Installing a DCC decoder in a Hornby Class 86 Loco

Click on each image for a more detailed view.

Class 86


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 installation is quite straightforward - you do not need any screwdrivers for this installation, but you will require a soldering iron and some heat-shrink sleeving as this loco requires a hard-wired installation.


Releasing body from Class 86

The body can be removed from the chassis by sliding a piece of card (or even your finger nail) between the body and the chassis. Lever the body away from the chassis - it is a very tight fit. There are four lugs holding the body on to the chassis, one behind each of the four cab doors.

Once the body has been separated from the chassis, remove the spade connectors from the pantograph pickup assembly in the roof of the body.

Class 86 - remove the capacitor

Once inside, the first step is to remove the capacitor. Desolder the capacitor legs from the solder points on the motor.


Once the capacitor has been removed, desolder the red and black wires from the topr of the capacitor.

Solder connection in Class 86


Once the wires have been separated from the capacitor, solder the red wire from the decoder to the two red wires in the loco. Similarly, solder the black wire from the decoder to the two black wires that were attached to the capacitor. These connections should be insulated by using heat-shrink sleeving (available from our store here).

Solder the orange and grey wires to the motor contact points as shown in the photograph.


Class 86 with decoder installed

In this installation a TCS T1 decoder was used - there is plenty of space inside the loco and a two function decoder is adequate if lights are not to be installed at a later stage. The decoder was fixed vertically inside the loco using a Sellotape Sticky Fixer (a very useful item when installing decoders).

The gear wheels on this model appeared to be very dry - a small amount of grease placed on the small gear wheel improved the running of this patricular model.

The spade connectors will have to be reconnected to the pantograph assembly in the roof before the model can have the decoder tested and CVs programmed. When replacing the body be careful that the wires do not get trapped between the body and the chassis but, more importantly, between the lugs that are part of the inside of body moulding and the chassis. If you try to force the body on to the chassis (and remember it is a very tight fit) there is a danger that the trapped wires could be severed. Make sure the wire run centrally along the chassis.


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