Installing a DCC decoder in a Hornby Class 153 Diesel Railcar that is DCC Ready
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Last updated 29 March, 2020
Class 153 - removing the body


This installation is one of the most straightforward as the engine is DCC ready and there is plenty of space. Removing the body is the only real challenge. If you want to make changes to the lighting then installation will become even more challenging, but this guide just covers a straightforward decoder installation.

Before installing chip into any loco it is advisable to check the current being drawn by the loco.

There are no screws to undo in order to release the body. The problem is getting your fingernail under the edge of the body to prise it away from the chassis. Do not use a screwdriver as you run the risk of damaging the bodywork and/or chassis. Where body and chassis meet is a very tight fit, as it should be. Also beware of pressing on the glazing too hard!!

You will find some pieces of card useful so that once a little progress has been made the body doesn't just jump back into its correct position. Once some movement has been made try levering away at the motor bogie end of the model and lifting this away from the chassis at an angle as the rear body sits over a small bracket.


Class 153 blanking plug


The loco is DCC ready, having a socket installed in the middle of the loco. Move the wires out of the way of the DCC socket. Gently lever the dummy plug out of the socket.

There is plenty of space inside the loco for any size of OO/HO decoder. This installation used a TCS DP2X-UK decoder.


Class 153 lighting

Firmly push the plug attached to the decoder into the socket, being careful not to bend the pins. Make sure the decoder is correctly orientated.

It is suggested that you do any programming of the decoder before replacing the body.

Replace each body carefully sliding the rear part of the body on to the chassis, then pushing the front of the body on to the chassis. Make sure you do not catch the lighting connectors at the front end when replacing the body!

Check that the lights work correctly.


For instructions on how to extend and modify LED lighting for prototypical running click here

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