resistors will be available soon.

While I was in PCB mode, I also took the opportunity to make up some chassis spacers for locomotives.  These are accurately cut to 13.4mm width (ideal for finescale chassis).  The material is 0.8mm board that is pre gapped and tinned as shown.  Total length is 100mm, which should be enough for a couple of small locomotives. These are available for purchase in the Emporium.

Thanks to Mark Andrews for sowing the germs of these ideas!


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