Author Topic: TCS AMD4 in Atlas N GP38-2  (Read 465 times)

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EmdFan

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TCS AMD4 in Atlas N GP38-2
« on: May 19, 2018, 05:53:47 PM »
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Hi All,

After having spent some time in HO I am now back to my first love, N scale! It has been fun getting back into N.

My first decoder install attempt (I did tons in HO) has been a TCS AMD4 in an Atlas GP38-2. The install went okay, I did lose two of those little brass clips that go on the contact pads. It appears the TCS board is thinner than the stock DC board. I decided to heck with the clips (not that I could find them if I wanted to!), and put a small amount of solder on each pad to tighten up the fit, which worked fine (although I am wondering if another manufacturer makes a board that doesn't require clips).

The main issue I have is the brightness of the SMLEDs. I was quickly reminded of the old Athearn "bonfire in a cab" lighting.  :D

I know I can dim the lighting somewhat through CVs, but that still doesn't do enough. I know I can start putting together my own light baffle with styrene, heat shrink tubing, etc. but can't help but wonder what other folk's experiences have been. I would at this point almost prefer a board with regular LEDs that more closely mimics the OEM board.

So thanks in advance for any advice on the AMD4, or any suggestions for a different DCC board.

MK

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Re: TCS AMD4 in Atlas N GP38-2
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2018, 07:30:57 PM »
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On some of the newer decoders that I have the LEDs are WAY too bright (you can't even look directly at it!!!!) and I didn't want to fiddle with the CVs.  What I did was wrap some Kapton tape over it.  It will reduce the brightness but you have to accept the slight "yellowness".  Turns it into somewhat a "golden white" LED.  The Kapton tape is thin enough to not cause any fit issues.

EmdFan

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Re: TCS AMD4 in Atlas N GP38-2
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2018, 08:04:46 AM »
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On some of the newer decoders that I have the LEDs are WAY too bright (you can't even look directly at it!!!!) and I didn't want to fiddle with the CVs.  What I did was wrap some Kapton tape over it.  It will reduce the brightness but you have to accept the slight "yellowness".  Turns it into somewhat a "golden white" LED.  The Kapton tape is thin enough to not cause any fit issues.

Thanks MK, I'll try some Kapton tape, good thought. I will also paint the inside of the shell black. Will post the results of my tinkering.