Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Part 6 - Proto 2000 Alco S-1 becomes New Haven DEY-3 (Alco S-1) #0967: (another) Test Run

(this is part 6 in this conversion - click here for the post containing the list of the others)

Before starting on the cab detailing, I decided to test run the engine again, this time with the cab interior in place. I'd test run the engine before and it worked fine, but for some reason, this time it ran like absolute garbage.

Turns out, "something" was touching at least one (or both) of the flywheels.

With a decoder (ESU v5 micro), "keep alive" capacitor (ESU Power Pack), and a Scale Sound Systems speaker all stuffed under the hood, it's a pretty tight fit - even with the stock weight removed.

My first line of inquiry focused on the speaker being pressed down to the front flywheel due to the speaker wires being routed between the speaker and the hood, as you can see above.

So I used a Dremel to rout out a channel for the wires. As you can see, the recess for the fan protrudes below the curve of the hood so part of this material can be removed with no problem.

I also made a spacer to be certain that the speaker couldn't be pressed down past horizontal.

Unfortunately, while that helped, there still seemed to be some binding somewhere. So I turned my attention to what I should have before - but was too scared to admit might be the problem . . . My decoder install itself . . .

YIKES! That's a lot of excess wire! (the power pack is temporarily mounted out of the way)

I untaped everything and decided to trim some wire. First thing to trim back were the wires for the lighting. Daytime headlight use on the New Haven didn't start until c. 1950 - after my era (yay!) - so I opted not to bother with working lights (and the attendant challenge of figuring out how to route them to the top/back of the cab without them showing, not to mention the hassle of the wires themselves). I'll use MV lenses instead.

Ahhhh....THAT's better! Much more tidy - and the Power Pack is mounted to the underside of the hood with double-sided tape.
The Power Pack is nicely hidden in front of the cab interior, which I can still use. But will the loco still work?

First off, let's dispel any concern that the Proto2000 S-1 won't pull much since I removed the stock weight to make room for the speaker and electronics . . .

As you can see in the video, despite losing 1.5 ounces of weight (which is all that big, clunky weight weighs), it can still pull a train up a 2 % grade - with a 24" radius curve!

And as for how it runs with the hood and cab interior in place . . . well, you tell me :^)

Suffice it to say, I'm VERY happy with how this model is turning out - it now runs and sounds as good as it looks. If you want a Proto 2000 S-1 with DCC & sound, fret not . . . You can remove the weight and make the room you need to do so. Just be sure to isolate that motor first!

Now that the 0967 is running nicely (again), we're in the home stretch on this project - next time, we'll finally get to that low-profile cab and finish up this model for final prep & painting!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! I know they’re a bit pricey, but the Scale Sound Systems speakers are FANTASIC and worth every penny… I’m just glad I have a relatively small fleet of locos to retrofit 😏