Athearn DD40

T4X Decoder installation

Pictures and text by Robert Lewis of Tilehust, Reading, United Kingdom

Athearn DD40 T4X Decoder Installation

Picture DD40-1   Pry away the body at the the 4 mounting points, and carefully lift away, sliding forwards to  clear the front coupling.

Picture DD40-2  Remove the filament bulb and the top mounted busbar, it lifts away from the motors quite easily. The motors can then be gently pried out of the chassis, one of the motor holders will also come away with each motor.  I used a pieces of electrical insulating tape over the bared metal of the chassis (both motors) just to be sure there would be no contact after re-assembly.

Picture DD40-3  Instead of cutting away the chassis contacts under each motor I swapped the brass strips over, top to bottom this will enable restoring to DC running in the future if required. Care should be taken when removing the strips to avoid the brush springs jumping out. The strips come away easily if levered away at the brush end first.

Picture DD40-4  The contact points can be soldered after a little rub with abrasive paper and pre-tinning. Join the 2 bogie contact strips together with some spare wire (3), and also join the decoder red wire to the front bogie contact. Join the black wire to the  chassis contact Solder the grey wire to the lower motor terminal (1), ensuring routing keeps clear of flywheel and motor armature. Join both lower motor brass strips together with a short length of wire (2). It is very important to make sure that the lower brass strips and the new wiring are insulated from the chassis which is "live".  Solder the orange decoder wire to the top brass strip of the front motor,  and  use a short piece of wire to join the front motor to the rear.  I have insulated all the unused wires.  Test installation.  I have used double sided  tape to stick the decoder to a piece or rubber foam, which in turn is stuck to the top of the rear motor, a small cable tie passed under the top brass motor terminal is also used just to make sure the decoder stays in place.  Refit the body.