BN 97 Decoder Install

Trains

I’ve briefly mentioned BN 97, it’s a Walthers SW1 (old one, not the currently available one) that I found on eBay with the thinking of scavenging it for parts. Being a sucker for EMD switchers I just couldn’t. It’s a pretty cool model but could use some fixes and upgrades, in the meantime it runs well enough and just needed a decoder.

In the Soo 320 I had installed a TCS T1 as some searching around led to a couple of write-ups that claimed it to be the best option for the SW1. I managed to get it shoehorned into the cab just barely so for BN97 I decided to do a little more looking and basically ended up with the Digitrax DZ126.

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I think it’s going fit a little better, so much so that I’m going to re-do Soo 320 with the same decoder as it’s going to be much easier to fit.

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In fact it almost looks like it was designed to be there, this is where the old light bulb lived, since I’m using 0603 LEDs I don’t need that much space.

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All I had to do was trim the PCB board that held the light (as I wouldn’t need the end of it that held the light) and build some supports so it wouldn’t interfere with the drive.

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It’s not terribly clear but that vertical piece of styrene on the far left of the picture is set back slightly from the edge to make a cavity for the LED.

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Things obviously start to get a little messier as wires are actually hooked up but I was able to get the hood down on it. All that’s left on the decoder is to install a rear light which will involve an enclosure for the LED and then plumbing the wires back. I just didn’t feel like it today and once I do that the cab will become tethered to the rest of it so maybe I’ll save that for one of the last projects.

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