For sound enthusiasts of the railways of Victoria, Australia...

The following articles are a guide only. Please note installed decoders and speaker configurations are for indication only and may vary from those listed for purchase. If you require clarification or assistance regarding decoder and speaker choice when purchasing from DCCSound, please ask via the "Contact us" page.

1st series X class, by Auscision Models

The inside of the model is accessed by removing the coupler boxes and four screws under the chassis. There is a lighting wire connecting the body to chassis, so take appropriate care when removing the body. The decoder is inserted as shown below, noting the 21 pin socket on the decoder faces DOWN, such that the decoder is mounted UPSIDE DOWN. This is not normal practice. The front face of the speaker faces up, as shown below. Seal any air gaps between speaker and enclosure to deliver best sound.

XPT, by Auscision Models

Above image courtesy Auscision Models

Installation guide for LokSound V4.0 decoder in XPT

For ordering please contact us for custom order

P class, by Bendigo Rail Models

1) Remove coupler chain pin from coupler box on both ends of model

2) Remove 4 body mount screws and coupler assemblies from underside

3) Wiggle body vertically off chassis

4) Remove 21-pin dummy plug

5) Insert 21-pin decoder in correct orientation (refer image above)

6) Insert 23mm speaker in chassis side with speaker front face pointing inboard

7) Use Kristal Klear or similar to seal around the perimeter of speaker. This is necessary to deliver maximum sound volume.

8) Apply tape across the rear face of the speaker. Seal the top and bottom with more Kristal Klear. This provides an enclosure over the rear of the speaker.

9) Test operation and then reassemble body back on chassis.

Note: incorrect alignment of the decoder's 21-pin socket to 21-pin plug will cause the decoder to fail. While ESU's warranty covers short circuits, it does not cover incorrect alignment. Please refer to image above for correct installation. 

NSWGR 45 class, by Auscision Models

The model is disassembled by removing the coupler screws and couplers from behind the pilots. The body is removed by lifting it gently from the chassis. The decoder is mounted upside down in the model, opposite to many other models. The black 21 pin socket on the decoder should face down in the model, not up. If the installer is unsure, please email or call us for advice.

SRA 82 class, by On Track Models

Pull the fuel tank away from the chassis. Remove the two screws from the underside of the chassis, one inside the fuel tank and the other near the bogie. The centre hood is then removed. remove the 21 pin DC plug and plug in the decoder, taking care with the mounting orientation; refer to the image below.

AN class, by Auscision Models

1) Remove the body by lifting it up off the chassis

2) Remove DC dummy plug and insert decoder. Take not of mounting orientation. Warranty is void if decoder fails due to incorrect mounting.

3) Install speaker(s) and seal speaker to enclosure with Microscale KrsytalKlear or equivalent.

CR CL class, by Austrains

A relatively simple installation, albeit with some soldering required to hardwire the ESU LokSound decoder in place. Two, 28mm 4 ohm speakers have been bonded to the chassis with MicroKrystal Klear. Doing so separates the back of the speaker from the front, providing for maximum sound quality and volume. The speakers are wired in series, where the total impedence that the decoder sees is 8 ohms. If the speakers were wired in parallel, the impedence would be 2 ohms and the decoder could be damaged through overloading of the sound amplifier hardware.

VR S class (2nd run, 21 pin plug), by Trainorama

A relatively easy installation. Remove the body by splaying out the sides of the body along the lower edge and then lift it off the chassis. Remove the 21 pin DC jumper plug. Fit the 21 pin decoder with the 21 pin socket (of the decoder) facing upwards, as shown below. Speaker installation is as per the first production run. 

CR GM, NSWGR 42 & VR S class (1st run, 8 pin plug), by Trainorama

Installation of an ESU LokSound V4.0 decoder into a TrainOrama GM/42/S involves a few simple steps. Remove the body by splaying out the body and gently lifting it off the chassis, taking care to support the chassis appropriately. Remove the existing speakers. Remove the dummy plug from the DC board. Plug in the decoder and position the speaker(s) over the chassis as shown. Run a bead of Miscoscale KrystalKlear around the perimeter of the speaker enclosure to seal up the gap to the chassis (shown in white below).

