1607 SNCB profile view

Photo taken after improvement. The pantos are of LS Models brand.

Observation

A bargain: I found this model on sale at 99 €. Known song: red lights are not separated from white. But, a bit of originality, the upper front lights, mandatory for an international traffic, which are supposed to be illuminated, are not!

I also find the pantographs particularly coarse. What do you want, you easily get used to luxury!

Finally, all the detailing parts are to be assembled, except (nevertheless!) the pantos and the electrical roof line. It is perhaps the ransom of a European manufacturing with a deterrent labor cost. This doesn’t bother me, because for the moment, my hands don’t shake too much yet. What bothers me a little, are the photo-etched rails, thus flat, not round.

Electrical point of view

Maximum consumption motor blocked at 12 V DC: 1.1 A; consumption in skating under the same conditions: 0.5 A. The light intensity is correct, even a little weak, especially the reds.

The circuits

After having lifted the body (attention, the clips are not in the places indicated on the instruction leaflet, but closer to the bogie pivots), I discover for the first time a simple and clear PCB, despite the absence of silkscreen marking. It is single-sided, and the tracks are easy to follow. The wires that connect this circuit to that of the LEDs are: blue for positive common, red for the red LED and black for the white LED.

Each LED is powered by a large SMD 1 kΩ resistor.

So far, so good.

If you lift the LED support, you can discover the light guides. First snag: the two guides (red and white) are connected, probably to facilitate their installation and holding. But it is the door open to the light leaks, and that is what is happening.

Second snag: the instruction leaflet indicates how to place the frontal lantern light guide (remove the cab layout, remove the glass from the lantern, replace it with the guide). Besides the fact that the cab is not easy to put back in place, because it is clipped on windows that are prone to get out of their housing, and tend to twist, there is more annoying: this light guide doesn’t communicate with any light source!

It is a gag that reminds me of the unified railcar trailer Roco, which has a lamp enclosed in a closet thus perfectly invisible from the outside, and without a light guide. If Vitrains and Roco were associated, one could hope for both the source of light and its guide! Wrecking!

Wiring diagram

Wiring diagram

Note: the component marks are from me, as there is no marking on the circuit board.

The changes to be made to separate the red lights are drawn in red: not too complicated, is it?