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Thread: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

  1. #1
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    Default Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    After resisting for years, I have finally been convinced to convert my DC operation to DCC, and whaddya know, problems emerged almost instantly. My P2K E8/E9 units (and there are seven of 'em) are NOT "DCC ready," as would be the case if I had bought them in this century. So-o-o-o, I would like to hear from someone with some experience with this, namely whose decoder did you use, and how did you go about installing it? At this point, I am happy for any advice I can get, as applicable web sites do not all seem to be in agreement.

    Much appreciated,

    GS

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    Coming over to the Dark Side are you? I have no experience yet but I'm in the middle of installing my Soundtraxx Tsunami micro decoder in a tender. They include good looking instructions with a good diagram and lots of info. Check out Soundtraxx website. It's very helpful with loco specific selections. You are adding sound as well aren't you?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    Actually, no sound. It's great in one locomotive, annoying when there are seven or eight of them running at the same time. I think down the road I may decide to add sound to one locomotive, but the thing is, since I model 1967, there will only be monotonous diesel growl.

    GS

  4. #4

    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    GS, While I have not have the good fortune of having one of these yet I am experienced with decoder instals (in diesels.) There is a simple concept to decoder installs. Now there are some threads on here specifically about the P2K E8's. I would say the easiest thing to do is remove the circuit board (since it is not DCC ready) and hard wire in a decoder and new lights, or keep the old ones and make sure you have the correct resistor attached. There are a variety of decoders out there and they are all completable with most systems. DCS (made by MTH) is a system that has mainly been used n O scale, but recently MTH has came out with HO stuff. And only MTH DCS products work with DCS products if I am informed right.
    Do you have a DCC system yet? How big is your layout? I have the NCE power cab and it is a great system, especially for someone who has trouble understanding computer stuff. Digitrax also makes good systems. I've heard MRC has good systems, but I've never used one. Also there are several brands of decoders out there. I like to use TCS or NCE decoders. TCS has the best warranty. I've had a bad experience with a digitrax decoder so I don't buy them, but several people use them. A good decoder for your E8 would be the TCS T1. It's only got 2 (lighting) functions but you only need 2, one for the head light, one for the mars.
    If you need help figuring out how to hard wire a decoder and install lights I have some videos if you would like to see them.

    Ethan
    Ethan Lawrence
    Founder and CEO of the Iantha Branch.

    "When you carry the ball, you carry the brotherhood" - Coach OB
    2011, 2012 and 2013 Missouri State Class 2 football champs

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    I have an NCE system. There are 28 locomotives, including 7 E8/E9, 4 E7, 1 E6, 2 PA1, 2 FP45, 4 F3/F7, 2 RS3, 1 SDP35, 1 RS11, 1 DL109, 1 GP7 and I forget what else. The layout is not large, approximately 40 x 20, so I have not invested in any boosters. It has a separate DC system that drives the 50 or so Tortoise machines and the signal system.

    GS

  6. #6

    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    Ok, 40x20 not large? Your gonna need some boosters. Depending on how many engines your gonna want to run at once. The power cab supplies 2 amps of power, which will run 4 maybe 5 on a good day HO locomotives. And it may not have enough punch to do that on a big layout like that. You'll need at least one booster, I don't know how well the small power supply will handle that much track. Since you have the power cab you need the Smart Booster. It's designed to work with the power cab, and provides 5 amps of power. If that's not enough then you can add as many dumb boosters as you want, they also add 5 amps of power.

    Ethan
    Ethan Lawrence
    Founder and CEO of the Iantha Branch.

    "When you carry the ball, you carry the brotherhood" - Coach OB
    2011, 2012 and 2013 Missouri State Class 2 football champs

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    GS,
    Search the back issues of THE METEOR on this site, There is a complete artilce on doing a Proto 2000 E8/9 DCC install. It is in Volume 1 Number 3 September 2009.
    Richard E. Napper
    Frisco Northern Model Railroad
    Modeling the Northern Division and Sheffield Steel in Kansas City, MO and Coal Mines in Missouri

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    Greg, here is one version of an install using an NCE D13 series decoder:http://www.frisco.org/vb/showthread....ecoder-Install

    You could also eliminate the Proto 2000 light board and wire the decoder directly to the headlights using appropriate resistors.
    Keith Robinson
    KC, MO North
    Southeast...........Southwest
    Ship It on the Frisco!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    Quote Originally Posted by renapper View Post
    GS,
    Search the back issues of THE METEOR on this site, There is a complete artilce on doing a Proto 2000 E8/9 DCC install. It is in Volume 1 Number 3 September 2009.
    Thanks. I will be sure to check that out.

    GS

  10. #10

    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    Well, I just finished one and am going to do two more.
    I used the Tsunami Duel EMD 567 P.N. 827118, because it gives the
    impression of two engines starting. OSI 8 Ohm 1.0 watt speaker. Radio Shack 1.5 Ohm Reststors if using LED lights YelloGlo.
    The hardest part is the speaker in the back vent. It is berry tight and you might need a little help.
    I had a NASA guy here in Florida help me with the first one, which does not mean you need to be a rocket scientist, but he sure helped. He is in our club. We have 3 NASA guys, yep lucky us.
    My result was real nice.
    Good Luck
    Bill Jackson

  11. #11

    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    Just one more little tidbit. On the rear of the engine schell the grill has two small keepers, push those to remove the grill. The square plastic box there will need to be removed, we glued the speaker to the under side and replaced the grill. We used kaptan tape to close the side vents on the schell to baful the sound.
    Bill Jackson

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    I want to thank all those who have responded thus far, but I guess I failed to make myself clear in my original question. I do NOT want to install a sound unit, just a simple two-function decoder (motor and lights). What I want to know is what decoder (prefer NCE) has anyone else used that has yielded satisfactory results?

