Author Topic: N scale Proto 2000 PA1 decoder install  (Read 2481 times)

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MichaelT

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N scale Proto 2000 PA1 decoder install
« on: September 27, 2008, 01:40:46 PM »
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Good day,

Has anyone tried a decoder install in a LL/Proto2000 PA1? I have taken the shell off so far but have not broken the engine down completely. I thought I'd see if anyone has tackled that, and if so what the difficulty level was.




I have a Digitrax DZ123 in my spares, was thinking of using that if it's not too difficult.

michael
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dclyde

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Re: N scale Proto 2000 PA1 decoder install
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2008, 03:35:31 PM »
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I've done 4 or 5 of these.  The hardest thing for me was trimming down the lead weight in the back to leave enough room for the decoder (DZ123).  I trimmed it at a 45 degree angle from top to bottom as the DZ123 won't fit vertically but will on an angle.  The rest was isolating the motor, soldering to the side rails and widening the front light guide to accomodate a white LED.  All in all, not a bad installation.

Dave

MichaelT

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Re: N scale Proto 2000 PA1 decoder install
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2008, 07:57:46 PM »
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I've done 4 or 5 of these.  The hardest thing for me was trimming down the lead weight in the back to leave enough room for the decoder (DZ123).  I trimmed it at a 45 degree angle from top to bottom as the DZ123 won't fit vertically but will on an angle.  The rest was isolating the motor, soldering to the side rails and widening the front light guide to accomodate a white LED.  All in all, not a bad installation.

Dave

Thanks Dave, so did you mill the the weight from the top above the rear trucks? that area?
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wm3798

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Re: N scale Proto 2000 PA1 decoder install
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2008, 11:12:58 PM »
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I did one for Bufkin... and fortuitously, I forgot to put it in the box I sent back today.  I'll take some pictures of the installation and post them Sunday.  It's pretty simple given the way the drive is wired.
Lee
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dclyde

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Re: N scale Proto 2000 PA1 decoder install
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2008, 05:22:12 PM »
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That's about right.  Mine were lead weights.  I actually cut the angle and then filed it smooth.  There is a tunnel in the weight to make room for the drive pylon which helps with the milling.

Dave

MichaelT

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Re: N scale Proto 2000 PA1 decoder install
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2008, 09:17:34 PM »
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Ok, pictures would be good yes!! I'm a much better person with visual than readable instructions!!
 ;D
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trainforfun

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Re: N scale Proto 2000 PA1 decoder install
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2008, 10:12:35 AM »
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Is it the split frame design similar to this FA1 picture from N Scale Supply ?



On my units I sent the frames ( PA and FA ) to Aztec ( no affiliation , just a happy customer ) for a milling cost of $ 10 or $ 15 per locomotives .
I then used the DZ125 in the cavity they create on the rear .
I used the lighting module up front for the power pick up ( red and black wires soldered to it )
Since I was there I painted the black plastic portion "olive green" to simulate the color of the cab interior .
« Last Edit: November 20, 2008, 10:14:24 AM by trainforfun »
Thanks ,
Louis



bsoplinger

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Re: N scale Proto 2000 PA1 decoder install
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2008, 11:54:10 AM »
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Is it the split frame design similar to this FA1 picture from N Scale Supply ?

On my units I sent the frames ( PA and FA ) to Aztec ( no affiliation , just a happy customer ) for a milling cost of $ 10 or $ 15 per locomotives .
I then used the DZ125 in the cavity they create on the rear .

Let me also suggest using Aztec to mill your frames, if you have the newer split frame design. The amount of work and trouble to make room for a decoder yourself isn't worth it, IMHO. The older ones, with the lead weight are easy enough to reshape with just a hack saw blade. But for the newer metal, even using the best cutting discs, is a PIA. OK if you have just 1 or at most 2 locos, but not worth it for more. And even with just 2 I'd say the 10 bucks (I think) + 5 in shipping is way worth the trouble free install.

Aztec does a real nice job of milling the frames, making room for the decoder and running the grey wire along the motor (there is a channel milled into most of the frames I've seen just for that). And he includes pretty decent instructions on how to wire from the front light board for power pickup. I personally just drill and tap a pair of holes in the spot made for the decoder and screw in brass screws to do the power pickup, but that's just me, you can do it the way the instructions state just fine.

trainforfun

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Re: N scale Proto 2000 PA1 decoder install
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2008, 08:06:55 AM »
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Is it the split frame design similar to this FA1 picture from N Scale Supply ?

On my units I sent the frames ( PA and FA ) to Aztec ( no affiliation , just a happy customer ) for a milling cost of $ 10 or $ 15 per locomotives .
I then used the DZ125 in the cavity they create on the rear .

I personally just drill and tap a pair of holes in the spot made for the decoder and screw in brass screws to do the power pickup, but that's just me, you can do it the way the instructions state just fine.


That's a great suggestion !!
Thanks ,
Louis



bsoplinger

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Re: N scale Proto 2000 PA1 decoder install
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2008, 08:16:12 PM »
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I personally just drill and tap a pair of holes in the spot made for the decoder and screw in brass screws to do the power pickup, but that's just me, you can do it the way the instructions state just fine.
That's a great suggestion !!

I never had luck using the lightboard in any Kato loco. Between not too much room and the way the board itself fits into the slot I had nothing but troubles and finally just got frustrated and drilled and tapped a hole on each side of the cavity that's milled in the decoder. Now I do that for all those type installs and I've never had stall or pickup issues since. But that's just me ;)