What decoders are used in Proto 2000 PA units released this year by Life-Like? I am using Easy DCC by CVP industries.

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I have two sets of Life-Like Proto 2000 PA units that I want to place decoders into. I have been told that these locomotives draw excessive current and there are no current decoders that are available. If anyone has any information on this subject, please send me a reply to my e-mail address at michael.shaw@sylvania.sev.org.

Thank you, Michael D. Shaw

-- Michael D. Shaw (michael.shaw@sylvania.sev.org), November 06, 1998


Mike--Bruce Helbert is currently doing some tests on these locos with an assortment of decoders so the jury is still out on your question. There have been reports of these drawing up to 2.5 amps stall current which is more than most decoders are built to handle however there have also been reports that some of the Lenz and back EMF decoders work with them. Personally, I'd wait until the testing is done before trying this installation. Of course you may have gotten one of the units with a 1 amp stall current in which case a DH120 will do fine. Just measure the stall current before doing an installation.

-- Larry Puckett (lpuckett@geocities.com), November 06, 1998.


Larry's advice is about as good as it comes with these locos. I have just tested 6 of them with DC, not DCC. And found that 4 of them only had a full stall current of 1.1 amps. But 2 were almost 2.5 amps full stall. Appears there is more then one motor being used in these locos.

As Larry stated, if you can check the stall current you might be able to use a 1 amp decoder such as a DH120, etc. But other wise you might just be better of waiting and seeing what is found out.

Some people such as my self have used DH140 decoders without problems, and yet others have burned up decoders, even had boosters shut down. And it was just recently that we found that not all LL PA/s are the same. Some say that B-EMF decoders work fine, but I am a little concerned about that, the 2.3 amp motors put out B-EMF like a 24 volt motor more on the order of .900 millivolt per RPM instead of something like .100 milliVolt per RPM.

If you really can not wait, then I would look around for atleast a 2 amp decoder.


Remember Always Have Fun and Enjoy!, Don Crano Akron, Oh NMRA #096211 mailto:donc@sssnet.com Visit Model Railroading with DCC at: http://pages.sssnet.com/donc/

-- Don Crano (donc@sssnet.com), November 06, 1998.

re proto 2000 PA1. I used a Digitrax DH83FX. It installed beautifully and operates well. The DH83FX is a 2 amp decoder with a 4 amp stall so it should be OK for most of the motors used in this loco.

-- Leonard Stern (printmore1@aol.com), February 18, 1999.

I've used the DH83FX from Digitrax in the PA's, however, I understand they are out of production. They are not listed on the Digitrax web site. By the way this decoder fits nicely into the rectangular recess in the top of the weight. Gary Lewis

-- Gary Lewis (glgslewis@attbi.com), May 12, 2002.

I installed an MRC AD315 decoder in the PA and it works ok.The problem I had was that the "B" end truck had a whine and a drag to it. I had to disassemble the engine and grease the gearcase with superlube.I ran it forward and reverse on it's side (no load) for an hour.The decoder initially ran pretty warm but as the engine broke in it bearly heats up. It has about 3 hours running time on it now and the decoder is fine.The stall current is about 2 amps.I have other problems with this engine which I posted a question about.

-- Robert Terrano (orchid1@optonline.net), February 19, 2003.

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