Colas Class 60 update with comprehensive lighting options and Paul Chetter Zimo sound system, using the plug-in MX644D decoder.



I really like the Colas livery on Class 60 locos, so treated myself to a resprayed unit from Olivia's Trains in Sheffield as an early Christmas present :-) .  Paul's Class 60 Protodrive sound project may well be refined during the life of the loco, so I've decided to fit a plugable 21 pin MX644D, via an ESU 21 pin adapter PCB, to simplify any future sound project upgrades. As a Hornby DCC ready loco, the lighting assemblies use a common negative supply, so the usual array of PNP transistor invertors are fitted on the rear of the cab bulkheads at each end. The hardware circuit is identical to the earlier MX645 equipped loco, except that as FO7 is a low current logic output on the 21 pin MX644D, I need to add an N-channel MOSFET buffer to make this output behave as a normal FO. The lighting is a similar comprehensive fit to that developed on the previous Zimo equipped DB Schenker Class 60.

This time I have completely removed the original Hornby main PCB assembly, to ensure adequate head height for the plug-in decoder and to accommodate 4000uF of stay alive capacitors.


The circuit diagram of the lighting system. The PNP transistors are BC559C types and the diodes are 1N4148. The MOSFET is an SMD 2N7002.

The diodes are arranged so that activating either FO6 or FO7 prevents the voltage available to the headlight LEDs exceeding circa 1.2 V. (Which

is not sufficient to illuminate them.)      FO6 provides a continuous output when on, and is used to hold the headlights off during yard mode.

When FO7 is activated, the output is modified by a Zimo facility that disables its action when the loco is moving. This is used to automatically

disable the headlights when the loco is stationary.



Wiring up the ESU 21 pin adapter PCB (Type 51967):

The wiring needs a bit of planning.

All connections are soldered to the underside pads


Driver added in No.2 end cab.

Note outer marker LEDs painted with water colour yellow.

White painted cab roof with white LED Cab light fitted.


The internal arrangements:


Removing the main PCB assembly from the chassis block, makes the motor flywheels and some of the drive shaft parts vulnerable to contact with the wiring. Thin plasticard sheets are therefore fitted to provide additional protection.

Overall view of the upper body shell and chassis assemblies.


Showing the three PNP transistor stages on the rear of the number one end cab.

Also, part of the 40mm x 20mm ESU 50334 speaker.


The 21 pin adapter PCB and supporting tag strip assembly, both bonded in place using Glue 'n Glaze.


Four 1000uF 25 Volt capacitors connected in parallel to provide 4000uF of stay alive capacitance.


Motor connector (male) and wheel contacts connector (female) on the chassis assembly.



A few cosmetic problems:

The most obvious issue is the slight error in the Colas livery: The black roof colouring should intercept the top of the diagonal join between the orange and yellow areas at its apex (which should be slightly closer to the orange end to coincide with the orange and yellow join line).  I can't realistically remedy this issue so I will have to live with it unfortunately.

Next problem might be solvable: 60087 is in fact a named locomotive "CLIC Sargent" and I'm exploring the availability of etched name plates. Order now in place with Fox.

More minor is some over-painting of the black lighting modules with warning panel yellow, now tidied up..... and a rogue rear light lens which, unlike its 3 counterparts has no red shading and fell out when being examined. I've glued this back in place and applied a thin coat of red water colour paint.

Finally, the original Hornby marker lights are pure white LEDs. The LEDs have been painted with a thick coat of yellow water colour paint to reduce intensity and provide a more realistic colour.


Nameplates now in place


CV Programming:   (Identical to the DB Schenker Zimo equipped 60)


Summarising the lighting requirement:

Lighting mode Description Forward FO Reverse FO Swiss Group Function Key
Cab light (driver's end 2 only) FO5 FO5 - 8
Parking rears both ends FO3, FO4 FO3, FO4 - 0
Headlights operate only when loco is moving. FO7 FO7 1 19
Day running Lights (light engine) H/L, FO4 R/L, FO3 2 20
Night Running Lights (light engine) FO1, FO4 FO2, FO3 3 21
Train Haul day (coupled at end 1) H/L FO3 4 22
Train Haul night (coupled at end 1) FO1 FO3 5 23
Yard mode (light engine) H/L,FO4  R/L,FO3 6 24
  FO6, FO1 FO6, FO2 7 24
Yard mode train haul H/L, FO1 FO3 8 25
  FO6   9 25
Super shunter R/L, H/L H/L, R/L 10 26
  FO3, FO4 FO3, FO4 11 26
  FO1, FO2 FO2, FO1 12 26
  FO6, FO6 13 26

 Conventional Mapping:

NB: requires F8 to be available.....if its not, use any other available key up to and including F 12 and amend the FO5 key assignment quoted below.

Description CV Value
Mapping Mode 61 97
Key 0 fwd assignment (FO 3 & 4) 33 48
Key 0 Rev assignment (FO 3 & 4) 34 48
Key 8 assignment (FO 5) 42 64


Swiss mapping:

