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Noisy gronk


Will Vale

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Just finished installing a Howes LokSound micro in my Christmas present - a Cotswold Rail 08 intended for duty as the Whitemarsh Yard pilot. It wasn't particularly fiddly, only a couple of hours' work really, although I underestimated the care required to cut out the body shell behind the front grille. I started off drilling the four corners and thought I could then cut through the edges with multiple passes of a knife - bad idea :( A slight slip left a mark on the warning stripes, but it isn't too bad and will probably disappear after weathering.

 

Edit: See here for pictures to go with this text.

 

What I ended up doing, and what I should have done all along, was drill 1mm holes all around the hole, join up a couple on each edge with the knife (carefully) and then use a fine razor saw (Tamiya handheld one) to finish the job. Much easier that way, especially since the moulded interior grill provides a good guide for positioning the drill bit.

 

This was my first sound install, and it went quite well apart from breaking one of the speaker connections and having to re-solder it. I cut a blanking plate from 1mm plasticard profiled to the interior of the body - this fits behind the speaker, and the decoder goes on top of the motor block where the 8 pin socket was. I wired the motor terminals directly but spliced the pickup wires to avoid having to dismantle the mechanism. Pleasingly, the cab is still pristine and there was plenty of space to tuck the unused function wires away without having to trim them off.

 

Best experience - after sealing around the speaker and sound chamber with Blu-tak, and screwing the body back on after an initial test it was suddenly much louder and clearer since the sound chamber was properly sealed. I know this is what's supposed to happen, but it's an eye-opener (ear opener?) when it does. I'm now wondering if I could make a hole in the corner of the back plate and run a thin styrene tube back along the inside of the body as a bass pipe? It'd only get to go as far as the gearbox top, but it's still a 40-50mm run, and well away from the front of the speaker. Hmm...

 

Off for some shunting now, plus with its electrics done I can think about weathering that pretty paint job.

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I took a couple of pictures and then forgot to take more. I'll see if I can get some with the body off and post the lot.

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