Now that the B unit is basically done, I’ve started working on the A unit, it’s said that it took a swim, I did find some water damage inside, but yet the analog Aspects of the locomotive still work. Other than that, the front trucks seem to be a little more sluggish, but otherwise work fine.
because I had lit the portholes, in the B unit, I felt that I needed to do the same for the A unit, for this, like the B unit I created a lightbar, that was mounted the same way as in the B unit.
For consistency, I mounted the decoder on a small sheet of styrene with mounting post.
The Second ribbon cable, I repurposed from the original lighting board located in the nose, this allows the shell to simply be unplugged if it needs to be separated for servicing.
the tricky part is that I needed to recreate the original lighting board to separate the leads for each of the lights, allowing individual control, plus I ran the function and power for the porthole lights from the new lighting board. – this took some planning along with programming to get the lights to do what I wanted.
the programming, I pre-mapped and planed my wiring, through from the decoder through the ribbon cable and on the board.
I 1st programmed the decoder using a combination of software tools and hardware tools. For the logic of the lights, I used Decoder Pro, connected to my DCC++ base station, an Arduino based base station, which I had connected to my Zimo MXTAPV, a Test and connector board for Zimo decoders.
here’s a short video of testing just the lights in the nose, on the lightboard.
Oh, and while I was at it I upgraded the headlight to a high intensity LED, I left the incandescent lights for the cab light and number lights because I liked the color of the light.
The logic uses advanced mapping, which Zimo calls Swiss mapping, this allows me to group function outs, the 1st couple of lights are activated individually, then, when the headlight is turned on, it activates all of the lights.
The lights are, the Class lights, the Number board, the Cab light and the porthole lights, from there, I also assigned the headlight to give the effect of a Mars light, and the cab light to turn off when there is movement. and of course when in reverse the head goes off.
Here’s a video, showing both the A & B unit running on my layout, while didn’t have them pulling anything, the two units didn’t even hesitate on any of the grades that I have.
I tried to show the lighting but was just out of the camera’s range
here’s a short video after dark, showing the effect of the mars light, and if you watch, you’ll notice the cab light turns off.
needless to say, I’m excited and can not wait to test run both units pulling its own train.
These two LGB F7’s are now unique.