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50-Ton 2 Truck Class B Climax
Sound Installation Photographs:
I thought it wasn't possible to add sound to this beauty but then I saw an article by Ray Kilcoyne in Model Railroading, November 2005. I followed his advise but since this is my 7th loco to have sound I felt comfortable doing what I needed to do. Still, it was nice to refer to the article even if I didn't follow it exactly.

The following shows my experience installing sound in this loco.

For more info on Climax Locomotives, see
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

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The Bachmann HO 50-Ton 2 Truck Class B Climax Locomotive comes DCC ready. That means you can plug a small decoder into the tender. The space is so small though, the only decoder I was going to get to fit was a Z scale one. Not even the N scale one I had would fit! It's no wonder I lost hope of fitting a sound decoder in. I don't always get Model Railroading but this one month I bought it for another article and was excited to find the article about putting sound in the Climax! I used Soundtraxx DSD-090LC Light Steam with a micro oval speaker.
Because of the limited space I didn't solder the wires to a board to plug in but instead put a little heat on the pins and pulled them out of a spare board I had. Here you can see one of the pins soldered to one of the Soundtraxx decoder wires.
You can see how close I can push the wires down. The Soundtraxx instructions show what holes are for what wires. Once everything was connected I tested it on the track to make sure I was getting the sound correctly. Then I used some black modeling clay to form the "box" for the speaker to go in. There's not much room behind the speaker but I tested it again and it sounds good so I went with it. The clay also holds it in place without using glue so adjustments could be made if necessary.
Here is the tender before modification and the Sharpie marks where I intend to cut it. In the article it shows a much larger hole which would mean getting rid of the screw holes that hold the tender on. I didn't want to get rid of them and also wanted to cut away as little as possible. I used my dremel and a cutting tool to make the cuts and a small hand file to clean it up. I recommend using every safety precaution if you use a dremel. Also, I made the cuts in another room from the loco. I didn't want any of the metal dust getting near the loco. I had to do several test fits to finally get the decoder to fit in.
You can see how the decoder sides through the slot. There sure are a lot of wires plus the bi-polar capacitor that came with the decoder. I didn't want to make the wires shorter. Here is a side view showing the decoder going through the slot. You can also see the black clay for the speaker through the window. At this point the decoder fit through the slot but I needed to make the slot a little higher so the decoder would clear the circuit board to allow the tender shell to sit flat.
This is the top view showing the back of the decoder sitting too high for the coal load to go back on. The tender shell is sitting down on the frame but the decoder is just way too high. I took it out, cut a little more, turned the decoder over (it looked like there was less on the other side under the yellow wrap) and fed the wires around the other way. I also used a black sharpie to color the yellow wrap black where it would be seen sticking through the tender into the cab area. Still, the decoder is sitting too high for the coal load to sit down properly. I thought about making a new load from scratch but that seemed like a lot of work.
As you can see, I did some more adjusting and cutting (of the tender) and got it to fit better.
It is great to have sound in this little loco! There are three different whistles to choose from. I'm also playing around with the different CVs one can choose. Here's a short QuickTime Movie showing it in action. The logging area of the layout is under construction so it won't be that great but it'll be fun.

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