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MTH HO Canadian Pacific ALCO FA-1 A & B units

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  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • 2 posts
MTH HO Canadian Pacific ALCO FA-1 A & B units
Posted by Canadoug on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 9:34 AM

Hi everyone, I would appreciate some advice on the following:

I very recently purchased a pair of MTH HO scale Canadian Pacific ALCO FA-1 A & B units, which I would like to modify as only the B unit is Protosound fitted. Has anyone got a tip on how to remove the bodyshells?  I have undone the 4 chassis and two coupler screws and expanded the sides which I've held open with credit cards but the body seems to be firmly held at each end of the locos.

My plan is to swap the sound decoder and speaker into the A unit; is it possible to run both units with sound from the one decoder, I've never heard of this being done?

Regards

canadoug

  • Member since
    April, 2017
  • 52 posts
Posted by Mantua Man on Monday, April 16, 2018 12:46 PM

Hello All,

I know I can't vouch for everyone, but I personally am unable to find any sort of schematic on this locomotive anywhere, and without some sort of visual I have no idea how to help in dismounting the shells. By your description it sounds like there is still something keeping the shell attached to the chassis at the ends, meaning either some sort of screw is not undone, the shell is clipped in by the ends, or there is some sort of adhiesive keeping the shell in place. Without any sort of visual I can't help more, but I'm sure one of the many users here might be able to think of something else.

 

As for the DCC, I'm not entirely sure. I've done some messing around with DCC, and do know that two locomotives can be RUN by one decoder, in the case that there is no sort of sound. With sound I can't say I have any idea. The main problem with running with only one decoder is current draw, as most decoders can handle one loco, but usually not two unless it's a good decoder. There was a forum similar to this awhile back, http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/744/t/262085.aspx, but it does not specify whether it is utilizing a sound decoder, and is rather short; Though I imagine the properties of a sound decoder are similar to a standard decoder. 

Do wish you the best of luck,

MM

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • 2 posts
Posted by Canadoug on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 12:58 PM
Hi Mantua Man and thanks for the considered reply. Since posting I;ve been "blessed" with an attack of shingles which has been very demotivating and the loco is still sitting on my workbench awaiting further investigation. My thought is that there could be another clip or possibly glue holding the ends. I do plan to free the side clips as before, hold the body quite high up in the middle and throw the loco at a soft pillow whilst keeping hold of the body. With any luck this will force the chassis out of the body and will save trying to lever the body off with the potential damage to the shell.Wish me luck! As for running the A&B units from the same decoder your points are noted and I will check current draws, if it looks ok I'll probably try using a cheap silent decoder first before risking the sound unit, that's if I can get the bodyshells off first! {:O) Regards Doug
  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 18,050 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 10:44 PM

Remember, a Protosound decoder may operate (with some shortcomings) on DCC but a DCC decoder will not operate on DCS, the proprietary MTH control system.  Also, you can't go out and buy Protosound decoders.  They are only available when purchased in a locomotive.  I'm not sure you can consist a Protosound decoder with a DCC decoder.

I would hope they would make the interiors of the A and B units similar enough that you could swap things like decoders and speakers.  Are both the units powered?  I assume they are and each has a DCS decoder, although sound is only present in the B unit.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    April, 2017
  • 52 posts
Posted by Mantua Man on Thursday, April 26, 2018 7:44 AM

Hello,

My sincerity for you, I do know shingles can be a big struggle, but hopefully you will be doing better soon.

Working with locomotives, I have had some success in wiggling locomotives in order to remove the shell, though if this is done too rough, it can just break the shell an/or the body instead of properly seperating them. Usually, I look around to see if there are any screws or clips I missed before, as searching a second time will often find new things not seen before. If nothing else turns up, first try using a fine flat head in order to seperate the ends, but dont use too much force. If this doesnt work you can resort to your method, which I imagine would seperate it. Should it not though, I'm out of ideas. 

Good luck and get well!

MM

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 25,076 posts
Posted by rrinker on Thursday, April 26, 2018 11:31 AM

 I have an A-B set and they came both with power and sound. The bell and horn were disabled in the B unit, I suspect this is just a setting in DCS that can be changed but you need to find someone with a DCS system to do it.

 Frankly, I an going to swap the electroncis when I get to the point where I will be using them. The handling of power interruptions is very last century - they loco goes silent. The problem is that this rarely happens to both the A and B, just one of them goes silent. To wake it up on DCC, it's F4. Well, hitting F4 wakes up the quiet one and shuts down the one that was still making noise. The locos are nice enough, I shoulda just got the DC versions. But I did get the A-B set with both powered for what a single A was going for.

                                   --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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