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  • Topic: Thomas gets the RCS treatment. V2

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    • July 23, 2011 12:21 AM EDT

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      This week I finished off another Thomas battery R/C + sound conversion. As usual the conversion went quite smoothly as I fitted my new RCS PRO-3 ESC + Planet R/C and MyLocosound. First up take the body from the chassis by removing the 8 fixing screws.

      Take care removing the body from the chassis. Lift up the rear to clear and then slide forwards. If you simply lift it up you may damage the plastic mechanism that makes the "eyes" swivel from side to side. I advise owners to remove the front of Thomas and tape the "eyes" in the middle so that when you replace the front back in the boiler it is easier to line up the little levers behind the "eyes" with the slots they sit in. Before refitting the front, stop the mechanism in the middle of the sideways movement. There is no particular order for installing the parts. I chose to start with installing the speaker in the coal bunker. Cut off the end bits of plastic from the "coal load" thus.

      Then I glued the low profile Phoenix speaker under the load.

      Next up I made a a baffle box using thin sheets of styrene cut to size and fit.

      Then I fed the speaker wires down through a small hole in the bottom of the coal bunker. I replaced the coal load cover and turned my attention to installing an LED in the rear dummy light. The LED legs are fed through the body shell and glued in place. See outside pics at end of article

      I had two 4 x cell AA size ENELOOP battery packs made up in flat and block configuration. The total 9.6 volts is plenty fast enough for Thomas in the hands of the owners grandchildren.

      The two different shapes were needed so they would fit as shown below.

      The 2 x part RCS PRO-3 ESC/Decoder were mounted under the boiler top and on one side tank. The 4 x channel Planet 2.4 GHz RX simply plugs into the decoder part. Servo leads are not needed.

      The new MyLocosound steam sound with mechanical chuff was mounted inside the other side tank.

      The ON-OFF switch and charge jack are mounted on the rear buffer beam. The yellow programing pushbutton is under the floor.

      Various connecting wires were fed up through a 1/4" hole I drilled in the chassis floor.

      I drilled out a 1/4" hole in the front of the dummy headlight. Plus two 1 mm holes in the rear of the light to feed the LED legs through.

      Two more 1 mm holes were drilled through the mudguard cover. I then cut off the flange on the bottom of the LED and fed the legs through the light. These legs were bent downwards so they could be fed through the mudguard as I gently pushed the LED into place.

      This is how I set up the rear LED.

      I also made up a mechanical chuff timer by mounting a small reed switch in a styrene tube and gluing it under the motor block. I used 4 x Rare Earth magnets glued to the back of the middle driver. Even though there is a lot of side play slop the magnets never miss a beat.

      This particular conversion was also supplied with an auxiliary battery supply, charge jack and ON-OFF switch for mounting in a trail car. That should be enough for at least 5-6 hours run time. The only other thing I would do is add weight to the front of the loco to balance the batteries. Thomas is actually quite light and can derail on uneven track. I will use stick on wheel weights.

      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

      Remote Control Systems.
        Modern technology. Old Fashioned reliability

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