Single ESU 23mm speaker:

Twin ESU 23mm speakers:

VR B class & V/Line A class, by Auscision Models

Remove couplers then splay body around underside from chassis and lift off. Just to the left of the decoder pictured below is where a plug and socket resided "WSW". This is removed to provide more room for the decoder. The wires are soldered directly to where the plug mounted to the DC board. Black on the left, red on the right, as pictured.

Cut off the SW plug/socket which runs to the fuel tank.Short these two pins with solder, unless you prefer to run the markers always off. Runs the two brown speaker wires from the decoder to the two wires which run to the fuel tank. Plug the decoder in to the NMRA 8 pin socket and refit the body.

Remove fuel tank from chassis after removing two screws. A cross member must first be removed as it cover one of the two screwheads. Punch out the switch and baffle plate. They are held in place by a small amount of CA glue. Unsolder the switch from the red and black wires. Fit ESU 50321 sugarcube speaker to inside base of fuel tank over rectangular hole in tank. Fix with CA glue or equivalent. Refit fuel tank, fuel tank cross member, and couplers.

VR C class, by Austrains

1) Remove and set aside the coupler assemblies.

2) Remove the nose, cab and long hood assembly by gently lifting the body from the walkway and chassis assembly. There are small clips holding the nose and long hood to the walkway, which need to be manipulated as the body is removed.

3) With the body removed, remove the screws which fix the chassis to the plastic walkway. Move all wiring out of the way so the chassis can be removed for rework.

4) Remove material from the chassis to accommodate the 20x40mm speaker and decoder.

5) Reassemble the chassis to the plastic walkway.

6) Hardwire the bogie pickups to the red and black decoder wires and motor terminals to the orange and grey decoder wires.

7) Hardwire the decoder's yellow (-ve), white (-ve) and blue (common +ve) to 1.8mm or 3mm warm white LEDs for the headlights. Yellow is the #1 end, white the #2 'long hood' end. Use 470-1000 ohm resistors in series with both the yellow and white decoder wires.

8) Solder 50mm long wires to the speaker solder pads. Mount the speaker under the radiator fans with the speaker face pointing down. Fabricate triangular baffles to seal the speaker in place. The sound enclosure should be air tight.

9) Solder the decoder's brown speaker wires to the 50mm long speaker wires. Correct heatshrink should be used on all joints to eliminate the possibility of  shorts.

10) Check operation, direction of lights and motor relative to DCC cab direction. Use Kapton tape or similar to fix wiring in place.

11) Push body all the way home over chassis and refit couplers.

VR F class, by Roco/All Aboard Modellbahn

Very little room exists for a decoder and speaker in the Roco model. For reliable running, the model necessitates fitting of a stay-alive circuit to the decoder, to overcome short power interuptions. The 8-wire harness of the decoder is shortened to about 20mm long. The stay alive comprises one, 470 microFarad 25V capacitor, 1N4007 diode and 100 ohm 0.5W resistor. Refer to the LokSound V4 decoder manual on ESU's website to follow how to wire up a stay-alive. The speaker is a Zimo Sugarcube, and possesses excellent sound reproduction capability, exceeding that of the larger ESU 16x25mm speaker. The body is first removed from the running boards by removing the radiator grille. Refit the body, taking care as there is very little room for errant fitment of parts.

AN BL class, V/Line G & SRA 81 class, by Austrains

The G class was V/Line's largest diesel loco - the model should therefore be capable of handling a very large speaker. A 20x40mm speaker with enclosure would have packaged very nicely in the model and presented the best sound solution, had it been planned for. It is what it is, and instead we have space for two 23mm speakers, but not an enclosure as the PCB gets in the way. No enclosure = very tinny, poor sound. Instead, there is space for an ESU 16x25mm speaker and enclosure at the end of the PCB, just.


