Work has started on converting the K-4 to RC/DC/DCC operation.
First step was to remove the boiler. I used the guidelines in GregE's website to ease removal.
Following suggestions in GregE's site for re-wiring the loco so that all twelve wires:
2-track pickup, 2-motor power, 2-chuff, 2-classification lights, 2-headlight, 2-smoke, wires were connected/left-connected to the plug between the loco and tender. I created the below diagram to help me track wires all the way back to the pcb in the tender.I discovered that sometimes, wires reversed colors on the loco/tender sides of the plugs as well as Accucraft often used the black wire of a pair for the positive, instead of the usual negative.
Much to my disgust, I also later discovered that there was a faulty trace on the loco/tender plug PCB. Note the location and fix for the problem shown in the picture.
I spent well more than an hour trying to track where the open connection was for the smoke circuit. After checking all wires in the loco and tender with an Ohm meter, the plug was the last place I checked. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/angry.gif
More pictures of conversion to come in the near future.
Smoke unit installed.
An Aristo SD45 smoke unit was installed into the smoke box of the K-4. The connecting tube between the stack and the smoke unit is a piece of flexable 3/8in ID auto transmission fluid hose. It should handle both the heat and oil. The tube was sealed on both ends with blue high heat silicone. A scrap piece of plastic was cut to 3/4in x 2-5/8 and wedged to support the smoke unit. The plastic strip was hot glued to the boiler as an extra precaution.
The unit was tested with the running gear on rollers. It puts out a nice smoke plume, which can be run along with the lights and standing sounds without movement. The smoke starts before the loco starts moving. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif" border=0>
Additional disassembly/reassembly pictures for the K-4.
A small set of pliers is almost essential to replace the tiny slot screws and bolts for reassembly. Some of the hex head bolts are so short that they go too far up into the hex driver to start the threads.
Pictures of some of the parts that need to be removed prior to taking the boiler off. Reassembly involves reverse order.
More pictures to come.
BTW, I had a long conversation with Cliff, from Tech Support at Accucraft, about some of the items mentioned earlier in this thread. He was very supportive and is a great representative for the company.
I have to admit this kind of kills my desire to ever get one of those. It's a beautiful locomotive, but it's a lot of money to have that many things that need fixing, and it looks like a real bear to install remote control. Maybe if I had enough money to buy one AND pay someone else to install RC...
I am afraid you have misunderstood.....
1] There were only two items that were problems: the pcb [which would not have shown up in stock form] and the pilot truck.
2] I disassembled the loco to rewire for use with a QSI/Gwire DCC decoder that offered individual lighting, smoke, horn, bell, and running controls, with battery power, track power, or DCC track powered. The loco ran great [except for the pilot problem] right out of the box, using DC. If I were content to use an Aristo TE in the tender without the additional controls, the boiler would not have needed to be removed. When I converted an LGB Mikado to battery power, using an Aristo TE, it was no less work to remove the boiler than on the K-4.
Unless Susie keeps me so busy with "Honeydos" tonight that I can't finish getting the tender buttoned up, I will be bringing it. I still need to adjust some CV values on the QSI. I did an antenna test run outside today. Here are a couple of pictures of how the smoke unit is performing.
It is nice to be able to ring the bell, blow the horn, or blow-off steam with the controller buttons.
those AML K-4s sure are nice running arnt they? your looks great, will be even better when you get the dcc dialed in to make it start smoother. if i may make one suggestion?with the sound i dont know whos speaker your using but it sounds tinny like because of the brass shell, i had this problem too and Ray M suggested i use tubing around speaker so i had a old roll of duct tape and i used the tube that it was on and hot glued ir over the speaker and wow what a differance.. lots of bass now and no tinny sound try iy it is very easy to do heres some photos to look at. when i get a chance i will video my and you can listen to them they sound great now..
A picture of the K-4 at David McLain's open house on April 19th.
PowerPlug closeup with view of two back screws that hold the boiler in place.
Underside of cab showing coupler and screws holding power plug in place. Mine came out and had to be replaced.
Picture of sheet used to organize teardown. Small parts are stuck to double sticky tape and labeled:
Hopefully, tomorrow pictures of the tender installation will be posted.