This installation of TCS T1 Decoder is for HO Scale Tyco Plymouth Switcher Locomotive and was performed by Thomas Gosser, Big Lake, Alaska.
As you can see this little old switcher has seen a lot of service. Eventually, it is going to get a new paint job and handrails. It still runs good but it will get a good wheel cleaning and tuneup/lubrication during this decoder installation.
There are four (4) tabs, one in each corner of the locomotive as indicated. These hold the loco shell to the chassis.
From the bottom of the loco you can see where you will pry the shell out from the tabs of the chassis. This is best accomplished using two (2) small jeweler type screwdrivers or small prying tools. One on each side. Do one (1) end at a time.
Once the shell is removed you need to remove the weights at each end of the chassis. These are held in by tabs on each side of the weights. Use your screw driver or prying tool to release the weights from the chassis.
After the weights have been removed take out the two(2) motor mount screws from chassis bottom.
There are brass contact strips mounted in the chassis, one on each side of the truck frame. These can be removed easily if wanted. Each one of these has a wire soldered to them that connects to the
motor brushes and headlight. Cut these leads leaving enough wire to each contact and brushes to solder the harness wires to. Study these few pictures before proceeding to see what you should end up with.
Solder the RED harness wire to one side pickup and the BLACK harness wire to the other side pickup.
With the motor mounted back into the chassis notice the leads to the motor brushes. Notice the headlight in the upper left. When all the leads were cut, they were cut in this manner to minimize soldering.
ORANGE harness wire soldered to one brush lead and the GREY harness wire soldered to the other brush lead.
Although the resistor is not needed the headlight looks unrealistically bright. And I like a buffer for the decoder. This is a 33 Ohm resistor but a 10 Ohm would be better. This 33 Ohm dims the light a
little to much. Solder one end of the resistor to the harness BLUE wire and the other end to the headlight common lead.
I soldered the harness YELLOW and WHITE wires to the headlight center lead. Reinstall the two(2) chassis weights by snapping them back into place.
The front weight holds the headlight as shown. Secure in place with some kapton tape.
Tuck in all wires and route everything as shown. Place kapton as shown on rear weight. Cut the PURPLE and GREEN harness wires off as these are not needed and just get into the way.
Twist the harness a few times to make the wires more manageable. Tuck the decoder and harness into place in front of the rear weight as shown. Make sure no wires are in contact with any moving
surfaces. Mounted in this manner the decoder can go no where.
Study the picture, notice the position of all wires. Replace the shell by snapping into place after testing the decoder installation. She runs great! And look it has new Kadee #156 whisker couplers!
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