HO Scale Life Like Proto 2000 GP20 with a M1 and T1 installed - 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 - P1
Yellow - P2
Black - P4
Grey - P5
White - P6
Blue - P7
Red - 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.
To get a brighter lighitng output we scrapped this installation and installed a T1 in a completely different manner. That installation begins here.
Once the shell is off the locomotive remove the screws holding the lighting board in place and remove the wires that connect to the lighting board. You no longer need the lighting board or the bulbs so you can set them aside. With the bulbs and board removed your locomotive should look like the image below.
Begin by tinning the copper motor strip in the center of the locomotive with a small blob of solder. You must do this quickly to avoid melting the plastic holding the copper strip. Next, cut, strip, and tin the grey wire and attach it to this small solder blob.
For the orange wire: cut, strip, and tin it, and solder it to the red wire coming from the locomotive. Use a small section of heat shrink tubing to protect the solder joint and prevent shorts.
Next cut the red wire on the decoder to reach just a little past the screw hole of the lighting board at the bottom left corner of the T1 pictured above. Strip the red wire back and wrap it around one of the screws for the lighting board. Tighten the screw into the hole mentioned about until the red wire cannot come loose. See the image below for more detail.
Connect the two black wires from the locomotive together with a piece of wire and then connect the black wire from the decoder to this lead.
For the LED's we used two Sunny White 3mm LED's. First I used a small section of heat shrink tubing as a "jacket" for the LED to fit it snugly in the frame.
Next we attached a 1K 1/4 resistor to the Cathode (short lead) of the led. Finally we connected the other end of the 1K resistor to the yellow wire and mounted it in the rear of the locomotive for fitting.
Confident it would fit, I attache two wires to the blue wire and connected one of them to the long lead of the read LED. Once that was done I heat shrunk the tubes covering both of the LED leads and mounted the rear LED in place.
Repeat the LED steps for the front light but replace the yellow wire with the white wire.
Once you are sure all of your solder joints are isolated and cannot contac frame you are ready to replace the shell, screw in the two screws that hold the shell to the chassis and run your locomotive!
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