The Fleischmann V100 is a classic. In fact, my model is about 12-15 years old. It was time to improve it.

Functions, functions, functions

Fleischmann N - DB V100 DCC Conversion -

Fleischmann N – DB V100

Despite its age, this model has a solid construction. I had it converted to DCC, about 10 years ago. It was time to change everything. New lights, new decoder, here is what I added:

  • Doehler & Haass DH05C decoder (review here)
  • Triple white LEDs for front lights (outputs “light front/light rear” of decoder)
  • Double red LEDs for rear lights (outputs “Aux1” and “Aux2” of decoder)
  • 4x100uF capacitors for a smoother ride on dirty tracks
  • Driver cab lighting (output “Aux 3” of decoder, more on that later).
Fleischmann N - DB V100 DCC Conversion

Fleischmann N – DB V100

Technical details

The DH05C decoder is small and limited in total power output. It is however powerful enough for small engines, and has many outputs.

I connected 4x 100uF capacitors from 1001-digital.de in Germany. These are super small. They are limited to 16V, so you need to connected a 16V Zener diode in parallel to protect them (my track power is set to 14V anyway).

Fleischmann N - DB V100 DCC Conversion - capacitors

Capacitors and Zener diode 16V for surge protection

Fleischmann N - DB V100 DCC Conversion - capacitors

4x 100uF SMD capacitors

Fleischmann N - DB V100 DCC Conversion - Capacitors

The capacitors, isolated, at the bottom of the engine

Also, as recommended when buffering decoders with capacitors, I added a 100ohm resistor with a Schottky diode before the capacitors. This prevents the capacitors from “charging” too fast (drawing too much power from track instantly), but allows the power to flow back unimpaired to the decoder when needed.

Fleischmann N - DB V100 DCC Conversion -

Schottky diode + 100ohms resistor before the capacitors

The lights are all connected on individual outputs (4 in total). Such a setup is rare with store-bought N scale models. Usually, the front white lights are connected to the rear red lights, and vice versa. Why is that a problem? Because when the locomotive is attached to cars or coaches, the lights on the convoy side are supposed to be off !
With each lighting block on an independent output, one can achieve 100% realistic lighting. Details in the video:

Last but not least, I added a single led to be able to switch the driver cabin on. The DH05C with the latest firmware model was perfect for this. The SUSI output, usually designed to connect sound modules, can be repurposed as 2 additional outputs (Aux 3 and Aux 4). Be careful though: those 2 outputs are NOT amplified (they are “logic” outputs). Usually, you would need a transistor to amplify the outputs, otherwise, the decoder would burn. In my case however, my LED with a resistor will draw about 5-8 mA. This is very low, and I assumed (apparently correctly), that the output could handle it.

Conversion photos

Fleischmann N - DB V100 DCC Conversion - DH05C decoder

DH05C decoder

Fleischmann N - DB V100 DCC Conversion - DH05C decoder

DH05C decoder

Fleischmann N - DB V100 DCC Conversion - Lights test

Lights test

Fleischmann N - DB V100 DCC Conversion - Custom light board

Custom light board

Fleischmann N - DB V100 DCC Conversion - Lights test

Lights test

Fleischmann N - DB V100 DCC Conversion - Custom light board

Custom light board

Fleischmann N - DB V100 DCC Conversion - Driver cab lighting

Driver cab lighting

Fleischmann N - DB V100 DCC Conversion - Final tests

Final tests

Fleischmann N - DB V100 DCC Conversion - Final tests

Final tests, view on decoder and driver cab lighting

Fleischmann N - DB V100 DCC Conversion - Driver cab lighting test

Driver cab lighting test