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Discussion Starter #1
I am having a problem looking to identify which generation of 2 Proto 2000 E7's I own.

I believe they are DCC ready. They have what looks like a NMRA 8 pin connector with pins pointing down on the board in the rear.

I have purchased a NCE dcc system an would like to convert these to DCC. I have no interest in soldering if I can plug and play and keep them in original condition. Ideally with the move to sound in the end.

Thanks,
John
 

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If you see the 8 pin connector the loco is
DCC ready...possibly says so under the frame.
So, all you need is to buy any make of 8 pin
decoder, then plug it in.

If you will ultimately go sound, you might as
well get a sound decoder now. It will
control the loco also. You may, however,
have to do some alterations or soldering to
install the decoder and speaker. I'm sure
one of our members has installed such in
their E7s and can better advise you on what
is needed.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you see the 8 pin connector the loco is
DCC ready...possibly says so under the frame.
So, all you need is to buy any make of 8 pin
decoder, then plug it in.

If you will ultimately go sound, you might as
well get a sound decoder now. It will
control the loco also. You may, however,
have to do some alterations or soldering to
install the decoder and speaker. I'm sure
one of our members has installed such in
their E7s and can better advise you on what
is needed.

Don
If soldering is required, i would prefer to pay pay someone. Otherwise for now i will start with how far i can go with plug in play as possible.

I dont feel comfortable doing delicate soldering like that.

Thanks for the feed back.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I really think I need to properly identify these loco's. Hopefully someone has a old pdf of them and can help me identify what I have.
 

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John

There are many times the need for soldering
occurs around a layout.

Soldering is not at all difficult. You start with
a small 25 or 30 watt iron. They often come with
a coil of resin solder and a vial of flux. If not
buy resin core solder and a flux which can be
liquid or paste (either is satisfactory).

Just a little practice on scrap items and you'll
be quite comfortable moving on to real parts.

After heating the iron, use a little flux on the
tip, then apply the end of the coil. The solder
should cling to the tip and that will be where you
touch your project. The solder conducts heat to
the part you will solder.

You 'tin' each item to be soldered, for example
a wire to a terminal lug. Tin both by brushing
each with the flux then touch the wire and
press the coil end to it...it will melt. Do the
same with the lug. Then place the wire on
the lug where tinned and again press the iron
tip to them along with the tip of the coil. They'll
melt together and you have done your job. After
a few seconds to 'harden', test the physical
strength to make sure you have a good connection.

Practice on various items and soon you'll be
an expert like all of us on the Forum.

Don
 

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Did you buy them used? Otherwise, you should have the documentation that came with it. That should tell you how to add DCC. Everything Walthers has made under the "Proto" designation is DCC ready. If it says Proto 2000, then it might not be -- the pre-Walthers ones weren't.. The presence of pins or a socket is a pretty good tip off, though.

And FWIW, Don is right about soldering. Like most skills, it just takes a little practice.
 

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Many Proto2000 engines have a "reverse-style" 8 pin harness.
By "reverse style" I mean it has FEMALE type receptacles instead of "pins" on it.

They look like this (connected wires may be different):
Wiring harness.jpg

The way to convert these is to:
a. Lift off the 8-pin reverse harness
b. REMOVE the old factory light board
c. Plug in a new dcc decoder/light board (see below).
d. Re-assemble. You'll need to put some kind of insulating tape beneath the new decoder so that it doesn't short out on the frame.

There is one kind of replacement light board that looks like this:
https://www.litchfieldstation.com/p...ific-life-like-gp-and-sd-by-digitrax-dh165l0/

There is another kind that looks like this:
https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/soundtraxx-852001-mc1h102p8-ho-scale-2-function-mobile-decoder/

Which one you select probably will depend on "how much room" is available to you.

Be aware that older Proto2000 engines are susceptible to a few problems that may need to be corrected before they will run well.

Cracked gears -- the gears on the axles between the wheels can crack. When this happens the engine will "click" or stall. You can buy fully-assembled replacement wheelsets -- they're not pricey.

Old, hardened grease -- the original grease in the gear cases hardens to the consistency and appearance of "peanut butter". It needs to be all cleaned out (I use 91% isopropyl alcohol), then new plastic-compatible oil applied.

It seems intimidating to do this job at first, with lots of small parts, and it WILL take some time. Find yourself a workspace. Use a small dish and a toothbrush to clean the driveline parts, then let them dry out.

You may have to remove the connecting wires (sometimes you can manage to get the trucks apart without doing this.

Yes, it's some work to get these re-conditioned, but the results will be worth it.
All the old Proto2000 engines I've bought are good runners. The oldest -- GP7 and GP9, are some of my best.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Regarding my Loco Fleet... Most of what I have bought was USED. And many of them are from first edition runs of schemes I found unique. Many 1980's Athearn Blue Box F7s. Some older Athearn Blue Box PA-1's. Life Like Proto 2000 E7 and E8/9.

Then I have my newer stuff. Such as Athearn Roundhouse DC Southern Pacific F7's. Genisis DCC w/Sound F7s, Walthers SW1. And the UP 4141 President Bush.

I must say, I finally got the DCC setup last weekend (which is why I didn't respond to anyone), and I fell in love with the Athearn Genisis DCC w/LokSound Southern Pacific F7 Black Widow scheme trains. Those are so cool. Now I have to try to get sound in more of my older stuff with out destroying them. A new thread on this will come soon.

Regarding soldering... I know that is part of the hobby. And Soldering track is something I am not worried about. But I do have medical issues which make fine soldering hard, and as such I will always be willing to pay someone to do what I dont feel I can do with out ruining.

Compound that concern of not being able to feel comfortable with fine soldering with having some rare trains such as the original Athearn Spirit of 76 HO as well as the newer Southern Pacific 3197 Spirit of 76 or the original SP 1984 Olympics loco, and it makes it worth my while to pay someone vs trying to replace which may not exist. The great deal I did or did not get wont matter if I can not find it again.

Meanwhile my newer F7 units and such which I have bought that are DC only and not DCC Ready (I have a few), I will work on those. And if they become dummy's, then so be it.

Regarding the original topic of this thread, I will get pictures of the boards on the back of the Proto 2000 loco's, they are about the size of my thumb, and have pins facing down. If at all possible, I want to make use of the default board and not have to cut and solder.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here are pictures of the electronic board at the end of the E7
Notice what looks like NMRA 8 pin on the bottom side.

now I need to sort out what I can run on this loco.

The images are upside down :-(

20191209_195211.jpg

20191209_195101.jpg

20191209_195042.jpg

20191209_195035.jpg
 

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OP:

Referring to the picture you posted (see below), the red arrow is pointing to (what looks like to me) the "8-pin connector" that you remove and replace with a decoder.

connector.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OP:

Referring to the picture you posted (see below), the red arrow is pointing to (what looks like to me) the "8-pin connector" that you remove and replace with a decoder.

View attachment 517896
Thats what I was guessing as well. I found another board on Ebay I am going to try and buy so I can get my E9 set up as well.

My intention is to go LokSound. Really was impressed with the ability to Start and Stop the Engine with the same function key.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Are there any recommendations on Sound Decoders? I have 2 different so far, and I really like the LokSound with the Function Key to start and stop the engine.

What are the recommendations? Ideally which can use the 8pin based on what we are looking at on these loco's.
 
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