This installation of TCS M1 Decoder is for HO Scale Northwest Shortline ALCO 2-8-2T Minarets and was performed by Richard Todd.
After 40+ years in its box I decided it was time for the #37 of The Pacific Lumber Co. to take to the rails! The locomotive was built for Northwest Shortline by Toby in the 60’s to represent an Alco Minarets logging engine. The engine was constructed using standard techniques of that period. Sheet brass and bar stock were used to construct the super structure and frame. The frame, cylinders and pilots were chemically blackened. After a thorough cleaning, the superstructure was painted semi gloss black. The running gear was thoroughly cleaned and lubricated. The drive gear box was removed to ensure that the mechanism would roll freely. It is essential that the mechanism be free of “binds” before fitting the motor and decoder. I firmly believe that this engine was haunted, as every time I thought I had identified and fixed a bind, a new one appeared. One must have patience!
Please do not use any flux either liquid or paste on the mother board. Over time, the acidic properties of liquid or paste flux will begin eating away at the fiberglass PCB and will damage it. Use only Rosin-core solder or no-clean flux approved for electronics use.
TCS recommends the use of Kester "44" Sn63 Pb37, .015" diameter Rosin-core solder. Kester part number 24-6337-0007.
You can order this solder from the following retailers:
Digikey - PN:KE1110-ND
Techni-Tool - PN:488SO6775
When stripping wire, only strip a tiny little bit of the insulation. Strip no more than a 1/32 of an inch. When the wire gets tinned with solder, the insulation will shrink back more. Try to not expose any more wire than half the length of the solder pad at most. In no case should solder or exposed wire wire ever be outside the boundary of the the solder pad you are attaching a wire to.
Click here for important information on properly Stripping and Tinning wire