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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Cascade Man Posted - 03/04/2012 : 10:47:48 PM
Hello! So I am building a mdc shay kit according to Jeff Johnstons book and I am almost finished! I have isolated the motor from the frame but I am curious what kind of decoder would fit in one of these models? I need to be able to wire it straight to the motor because it is an older DC kit and doesn't have a plug in. I am completely new to DCC so use little words

12   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
desertdrover Posted - 03/22/2012 : 5:43:25 PM
Originally posted by Cascade Man

Out of curiosity, what is a good , cheap sound decoder that could be used in a shay like this?

There is no good cheep sound decoder. But, if you are happy with anything, than Digitrax has a SDH164D SoundFX decoder that can be loaded with a Shay sound.
The factory supplied sound loaded into the SDH164D is for a Steam (default) or SD38-2 diesel locomotive, selectable with the value in CV60.
If you want to install it in a different locomotive, you can simply load a different
sound project for that type of locomotive. If you want it also has the cam input available for steam installations where you want to synchronize chuffing.
I get mine from Traintek; http://www.traintekllc.com/Digitrax-SDH164D-Sound-Motor-Function-Decoder/productinfo/DTX-SDH164D/ Call Gary, and he will tell you if he can load the Shay sound into it for you.
I just had him load one with an RDC 3 sound, and it was a great sounding unit, and you can see from the price, That the price is also great.
Cascade Man Posted - 03/22/2012 : 2:00:28 PM
Out of curiosity, what is a good , cheap sound decoder that could be used in a shay like this?
Carrie Creek Posted - 03/07/2012 : 1:01:59 PM
I just finished my rebuild of my MDC shay. You can find the thread here:
I used Jeff Johnson's tip on the wipers as I don't remember if I mentioned them.

You can also see and hear it here on you tube.
http://youtu.be/VosZPv3TmqQ if you're interested.

I isolated the new can motor with silicone that also fixed it in place.

Good luck with your rebuild.
Cascade Man Posted - 03/06/2012 : 8:08:09 PM
How did you do your wipers? Did you do the Jeff Johnston method or something else?
bitlerisvj Posted - 03/06/2012 : 12:50:52 PM
I am going to guess that the little ball that is on the motor shaft is split. If it isn't, it will be.

I would get all of the gears from NWSL that they make for the replacement. As you can tell, from Jeff Johnston's book, you can make the Shay run with parts that came from MDC, if they are ok to begin with, but truthfully, eventually, they will wear and split and need replacement anyway.
The motors that come with the MDC Shay are all good motors even the open frame one. If that is what you have check it out closely and you will see that it is a Sagami. They made the best motors. The original open frame motor came with a pig tail wire that was connected to one brush and that was directly connected to the frame. All you need to do to isolate this is to remove that wire. The gray and orange wires of the decoder go directly to the brushes. This model is not that difficult to install a decoder on.
The most difficult part of this model is to get good wipers on the wheels and make sure the gears are all working properly. You need to do this before you install the decoder.
Good luck and regards, Vic Bitleris
Originally posted by BigLars

The top gear of the main gear box (bull gear) is stripped in the core connecting it to the u joint from the motor so it just spins freely.
Testing a little more I seam to have a short as well. All things I can fix with the right amount of time and parts.

Cascade Man Posted - 03/05/2012 : 7:29:34 PM
I had a bad problem with a short somewhere too. I ended taking the whole things apart. My setup that runs excellent so far is a NWSL flat can motor, to universals connect by a dogbone beween them (motor shaft and idler gear) which reduces noise and binding. NWSL also makes a new brass bull gear which is very stout. All the parts from NWSL. It takes a good night or two of modeling to get the shay running up to par.I also ended re-wiring mine using leaf springs wired straight to the motor which eliminates shorts. I'll post pictures tonight. Now I have to get the banta cab and build a new tender.
BigLars Posted - 03/05/2012 : 5:10:35 PM
The top gear of the main gear box (bull gear) is stripped in the core connecting it to the u joint from the motor so it just spins freely.
Testing a little more I seam to have a short as well. All things I can fix with the right amount of time and parts.

Cascade Man Posted - 03/05/2012 : 3:19:50 PM
Yeah that would certainly help me too. What gears are we talking about? the gearbox the gears in the gear box or the gears/worms in the trucks? The banta cab would look great on one of these. Now I might have to order one! NWSL makes an excellent flat can motor for this. I just got my chassis running smoothly which took some hard thinking and patience.
BigLars Posted - 03/05/2012 : 2:26:52 PM
I was looking at the MDC shay when I pulled it out for the pictures and it got my wheels turning.
Maybe we could help each other through the conversion to ON30. I have a Banta wood cab sitting here waiting as well.
I still need to fix the gears
Cascade Man Posted - 03/05/2012 : 2:20:28 PM
Well I bought an M1 decoder this morning and now I am waiting for it in the mail. I have three of these MDC shays and I am also going to covert one to On30. There was a good picture of a MDC shay that got converted to on30 I believe in the new On30 Annual.
BigLars Posted - 03/05/2012 : 12:33:29 PM
The Train Control Systems M1 decoder is sitting on top of the water tank.

If you got really creative the decoder could fit in other spots like the side wall of the cab. That is an HO figure beside the decoder.

I used this decoder extensively in ON30 Porter conversions. Just check the motor amps, you should be fine.

I hope this helps. My shay is newer and DCC ready but due to bad gears sits in a box waiting for a conversion to ON30.

BigLars Posted - 03/04/2012 : 10:58:36 PM
If you do not want sound I would suggest a tcs m1 decoder. They are very small with long lead wires and have a goof proof replacement policy.

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