Disassembly requires removal of couplers and four body mounting screws, which itself requires removal of the brake cylinders (!) and then be prepared for the brake lines to also come off. Put these small parts in a safe place. Plug the decoder's 8-pin plug into the 8-pin socket (Pin 1 = orange)  and mount the speaker such that it is facing up in its enclosure. If the speaker faces down it will contact the top of the drive tower. The white speaker enclosure can be affixed to the chassis. Refit body and bogie brake cylinders previously removed, including couplers.

V/Line N class, by Auscision Models

How to crack open an Auscision N class: DCC for the Auscision N class


After fitting out numerous N class locos with sound, the most practicable solution is to remove the DC board which comes with the N class and hardwire an ESU LokSound V4.0 decoder. A 20x40mm oval speaker is really needed to deliver the deep sound of the 12-645E3 prime mover. The speaker is located at the #1 end of the hood section, under the HEP circular vent. Styrene sheet is used to provide a sound enclosure around the speaker such that the back of the speaker is airtight and separated from the front of the speaker. 

1) Remove the body shell

2) Plug the 8 pin decoder plug into the 12-pin socket, noting correct plug and pin orientation. Pins 9-12 are not used.

3) Remove the 8 ohm speaker behind the #1 end cab and fit either a 23mm or 28mm speaker. Ensure the speaker faces down.

4) Use MicroKrystal Klear (or equivalent) to close up the gap between the speaker and chassis.

5) While the glue is semi-wet, simply sit the ESU enclosure over the top of the speaker. The enclosure does not need to 'snap' down onto the speaker. This provides for maximum sound enclosure air volume.Doing so will maximise sound volume and quality.

6) Seal up the 6 small slits in the enclosure with more MicroKrystal Klear and run another bead around the base of the enclosure to ensure it is airtight to the first bead/application of MicroKrystal Klear.

7) Test operation and refit the body shell.

VR T class 1st series, by Bendigo Rail Models

1) Remove coupler chain pin from coupler box on both ends of model

2) Remove 4 body mount screws and coupler assemblies from underside

3) Wiggle body vertically off chassis

4) Remove 21-pin dummy plug

5) Remove grey capacitor on top of PCB between two green inductors. The cap will interfere with the decoders noise suppression hardware and may cause poor back-EMF control.

6) Insert 21-pin decoder in correct orientation (refer image below) - the fit becomes tight in the final 10% of engagement

7) Insert 23mm speaker in chassis side with speaker front face pointing inboard

8) Use Krystal Klear or similar to seal around the perimeter of speaker. This is necessary to deliver maximum sound volume.

9) Test operation and then reassemble body back on chassis.

Important notes:

1) The decoder's 21-pin socket will be a loose fit on the 21 pin male plug. The fit becomes tight during the final 10% of travel.  

2) With body back on chassis, check clearance between motor drive cup and PCB that the decoder attaches to. The two can rub, creating a clicking noise. If it's an issue, poke a jewellers screwdriver from the underside opening in the chassis and gently create some clearance.

3) If a clicking sound still exists, it may be coming from either drive bogie. The phosphor bronze pickups in the bogies easily move out of position. When they do, they can contact the delrin gears, the interference creating a clicking noise. Remove the bogie sideframes and then unclip the gear covers from the underside of the bogies. Position the pickups away from the gears and reassemble.

Note: incorrect alignment of the decoder's 21-pin socket to 21-pin plug may cause the decoder to smoke. While ESU's warranty covers short circuits, it does not cover incorrect alignment. Please refer to images below for correct installation. 

VR T class, 2nd-4th series including H class, by Powerline

The Powerline model comes with an Atlas style decoder layout. The Powerline decoder and twin capacitors (where fitted) need to be removed to make way for a hard-wired ESU LokSound V4.0 micro decoder (pictured below). The red decoder wire goes to the RHS pickups of the model (pictured on the top side of the photo), the black decoder wire goes to the LHS pickups  (pcitured on the lower side of the photo). The orange decoder wire goes to the red motor wire, the grey decoder wire goes to the black motor wire. The lighting works such that the headlight and white markers at the short hood end and the red markers at the long hood end are powered in the forward direction. The reverse occurs with the long hood leading. To house a 16x25mm speaker in the model, the end of the top motor clamp plate is removed. Then 0.5mm styrene sheet is used to separate the front of the speaker from the back, which enables louder, richer sound.

