Josh Clark

Installing DCC and Sound into Locomotives

Josh Clark
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  • In-depth Instruction; over 77 mins
  • On-demand video access anytime
  • Bonus downloadable PDF resources
  • Access to class Q&A
  • Available for purchase: $39.99
Before starting with the decoder installation, this first session will cover background information, such as an overview of DCC and how it works. We’ll also cover basic skills necessary to successfully install decoders, such as soldering.
There are many types of model manufacturers, locomotive types, and decoder brands. Choosing the correct one can seem like a daunting task with all the variables at hand. This session reviews the pros and cons of different decoder brands and helps you choose the best decoder for your model.
In this session, we begin the first installation example – an ESU LokSound DCC and Sound Decoder into an Athearn EMD SD70 locomotive. This session also covers related information, such as removing the engine shell, replacing the factory light board, and familiarization with the inside of a model locomotive.
With the new light board and DCC and Sound decoder installed in the Athearn SD70, we continue with the installation of LED lights. This session covers the removal of the factory light bulbs and the installation of new SMD (surface mount diode) LEDs.
An essential part of a DCC and Sound decoder installation in a locomotive is the speaker. A speaker brings everything to life. Choosing the right one and installing it correctly can significantly improve the sound and realism of your model. This session will guide you through the process.
Everyone hates dirty track. There’s nothing worse than seeing your engine lose power and cut out, because it’s hit a “dead spot.” Luckily, a new advancement in the hobby, capacitors, can keep your trains running smoothly, and this session covers the selection and installation of capacitors into locomotives.
To maximize your knowledge and understanding of how to install DCC and Sound decoders, this session covers a second installation example – a TCS WowSound DCC and Sound decoder into a Bachman 2-8-0 steam locomotive.
In this final session, we will conclude the class by reviewing the material, seeing the finished products, and discussing the benefits of adding DCC and Sound decoders. It’s an aspect of the hobby that can truly bring your models to life.
Once your decoder is installed, it often requires “programming” to make it run correctly with other locomotives. Don’t let the word programming scare you though! This session will teach you the basics of modifying settings on a DCC and Sound decoder and show you that it’s quite a simple process.
9 Lessons
1  hrs 17  mins

As the model railroading hobby advances, sound is becoming significantly more prominent in model locomotives.

From the indistinguishable sound of a steam whistle, to the roar of a GE locomotive in full throttle, sound is a growing aspect of the hobby that adds more realism, and fun, to your models and layout.

However, not all locomotives can be purchased from the factory with sound. Often times, installing a DCC and sound decoder into a locomotive is necessary. It is not always seen as an easy task. Removing the shell, rewiring the locomotive, and modifying an expensive model may seem intimidating at first.

With this class, led by your instructor Josh Clark, you’ll learn everything you need to install decoders with confidence.

Beginning with some background information, such as what DCC decoders are, in addition to helpful skills, such as how to professionally solder, we will begin by laying a foundation to start the installation.

We’ll also cover other relevant topics, such as how to install LED lights, how to install and maximize the performance of the speaker, and how to install a capacitor to keep your locomotives running over dirty track. Furthermore, we will talk about choosing the best types of decoders, speakers, and capacitors that will be best for your own installation.

You’ll see two specific installation examples in the class. The first is an installation of an ESU LokSound decoder into a diesel locomotive, and the second installation is a TCS WowSound decoder into a steam locomotive.

In addition to the detailed video instruction, you’ll also get a helpful Class Guide PDF that you can print out and use as a reference to help work through the key aspects of adding sound and light into your system, as well as a supplemental PDF that will help you source speakers, decoders, and LED lights.

Josh Clark

Josh Clark grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina and has shared the hobby with his father since he was very young. Together, they have spent 12 years building a modern Norfolk Southern layout, which can be seen in many of Josh's videos. The layout is loosely based on the rail lines of North Carolina, and he enjoys modeling many of the scenes and trains that he saw growing up. By day, Josh is a medical student at the Medical University of South Carolina. One of the big reasons he loves this hobby is that it gives him an escape from long hours of working and studying. Whether it's building a locomotive in the evenings or finishing scenery on the layout back home with his father, Josh finds the hobby to be a great source of relaxation, friendship, and skill that can apply to many other areas of life.

Josh Clark

Bonus materials available after purchase

Installing DCC and Sound into Locomotives Purchase this class for $39.99.