HO Scale Life Like Proto 2000 GP20 with a M1 decoder - performed by TCS.
First remove the two screws on the underside of the locomotive at each end which hold the shell on the chassis. See the highlighted screw below to give yourself a clearer idea of where these screws are. Do not remove the coupler as it does not hinder this installation.
Next, gently rock the shell back and forth until it slips free from the chassis. You should then see something like the image below.
To install an M1 (scroll down for T1 installation) note the little X's on the lighting board. Each one of these X's marks a trace on the board which must be cut. Below is an image of the board with the X's highlighted to make locating them easier.
Once you cut these traces your board should look something like the one below. You must be sure to cut all the way through the trace or the decoder will be destroyed.
Once the traces are cut, remove the screws from the lighting board and tip it back. Here is where we will place the M1. I put a small amount of double sided tape on the underside of the M1 to hold it in place. The image below shows the M1 mounted in the small pocket in the frame below the lighting board.
Place the lighting board back down and screw it in place. Finally, attach the wires to the pad's labelled P# (P1-P8). These numbers correspond to the 8 Pin NMRA plug pinout and are as follows:Orange - P1Yellow - P2Black - P4Grey - P5White - P6Blue - P7Red - P8
Once all the wires are attached you are ready to test our your locomotive. At this point we found that the bulbs in the locomotive were quite dull and barely visible in daylight. Below is a demonstration of the bulb brightness.
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