P1K DCC easier?

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The latest issue of MR has a review of the new Life Like Proto 1000 RS-11. The review says a DCC conversion on this loco is something like a 10-minute job -- just replace the existing light board with a new Atlas or similar board-style decoder, connect the stock plastic clips, replace the bulbs and it's done. Now, I've read all the horror stories about installing decoders in the P1K F3s. I haven't yet opened up my F3 A&B units for a conversion, but my question is: can the F3's actually be done the same way as the RS-11, or has LL made "improvements" with the RS-11 and I still have a major task ahead of me on the F's?

-- Jim Dudlicek (jdudlicek@stagnito.com), May 12, 2004


Early versions of the P1K F3 had a terrible diode circuit for constant lighting and no room for a decoder. No experience with a newer unit. Removed the whole circuit boards on A-B-A consist. Replaced the lamps with a 14V,30 ma unit. Installed three wired versions of the NCE D102. (Now obsolete, use a D13SR or other brand w/ soldered leads & insulate bottom of decoder from frame.) Wired one motor backwards and set all to same CVs and same long address for fixed consist. Made short coupler bar between units for 3 ft spacing. Runs smooth after shiming to reduce worm end play. Good traction...Pulls 30+ cars up 2.5% grade.

-- Don Vollrath (dvollrath@magnetek.com), May 13, 2004.

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