Thursday, December 15, 2011

DZ123 in an older Life Like E8

This is another of the installations I had on the old web site which first appeared in December of 2003.  The engine used in this example was an E8A but this method would also apply to many of the older Life Like cab diesels that had a plastic frame and 2 weights over the axles.  The DZ123 decoder shown in this post is no longer made but any of today's small decoders would work very well. 

After removing the locomotive shell and rear weight, remove enough of the top of the rear weight the entire length for the decoder to fit in. There should be a ridge left on each side. This metal is not really hard and I do this with a hand file in about 15 minutes.
Next, file a slot up at an angle from the bottom front corner to the top at about 1/2 inch from the front. Then file a slot across the top to connect the angled
slot with the area removed for the decoder. Do this on both sides. This will be the channels for the wires.
There are long wheel contact wipers that run the length of the plastic frame. You will need to remove all the existing connections to these.

Be very careful not to use too hot of a soldering iron. I recommend the use of locking tweezers to act as a heat sink on the motor contact lugs.
The decoder and wires can be secured in place using a small amount of Wathers Goo.

The black, blue, & gray wires go to the left and the red, orange, & white wires go to the right. Re-install the rear weight and plastic retaining clip.
Connect the orange wire to the top motor contact and the gray wire to the bottom. Use a small piece of .010 styrene to insulate the contact strip from the motor connection.
Solder the red wire to the right contact strip and the black wire to the left contact strip.
The white and blue wires get run all the way to the front up under the front weight and up the slots to be connected to the light.  In this example I had used the original light bulb but an LED could also be used with a resistor placed in series.
After checking all of the wires are clear of moving parts and that the flywheels are turning freely, the mechanism is ready to test run.