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Old 10-23-2010, 07:36 PM
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Cool Detailed Tutorial - Installing An ESU Lok-Sound Decoder In The Kato Mikado

This is a very detailed picture tutorial of The ESU Micro Lok-Sound Decoder Installation In The Kato Mikado. The decoder installation in the Kato Mikado is one of the most difficult installations in a N scale steam locomotive, because the Kato Mikado is not "DCC Friendly".

If you follow the tutorial very carefully the photo's will guide you in the proper installation of a decoder in the classic steam locomotive, the Kato Mikado.

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Old 10-23-2010, 07:38 PM
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Cool ESU Lok-Sound Micro Decoder

The main problem in installing a sound decoder in the Kato Mikado is finding enough room in the tender for both the decoder and speaker, plus the assorted wiring. When using the Lok Sound Micro decoder, one must use the Lok-Sound speaker that comes with the decoder as it has an amperage rating of 100. The specifications for the Lok-Sound micro decoder are as follows: 28mm x 10 mm x 5 mm; fits N and TT scales; operates on DCC, Motorola, or Selectrix, as well as conventional DC mode. All the prime mover sounds are active in DC operation, Back EMF features, silent running, two light functions and two additional function out puts. The sound is identical to Lok-Sound V 3.5 decoder; 4- Channel, load dependent sound stored on a 8 Megabit flash sound memory chip, up to 65 seconds of sound recordings.

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Old 10-23-2010, 07:42 PM
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Cool ESU Lok-Sound Micro Decoder Installation In The Kato Mikado

This tutorial was published in the July - August 2007 issue of N Scale Magazine. The mighty ATSF # 4016 on the upper level of the JJJ&E was on the front cover of NSM in the July-August Issue of N Scale Magazine. The Micro Lok-Sound decoder tutorial is very detailed and slightly more complicated than the Lenz Gold JST decoder installation in the Kato Mikado. The Lenz JST decoder installation in the Kato Mikado will be discussed as well.If I were installing a Sound decoder in the Kato Mikado today (2010), I would use a Soundtraxx Micro Tsunami decoder because the sound coming from the decoder is more dynamic and the user can control many more sound functions. You can use an oval speaker placed under the coal load which is smaller in size than the Lok-Sound decoder speaker. The main problem in installing a sound decoder in the Kato Mikado is finding enough room in the tender for both the decoder and speaker, plus the assorted wiring. When using the Lok Sound Micro decoder, one must use the Lok-Sound speaker that comes with the decoder as it has an amperage rating of 100.

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Old 10-23-2010, 07:44 PM
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Cool ESU Lok-Sound Decoder & Speaker

Included with the micro decoder is a 16 x 25 mm speaker and a detailed user guide. It has been said on many occasions that a decoder installation in a Kato Mikado is extremely difficult. I'm going to show you how easy it is to install a decoder in this fine steam loco and try to dispel all the rhetoric claiming how difficult it is. I've done almost 70 decoder installations using either a Lenz Gold JST decoder, a Lok-Sound micro decoder and Soundtraxx Micro Tsunami decoders in Kato Mikados. The JJJ&E has a roster of over 50 Kato Mikados. Needless to say, the Kato Mikado is my favorite steam loco in N scale. We are going to wire this loco for a decoder, using five wires which will be soldered to the loco mechanism. There will be NO wiring to the contact strips in the solder as this leads to erratic performance of this fine steamer. The Lok-Sound (ESU) micro decoder and its speaker will reside inside the tender. In this installation, the Lok-Sound (ESU) micro decoder will be placed in the Mikado tender. There will be quite a bit of juggling of both components (decoder and speaker) and wiring to make this happen. I prefer not to install this decoder in the steamer as I don't want to remove part of the weight that seats on the frame and I want easy access to the decoder in case of a failure at some point in time in the future.

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Old 10-23-2010, 07:46 PM
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Cool Remove Drawbar From Steamer

First remove the draw bar from the loco. I loosened the gear plate (two screws) to free the draw bar. The rear truck will come loose as well. Replace the rear truck for the time being and re-tighten the two screws holding the gear plate in place. Be careful not to bend the draw bar. If the draw bar is bent in any manner, the operation of this steam loco will be compromised, as the draw bar is the weak link in the Kato Mikado. It might be wise to have two or three extra draw bars on hand. They can be purchased directly form Kato USA (KATO USA : Precision Railroad Models) or online

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Old 10-23-2010, 07:48 PM
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Cool Remove The Cab From Boiler

Now remove the cab and the piece directly below the cab. This piece slides out easily. The cab just lift off the boiler.

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Old 10-23-2010, 07:49 PM
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Cool Lift Off Boiler Shell

Lift off the boiler shell. Later we will cut an access opening in the back of the boiler shell above the instrument panel in the shape of a quarter moon. This will be an opening for the decoder wiring that passes from the loco to the tender. With this access opening, the wiring won't impinge on the flywheel. Just make the opening long and wide enough to accommodate the five wires.

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Old 10-23-2010, 07:51 PM
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Cool Remove The Smoke Box

Remove the smoke box. You have to slightly spread the pistons apart to remove the smoke box. Before you do this, lift the ladders and remove them from the boiler shell. If you spread the pistons too far apart, the entire valve gear will come loose and drop out. So be careful when doing this procedure.

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Old 10-23-2010, 07:53 PM
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Cool Remove The Sideboards & Weight From Top Of The Frame

Remove the side boards and the weight on top of the loco frame. The side boards are each comprised of two pieces and snap off each side of the frame. Now the loco is is ready for the decoder installation. Up to his point, only seven pieces have been removed from the chassis.

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Old 10-23-2010, 07:54 PM
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Cool Fireman's Side Of Chassis

This is the fireman's side of the chassis. Notice the lower brush cap above the fourth driver. We need access to that lower brush cap, but it won't be necessary to remove the motor from the frame when it comes time to solder the orange wire from the decoder to this brush cap.

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