The Mehano Vossloh G2000 looks good. Period. Did I mention it was black?
Why make things easy?
In a recent article, I mentionned why I thought the Next18 interface was the best choice for future N scale model. I have converted many models to DCC, sometimes soldering decoders in the locomotives, sometimes using the outdated NEM651 interface. But because the NEM651 interface is outdated, I always ended up still soldering some wires to the locomotive. For example, the plus pole (useful for lights to avoid flickering in DCC) is not part of the NEM651 interface. So in the end, I always ended up defeating the purpose of a digital interface (enable easy decoder changes).
So for this Mehano Vossloh G2000 locomotive, I decided to do my very first “Next18” conversion. This means I removed the original NEM651 board, and added a Next18 interface for Next18 decoders.
Objectives and supplies
The interface allowed me to “pimp” the locomotive, without soldering a single wire to the decoder:
- Capacitors (940uF in total) for a smooth ride on dirty tracks
- Independent light blocks to allow for realistic lighting (see my video here)
For this conversion, I used the following:
- The “N18-G-0” Next18 interface adapter from Doehler & Haass
- The “DH18A” Next18 decoder, from Doehler & Haass as well.
- 2 blocks of 470uF SMD capacitors that I found in Germany
- Some SMD electronic components and a test board
I totally removed the original board, and replaced it (partially) with a custom board. It holds a switch to temporarily disconnect the capacitors (sometimes necessary for decoder firmware updates), a resistor and a diode (allowing a safe charge/discharge of the capacitors).
As per all recent conversions, I won’t detail all the steps, but feel free to ask questions in the comments!
The Mehano Vossloh G2000 works perfectly (even better now, with the capacitors), and I will be able to change the decoder easily in the future without compromising any function.
This is probably the first of a long series of Next18 interface conversion!