NW2 Sounds

In my October 2017 DCC Corner column I showed how I installed a LokSound Select decoder and sugar cube speaker in a Kato NW2. Today I want to give you all a chance to see and hear the finished fortunately the new Streamlined Backshop dual speaker enclosure that fits inside a cab roof was not available so I used the standard version for the NW2. I’ll be using the dual speaker version of this enclosure in the April 2018 DCC Corner column to replace the original Lenz built decoder in an Atlas FM H16-44 locomotive.

I think you’re really going to love these new enclosures since they fit the curvature of a cab roof making them virtually invisible from the outside. I have used several of the 11×15 mm speakers in past installations so I am anxious to hear what a pair of them will sound like.

But let’s get back to the NW2. In this loco I had to cut out a chunk of the chassis to make a spot for the decoder.  I ended up installing the 11×15 mm speaker in the cab and if you know where to look you can see part of it through the front window. However it is no more obtrusive than the black plastic light enclosure that fills half the cabs on my BLI SW7’s. OK, lets stream the video.


  • In your video you appeared to operate your couplers at will? How did you accomplish this feature?

    • Tom—that’s how Kadee coulpers are designed to work. There are magnets installed under the track near each turnout. You push or pull a car so it sits over the magnet and the couplers open—voila! I posted an article on this here some time ago—do a search for “uncoupling cars”.

  • Thanks for the pointers. I will probably need to lube mine real good because I will probably never want to pop the hood on it again from what you are saying. I tried sending an email to Streamline Backshop about a week ago asking if he had the proper ESU decoder for this loco and one of the dual speakers but never heard back so maybe my email went into outer space. I need to secure the decoder you used with the proper prime mover plus one these speakers and re-read your article plus what you just pointed out plus repaint the shell on the NW2 for KCS so this should keep me busy for awhile. Thanks again.


  • Thanks Larry. Very impressive sound. I just purchased a NW2 so this is on my list to do in the near future. I need to purchase the decoder and speaker and I will be good to go. Thanks again for the inspiration on this.


    • David—I have one of the dual speaker enclosures and sugar cubes on the way to me so sometime in the next month should be able to at least tell you how they sound compared to the single sugar cube version. One thing to look out for are the small pins cast into the sides of the cab insert on the NW2. If these get broken off it is a pain to get everything back together. When reinstalling the cab, the windows go in first and then the insert, and the pins fit into holes in the side window flanges. Since I glued the speaker to the top of the cab I had to remove the light housing and attach the LED to the side of the speaker. I also cut the window insert into separate pieces and glued them in the windows. It is unlikely I will ever take this model apart again!