Second run from Powerline (note different wiring colours for lighting)

VR T class, 2nd-4th series including H class, by Austrains

The Austrains model requires an ESU LokSound V4.0 micro decoder and 16x25mm oval speaker. The DC board is removed from the model to allow maximum room for the diminutive decoder. The speaker wires are fed through the chassis and into the fuel tank. The top plate of the fuel tank can be removed from the main fuel tank. A 1/2" hole is bored into the middle of the top plate of the fuel tank and the speaker bonded to the underside of this plate. There is minimal clearance to the fuel tank, so position the speaker with consideration. The Austrains globes are relaced with 3mm LEDs and >470 ohm resistors wired on the function output wires (white and yellow decoder wires) in series with the negative leg of each LED. The "flag" inside each LED signifies the -ve side.

VR X class, by Austrains

Removing the handrails from the body is the trickiest part of installing a decoer in the model. Remove couplers, and lift body off chassis and walkway.

A 23mm speaker is positioned inside the fuel tank, facing up. The ful tank top plate is removed from the fuel tank and a 15mm hole is reamed in the centre of the plate. The 23mm speaker is then glued to the plate and the assembly reinserted into the fuel tank. LEDs replace the incandescent bulbs. The DC board is removed to make room for thedecoder and the decoder is hardwired to the existing track pickup wires. The decoder's orange and grey wires are shortened and soldered to the motor. The loco is tested and then the body is reassembled, with care taken not to damage the handrails.

VR Y class, by Austrains

The Y class requires a LokSound V3.5 or V4.0 micro decoder and small oval speaker. In the installation below, the decoder wires have been soldered to the 8 pin socket of the Austrains light board. As the Y comes with marker lights, the DC light board should be retained by those not overly confident with electronics. Otherwise the DC board can be discarded and the decoder hardwired. The long hood headlight should be soldered to the DC board for a more reliable electrical connection. The Austrains chassis provides a sound tunnel and the body acts as an enclosure, so as long as the speaker is sealed to the top of the chassis, good sound will result. Recommendations:

1) Wriggle body off chassis after removing coupler assemblies and moving handrails out of the way of the exiting chassis.

2) Remove headlight mount from atop speaker tunnel

3) Superglue the complete perimeter of the 16x25mm speaker to the chassis, positioning the speaker over the sound tunnel in the chassis

4) Plug the decoder in to the 8 pin plug, trim the two brown speaker wires to length and solder them to the speaker solder tabs

5) Trim the cab headlight mount as shown, flip it over and bond it to the ceiling of the cab with KwikGrip

6) Affix the long hood headlight to the DC board, noting the correct polarity

7) Fit the LED to the cab ceiling - tweezers may be required as the body needs to be partially installed as the wire length to the LED is quite short

8) Refit body and move handrails back in place after testing decoder function

National Rail NR class, by Austrains

A very simple install, the body lifts straight off the chassis, working from the long hood end. The full perimeter of a 16x25mm speaker is superglued to the chassis. In the example below the 8 pin plug has been trimmed and the wires soldered directly to the 8 pin socket, but this is optional. Some trimming of the inside of the bodyshell may be required within proximty of the speaker solder tabs.

NSWR 422 class, by Auscision Models

Kudos to Auscision for this truly sound-ready model. It's a simple plug-n-play solution for sound. Splay the shell sides out and remove the body. Replace the DC jumper board with the ESU 21-MTC decoder and place the speaker in the enclosure. Seal around the perimeter of the speaker and any gaps around the sound enclosure with Krystal Klear or similar for a much better result in sound quality.

NSWGR 44 class and SAR 930 class, by TrainOrama

The model comes sound ready. There isn't much room under the shell for a decoder, so an ESU LokSound Micro decoder has been fitted. A chamfer has been added to each side of the 23mm LokSound speaker enclosure to clear the inside roof profile of the model. Still wet Krystal Klear is shown around the edge of the sound enclosure. Providing an airtight seal enables maximum sound volume.

