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Decoder Installation into an

Consolidation 2-8-0

This installation note assumes you have read the section on Wiring Specific Locomotives.

This locomotive looks like it will be easy to wire in a DCC decoder.  It is.  Getting it back together, however, will be a little bit challenging as IHC filled the boiler with weight.  Don't you hate when that happens???

As usual, no two IHC locomotives that I have done have yet to be a like!  I hope this does you some good!

The headlight is mounted on the frame, rather than the boiler.  This fact, coupled with lead-filled boiler, means your headlight wires will have to run down the side of the boiler; tucked underneath, but visible.  Be sure to use small black wire.  Be carefull and you will have no trouble stripping the wires to the existing headlight.

The motor is already isolated from the power pick-up and frame in this locomotive.  Regrettably, only two of each of the driven wheels on each side provide power pick up.  Also, some of the tender wheels are used.  In no cases did I get a good, low resistance reading to any of the wheels.  Using conductalube on the back at the power pick of all the wheels' power pick up points is essential with this locomotive.  Also use Conductalube at the swivel points of the tender trucks.

R1 is 22 ohm, 5%, 1/4W resistors.

Use at least a 1A decoder with this locomotive.  A Digitrax DH140 was used for this installation.

There is a wire glued to the inside top of the boiler.  Yank it loose.

On the locomotive, the connector is on the right side.  On the tender, it is on the left.  You will need all the decoder wire length (and then some on the headlights) so I milled out the tender on the right side.  Leave the decoder loose in the tender so the wires have minimal springiness else causing derailments on curves.

The drawings above are from my IHC Mountain I had done.  These are not 100% correct for the Consolidation, but close enough
1.  I left the connector that connects track power pick up from the locomotive and the tender intact.
2.  We only used one flickering firebox light.  Two could have been used.

Everything else is the same.

There is a spot where wires are attached from the motor, the headlight, and the pickups from the loco wheels.  Cut the headlight wires free from there.  Also remove the motor wires.  Cut the wires going from the power pickups to the connector.  Splice in wire to get rid of the bare spots that were created when you unsoldered the wires from the motor.

Connect the orange wire to the top motor terminal.  Connect the gray to the bottom.

The can motor tightly occupies the firebox area.   The flywheel occupies the cab.  You will have to run all the wires, except the flickering firebox, through the cab.  I know, horrors!   Keep the wires low so they don't rub the flywheel.

Run the wires through the the tender.  Make the hole around the connector bigger to accomodate all the wires.

  Before assembling the locomotive, drill several holes in the frame so the firebox lights shine down on the track.  Be sure you read and understand how the Digitrax keep alive and flash rate is set iforCV 62 in their manual.  Adjust these values to suit your taste.
CV Value Function
01 20 Set to short address 24.
29 02 or 26 Set decoder mode to short address.  26 for long address.
49 68 Rule 17 Headlight F0f.
51 21 Flickering firebox F1.
62 24 Keep alive brightness (left digit 0-F).  Rate (right digit 0-F).


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