NOTE: While this installation demonstrates the use of an DP2X 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 DP2X Decoder is for HO Scale LifeLike/Walthers Proto 2000 GP20 High Hood and was performed by A.G.
This is a new release from LifeLike/Walthers that uses the LEDs. When converting to DCC make sure you install the voltage dropping resistors to accommodate the proper LEDs voltage.
BE CAREFUL - You will damage the LEDs if you do not install the resistors! See details below.
The upper picture shows the beautiful LifeLike/Walthers Proto 2000 GP20 High Hood with its shell on prior to the TCS DP2X installation.
Unscrew the front phillips screw that holds the shell and the chassis together.
Unscrew the rear phillips screw that holds the shell and the chassis together.
Remove the phillips screw (marked in red) that holds the fuel tank cover and the chassis together.
Unscrew the two screws (circled in red). Grasping the shell by the solid area between the grills, lift the shell straight up and off of the chassis.
Picture of the locomotive with its shell removed.
This picture illustrates the original light board with the DCC-ready plug.
Lift the DCC plug up to unplug it and unscrew two screws to remove the original light board. Turn the DCC Plug up-side-down and, using an original screw, screw it down to the locomotive chassis. (See two pictures below for reference)
Because of the fact that 2V LEDs are installed in the locomotive , 680 Ohm resistor needs to be installed to limit the voltage (from the track voltage that is somewhere between 12-18V down to LEDs operational voltage of 2-3V). Install the 680 Ohms 1/4 Watt voltage dropping resistor per each light used in the locomotive - one resistor is needed for the front light and one resistor is needed for the reverse light.
Make sure you isolate solder points so that it will not short with the frame causing LED malfunction or damage.
This picture above shows the DP2X Decoder installed in the locomotive. Hold the shell in one hand and the chassis in your other hand. Lining up the front of both pieces, lower the shell onto the chassis, keeping the lower edge of the shell parallel with the chassis. Reinstall all screws under the locomotive and do not forget to attach both couplers back to the chassis. NOTE: Do not over tighten!
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 than a 1/32 of an inch. When the wire gets tinned with solder, the insulation will shrink back more. Try to not expose any more wire than 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