Installing a DCC sound decoder in a Hornby Class 60

Click on each image for a more detailed view.

Class 60 and decoder

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.

Before removing the body check to see that you have removed the two dense rubber strips inserted between the bogies and the chassis. They are not easy to see and, if not removed, will impede the loco moving correctly around bends.

The body can be removed with reasonable ease. There are lugs each side securing the body to the chassis. It is possible to gently lever the body away from the chassis each side by just using fingers (or rather finger nails!), though it is a very tight fit. Lever one side first, then the other so that the body moves just a little from where it seats on the chassis, then gently lift one end of the body upwards first, then the other end.

Class 60 with body removed

Once the body has been removed it is obvious where the 8-pin plug on the decoder will go. Gently remove the 8-pin blanking plate from the circuit board by levering out a little from each end of the plate.


This installation used a Loksound v. 3.5 decoder from Howes of Kidlington.

Class 60 with decoder and speaker

Fitting the decoder plug is straightforward. Make sure the pin with the orange wire attached is inserted into the socket marked 1 on the main circuit board.

Be careful with the wires attached to this particular decoder as problems were experienced with wires detaching themselves from the soldered joints. This is apparently the result of having to use lead-free solder, the substitute being less reliable.

Fitting the speaker is more problematic as there is insufficient space inside when the body is refitted. The problem is caused by the plastic in the roof of the body which is under the exhaust outlet. Cutting into this could damage the moulding so it was decided to replace the speaker provided with the LS50440 ESU rectangular 16 x 25mm 100 ohm miniature speaker.

Class 60 with decoder installed

It was also necessary to extend the wires for the speaker as it was decided to locate the speaker at the front of the loco on top of the grey plastic moulding, using two small pieces of Sticky Fixer. There was insufficient space to fit both decoder and speaker at the rear of the loco. Heat shrink was used to ensure that the connections were insulated.

Before replacing the body, program the CV settings as required on the programming track and test the loco on the main line or a rolling road.


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Copyright Bromsgrove Models 2006