Conversion to DCC of an AZL SD-45:

The SD-45 is the first RTR Z scale engine prepared for DCC. The Red Rock Railroad shops tested what "DCC ready" means:


The chassis of the SD-45 has already a notch to accept a small decoder. The Uhlenbrock 73500 is actually the only Faulhaber capable decoder used at the RRR. Even one of the tiniest decoders it needed some small rework to fit into the narrow long hood. Take a file and smoothen the corners and just take away a very little bit of the sides - but be carefully!


Now pull out the two leads connecting the body with the motor and cut in such a way all 4 ends are at about the same position to the notch. Try always if decoder fits under the shell - when it fits well, you are fine!


The original black and red wires of the decoder need to be soldered off and connected with the two leads from the chassis. You need a very small soldering iron!!!! I used a 12V pencil soldering iron. Then remove the grey and orange cables with the cables to the motor. Where the black and grey cable were, now the cables from one side should be located, the ex red and ex orange side should be opposite. Otherwise you may have to change the engines direction by programming. The result will look like this:


The yellow and white leads are original from the decoder. They shall be used later for SMD lighting. Now you should test all functions and when you are satisfied put the shell back to the chassis and enjoy your SD-45 digitally! It is worth the conversion! The Uhlenbrock decoder is a very nice fit to these engines and works very well with the Faulhaber motor.



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