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Con-Cor N Scale Pioneer Zephyr

ESU LokSound 5 Micro

DCC Decoder Installation

Last Updated 210218

Streamlined Backshop offers a variety of services including DCC decoder installations.

I have been blessed with more work than I can accomplish and simply don't have time to accept every opportunity I am presented.

One of my favorite proverbs is "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime".

With these thoughts in mind, I present this information for those who want to give it a go but struggle with the how to.

For this group of modelers, this is how I do it.

Please note, this write-up is intentionally simplified and only focuses on the "tricky stuff".  There are tons of resources on my site and around the WWW that can clarify the common details of decoder installations.

The same basic products, tools and techniques can be applied to nearly any model of the same genre so be sure to look at the forest, not just the trees.


Be sure to visit my online train store, today where you can purchase this model and everything you will need to complete the decoder installation as described!


The Con-Cor N Scale Pioneer Zephyr

Con-Cor released one of the best-ever models of the Pioneer Zephyr a few years ago.  The model was an exceptional runner having all-wheel pickup and well-designed circuitry.  The shell of the middle car is easily removed to expose the circuit board which uses a NEM651 - 8-pin NMRA dummy plug making the conversion to DCC pretty simple.

Other decoder brands can be substituted for the install but you may need to make changes to this procedure as required.

Recommended Tools and Supplies

There are a few tools and supplies recommended for performing this decoder installation.
Wire Strippers
Hobby Knife
Soldering Iron
Motor Tool
SBS4DCC "Sugar Cube" Speaker 11x15mm 8 ohm 1 watt w/ Sound Chamber
LocTite Gel Control Super Glue
Tinning Flux
60/40 Rosin Core Solder

Recommended Sound Files
I am always asked what sound file should be used for the installation.  The fact is there are no recordings of the original 6-cylinder Winton 201A engine used in the Pioneer Zephyr.  Best we can do is get close.

Here are my recommendations for the ESU LokSound 5 series decoders:

Pre-Install Preperations

The hardest part of this installation requires modification of the interior to make a space for the speaker.

The procedure is pretty simple... just cut out a section of seating above the speaker ports in floor of the car.

After you have the interior modified, assemble the speaker and attach it to the decoder as required (see manual or many other references on this website).

Installation and Final Assembly
I will leave it to you to get the shell off the floor, its pretty simple, just spread the sides apart and separate according to the directions.

The installation at this point is just a matter of removing the dummy plug, plugging in the decoder, positioning the parts as shwn and reassembling the tender.

The Test Run and Demonstration

So with that,  the install is complete.  Time to pour a glass and celebrate.

Or, if you are like me, curse, swear and try to sort out everything that wasn't quite as easy as it sounded here.

Once everything tests out and the job is done, you should be able to enjoy the sights and sounds just like the engine in this demonstration video.

N' Joy!



You can purchase most of the products used in this project today from my online train store


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