Installing T4X decoder in a Hobbytown Alco* FA2- by Jean Lacroix.
This model was custom painted for Canadian National. The locomotive is complete with both a body and mechanism from former Hobbytown of Boston Company. The Pitman motor needs to be insulated from the metal frame of the locomotive. In this installation I used silicone to glue in place the motor.
First, you will have to locate and remove all the screws underneath the locomotive that holds the body. Normally you have 2 screws under the cab and 2 others at the opposite end near the steps at rear. Remove the shell of the locomotive. Remove all the lamps hooked to the motor or otherwise connected.
In this locomotive, the motor is an open frame type and is not insulated from the frame or the body. You have to remove the screw that holds the motor underneath the frame. On this unit, you can install extra contacts using phosphor bronze wires inserted in plastic tubing on each truck in order to have better electrical pick up current from the track. This is done on each side of the truck that has the wheels insulated.
You will need to unsolder the wires that were hooked to the motor. You will attach the black wire from the harness to the frame and the red wire to the front truck bolster. After this is done, you have to solder the grey harness wire on one of the motor contact and the orange on the other side. You can put a tape over the motor contacts to prevent a short circuit with the metal body.
Then, it is a good idea to take care of the lights. I used LED with a 1k resistor to replace the original bulb. Solder the wires as mentioned in the instructions that came with your T4. The light was then simply glued behind the holes for the headlights. The extra contact wires, violet and green that come out of the harness, are used to power an older Modeltronics sound system located in the FB2 trailing unit. All the wires soldered together should be covered with electrical shrink tubing or electrical tape.
American Locomotive Company, often shortened to ALCO.
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