NOTE: While this installation demonstrates the use of a T1 decoder 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 documentation is for the HO Scale Life Like Proto2000 SD 60 Special Edition. This installation uses the TCS T1P-SH decoder, and was performed by A.G.
The pictures above show the locomotive prior to the decoder installation.
Unscrew the front screw (circled in red) as well as the back one that holds the coupler pockets to the chassis and remove both coupler pockets.
Unscrew the two screws (circled in red). Grasping the shell by the solid area between the grills, lift the shell straight up and off of the chassis.
Picture of the locomotive with its shell removed.
This picture illustrates the original light board with the DCC-ready plug.
Lift the DCC plug up to unplug it and unscrew two screws to remove the original light board. If you are using a LL8, simply plug it into this socket and you are done. If you are using the T1, follow the steps below.
Turn the DCC Plug up-side-down and, using original screw, fasten it down to the locomotive 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 front light circuit. It is important to remember that for every light (in this case two - the front headlight and the reverse light) voltage limiting resistor is needed.
This picture shows the T1P-SH Decoder placement on the chassis. Place the harness wires exactly the way you see them on the picture above and be very careful not to pinch any wires.
Here is a picture of 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. Reinstall two screws under the chassis and do not forget to attach both couplers back to the chassis. NOTE: Do not overtighten!
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