Walthers GP15-1

This was a first look at the Econami decoder from SoundTraxx:

Walthers GP15-1 ECO100 web -1

Click on photos to see them full size.

The decoder is the small white item in the photo above. The larger purple item is the SoundTraxx CurrentKeeper energy storage module.

Here is a closer look:

Walthers GP15-1 ECO100 web -2

The details of the installation are easier to see in this detailed photo. 

The existing light board was removed and a 750 ohm resistor  added to one lead to each LED. Since the LED and resistor are in series, it doesn’t matter which LED lead gets the resistor. A two pin connector (with red nail polish on it to show proper orientation) is visible below the R in NORTHERN. This connects the two wires to the headlight, so the shell can be removed for servicing. The positive (long lead - anode) side of each LED connects to the decoder BLUE wire. The negative (short lead - cathode) of the rear LED connects to the decoder YELLOW wire.  The negative (short lead - cathode) of the front LED connects to the decoder WHITE wire.

SPEAKER - getting the sound out
A rectangular speaker was installed above the rear truck. The 16 x 35 mm size fit almost perfectly - a bit of 0.100 inch thick styrene at the front provides a shim and connects the speaker to the black plastic mount for the electronics. The speaker rests on the small shelves molded into the frame. Bits of styrene plug the four mounting holes on the speaker. Additional bits of styrene cover the area below the speaker making sure that all the sound coming off the front of the speaker is routed out the rear truck. The sound coming off the rear of the speaker is routed above the decoder and out the front truck opening. This baffle design gives outstanding sound. No box or enclosure is needed.

A small shelf was made out of 0.02 inch thick styrene to hold the decoder and the CurrentKeeper. I really don’t like to use such thin styrene, but I was running out of headroom to install the CurrentKeeper and the Econami. That is the reason for the bow in the shelf. It is screwed in the front and held down in the rear with caulk. If the bow bothers you, shim up the middle with styrene between the motor and the shelf. The Econami and the CurrentKeeper were held down with caulk and wired per the instructions.

Look for more information about this decoder and an operations view in a future column of mine in Model Railroad Hobbyist Magazine.

Copyright © Bruce F. Petrarca 2007 - 2017; All Rights Reserved