    GS

  13. #13

    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    GS, the NCE decoder you want is the D13 series decoder. It is actually a 3 function decoder. You get white wire (front head light) yellow wire (rear head light) and green wire (function one). There are three different versions of the D13, the SR, SRP and SRJ. The SR is your basic set up were your 9 wires are soldered directly to the decoder and are not removable. The SRP is the same as the SR, but has a 8 pin harness attached. The SRJ has a 9 pin plug, which means you 9 wires are separate from the decoder, thus removable. You connect simply by plugging it in. I recommend the SRJ so that if for some reason you want or need to remove the decoder all you have to do is unplug it and drop in the new one with out rewiring it. A good place to buy stuff is litchfield station. Great selection and low prices.
    Also if you want to go the route of replacing the original bulbs with LED's (which isn't a bad idea) I recommend these:
    http://www.litchfieldstation.com/xca...&cat=22&page=1
    You the little drop down bar to select color and size. You gonna want a 3mm LED and I recommend getting the Sunny White ones. You'll also want 1000 ohm resistor to run these. If you get LED's of a different brand you may need a different value, but these that litchfieldstation has on there web page work good with a 1000 ohm resistor.

    Quote Originally Posted by gstout View Post
    just a simple two-function decoder (motor and lights)
    Just to end your confusion motor is not counted as a function. Each lighting output is counted. EX a 6 function decoder will have front and rear head light function and F1-F4.

    Ethan
    Ethan Lawrence
    Founder and CEO of the Iantha Branch.

    "When you carry the ball, you carry the brotherhood" - Coach OB
    2011, 2012 and 2013 Missouri State Class 2 football champs

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    Greg, aside from the NCE DS13 that I used on my initial installation, I have also installed the TCS M1, MC2 and T1 for applications such as yours. In all cases, the end result was as desired. The NCE DS13 and the others provided the lighting control desired; one headlamp and one Mars light and also allowed the locomotives to operate very smoothly at all speeds, low to high.
    Keith Robinson
    KC, MO North
    Southeast...........Southwest
    Ship It on the Frisco!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    Use the D13SR from NEC. I would suggest LEDs with a 1000 ohn resistor. The D13SR will give you a headlight, backup light, and a mars light for you E8. The Proto 2000 E8 uses a complete Athearn Drive. You would usually wire the orange wire to the top Motor clip, but in the E8, the motor runs backwards to make the unit go forward, so wire the ornage wire to the bottom motor clip(be sure it is insulated from the frame. Wire the gray wire to the top motor clip. Egineer side gets the red wire on the turcks, and the black wire goes to the firemans side. looking foward to the front of the E8, your right side gets the red wire, enginners side. Lights are wired with all LED long leads connected to the Blue wire. The shorter LED lead gets the 1000 ohm resisitor, then the other end of the resisitor goes to the function wire, white for forward headlight, yellow for rear headlight, green for mars light, purple for forth light fuction if you need it. There are three holes on the rear of the D13SR opposite end from the eight wires. The three holes, are Green wire, Blue Wire and Purple wire in the order, look at the instrution page that comes with the decoder.
    Richard E. Napper
    Frisco Northern Model Railroad
    Modeling the Northern Division and Sheffield Steel in Kansas City, MO and Coal Mines in Missouri

  16. #16

    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    I keep forgetting to post, here are the youtube videos I made.

    These two will help you if you already have existing wiring in place:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjufJPqXJiQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK6Z-4jGx3w

    This play list (there are several videos) will help if your hard wiring with not preexisting wires like in a BB kit.
    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...eature=mh_lolz

    And then programing (if you need help with it)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vqp-K6FTeE4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGk-A...ure=plpp_video

    Ethan
    Ethan Lawrence
    Founder and CEO of the Iantha Branch.

    "When you carry the ball, you carry the brotherhood" - Coach OB
    2011, 2012 and 2013 Missouri State Class 2 football champs

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    Thanks to all who responded. You all have just been great!

    Greg Stout

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    Followed the procedure described in the METEOR article, and whaddya know, it worked! My surprise arises not from having doubts about the directions, but having doubts about my ability to execute correctly. That said, the Mars light works in both directions and I can't figure out how to turn it off. What key do I press?

    GS

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    Greg, we need to know what wire the Mars light is connected to in order to help you program the correct CV so the Mars light will work in forward only.
    Keith Robinson
    KC, MO North
    Southeast...........Southwest
    Ship It on the Frisco!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    Following the instructions in the METEOR article,
    (1) The YELLOW (rear light) wire is connected to the original circuit board (Part 7);
    (2) One of the white number board leads, along with the blue common lead from the decoder, is soldered to the upper transistor lead on the original circuit board (part 8);
    (3) The other white wire is attached to the white wire from the decoder (part 9).

    Did I not read the instructions correctly?

    GS

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Decoder for P2K E8/E9

    Greg, assuming you used the NCE D13 series decoder, you need to set CV 121 to 9 to make the Mars Light work in forward only according to NCE literature for those decoders.
    Keith Robinson
    KC, MO North
    Southeast...........Southwest
    Ship It on the Frisco!

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