Life Like Proto 1000 RS-11 M1/T1 Decoder Installation

Text and Pictures submitted by Jim Crane of East Granby, CT

This first photo shows the top surface of the factory light board before modifications.  There are 4 spots where 'X' indicates traces which need to be cut and 7 decoder wiring through-holes labeled P1..P8.  Once the jumpers are cut, the large resistors limit decoder current to the lamps so the factory lamps need not be replaced.

This second photo shows board after using a Dremel with a small cutting bit to cut through the traces at the 'X's.  I tried a utility knife, but the Dremel was fast, accurate, and easy.  Don't forget to do all 4 spots (one is near the top left of the board).  After cutting, I carefully blew out any debris with compressed air and verified a complete cut by measuring across each cut with an Ohmmeter.

The third photo shows the left end of the light board with a layer of black electrical tape applied to ensure the decoder is insulated from the circuitry.  The decoder is shrink-wrapped in plastic, but just to be sure...  There will be room under the shell for the TCS M1 decoder after wiring it.

The final photo shows the decoder wired to the board, with the wires connected so that the default CV's resulted in the engine going forward (to the right) with the forward lamp on.  (No, I didn't get it right on the first try :-) )  I used a couple more narrow strips of electrical tape just to hold the decoder in place.  Each decoder wire was cut to length, carefully stripped, fluxed, and tinned with solder.  The through-holes were also fluxed and the wires soldered into the holes.  Care must be taken not to overheat the wires as the insulation can easily be damaged.  Good wire strippers would be very helpful - I think the wires are 30 gauge and it's easy to damage the metal strands.

This picture shows the T1 (rather than the M1) in its final installation position. As you will note the wires must be just the right length so that the decoder can sit upside-down without resting on top of the black diodes above.

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Entire contents Copyright Train Control Systems 2003-2007 Last Modified: Friday August 29, 2008 08:17 AM