Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Accomodating chips

Chip holeThe Ruston 165DS locomotive will eventually use some of this new fangled DCC power. I don't really understand it but know enough to realise that somewhere the model will have to accommodate a chip. Not one of those excessively yellow ones from the chippe near my local either...

That's easier said than done with a tiny model. Ideally the bonnet should be filled with lead to improve traction and road holding. That leaves the cab as home for the microprocessor. Fine but it's a solid box butted up against the back of the bonnet.

There was nothing for it but before I fitted the parts to the footplate to break out the piercing saw and hack my way in. I don't know how big the chip will be but if they fit in N gauge locos, I reckon that I've left enough of a gap. If not, the hole can be enlarged with a file.

The is a common problem with locomotive kits. They just don't think DCC. You can't blame the designers - many models date from the era when "Command Control" meant Zero 1. Besides, if you can build a kit, then finding a home for a chip isn't likely to be beyond you. For most locos it's not going to be a problem anyway as there will be plenty of space.  Possibly more than in an RTR because the mechanisms tend to be smaller and etched bodies are thinner than plastic.

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