NOTE: While this installation demonstrates the use of an M1P-3.5" 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 documentation is for the HO Scale LifeLike Proto 2000 S-1 Special Edition. This installation uses the M1P-3.5" decoder, and was performed by TCS.
The picture shows the beautiful LifeLike Proto 2000 S-1 Special Edition with its shell on.
This picture illustrates the original light board with the DCC-ready plug.
Unscrew both (marked in red) screws that hold the chassis and the shell together. Grasping the shell by the solid area between the grills, lift the shell straight up and off of the chassis.
Remove the screw that holds the original light board together (marked in red).
Remove the original light board and flip 8-PIN NMRA socket up-side-down. If you are using a LL8, simply plug it into this socket and you are done. If you are using the M1, follow the steps below.
Close-up of the socket.
For the purpose of this installation we decided to replace the original bulbs with 1.5V ultra bright LEDs. 680 Ohm resistor needs to be used for each light.
Cut the bulb off and tin the wires as shown in the picture above.
Here is a picture of the front light - the LED was installed between the White and Blue wire, The 680 Ohm resistor was used on the white wire and the whole assembly was shrinktubed.
Repeat the same for the rear light - install the LED between the blue and yellow wire.
Here is a picture of completed M1P-SH (M1 with medium harness) decoder installation. Black, electrical tape was used to fix the decoder's wires to the locomotive chassis so that it stays in one place which makes shell placement easier.
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. Do not forget to reinstall two screws on the bottom of the chassis.
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