Kato N Scale GE 44 Ton Switcher
M1 decoder installation

Photos and text by Jim Starbuck Clinton, Iowa

Although designed as a powered chassis for a Japanese prototype trolley car, these wonderful little mechanisms are fodder for many kitbash projects due to their small size, low cost, simplicity and superb running qualities. This installation will be a GE 44 ton switcher, but the decoder install should be about the same for most any shell.

First, disassemble the motor, driveshaft, worm gear, pickup strips and trucks so there is a bare chassis.


Using a motor tool and files, grind a rectangular hole through the chassis that allows the decoder to inset into the frame.        The M1 will just fit between the pickup strips.

I combed the pickup and motor wires back and glued them down using MicroScale crystal clear. There is just enough clearance under the driveshaft coupler for the wires.

When satisfied with the vertical clearance, tack the decoder into the chassis with crystal clear from the bottom side.

Place a drop of solder on the center of the pickup strips and glue them down into their centering pockets using crystal clear.

After the glue sets, solder the red and black to the pickups The orange and gray motor leads route to the back. I this case the motor is mounted on it's side with two sided tape to facilitate the narrow hood of the switcher.

Lighting wiring is then a straight forward process as well.

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Entire contents Copyright Train Control Systems 2003-2007 Last Modified: Friday August 29, 2008 08:18 AM