"How to" Series

Tools

 

  1. Soldering iron: 25W

  2. Solder: 1/32" OD or <

  3. Razor saw/miter box

  4. Screwdriver: Phillips

  5. X-acto handle

  6. X-acto blades: #11 & #17

  7. Tweezers: Flat-nose, fine-point & locking

  8. Pliers: Flat-jawed

  9. Files: Small, flat

  10. Wire strippers: 22-30 AWG

  11. Sharpie pen: Ultra-fine point

  12. Dremel tool, drill press, or milling machine

  13. Small paint brush

  14. Foam cradle

 

 Materials

 

  1. Walthers SW1 locomotive

  2. 28-30 AWG "Ultra flexible" wire (e.g. Miniatronics 48-130-04)

  3. 3mm (T1) LEDs: Golden-white or Sunny-white (e.g. Richmond Controls GW3 or SW3)

  4. 1K ohmm resistor

  5. Masking or Painter's tape

  6. Kapton or electrical tape

  7. 5/32" OD styrene tubing (Evergreen #225)

  8. 6 x 6 HO-scale styrene (Evergreen #8606)

  9. Paint: Pollyscale Engine Black

  10. Heat shrink: 3/64" or 1/16" & 1/8"

  11. Liquid adhesive

  12. Elmer's glue (if desired)

  13. Decoder: Lenz Silver MP (#10331-01) or equivalent

 

Optional Tools & Materials

 

  1. Milling machine

  2. 3/16" OD endmill

  3. NWSL U-Joint kit (#489-6)

  4. NWSL 2.0mm shafting (#2020-4)

  5. NWSL Geared wheelsets (#2550-6)

  6. Optivisor or magnification

  7. Mineral spirits

  8. Isopropyl alcohol

  9. Empty glass jar

  10. Eye dropper or pipette

 

Converting a Walthers SW1 switcher to DCC: Step-by-step instructions

 

Step 1 - Locate a Walthers SW1 switcher.  MSRP for these switchers was $79.98 when they were first released in 1991.  Amazingly, they have retained their value.  So well, in fact, that some models are currently selling for upwards of $100+ on sites like eBay.

 

Steps 2 - 4: Dismantling the shell and chassis

 

Steps 5 - 6: Electrically isolating the motor

 

Steps 7 - 11: Modifying the light board

 

Steps 12 - 17: Adding a rear headlight

 

Steps 18 - 24: Installing and testing a decoder

 

Steps 25 - 27: Modifying the hood/Reassembly

 

 

Additional options: ***Under construction***

 

Steps 1 - ?: Cleaning & lubricating gears | Installing new wheelsets | Replacing U-joint

 

 

Helpful Links

 

  1. DCC Decoder and Sound Installations .pdf manual - pg. 15 (Tony's Train Exchange)

  2. Upgrade the Walthers HO scale SW1 Switcher (NorthWest Short Line) - Now a downloadable Word.docx file