NOTE: While this installation demonstrates the use of an T1P-SH in this locomotive we have since added the LL8 to our decoder line. The LL8 is designed to fit the Life Like Proto 2000 series and would greatly simplify this installation.
This installation of TCS T1P-SH Decoder is for HO Scale LifeLike Proto2000 GP9 II and was performed by A.G.
The two upper pictures show the beautiful LifeLike Proto 2000 GP9 II with its shell on.
Close-up of the locomotive's coupler before the removal where you can see the great attention to details.
Unscrew the front screw (circled in red) as well as the back one that holds the coupler pocket to the chassis and remove both coupler pockets.
Grasping the shell by the solid area between the grills, lift the shell straight up and off of the chassis. Kapton tape was placed on both couplers so that they stay together (there is a coupler spring inside of the coupler pocket that easily come apart and can get lost).
This picture illustrates the original light board with the DCC-ready plug (circled in red).
Lift the DCC plug up to unplug it and unscrew the two screws marked in red to remove the original light board.
Turn the DCC Plug up-side-down and, using the original screws, screw it down to the locomotive's chassis as shown in the picture above.
Because of the fact that Proto 2000 locomotives use either 1.5V or 3V Bulbs, a resistor needs to be installed to limit the voltage. (To lower the voltage from the track voltage that is 12-18V use a 680 ohm reisistor for 1.5V bulbs and a 330 ohm resistor for 3V bulbs.)
Make sure to isolate any bare wires (as shown in the picture above) so that they will not cause a short. Green shrink wrap was used in this case but Kapton or an electrical tape can be used as well.
This picture shows the installation of the voltage limiting resistor in the rear light circuit. It is important to remember that a voltage limiting resistor is needed for every light (in this case two - front headlight and reverse light).
This pictures illustrates completed and isolated installation of the rear light.
Here is a picture of the completed T1P-SH (T1 with short harness) decoder installation. Black, electrical tape was used to fix the decoder to the Locomotive chassis so that it stays in one place which makes shell placement easier.
Hold the shell in one hand and the chassis in your other hand. Lining up the front of both pieces, lower the shell onto the chassis, keeping the lower edge of the shell parallel with the chassis. Do not forget to attach both couplers back to the chassis.
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