A customer recently asked me to fit RCS battery R/C and MyLocosound into his PIKO 0-6-0 tender loco. Finished it just this week.
The PIKO would be the easiest loco I have ever had to install R/C and batteries in. Plenty of room in the tender, easy to work on and straightforward wiring. A pleasure to work on.
This PIKO loco is a quality product, every bit as well made as any LGB loco. What a pity it is hardly a good representation of any sort of real steam loco.
I pulled the loco apart just to check out the wiring but there is no need to do anything to the loco at all.
The tender shell is held together with six screws. Once removed the inside looks like this:
The middle screw stanchions need to be removed so the battery packs can fit along the tender side. I also removed 4 x small “pips” under the water tank hatch to make room for the RCS ALPHA-3 RX/ESC and the LT-SW4 function trigger pcb.
This pic shows how the 2 x 7.2 volt 2,000 mah AA ENELOOP battery packs are stuck to the sides, the BIK-U3 Installation kit and charge jack are mounted inside the front of the tender and the RX/ESC - trigger pcb under the top of the tender.
Next up was the tender chassis.
I removed the stock pcb and noted which wire went where.
Yellow = Front LED to trigger.
Black = Front LED + voltage.
Blue = Motor (+).
Red = Motor (-).
I glued a slightly smaller speaker in the space provided.
The MyLocosound pcb was mounted in the coal bunker on the top of the tender so there was easy access for fine tuning. Holes were drilled through the tender for the various wire connections. This version uses voltage controlled chuff which is very effective.
I have left the coal load loose but it could be screwed down into position.
PIKO have a very clever tender to loco hook and wiring plug unit. One handed joining is actually possible. Eight wires are carried but only four are actually used for a basic installation.
Coupler shown ready to connect:
Coupler shown connected:
This particular PIKO loco runs beautifully.
Run time should be about 2 hours with a moderate load.