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Locomotive Installation Notes

Important:

This installation note assumes you have read the section on Wiring Specific Locomotives. It also assumes you have read the section on Sound. Lastly, it assumes you have read the section on DCC in the Garden.

More Important:

It's more important than ever that you do the above, each and every time you go to refer to these notes and do an installation. Here's why. (I knew you were going to ask.) Changes (improvements!) occur that may supersede what is written in the write-ups below. For example, the filter circuit shown on the G-scale sound installations is now no longer needed with all decoders. Also, I think up new and better ways to do things.

It's not practical to review and rewrite these every time this happens. Especially for the older locomotives, I don't even know if anyone is using them.

So be sure to check the above sections and look for new, higher section numbers since the last time you visited. You may find something new and useful!

Don't see your locomotive?

Look for another locomotive made by the same manufacturer. Often manufacturers use the same approach to building their other locomotives.

Make sure your motor is isolated from the power pick-up wheels. This usually means the motor should be isolated from the metal frame. If you are not sure about whether the motor needs isolation from the metal frame, isolate it. This is not a waste of time. In only rare cases can the motor remain attached to a metal frame.

If you are not sure what you need to do with the headlight, then replace it with a grain of wheat bulb. This is not a waste of time, either. I have found that it can take a lot of work to properly isolate a light bulb from the frame. A grain of wheat bulb only costs a quarter or so. Keeping the existing headlight often isn't worth the trouble.

Installation with an old decoder?

Have no fear, just use a new decoder. The real benefit of these installation notes is taking the locomotive apart and figuruing out where the wires go. Decoder with wires use a standard color code. Newer decoders are smaller, so fit will not usually be a problem.

Table of Contents

Many thanks to all contributing authors!

Diesel HO                                  
Manuf. Loco Arthur Comments
Atlas RS-1 or RS-3 Allan Gartner  
Atlas RS-3 or similar John V. Baum  
Stewart F-3 John V. Baum  
Atlas S-2

Adapted by
John V. Baum

Original by Robert Savard and produced by Loy's Toys.
Athearn PA-1 A&B Allan Gartner  
Bachmann GP-30 John V. Baum  
Bachmann F40 Jim Kirwan  
  European Locomotives Ulrich Albrecht  
Proto 2000 E7 Allan Gartner With sound.
Proto 2000 GP-9 Robert Petit
Duneland DCC
 
Proto 2000 GP-60 Robert Petit
Duneland DCC
 
Proto 1000 RS-2 Ralph DeBlasi  
Proto 1000 RDC Robert Petit
Duneland DCC
 

Diesel G & #1                                 
Manuf. Loco Arthur Comments
LGB Track Cleaing Locomotive Allan Gartner DCC control of cleaning wheel.
LGB F-7A Allan Gartner  
Aristo Craft Doodlebug Allan Gartner  

Diesel N                                 
Manuf. Loco Arthur Comments
Kato F40PH Troy S.  
Intermountain SD40T Troy S.  

Diesel Z                                 
Manuf. Loco Arthur Comments
Microtrains F7 Glen Chenier  

Electric HO                                 
Manuf. Loco Arthur Comments
IHC GG-1 Jeff Kandra  

Steam HO                                 
Manuf. Loco Arthur Comments
  European Locomotives Ulrich Albrecht  
Mantua 2-8-2 Mikado Allan Gartner Without sound.
Powerhouse 2-8-8-2 Mallet Allan Gartner  
Rivarossi 4-8-8-4 Big Boy Allan Gartner  
Rivarossi 4-6-6-4 Challenger Allan Gartner  
Rivarossi 4-6-6-4 Challenger Allan Gartner With sound.
Rivarossi 4-8-4 FEF Allan Gartner  
Rivarossi 4-8-4 Kevin C. Ceroky PE  
IHC 4-8-2 Mountain Allan Gartner  
Bachmann

4-8-4 GS-4
(SP 4449 Daylight)

Allan Gartner With sound.
Rivarossi Opening the Centipede tender Allan Gartner Opening the tender without a jack-hammer, radial arm saw, nut cracker or a whack-a-mole mallet. Darn, that last one sounds fun!
Walthers Trainline FA-1 Bob Farace  
BLI N&W Aux Water Tender Allan Gartner  
Mantua

4-6-2 Pacific or
2-8-2 Mikado

Allan Gartner With sound. Installation performed with a Decoder Buddy and 21-pin Tsunami2 sound decoder.

Steam N                         
Manuf. Loco Arthur Comments
Kato 2-8-2 Mikado Mike Mogensen  

Steam G                         
Manuf. Loco Arthur Comments
Aristo-Craft C-16 Allan Gartner With Pheonix P-8 sound. Wireless, battery-powered, non-DCC.
LGB 2-6-6-2 Unitah & Smpter Vallet Mallets Allan Gartner With sound. Uses LGB's installed sound module.
  Generic Decoder & Sierra Sound Allan Gartner With sound.The Sierra is no longer made. You will have to use a different sound module.
LGB 2-6-0 C&S Mogul Allan Gartner With sound. The Sierra is no longer made. You will have to use a different sound module.
Bachmann 2-Truck Shay Allan Gartner With QSI sound.
Bachmann 2-8-0 External Frame Consolidation Allan Gartner With sound. The Sierra is no longer made. You will have to use a different sound module.
Bachmann 4-4-0 American Allan Gartner With sound. The Sierra is no longer made. You will have to use a different sound module.


              Adding A Tender Headlight
              Using Miniature Lamps

Other Locomotive Write-Ups on the WWW

HO Kato NW2 GP 35
HO Atlas RS-1

  By Wolfgang Dudler
HO P2K 0-8-0 Adding power pick-ups to tender By Wolfgang Dudler
On30 Bachmann       2-6-0   By Harold Minkwitz
Various locomotives   By Gateway NMRA

If you would like to do a locomotive decoder installation, please write me.

 
   

Copyright by Allan Gartner 1996 - 2019 © All rights reserved. You may print this for your own, personal, non-commercial use. Non-commercial, non-personal reproduction may be requested by visiting www.WiringForDCC.com/writeme.htm . All users, commercial and non-commercial, may link only to this site at www.WiringForDCC.com.

Thanks to all who contribute to this site and the Q&A forum!