K1D4-NC installed in N Scale Kato EMD SD70ACe performed by A.G.
This installation requires special procedures so be sure to follow each step!
TCS also produced a companion video for this locomotive installation, which details disassembly, frame milling, and installation of a K1D4-NC decoder and Keep Alive® device. Scroll to the bottom of the page or click here to view the installation companion video.
Picture of Kato EMD SD70ACe with its shell on.
Gently, remove the locomotive's shell starting from the front (as shown in the picture).
Picture of the SD70ACe's chassis with its original lighting board and copper clips.
Due to the flexing required to remove or install ANY board in this locomotive the frame contacts are prone to loose connections. The image below highlights the original lighting board with a gap between the pad and the frame which opens the circuit and prevents the locomotive from receiving power.
This problem does not relate to the type of board being installed. In fact we installed the original Kato lighting board and the same issue occured. The picture above shows the gap between the locomotive chassis and the original Kato lighting board which we reinstalled.
Now, remove the motor clips from the lighting board and using a small flathead screw driver GENTLY lift the original lighting board up ( circled in red) so that it will come out of the chassis' post. Then slide the original lighting board off to the left.
After the original lighting board is removed, place a piece of kapton tape over the chassis in order to isolate the motor clips from the frame. Make sure the kapton tape is laid flat on the metal chassis.
Next, remove the motor clips from the original lighting board and place them on the K1D4-NC decoder as shown in the picture. (You can also perform this step later on, after you place the decoder in the chassis' slots - see next couple of pictures).
Now slide the decoder back in the way that you removed the lighting board starting from the right side ( as shown in the picture). Make sure the decoder is mounted part side up.
This is a picture of the Kato packaging foam (found in the locomotive's box) that can be used to secure the loose connection that we mentioned earlier.
Cut a small piece of the foam from the upper region of the packaging. Next slip this piece under the decoder between the frame posts. Then use a flat head screw driver to push the foam in deeper and confirm a tight connection between the decoder and chassis. Check the image above to make sure you are performing this step correctly.
Here is the picture of properly installed K1D4-NC.
This picture shows the K1D4-NC installed with motor clips attached. Make sure that the motor clips are lined up with copper motor contacts.
This picture shows how isolation should be done.
In order for the shell to be properly fitted on the locomotive chassis, four (circled in red) plastic pins need to be trimmed off. We suggest using an X-acto knife, but be careful not to cut throught the shell. This can be tricky, so be careful.
Place the locomotive's shell on its chassis starting from the left and working your way out.
Here is the picture of the beautiful Kato EMD SD70ACe with K1D4-NC installed and ready to run!
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
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