This installation of TCS MC2 Decoder is for HO Scale Rivarossi ALCO C-420 and was performed by A.G.
The Locomotive showed up here as a courtesy of Bob Jensen, CT.
The two upper pictures show the beautiful Rivarossi ALCO C-420 with its shell on prior to the TCS MC2 Decoder Installation.
Remove the front and the rear couplers. Grasping the shell by the solid area between the grills, lift the shell straight up and off of the chassis.
This picture illustrates the original Rivarossi light board.
Here is the close-up picture of the original light board that will be completely removed later on.
De-solder all wires and remove the original light board and both bulbs. We decided to use LEDs for the purpose of this installation because of their lower working temperature, higher brightness and longer life.
Here is the picture of the installed decoder. All you have to do is solder the red wire of the decoder's harness to the right power pick-up wires and solder the black wire of the decoder's harness to the left power pick-up wires. The electrical tape was used to fix the decoder to the chassis so that it does not move during the locomotive's operation.
Here is the close-up of the reverse light where you can see the yellow and blue wire being used. The 680 Ohm resistor was installed on the yellow wire and the green heat-shrink tubing was used to isolate it.
Here is the headlight of the locomotive. The 680 Ohms resistor was installed on the white wire. The blue wire is the common positive wire that needs to be connected to both - forward and reverse lights.
Here is the picture of the finished installation. 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.
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