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How to fit a DCC Chip to Your Plough Van

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Our new ballast plough vans have just arrived in stock, and should be arriving with modellers in the coming days. Here is a quick guide on how to disassemble them and fit a DCC chip, as well as the addition of the detail parts provided.

It should be said that taking the plough van apart is a tad tricky, but since our PR and Marketing Director is extremely hamfisted, we decided that he should have a go, because if he can do it, anyone can!

Step 1: The Contents!

Take the vans out of the box and pop them on a table or similar flat surface.



Step 2: Plastic Fantastic

The first rule of step to is DO NOT REMOVE THE SCREWS UNDER THE BODY! This merely holds the interior in place and does not secure the body. 

What we need is plastic! It can be two pieces of plasticard, or old debit or credit cards, on in this case a leap card.


The body is held to the chassis by two tabs towards the back of the van (near the tail-lamps). To make it easy to remove, slip the plastic between the chassis and behind the body. This will help release the tabs and the body will then slide off with some jiggery-pokery. The tabs are denoted by the red arrows below and are on both sides of the body in the same mirrored position. 


Pop off the plough blade itself if you find it obtrusive. The body should then just slide off. Watch those steps too!

Step 3: Chipping in!

Once the body is removed you will be faced with this sight of your plough interior. As you can see, the PCB resides in the roof of the van. 


The plug for the chip is an 8 pin interface which is on the underside of the PCB, once again getting a fly-by from the Red Arrow of truth...


Remove the plug, and plug in your chip with the orange wire corresponding to the number 1 on the PCB. We recommend a direct plug chip as the wires from a standard 8 pin chip can fill the small space in the van.

Step 4: Reconstruction 


Once you are happy that the chip is fitted, put the van on its roof (preferably in your hand, or a cradle) and line up the chassis, easing the interior in first and taking care not to snag the wires. Push down until you hear a click from the tabs and everything is lined up. 

Step 5: Test

Place your van on the track and test the light functions for both the interior and tail lights. Once they are functioning you know the installation has been a resounding success!


Step 6: Detail

In each plough pack there are two long pipes provided. These are for the braking system for the van, and need to be added AFTER you chipped it, as they run under the chassis and are attached to the body. 

To attach the pipe add a touch of polystyrene cement on the tip of a cocktail stick, and pop it on the opening in the solebar for a permanent fix. If you intend on removing the cab again, a less permanent solution would be PVA applied in the same fashion. It is placed on one side of the van along the solebar.


And that's it, your plough is now a part of the digital revolution! Of course, there are switches under the van meaning that lights can be turned on or off too, meaning you dont have to take the van apart, but this way gives you full remote functionality for shunting etc from your DCC controller.

Fancy some ploughs to call your own? Order now! 

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