Life Like Proto 2000 ALCO FA-2

Scale:
HO Scale


This installation uses the following decoder:

MC2



This installation of TCS MC2 Decoder is for HO Scale LifeLike Proto 2000 ALCO FA-2 and was performed by A.G.

It is worth mentioning that this installation should not be performed by the beginner as it is quite complicated and time consuming.





The three upper pictures show the beautiful Life Like Proto 2000 ALCO FA-2 with its shell on.
The three upper pictures show the beautiful Life Like Proto 2000 ALCO FA-2 with its shell on.


Unscrew four "phillips type" screws (circled in red) that are on the bottom of the locomotive, right next to the fuel tank.
Unscrew four "phillips type" screws (circled in red) that are on the bottom of the locomotive, right next to the fuel tank.


Place the locomotive up-side-down (as shown in the picture above) and gently remove its chassis by starting from the front and pulling the chassis backwards and out of the shell. Be very careful not to damage the front coupler.
Place the locomotive up-side-down (as shown in the picture above) and gently remove its chassis by starting from the front and pulling the chassis backwards and out of the shell. Be very careful not to damage the front coupler.


Remove the locomotive's extra weight (marked in red) from the shell.
Remove the locomotive's extra weight (marked in red) from the shell.


Picture of the locomotive with its shell taken off.
Picture of the locomotive with its shell taken off.


Remove the plastic insulation from the wires and untwist them as shown in the picture above.
Remove the plastic insulation from the wires and untwist them as shown in the picture above.


Remove the plastic cover of the "wire stand" as shown in the picture above. The only way you can do it is by breaking the stand off of the four small plastic pins (circled in red).
Remove the plastic cover of the "wire stand" as shown in the picture above. The only way you can do it is by breaking the stand off of the four small plastic pins (circled in red).


De-solder the diode bridge from the red, blue, and black wires. Cut all four plastic pins out.
De-solder the diode bridge from the red, blue, and black wires. Cut all four plastic pins out.


Here is the picture of the chassis with diode bridge removed. Desolder the black wire (the one to the right side of the chassis) from the motor's electrical tab.
Here is the picture of the chassis with diode bridge removed. Desolder the black wire (the one to the right side of the chassis) from the motor's electrical tab.


Bridge (connect) two black wires (power pick up wires) and solder it (circled in red) to the black wire that comes from the decoder's harness.
Bridge (connect) two black wires (power pick up wires) and solder it (circled in red) to the black wire that comes from the decoder's harness.


Use Kapton tape, an electrical tape or a shrink wrap to isolate the electrical connection as circled in the picture above.
Use Kapton tape, an electrical tape or a shrink wrap to isolate the electrical connection as circled in the picture above.


Solder the blue wire to the red wire that comes from the decoder's harness and isolate it as shown in the picture above.
Solder the blue wire to the red wire that comes from the decoder's harness and isolate it as shown in the picture above.


Solder the red wire that comes from the motor to the orange wire of the decoder's harness (circled in red) and isolate it.
Solder the red wire that comes from the motor to the orange wire of the decoder's harness (circled in red) and isolate it.


Solder the gray wire of the decoder's harness to the motor tab (circled in red).
Solder the gray wire of the decoder's harness to the motor tab (circled in red).


For the purpose of this installation we used 1.5V LED's instead of 3V bulbs (supplied with the locomotive). Solder the blue wire of the decoder's harness to the red wire of the LED and isolate it as circled in the picture above.
For the purpose of this installation we used 1.5V LED's instead of 3V bulbs (supplied with the locomotive). Solder the blue wire of the decoder's harness to the red wire of the LED and isolate it as circled in the picture above.


Place 680 Ohm resistor between the white harness wire and the red LED wire and isolate it as shown above.
Place 680 Ohm resistor between the white harness wire and the red LED wire and isolate it as shown above.


Here is the picture of the LED soldered to the red wires.
Here is the picture of the LED soldered to the red wires.


Here is the picture of the completed LED installation.

Hold the shell in the palm of your hand, being careful not to touch the moveable shutters as they will separate from the shell. Insert the weight (which was removed at the beginning of this installation) between the screw posts with the "T" shaped cutout facing the rear of the shell. When handling the chassis, do not lift by the fuel tank cover. This plastic detail part is not permanently connected to the chassis and will not support its weight.
Here is the picture of the completed LED installation. Hold the shell in the palm of your hand, being careful not to touch the moveable shutters as they will separate from the shell. Insert the weight (which was removed at the beginning of this installation) between the screw posts with the "T" shaped cutout facing the rear of the shell. When handling the chassis, do not lift by the fuel tank cover. This plastic detail part is not permanently connected to the chassis and will not support its weight.



Important Soldering Tip

Please do not use any flux either liquid or paste on the mother board. Over time, the acidic properties of liquid or paste flux will begin eating away at the fiberglass PCB and will damage it. Use only Rosin-core solder or no-clean flux approved for electronics use.

TCS recommends the use of Kester "44" Sn63 Pb37, .015" diameter Rosin-core solder. Kester part number 24-6337-0007.

You can order this solder from the following retailers:
Digikey - PN:KE1110-ND
Techni-Tool - PN:488SO6775

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