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Life Like Info Page.


Life Like Proto 2000 GP60/SD60M

Life-Like Proto2000 GP60 and SD60M locomotives have an additional lamp added for the number boards which, as wired, causes problems on DCC (it does not adversely affect DC operation).  Since the bulb is wired to the gray (negative motor) pin and the black (track pickup) pin, your DCC system will see this as a short circuitt.  Disconnect the bulb from both pins and wire it to one of the function leads on the decoder to solve this problem. 



Life Like Proto 2000 S-1 May Damage DCC

There is a potential problem using the DCC socket on the Life Like Proto2000 S-1. While the trucks and track pick-ups are isolated from the frame, there is a brass grounding lug attached to the motor's lower brush cap which makes electrical contact between the lower motor brush and the frame.  As a result if the wheels come in contact with the frame a short occurs and the decoder may be damaged!


We recommend one of two work-arounds.


1) If you choose to use the 8 pin DCC plug, isolate the bottom motor brush from the frame of the locomotive by removing the grounding lug from the motor's lower brush cap. Be sure to reinstall the square plastic insulator under the lower brush cap after removing the brass grounding lug. Place a small square of electrical tape in the


frame recess below the lower motor brush cap as an insulator. Then run a new orange wire from the DCC socket to the lower motor brush cap and remove the existing orange wire that runs from the socket to the front lug under the headlight.


2) If you use a wired decoder, the motor will still have to be isolated from the frame as in step 1 above.  Once this modification is made, install the wired decoder as usual.


Now, the S-1 motor is, in fact, insulated from the frame. The metal screw that holds the motor's frame to the loco's frame is not a problem-you don't need to replace it with a nylon screw. The grounding circuit is formed by the brass grounding lug under the motor's lower brush cap rubbing on the frame. Remove the lug, remove the original orange wire from the frame to the DCC socket, run a new orange wire to the motor's lower brush cap and you have a completely isolated motor.


Application Note: Walthers/Life-Like F7 HO-Scale steps needed for the DH163D DH123D decoder installation.

Remove packing protectors screwed to coupler pockets


Carefully remove shell by spreading sides at side windows

Here's an alternate method for removing the loco shell - our
F7 unit had a particularly stubborn shell. In place of the Exacto knives
pictured, we recommend toothpicks or something a little safer..


HH600 installRemove DC Plug (DC PCB in this case) from the wiring harness.

DC Plug
shown removed.


Plug DH123D or DH163D decoder to 9 pin wire harness and mount it as shown. Reinstall loco shell and go!

Digitrax Decoder Installation For PROTO 2000 E8/E9 in HO Scale

This installation procedure is for the DIGITRAX DH163/DH123 decoder. Alternatively, you can use a Digitrax DN142 in this installation. If you use the DN140 the installation will require fewer engine modifications because of the smaller physical size of the decoder.

After removing the shell from the locomotive chassis, note the color and location of each of the various wires.

All connections must be soldered with rosin core solder and insulated with shrink tubing.

We will locate the decoder in the forward part of the chassis behind the cab of the locomotive.

You will have to cut down the box immediately behind the "bulkhead" plastic piece so that the installed height of the decoder will not be higher that the weight.

We also suggest that the lower headlight bulb be replaced with a 12V bulb and relocated to bring the light in line with the lens in the door for more effective lighting and improvement of number board illumination.

1. Cut away enough of the bulkhead behind the crew to fit the decoder.

2. Relocate lower headlight bulb to be in line with the lens in the door and cement

in place.

3. Connect the RED lead from the rear truck to the RED lead from the front truck together with the BLACK decoder lead.

4. Cut the two BLUE leads (from front and rear trucks) at the lighting board (center). Connect the Truck ends of these leads together with the RED decoder lead. The light board ends of the blue leads will NOT be used to make any other connections.

5. Coming out of the hole in the top of the weight are the three wires (1 black & 2 red) that connect to the motor . PLEASE NOTE: Some models use 1 YELLOW wire instead of Black and 2 BLUE wires instead of Red. If your unit is wired this way, remember to substitute wire colors in Steps 6 and 7.

6. Cut both RED wires that run from the motor to the light board (center) about 25 MM from where they exit from the motor; and again about 25 MM from the light board.

Connect the motor end of the 2 RED wires to the GRAY decoder lead.

Connect the light board end of the 2 RED wires to the GREEN decoder lead.

7. Cut the BLACK wire that runs from the motor to the light board (Fireman's side) about 25 MM from where it exits the motor cavity; and again about 25 MM from the light board.

Connect the motor end of the BLACK lead to the ORANGE decoder lead.

8. Cut the two white wires from the lighting board on the Fireman's side. These are for the lower, constant headlight control.

Connect the bulb end of either WHITE wire to the light board end of the BLACK wire;

(Step 7) along with the BLUE decoder lead.

Connect the bulb end of the other WHITE wire to the White decoder lead. The light board ends of the WHITE leads will NOT be used to make any other connections.

*NOTE: If you are using the DN140 decoder you will connect the lower (constant) headlight using the WHITE and RED decoder wires as shown in the DN140 user manual.

*NOTE: If you have not replaced the 1.5V bulb with a 12V bulb, then you will need to install

a 120 OHM 1/2 watt resistor in series with the one lead of the bulb. Tack the resistor to the underside of the sill.

Check all your connections, make sure they are solid and insulated. Before replacing the shell, place the locomotive on the track for a test drive. If your installation was done correctly, the lower headlight will be on constantly in forward motion, controlled by F0. The Mars Light can be turned on and off regardless of the direction by using the F1 function on your Digitrax throttle.

Before replacing the shell be sure that all wires are located side by side on top of the weight and secured with tape so that they take-up the least height, then replace the shell and you're ready to roll.



Digitrax Decoder Installation For PROTO 2000 E6/E7 with Mars Light With P2K 8 Pin Plug/Light Board in HO Scale

Remove 8 pin dummy plug from P2K light board

Unsolder the yellow wire from pin 2 and re-solder it to pin 3 (empty pin) on the decoder harness plug.  We strongly recommend that you mark the decoder and/or harness so that you will remember that you have modified it.  If you use the decoder and/or harness modified in this manner in a different locomotive, your lights will not work correctly.


Plug the decoder and harness into the light board in the locomotive.

Program CVs as follows:  CV33 = 001, CV34 = 003, CV35 = 002

Use F1 to control Mars light on/off.