Author Topic: ScaleTrains ES44 install  (Read 106 times)

KPack

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ScaleTrains ES44 install
« on: November 07, 2022, 11:48:33 PM »
I recently acquired one of ScaleTrains' excellent ES44 models.  They are great in all respects.  Definitely the top of the tier for this particular locomotive.


I don't use the factory electronics board, except for a single model in my collection.  All other locomotives in my possession have been completely gutted of all factory electronics and Railpro hardwired in.  This locomotive was not an exception.  The model comes from the factory with a board using a 21 pin plug.  That does not leave enough room for both the LM and a PBM (keep alive) so it must be removed. 


I also don't like the speaker enclosure that ScaleTrains uses for their models.  Even with expensive speakers like the Scale Sound Systems offerings, the small space for speakers leaves it sounding "tinny" and without depth.  So I picked another TB Speakers sound module and got to work.  The chassis had to be disassembled so I could cut a large piece off the upper weight.  An angle grinder with a cut off wheel is a much faster way to do this than using a mill.  Once the piece was removed and the sound module shaved down to slim it up, I installed it with caulking.  Then it was just a matter of installing the LM and PBM, and hooking up all the wires.  Easier said than done.  It took a couple of hours to do everything from start to finish. 




A couple of notes for anyone hardwiring Railpro in these locomotives.
1.) The orange and gray wires do not match up with the orange and gray on the wiring harness.  They are reversed.  Railpro makes it easy to change the direction of forward on the locomotive, so no big deal.  But if you want the locomotive to run forward without having the change it up in settings, connect gray with orange and orange with gray.
2.) All the step/ground lights (5 of them) have a black and red wire.  The black all get connected together with a resistor, then to an output wire from the LM.
3.) All red wires (except for track wires) get connected to the blue common. 
4.) 1/4 watt 1K ohm resistors work fine for the LEDs in these models.

The locomotive runs great, and sounds great with my speaker.  I'm getting a bit of clipping sometimes though, so I think I need to mess with the volume settings a bit to be sure I'm not overdriving the speaker.  Lights are excellent. 


Nighttime lights.  I don't light my numberboards because I always change the numbers.  And the ground lights are not as bright as they look in the picture.


-Kevin

ON28

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Re: ScaleTrains ES44 install
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2022, 01:05:23 PM »
Always first-rate work, and glad to see you back!

Smoke

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Re: ScaleTrains ES44 install
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2022, 01:29:25 PM »
Clean looking installation as always Kevin. Out of curiosity how much does the loco weigh with the weight you removed? They're pretty heavy from the factory and I imagine the pulling power is still great with the weight removed.
-Andrew