IMPORTANT: The globes used are less than 16V and may draw more than 50 mA on each lighting function wire, causing an ESU decoder to overheat and potentially fail. It is advised to reduce the current draw to the decoder on each function wire to les than 50 mA. This can be done by using LEDs with >470 ohm resistor on each lighting output wire, or by using a resistor in series with each globe, ensuring the current draw is <50 mA. Be aware of the possibility of melting plastic shells with resistors which dissipate large amounts of heat when used with globes.

NSWGR 442, PTC 80 & SAR 700 classes, by Austrains

Plug in: The wiring for the Austrains 442/700 is not DCC compatible and may cause irreversible damage to the decoder and/or model. Hardwiring is recommended.
Hardwire: The chassis at the #2 or B end (under the round radiator roof fan) is removed to facilitate the fitment of a 20x40mm LokSound speaker and sound enclosure. The sound enclosure is trimmed to remove its floor and then it is bonded using CA and Micro Kystal Klear to the inside roof. The very end of the chassis which supports the #2 end headlight is retained and fitted with double sided tape. The LED headlight is inserted into this part and then the assembly is taped to the inside of the roof, between the speaker and clear headlight lens. The speaker is fitted to the sound enclosure and completely sealed with Mico Krystal Klear. Doing so delivers much better sound. The decoder (LokSound Micro) is double sided taped to the #1 end chassis extension.

NSWGR 48 class, by TrainOrama & Powerline

1) Remove couplers and four screws from underside of chassis

2) Slide body up and off from the chassis.

3) Remove the factory speaker from its frame and shorten the frame to allow room for the Zimo 10x15mm Sugarcube speaker. The frame holds the light bar for the long hood. 

4) Once the speaker is in place and the decoder is plugged in to the 8 pin socket, carefully refit the body, screws and couplers.  

TrainOrama: LokSound V4.0 Micro with 11x15mm ESU Sugarcube speaker

Powerline: LokSound V4.0 Standard decoder with 16x35mm speaker:

1) Remove the couplers and 4 screws located under the chassis at each corner of the model

2) Remove the Powerline decoder, noting track pickup wires, motor wires and particularly lighting wires. The decoder is a two function output, so each output controls the headlight, white marker and opposite end red marker light.

3) Remove the small PCBA which powers the fan and cab light

4 ) Wire up the cab light LED with a resistor on the -ve lead and wire this to the decoder's green wire (aux 1).

5) Wire up the lights and motor and track wires to the decoder wires

6) The chassis requires machining to house the 16x25mm oval speaker included with the decoder. The speaker must be sealed to the chassis for best sound.

7) Test all functions and replace body, screws and couplers.

Rio Tinto ES44AC "GEVO", by Overland Models Inc.

Remove the body via the eight small screws under the floor. Disconnect the motor drive 4 pin socket plug and set aside the chassis. Take care with the body.

Cut the 9 pin JST socket off the loom and the 8 pin plug is removed from the decoder, including about 40mm of wire length.
Next solder the decoder wires to the loco wires that run to the lighting board in the model. There are four lighting functions, so unless you are brave enough to completely rewire the black wires that run to the DC board, just ignore all the black wires. Use ~8mm lengths of black heatshrink on all these 9 coloured wires from the decoder.
Then, use some double sided tape to mount the decoder.
The two speakers are wired in series. Having just one speaker may suffice for you and will deliver very good sound. Use a spot of superglue to hold the speaker located furthest from the cab in first. Make up small cardboard pieces for the ends of the speaker. These are held in with Kristal Klear (MIcroscale). It is important to seal up any small holes so the back-volume is airtight. Before placing them, wire the speakers in series. The speakers must be wired in phase such that the wire coming to any speaker always come to the same solder pad.
Once the speakers are wired up, glue them in including the cardboard pieces. There is about a 3mm step down between the two speakers, the one closer to the cab has en enclosure of slightly less depth.
Then the body goes back on via the 8 screws removed and it's testing time.