Installing a DCC chip in a Hornby Black 4-6-0 Class 5

Updated 31 March, 2020

Click on each image for a more detailed view

5MT body screw location

This installation really is as easy as it gets. The most difficult part is refitting the body on to the chassis.

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

To remove the body there is one screw under the front bogies fixing the body to the chassis. When this has been removed gently lever the chassis from the body at the front until it is about 1 cm clear then pull the chassis out of the body rear, being careful not to break any of the finely detailed body components as you remove the chassis.

5MT showing dummy plug

The loco is DCC ready, having a socket installed at the front of the loco. Gently lever the dummy plug out of the socket.

You are also advised to unscrew the circuit board and inspect the soldered contacts underneath as some boards have been found to have solder across connections - these do not affect DC running but are fatal for DCC.

5MT showing NMRA socket

This reveals the socket, with pin 1 (for the pin with the orange wire attached) clearly labelled. This installation used a TCS M1 UK decoder, one of the smallest decoders on the market, with a short harness for UK locos. The space inside the 5MT will not accommodate a large decoder, though it should be possible to use a TCS DP2X-UK which has no wires and just replaces the blanking plug.

If you wish, the capacitor can be removed at this point, though on the installation shown it was left in and the loco runs well with the capacitor in situ.

5MT with decoder installed

Firmly push the plug attached to the decoder into the socket, being careful not to bend the pins.

The decoder wires will need to be folded so that the decoder sits in the smokebox void.


5MT body

Test the setup before replacing the body. You can also do any programming of the decoder at this point, but it might be better to replace the body first to ensure all is still working before you alter any CVs.

This is suggested as replacing the body can be tricky, ensuring that the long delicate sand pipes go OUTSIDE any hanging cables, that they do not get snapped off, and that the cables do not get trapped between the chassis and body.

Check the inside of the driving wheels for excessive grease. Some models seem to have a surfeit of grease which affects the pickups.


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