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Odoriko 185 Series Decoder Install

[From Wikipedia:]The Odoriko (踊り子?) is a limited express train service in Japan operated by JR East which runs between Tokyo and Izukyū-Shimoda or Shuzenji.
The limited express service was inaugurated in October 1981 following the introduction of the then-new 185 series EMUs, replacing the earlier Izu express services from Tokyo to Izu. Services are currently operated by 7-, 10-, and 10+5-car 185 series EMUs, making it the longest Limited Express train running in Japan (excluding shinkansen trains).
The word odoriko means a girl dancer in Japanese. The train service was named after the title of novel Izu no Odoriko (The Dancing Girl of Izu) by Yasunari Kawabata. The stage of the novel is the destination of the train, Izu Peninsula.

I'd bought my 5-Car Micro Ace Set partially damaged (if anyone can tell me where to get replacement pantographs?) and had opened it up on the first night of running due to severe eletrical issues.
After a night with WD-40 and a soldering iron I had the set doing laps at good speed, but every other day it needed a service.

This all boiled down to the way the motor car connects to the tracks. The bogies both conduct both polarities into the chassis which is split in two and electrically isolated. Unfortunately at the point where the bogies touch the chassis was a lot of grime and damaged parts. It seems there were originally two pins that had been snapped meaning the bogies were very loose.
Anyway... all this meant that the electrical connection in the motor car was next to useless since a constant power source was required for DCC and interruptions would play havoc on the data stream from the rails.

I therefore decided that the best method was to slap the decoder in the end car (meant easier wiring of one set of headlights) and have a tiny cable run through (with a plug) to the motor car... This all went fairly smoothly... but I did have to remove the seating in the end car... I'll look into this again shortly.

I removed the 12v globes that originally lit up the car with white LEDs and around 1K2 total resistance to get the level of light emitted in the photo below. This was simply two 680ohm resistors in series to the anodes of both LEDs connected to the Blue wire from the decoder. The cathodes connected directly to the Yellow and White wires for forward and reverse. I initially wanted to use the original light circuit but found that bending LEDs to fit in there would be too tight.

Anyway... the end result is a beautifully running 5 car set with directional headlights at one end and to-be-completed headlights at the other end... should I run wires right through all 5 cars or buy another decoder just for 2 LEDs? ...

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About stevenh

Trains... trains... trains... + Electronics + Japan.
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