Home > Installations > Installations in O Gauge > Customer Installation Report - Mike Salter - Gauge O Dapol 08 Shunter

Many thanks indeed to Mike Salter who has kindly written to us with an excellent report of installing Protocab in a Dapol O Gauge 08 Shunter. Mike writes:

Our Dapol O Gauge 08 Shunter was my wife Val's birthday present back in May 2018. She has a bit of a thing about Black Fives and 08 Shunters, and has both in N Gauge. Since I've long had an O8 Shunter in OO Gauge, albeit a very battered one (three buffers missing), we've now got models of the BR Blue version of this loco all three gauges. In O Gauge this is quite a chunky model weighing 915 grammes, more than twice the weight of our yellow Terrier, which it dwarfs. Even on battery power the 08 Shunter will haul all three of our Darstaed coaches (weighing a kilo each) up the quarry branch of our cassette fiddle yard to small terminus indoor layout, some of which of which comes apart in sections for occasional use as part of the garden railway. This quarry branch has sections of 48" radius curves and part of it is as steep as 1:32 to allow it to cross over the main line. The branch's normal intended traffic is short sets of wagons such as our pairs of Heljan Catfish hoppers and Minerva gunpowder vans, but now I know bogie vehicles can go up it without de-railing a single-coach workmen's train is also possible. Shunting O Gauge wagons is a delight, and one of the advantages of battery-powered locos is that they don't stall during the very slow speeds that shunting really requires.


Photograph (c) 2019 Mike Salter

The body of the 08 Shunter is spacious and easily accommodated the 0502 Locomotive Control Unit, the 1906 charging unit, and the 1902-902944 battery obtained from Protocab in late November as part of a package comprising a starter set (giving us a second controller), two 0052L locomotive sets, and a couple of spare batteries. I'd waited until we'd acquired our fourth loco (a SDJR Jinty) before ordering so that everything we needed for the time being formed one consignment. The controller arrived with its knob a bit crooked and raised 2mm higher than it should be, which I felt might be vulnerable when being carried in my pocket for outside use. Protocab happily agreed to adjust it (which needed a special tool) and had it back to us within a week of when we first unpacked and tried all the new equipment in the middle of December 2018.


Photograph (c) 2019 Mike Salter

The main difficulties of this installation were: firstly, removal of the body because of all the fragile rodding and other details low down, and secondly, deciding where to put the charger unit and how to fix it securely within a locomotive without an open coal-bunker. However, the loco does have an exhaust outlet with a large enough hole on the top to one side near the front end. Internally, adjoining this aperture, is a full height bulkhead to which the charger unit could be fixed using the bolts supplied with it. The body shell is over 2mm thick at this point and a spot of drilling was required to get the charger unit socket close enough to the hole for the plug to go in far enough. Drilling the fixing holes into the bulkhead also needed care that the chuck of the drill didn't damage the opposite side of the body.


Photograph (c) 2019 Mike Salter

This was only possible because the top of the body has three sections of what I assume are sliding panels on the real-life engine, and on the model this entire section is a separate part which can be prised off (with a bit of effort and care) to allow DCC to be fitted without having to remove the entire body. From my previous experience with fitting the Terrier I knew to immediately remove the chip which makes the loco DCC ready. As on our other locos the wires from the wheel pickups have been detached at the motor end but otherwise left in place so that a return to picking up power from track remains a possibility. The battery has gone near the front end on the opposite side from the charger and the Locomotive Control Unit sits on top of the motor.


Photograph (c) 2019 Mike Salter


Text and Photographs (c) 2019 Mike Salter