Installing a DCC decoder in a Hornby Class 58

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Before installing chip into any loco it is advisable to check the current being drawn by the loco. You should test the current drawn when the loco is stalled to find the peak current and select a decoder that will cope with that maximum current requirement.

This loco is NOT DCC ready, so requires a decoder to be hard-wired into the loco. For this installation a TCS M1 decoder was used.

On the Hornby Class 58 there are no screws securing the body to the chassis. Access to the wiring is obtained by removing the bogies. Gently lever the rear clip from the non-motor bogie inwards at the top to release the bogie and gently lower it away from the body.

The instructions enclosed with the model show a spade connector attaching a single wire to the non-motor bogie and states that this clip should be undone (diagram left). However, this was NOT how this particular model was wired, so be very careful when disconnecting this bogie from the chassis. You never know what you might find!

As can be seen in the photo left, this model was hard wired for DC with two wires (not just the one indicated on the instructions!), one to each pickup side on the non-motor bogie. Not only that, but blue and yellow wires used instead of red and black. For this installation it is assumed that the blue wire will be equivalent to black for DCC purposes and the yellow equivalent to the red wire.

Removing the motor bogie, using the same method as for the non-motor bogie described above, it became apparent that the blue wire had an additional connection to a pickup on the motor bogie.

Desolder the blue (black) wire connection on the non-motor bogie and replace the wire with a slightly longer piece of black wire, soldering one end to the pickup side of the non-motor bogie which had the blue wire attached and the other end to the equivalent pickup on the motor bogie, threading it through the body between the two bogies. Desolder the blue wires from the motor.

Solder the black wire from the decoder to the pickup on the motor bogie and the grey wire from the decoder to the BOTTOM connection of the motor.

Desolder the yellow (red) wire connection on the non-motor bogie and solder the red wire from the decoder to this point. Solder the orange wire from the decoder to the TOP motor connection.

The wires from the decoder were not trimmed for this installation as it is intended to install a lighting kit from Express Models when this to hand. Wires will be trimmed as required when the kit is installed. For the moment the wires were pushed in to the void in the centre of the loco between the two bogies.

Carefully replace each bogie and program the decoder as required, testing the loco to make sure everything works before returning it to the main.


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