This installation of TCS M1 Decoder is for HO Scale LifeLike SW8/9/1200 and was performed by ACE, JWF (TCS).

Important Soldering Tip:
Please do not use any flux either liquid or paste on the mother board. It will damage it. Use only Rosin core solder approved for electronics use.
We recommend to use only Kester "44" rosin core, SN63PB37, .015" diameter, part number 24-6337-0007.
This can be ordered from Techni-Tool under Techni-Tool part number 488SO157


The original bulbs were replaced with a 3mm Golden White 3MM LED in the front and a 0603 surface mount type LED in the rear. You must use a 680ohm to 1k ohm resistor in series with each LED. We used 820 ohm 1/4 watt resistors for this installation.

The photo below shows the cab disassembled to install the rear LED. To remove the cab, remove the back hand rails from the frame. Also remove the rear coupler. Gently rock the cab side to side while lifting up. The cab will come off easily. Once the cab is off, remove all the interior pieces. They are not glued and are simple to remove. Once the rear light housing is removed replace the bulb with the surface mount LED as shown below. The original bulb in the rear is a 1.5 volt 15ma bulb. The original bulb in the head light was a 1.5 volt 60ma bulb.


Photo below shows 0603 surface mount type LED installed in the rear light assembly.


Photo below shows the M1 decoder installed. Remove the original lighting board. Hard wire the M1 in as shown. Use heat shrink tubing and Kapton tape to insulate the wire connections and hold the decoder and wires in place. We used a two pin micro connecter for hooking up the rear light. The two pin connector can be seen in this photo (blue & yellow wires). The M1 fits nicely in the recessed slot in the front weight.

Photo below shows how we connected the magnet wire coming from the LED and the wires coming from the two pin connector to the contacts in the shell. Care must be taken to avoid melting the plastic shell. You can also connect the yellow and blue wire directly to the red and green magnet wire bypassing the copper tabs, taking away the risk of melting the plastic shell.


This completes the installation. Take care to avoid pinching wires when putting the shell back on.

Other solder tips: When stripping wire, only strip a tiny little bit of the insulation. Strip no more then a 1/64 of an inch. When the wire gets tinned with solder the insulation will shrink back more. Try to not expose any more wire then half the length of the solder pad at most. In no case should solder or exposed wire wire ever be outside the boundary of the the solder pad you are attaching a wire to.
Click here for important information on properly Stripping and Tinning wire

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