NOTE: While this installation demonstrates the use of an T1-P2K in this locomotive we have since added the LL8 to our decoder line. The LL8 is designed to fit the Life Like Proto 2000 series and would greatly simplify this installation.
This installation of TCS T1-P2K Decoder is for HO Scale LifeLike Proto 2000 GP9 and was performed by Robert E Petit, Merrillville IN, Duneland DCC
This is a relatively easy install to do. I used the TCS T1 decoder with their P2K harness. Begin by removing the body shell.. Unplug the NMRA connector from the light board. Remove the two screws holding the light board to the chassis (Hold on to the screws you will need them later.) Once the board is out of the way, invert the NMRA plug and orient it so that the #1 pin (Orange) is toward the front of the short hood. A good practice would be to place some Kapton or electrical tape underneath the socket to insure that you do not have any unwanted grounds to the frame. Remove the wires for Pins 2 (Rear Headlight Yellow) and 6 (Front Headlight White) Install your dropping resistors (I used 330 ohm resistors for this installation, your needs may vary.) to the plug. Make a 90 degree bend close to the end of the wire so that the resistor will sit under the NMRA socket. Trim the wires for the headlights to length, giving yourself some extra, just in case! And after putting on some heat shrink tubing, solder them to the cut down ends of the dropping resistors. Plug in your decoder and harness and head for the programming track.
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