GN Engine No. 655

I went to the swap meet again and this time I picked up a Proto 2000 model of an EMD GP7 painted for the Great Northern.

It’s a really nice looking model, and has some very nice detailing. It even comes with optional parts you can install, including an all-weather hatch to put over the radiator fans, some all-weather window boxes and various MU hose stands. I haven’t applied these details yet – that will be another post.

This post is about installing a Soundtraxx Tsunami DCC decoder, a speaker and new LED lights.

I had been hesitating to get started on this project but I finally bit the bullet and went ahead and milled the frame.

I have a Shapeoko 3 CNC router/mill, but mainly use it for wood and foam. This was pretty much the first metal I’ve milled in it. It came out fine, but I had to stop and adjust the process a couple of times.

I milled off the screw bosses where the PC board was mounted and took a little bit more off there, then I removed a bunch of the nose to fit a speaker in it. I should have weighed the frame before and after, but didn’t think of it until now. Oh well.

Here is the frame all milled and deburred.

I initially got the wiring done for everything except the LEDs. I cut back the wires and did a much neater job than the first decoder install I did. I may go back and redo the decoder install in the VO-1000 just to neaten it up.

I’m happy to report that the shell fit on and sat all the way down on the first try!

I didn’t have any LEDs to do the lights with, so I ordered a set of 25 white SMD LEDs with leads soldered on from Amazon for only $9.99. They even came with three sets of resistors!

When the LEDs arrived I ended up just gluing them to the underside of the little covers for the original lights. That worked out pretty well.

I forgot to take a picture after I neatened the wires and taped it all down, but it still all fit in the shell, so I’m happy.

You can see the lights here on the rear of the engine.

You can see that they are pretty white. I’ll probably replace them with warm white LEDs in the future. You can also see a lot of bleed into the cab. When I open it up again I’ll paint the light pipe black on the outside to try and cut down some of the bleed.

I’m pretty happy with the way this install turned out.

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