Locomotive Installation Notes
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.
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.
Many thanks to all contributing authors!
Diesel G & #1
Other Locomotive Write-Ups on the WWW
If you would like to do a locomotive decoder installation,
please write me.
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Thanks to all who contribute to this site and the Q&A forum!