This is an installation of the 2 function TCS Z2 digital decoder for N Scale Kato USRA Heavy Mikado performed by A.G.
The three upper pictures show the beautiful Mikado Steam locomotive prior to the TCS Z2 Decoder Installation. This installation is rather involved but we tried to do our best to explain each step so that anybody can do it. We included 60 pictures so that you can follow each step we did. Be patient as it might take couple moments to fully download the page. Its downloading speed will depend on your internet type. If you have any questions or need additional support, email email@example.com or call at 215-453-9145
We decided to use the foam for this installation to avoid damaging the shell's details. Gently place the locomotive on its back and remove the front phillips screw as shown in the picture above.
Remove the rear phillips screw and disconnect the tender and the rear set of wheels.
The decoder will be installed into the Locomotive's smoke box.
Gently remove the Locomotive's cabin by sliding it off of the chassis.
The next step is to remove another plastic part that is between the cabin and the boiler.
Using forceps, remove the set of plastic rails from the locomotive's boiler.
Remove the plastic boiler as shown in the picture above.
There are two plastic covers on both of the locomotive sides that need to be removed. Be very gentle not to break any details.
Another two parts that need to be removed are two plastic steps that can be found under the smoke box on the front of the locomotive.
Here is a close-up picture of the two metal handrails that need to be removed.
Close-up picture that shows both handrails removed. Be very careful not to bend them!
Here is a close-up picture of the locomotive's front after all the plastic covers were removed. The extra weight can be seen on the top of the original light board.
Remove the extra weight. This weight will no longer be used in this engine so you can discard it or keep it for some future use. The locomotive is heavy enough to run without it.
The picture above shows a close-up view of the original light board. Remove the board by sliding it off to the locomotive's front.
Here is the close-up of the original light board after its removal from the locomotive's chassis.
There is a plastic motor "cage" that sits over the motor and can be seen clearly in the picture above. This cage needs to be removed.
Using an X-acto knife, gently cut the copper traces EXACTLY as shown in the picture above.
Solder the white and blue wires that comes from the TCS Z2 decoder to the exact copper pads shown in the picture above.
The next step is to isolate the motor from the frame. The top motor pad will be the first to work on.
Using the tweezers, gently pull the copper motor's tab as marked in the picture above.
Clip the tab as shown above. Do not make it too short as we still need it for later steps. See the next picture below for the proper length.
Here is the close-up picture of the top copper motor tab after the "trimming" procedure.
Tin the end of the copper motor tab with solder as marked in red above.
The next step is to isolate the bottom of the motor.
Using tweezers, gently pull the copper tab away from the locomotive chassis as shown in the picture above.
Cut the copper tab as shown in the picture above. Do not make it too short.
Here is the picture of the copper tab that is already cut.
Tin the copper tab with solder as shown in the picture above.
Insert the original light board into the locomotive's chassis as shown above.
Here is the close-up of the original light board inserted into the locomotive's chassis.
Solder the red and black wire that come from the decoder to the pads shown in the picture above.
The orange wire needs to be soldered to the bottom motor pad as shown in the picture above. See the picture below for the orange wire placement.
Solder the Gray wire to the top copper tab as shown in the picture above.
Use some Kapton tape to attach decoder to the chassis so that is stays in one place and reinstall the plastic motor cage.
Reinstall the smoke box.
Repeat all the installation steps backwards and you should be ready to go!!!
As stated on the beginning, this installation is rather involved so if you have any questions or simply are not sure how to complete certain steps, contact us!
We are here to help!
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