I have been watching a while now for a Kato BN C30-7 to show up for sale. Many of the older non-DCC ready locos show up all the time on ebay. But the newer DCC ready ones are pretty scarce, which is surprising to me since just a few short years ago they were easy to come by. Then all the sudden the flood gates opened. First a couple DCC ready frames showed up on ebay. I told myself that was my only chance, to buy one of these and swap shells. About that time a couple other full BN ones came along. I snagged one pretty fast, for fear it would pass and my chance to own one would be delayed even longer.
On quick review, this loco looked and ran great. As I do with every loco, after verifying it runs ok, its straight to the shops. First step is to disassemble and lube. Even though it sounds and runs great, I figure with this age a good lube won’t hurt anything. On reassembly I installed a digitrax DCC decoder. With the frame assembled and ready to roll, I throw it on the tracks and let it run a while as I tear into the shell. Next step is installing micro trains couplers. And the final step is to replace the shell and program it, which includes setting the address and speed matching it. When I get more time later I will come back and paint the handrails and steps.
Funny thing happened on this usually routine setup this time. When I consisted the loco and placed it on a train, it didnt want to run. I was just running it, how can this be!?! Lights worked so I knew power was getting to the decoder. “It has to be the motor” I told myself. I reset acceleration back to 0 and still nothing. I was trying everything I could think of, spent way too much time on it, and then realized I never set CV57 to 102. In advanced consisting with Digitrax decoders, this setting is critical. So all is well in the world again….and on my layout a C30-7 can be pulling coal drags just as BN did in the 90s.