Wednesday, July 4, 2012

TCS Z2 in an Atlas SD35

As I model the Southern Pacific, many of my engines have the nose lights modeled but not lighted.  It's easy to add this type of lighting when installing a decoder using one of the pre-wired surface mount LEDs.

As this installation is otherwise very similar to several others I have presented, I will skip over some of the common points and focus more on what is unique to this installation. See my posts on the Atlas SD50 and GP40 for details of the basic decoder installation.

Once the shell is off a quick check of the mechanism indicates that there is room for a small wired decoder like the TCS Z2.

The original Atlas LED board is used after all of the modifications shown in this photo are done.  Note that an additional hole is made in the front part of the board for the nose LED wires.

This is also the time to replace the stock LED's with bright white LED's if desired.

While no modifications to the frame are needed for a standard installation, I did make grooves on the front of the left.frame for the LED and it's wires.

This photo shows what I had to do to the frame and the type of LED I used.
Here is a look at how the nose light LED is installed and connected to the LED on the board.  The ends of the wires will need about 1/8 inch of the insulating enamel scraped off before they can be soldered on the board.

Using a Z2 decoder and wiring this extra LED in parallel will mean that the nose LED will turn ON and OFF with the F0 function.