Description CV Value
Group 1      F-Key 430 19
M-Key 431 0
1st fwd FO 432 7
2nd fwd FO 433 0
1st Rev FO 434 7
2nd Rev FO 435 0
Group 2     F-Key 436 20
M-Key 437 0
1st fwd FO 438 14
2nd fwd FO 439 4
1st Rev FO 440 15
2nd Rev FO 441 3
Group 3      F-Key 442 21
M-Key 443 0
1st fwd FO 444 1
2nd fwd FO 445 4
1st Rev FO 446 2
2nd Rev FO 447 3
Group 4      F-Key 448 22
M-Key 449 0
1st fwd FO 450 14
2nd fwd FO 451 0
1st Rev FO 452 3
2nd Rev FO 453 0
Group 5      F-Key 454 23
M-Key 455 0
1st fwd FO 456 1
2nd fwd FO 457 0
1st Rev FO 458 3
2nd Rev FO 459 0
Group 6      F-Key 460 24
M-Key 461 0
1st fwd FO 462 14
2nd fwd FO 463 4
1st Rev FO 464 15
2nd Rev FO 465 3
Group 7      F-Key 466 24
M-Key 467 0
1st fwd FO 468 1
2nd fwd FO 469 6
1st Rev FO 470 2
2nd Rev FO 471 6
Group 8      F-Key 472 25
M-Key 473 0
1st fwd FO 474 14
2nd fwd FO 475 1
1st Rev FO 476 3
2nd Rev FO 477 0
Group 9      F-Key 478 25
M-Key 479 0
1st fwd FO 480 6
2nd fwd FO 481 0
1st Rev FO 482 0
2nd Rev FO 483 0
Group 10     F-Key 484 26
M-Key 485 0
1st fwd FO 486 14
2nd fwd FO 487 15
1st Rev FO 488 14
2nd Rev FO 489 15
Group 11      F-Key 490 26
M-Key 491 0
1st fwd FO 492 3
2nd fwd FO 493 4
1st Rev FO 494 3
2nd Rev FO 495 4
Group 12      F-Key 496 26
M-Key 497 0
1st fwd FO 498 1
2nd fwd FO 499 2
1st Rev FO 500 1
2nd Rev FO 501 2
Group 13     F-Key 502 26
M-Key 503 0
1st fwd FO 504 6
2nd fwd FO 505 0
1st Rev FO 506 6
2nd Rev FO 507 0

Other essentials:

CV131=60 to automatically switch off the cab light (FO5) when the loco moves.

CV159=60 to make FO7 off when stationary and on when moving.

CV124=128 to switch FO7 to logic function output

Remove fader key from F19:  Set CV313 to zero.

Add volume down to key F27:     Set CV396=27

Add volume up to key F28:      Set CV397=28

Re-shuffle a couple of sounds using the sound mapping CVs

Move power ramp-up key to F7: Set CV339=7

Tweak brake air release volume at start: Set CV582=120


Lighting mode Description Key

For automatic headlight shut down when stopped....

Cab light (driver's end only)           (Auto shutdown when moving.) 8  
Parking rears both ends 0  
Day running Lights (light engine)      20 Also use key 19
Night Running Lights (light engine)    21 Also use key 19
Train Haul day (coupled at end 1)     22 Also use key 19
Train Haul night (coupled at end 1)     23 Also use key 19
Yard mode light engine 24  
Yard mode train haul 25  
Super shunter 26  

Note: If all operations are required to automatically shut down the headlights when stationary, simply leave key 19 pressed


Complete Function Mapping:

Key Action
0 Parking lights (Rears on at both ends)
F1 Engine start/stop
F2 Braking Key
F3 Horn hi tone (playable)
F4 Horn lo tone (playable)
F5 Light engine momentum settings
F6 Force engine to idle
F7 Max power ramp-up
F8 Driver's Cab light (only enabled when loco is stationary)
F9 Flange scrape
F10 Brake Air Release
F11 Coupling
F12 Spirax valves
F14 Fire bell
F15 Sanders
F16 BIS (Pre start engine priming)
F17 Dispatcher whistle
F18 Door open & slam
F19 Activate for automatic switch-off of headlights when loco is stationary
F20 Day running Lights (light engine)
F21 Night running lights (light engine)
F22 Day running lights, train haul (driver's end 2 at front)
F23 Night running lights, train haul (driver's end 2 at front)
F24 Yard mode lights (light engine)
F25 Yard mode lights, train haul (driver's end 2 at front)
F26 Super shunter mode lighting
F27 Volume down
F28 Volume up

All working fine!



Protodrive Variations:  

A big plus point for Paul Chetter's "Protodrive" sound projects is that the driving arrangements can be as simple or as advanced as the user wishes to make them.

The previous protodrive Class 60 is programmed for full notch control, which enables the user to adjust the power settings of the diesel sounds quite independently of the locomotive speed. This is particularly useful when pulling maximum load trains, as the engine can be run up to full power before the heavy train starts to move.  However, it does require additional work on the part of the driver (or the PC schedules) to maintain the engine power at an appropriate setting as the train progresses around a layout.

I'm currently trying a more automated arrangement on the Colas 60, which allows me to select full power for the initial start, but can be returned to speed related power at the touch of a button. (With the usual Zimo sound power modification facilities active) including of course the coast button, to force the engine into idle at appropriate times.

A light engine key is also provided.... very useful, to enable acceleration and deceleration delays set via CV3 and CV4 to be reduced proportionally at the touch of a key, when operating with no train on the hook, although, as I like the feel of plenty of momentum, even in a light engine, I've made the change somewhat less than Paul's original setting.

I'm going to run with the semi-automated approach, which apart from the issue described immediately above, use Paul's original settings. These work well for me now thanks to Paul kindly shifting the speed thresholds between notch sounds up a little compared to the original.  (This remains about the only characteristic in the Zimo settings that the user cannot adjust!)   So thanks Paul!   An excellent job!


Supplier website links or contact email:  


Olivias Trains The Colas Class 60 unit above was sourced from here.
Fox Transfers Source for the CLIC Sargent etched name plates
Digitrains A good source of all things DCC including pre-wired chip LEDs from DCCC and Zimo decoders.
Rapid Electronics A good low cost, high speed supplier of electronics components etc
Maplin A convenient local source for electronic components such as resistors and transistors




Click to return to menu page