The new Lenz Gold Mini fit into the
Z Scale W-3 Class Mikado
How did I do it?
This decoder is the smallest I have seen commercially
available. Notice the 3 solder pads on the Gold Mini PCB. These are for
soldering on the optional UPS power pack. I have not seen one yet, but I suspect
it is just large electrolytic caps. I plan on buying one when they come
available, and modifying it for a tender fit shrink.
I had modified my Mike to look like an NP W-3 Class, and I
had cut off the old roof, so I could easily add a wood roof with vents. This
left extra room so I could later add a decoder, when the Gold Mini came
During the modifications, I decided the loco would look
better if it sat a little higher than the standard Marklin Mikado sits. This
shim did the trick. You can see a difference in Z Scale, and it allowed extra
room for the decoder wires. Even though I choose not to wire in a function
headlight, the wires will fit now.
Basic functionality is attained by cutting out the noise suppression
cap (which would interfere with this decoder's Back-EMF function) and cutting
the track power feeders, then wiring in the Red, Black, Orange, and Gray wires.
For the locomotive to run normal forward and reverse, wire
the track pickup feeds, and motor leads with the colors in the order shown
I test fit the shell with the decoder in place, but routed
the light function wires out the side as there is plenty of clearance. I did not
have to re-adjust anything, as there is plenty of room.
So I decided I don't want to use the headlight function for
headlight control, but instead I choose to use the original headlight as more of
a "DCC Power On" indicator. I don't have to worry about over voltage
because my NCE DCC system voltage setting is trimmed down to 10 volts for Z
What I did use the headlight function for was to drive a
couple orange LED's, and set the light function CV60 to 2 for Gyro-light. The
blue wire is soldered to a 1K SMT resistor. t\The other side of the resistor
goes to 2 parallel orange 1206 SMT LED's connected to the Anodes. The Cathodes
get soldered to the white wire, and I superglued all this to the back of the
motor. The yellow wire will be used for a reverse tender light when I get around
to building a UPS power module for this decoder.
It's not firebox flicker, but the Gyro light effect is good
enough, as the glow slowly goes bright and dim, and reflects off the tender. It
is a decent use for the unused headlight function. The cab curtains help keep
the electronics out of sight.