A quick DIY procedure on a typically German diesel motor car: the DB Lint from Minitrix.
The DB “Lint” (Alstom Coradia) is a typical regional DMU. Minitrix had released 3 versions:
- 12585, with front headlights only
- 12586, with interior lighting & front/rear headlights
- 12587, with sound
I had purchased the sound version. For the price, it was pretty disappointing; the sound selection was really minimal. The 12585 version was (I think) only €89, which was really very cheap. The goal was to run both units coupled together: one model with sound would suffice.
I only needed to add interior lighting to the 12585 unit.
Adding “led bars”
As often in these model series, the boards are common to all models. The board of my 12585 does have solder points for interior lighting LEDs (for models 12586 & 12587). I would have had to reverse engineer the board to know where to put my LEDs (series? parallel? which voltage? …).
I went for a more crude solution: I sticked an extra LED board under the existing boards.
Those boards are white LED boards from Conrad Electronic. The NEM 651 decoder that I had installed a long time ago was a ZIMO MX620 (now replaced by the MX621 & MX622).
What I like about Zimo decoders: they have large soldering pads for additional function outputs. You do need to be careful when soldering of course, but it’s something even I can achieve without taking too much risk.
Here is how the DMU looks like once opened. The boards are unscrewed easily. The wires are soldered to the bottom (lights/motor), so care is advised when inclining them.
The only change I had to do was to reduce the height of (what seems to be) the bathroom walls. I just removed 1-2mm to make sure my board would fit under the existing one. I used scissors: the walls are still high enough so the finish won’t be seen from the outside through the windows.
The wires soldered on the Zimo MX620 decoder. Blue is the common (+) pole, green for me is AUX 1 (-) :
Here is the first LED Board, simply applied under the existing board with scotch tape:
The second board:
There is already a space reserved for wires between the 2 carriages, my 2 extra wires didn’t make any difference:
Now I have a 12585 unit with interior lighting, that matches the 12587 (sound) unit visually. Total cost: less then €20 (mostly for the LED boards).
This is the right time for a small tip: don’t be afraid of the soldering iron. As long as you have trained a little, these kind of changes really aren’t that complicated. There are dozens of youtube videos showing how easy it can be.
The only delicate part is the decoder. With a fine point and the appropriate small wires, it really is just a matter of being careful. There is of course the fear of breaking a €30+ device smaller that a thumb, but that’s what makes these kind of changes kind of exciting!