Photos and text by Terry Powell
I have several older engines that I still think are worthy of updating to digital control. The T1 decoder from TCS is an excellent and inexpensive way to upgrade an older engine. First off, don't let all of the wires on the decoder harness intimidate you. It requires some soldering ability but other than that it pretty simple. This unit is an Atlas FP7 that has a drive unit made in Austria. A little different from the units made in Japan but still pretty easy to digitize. After removing the body shell unsolder all of the leads on the circuit board. Insure you know witch end is the front of the unit. Solder the 2 right side (engineer side) truck leads to the red lead on the harness. Now solder the 2 left side truck leads to the black lead on the harness. Next solder the orange lead to the right side of the circuit board that is mounted to the top of the motor. Then solder the gray lead to the left side of the board. The last step is to solder the light leads to the harness. You may need to replace the light in your unit with a bulb that will handle 14 volts. I did NOT have to do this. One lead from the bulb to the blue wire on the harness and the other lead from the bulb to the white lead on the harness. I insulated the circuit board with electrical tape and sealed all connections. The extra leads on the harness can be cut off or rolled up and secured. Plug the T1 decoder into the harness. Now this FP7 is ready for Digital running.