Re: Converting a DC Locomotive to DCC

Marcus Ammann

Hi Rich

See the NMRA X2011 Clinic I presented at Sacramento on "Installing Decoders"


-----Original Message-----
From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On
Behalf Of Rich
Sent: Tuesday, 13 March 2012 9:09 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: Converting a DC Locomotive to DCC


Thanks for that info.

I have installed a number of decoders over the past 8 years and never had a
problem except for this one, a Proto 2000 Alco S3.

All of my decoder installations have been on DCC Ready locos. The S3 was
literally my first decoder install 8 years ago, and I really had no problem
installing it either.

However, I have never attempted to convert a non-DCC ready loco to DCC, and
that is the reason for my questions in this regard.

While Life Like never advertised the S3 as DCC Ready, it did include
instructions on converting to DCC, but those instructions were minimal and
never mentioned any wiring issues. I have come to understand that only
early version S3's had this problem which Life Like later corrected.

I now refer to the early version Proto 2000 Alco S3 as "almost DCC Ready".

Anyhow, I appreciate all of the help and advice in this regard, and I will
finish the job by using a nylon screw for the motor mount.


If I've been following this conversation correctly (that _is_ subject to
debate <GRIN>), in order to completely insulate the motor from the frame
you'll need to Both:

1) Put something (Kaplon tape(?) between the frame and the motor, and
2) use the nylon screw.

This is because both the motor to frame contact and the metal screw will
conduct current from the frame to the motor. Direct contact in one case,
and from frame>metal screw> motor case in the other.

Doing one without the other is most likely going to cause you problems.

Here's a link to the instructions for NCE's ATLS4 decoder, which is
for the Atlas S4, but can be used in similar switcher models:

I forget which decoder you are installing (and which engine), but this
particular installation discusses many of the principals involved in
installing this type of decoder.

There are various sites (some manufacturers, some retailers, some just
individual such as Bruce now that he's sold Litchfield, and various Yahoo
groups (Rick Bell's Yahoo DCC install group comes to mind) that have
installs in the form of clinics, Power Point presentations, etc. that will
show you tips and techniques on how to install various decoders into

Best regards,

Steve Haas
Snoqualmie, WA


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