UR92 Fascia Panel

A few weeks ago I burned up my Dremel trying to cut a new hole for UR92 panel. (Fortunately Dremel has a 5 year warranty and the Dremel company replaced my Dremel with a new Dremel 4000.) Well I finally finished the hole with a drill, a jigsaw and a file. And today I wried it up and tested it out with my new UT4D throttle. Very Nice!

New Programming Track

I also set up a more permanent programming track installation. I ran Loconet, power and a USB cable to my PR3 and situated on my desktop with a foot of UniTrack. I download the latest version of JMRI and Digitrax SoundLoader. I haven’t used DecoderPro in a couple of years and was pleasantly surprised that it has been updated to DecoderPro3 which has a sleeker interface ad seems easier to use.

Decoder Programming

After installing Digitrax DH165K1a & SFX004 SoundBug decoders in Kato SD40-2 (see video),  I used SoundLoader to load the Digitrax SD40-2 sound file, it’s as easy as pie and only took a few seconds. Then I used DecoderPro 3 to change CV’s in the loco. The loco runs great, but I’m a little annoyed about lighting control. I can’t figure out how to keep both headlights on dim always and only bright when I hit a function key. I’d also like to move the ditch lights to something like function F12, but the Digitrax decoder is limits them to F0-F3. I may remove the Kato light pipes and replace the ditch lights with SMD LEDs, but that’s a project way in the future.


I’ve recorded a new video: How to Install a Digitrax DH165K1a & SFX004 Soundbug Decoders into an HO scale Kato SD40-2 locomotive.

I had this Kato open last week to install Proto:87 wheels and I was going to also install a Digitrax sound decoder at the same time. The only problem was that I had the wrong decoder, the one I had was for an older style Kato SD40-2 without ditch lights. I ordered the correct decoder from Yankee Dabbler (which arrived lickety split).

Kato SD40-2 install Digitrax DH165K1a & SFX004 Soundbug

Kato SD40-2 install Digitrax DH165K1a & SFX004 Soundbug


Now this is real cool! I guess I missed the announcement last month, but Athearn is releasing a 57′ reefer with sound. I’ve never really thought about putting sound in a reefer, but now that I see it, it’s a gotta have it thing :)

Athearn Genesis HO 57' MECHANICAL REEFER W/SOUND, UP/ARMN #922015

Athearn Genesis HO 57' MECHANICAL REEFER W/SOUND, UP/ARMN #922015


Athearn Genesis HO 57' MECHANICAL REEFER W/SOUND, UP/ARMN #922015


These reefers are more detailed than Athearn’s previous 57′ RTR reefers. Not quite sure how they stack up against the Intermountain R-70-20 Mechanical Reefers (of which I have several), but they both have great detail. Apparently they are modeled after different cars from competing rail car makers, PC&F for the R-70-20 reefers and FGE for the 57′ reefers.

I’ve seen a couple of places taking pre orders in the $65 range. I think I’m going to pre order a couple of ARMN sound units from Caboose Hobbies.

Link to Athearn Genesis HO 57′ MECHANICAL REEFER W/SOUND, UP/ARMN #922015

© 2012 Greg Amer
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