This installation is for N Scale Life-Like GP18 uses TCS CN-GP Decoder and was performed by Jeff Hartz.
The installation went great and the locomotive runs beautifully.
The CN and CN-GP installation instructions found on the TCS website, were used and there were no problems with the decoders' fit. After the installation everything tested okay without the shell, but the wires above the frame kept the shell from sitting down properly. This could be because the LL shell sits a little more tightly on its frame than does the atlas GP-7/9 shell, or it could be because the installer left the wires a little long. This problem was solved by taking the frame back apart and milling a small channel for the wires to fit into as they cross the top of the frame. This was done with a Dremel tool (the top inside corner of each frame was turned down a bit).
TCS note: Before using Dremel tool to enlarge gap in the frame, dress the leads as shown in the CN installation pictures. The wire should not cross over one another and there length should be just long enough to reach the solder pads. This should avoid having to use Dremel tool. If these procedures are followed but you still can not fit the shell all the way on, then try the Dremel method as outlined above.
The two pictures below show the installation from two different angles.
This picture shows the wires pushed aside so that the milled channel is visible.
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