|For many years, Atlas has offered quality HO scale diesel locomotives
that contain a unique "solderless wiring harness". The wiring seems
to be a complex mass of plastic and wires. But it is very simple
and easy to disconnect.
An ingenious system that uses no solder!
A grey plastic platform snaps onto two black plastic tabs that form
part of the motor mechanism.
Two bare copper wires run down each side of the grey plastic platform.
These copper wires are held in place under 8 plastic tabs - 4 tabs for
In the middle of the plastic platform, these copper wires are bent in
towards the middle of the platform.
Two copper tabs about 1/8" wide come up from each side of the motor
and are bent under the two copper wires at one end of the grey plastic
One grain-of-wheat bulb is located in the middle of the plastic platform
and provides light to each end of the locomotive through a clear plastic
Bare wires from the bulb are bent under the two copper wires.
Four black wires which are attached to the pickup wheels are crimped
onto the ends of the two bare wires on the plastic platform.
The wiring harness for newer models consists of a green printed
circuit board that provides directional lighting.
Again, an ingenious system that uses no solder!
The printed circuit board snaps onto the two black tabs that form part
of the motor mechanism.
Wires from the motor are threaded through holes located on one
side of the circuit board.
Four black wires are attached to the pickup wheels from each
truck. Each of these wires is threaded through holes located at each
end of the circuit board .
At each end of the circuit board is a grain-of-wheat bulb whose wires
are threaded through holes in the end of the circuit board.
All wires are held in place using black plastic snap-on covers.
And Now an Even Better Locomotive - With DCC
With the introduction of its DCC Dual Mode Decoder, Atlas has taken
these fine HO scale locomotives to a new level. The Atlas 341 Dual
Mode Decoder is a premium quality decoder that gets rid of that rats nest
of wires and black electrical tape that is so typical of many decoder installs.
The Atlas 341 decoder simply drops into the place of the solderless wire
harness - whether it's the old-version grey plastic platform, or the newer
green printed circuit board. It can easily be installed on any HO-scale
locomotive that has the two black plastic motor tabs.
In addition to the usual locomotive control functions,
the Atlas 341 supports two additional functions - typically for lighting
effects. Using the Atlas GP-7 as an example, we'll walk you through
the steps for installing the decoder. Then then we'll show you how
to install some grain-of-wheat bulbs for simple headlight control.
A suggestion - before you start installing, print the
instructions and read them thoroughly from start to finish.
Steps for Installing the Atlas Decoder
Installing the Atlas 341 Decoder involves a maximum of 9 simple
Removing the old Wiring Hariness
Preparing the copper strips from the motor for wiring to the decoder
Preparing the pickup wires for wiring to the decoder
Preparing a styrene (plastic) spacer to fit between the decoder and
Installing the decoder
Determining which end of the locomotive is front and which end is back
Connecting the motor wires to the decoder
Connecting the pickup wires to the decoder.