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Step 2 - Attach Wires to the Copper Strips from the Motor
Step 2 consists of cutting back the copper strips that come from the motor and soldering wires to the end of each copper strip. 
  • One of the copper strips terminates on top of the motor. 
  • Using a pair of wire cutters, cut back the copper strip that terminates on top of the motor so that only 1/8" of the strip remains. 
  • Select a piece of 24 or 26 AWG stranded wire that is the same as the 4 pickup wires from the trucks.  Stranded wire in a computer printer cable is satisfactory.  Wire that is single strand is not. Stranded wire in a flat-ribbon telephone cable is not satisfactory. 
  • Cut a piece of wire about 3" long and strip 1/8" of the insulation off each end. 
  • Place some flux on the bare wires and tin the bare wires. 
  • Place some flux on the shortened copper strip and tin the copper strip.
  • Using needle nose pliers and a steady hand, place one end of the wire on top of the shortened copper strip so that the wire is horizontal and comes out of the side of the motor mechanism.
  • Quickly touch the soldering iron to the wire and the copper strip until the solder melts.  Don't linger too long!  You can melt the plastic.  Hold the wire in place until the solder has set.

The other copper strip goes down one side of the motor mechanism.
  • Using a pair of wire cutters, cut back the copper strip so that only 1/8" of the strip is visible. This copper strip will be very close to the side of the plastic motor mechanism. 
  • Cut a piece of 24 or 26 AWG stranded wire about 3" long and strip 1/8" of the plastic insulation off each end. 
  • Select a piece of wire that is the same as the 4 pickup wires from the trucks.  Stranded wire in a computer printer cable is satisfactory.  Wire that is single strand is not. Stranded wire in a flat-ribbon telephone cable is not satisfactory. 
  • Place some flux on the bare wire and tin the bare wire. 
  • Place some flux on the shortened copper strip and tin the copper strip.
  • Using needle nose pliers and a steady hand, place one end of the wire on the inner side of the shortened copper strip so that the wire is vertical with the side of the motor mechanism.
  • Quickly touch the soldering iron to the wire and the copper strip until the solder melts.  Don't linger too long!  You can melt the plastic.  Hold the wire in place until the solder has set.
  • Using needle-nose pliers, bend the wire down so that it goes across the top of the motor.  The wire should now be horizontal with the wire coming from the top of the motor. 

There will be a small part of the copper strips and wire from the motor that will be bare.  This needs to be covered with heat-shrink tubing that is 3/32" diameter. 
  • Cut 2 pieces of heat-shrink tubing that are 1/8" long and slide these over the ends of the wires from the motor. 
  • Using an X-acto knife or a screwdriver, gently work the tubing down over the exposed part of each copper strip. 
  • Do not use force!  It is not necessary to completely cover all of the bare copper strips. 
  • Using a butane lighter, quickly apply heat to the heat-shrink tubing.  Don't linger too long! You can melt the plastic.  It's best to quickly apply the heat several times, rather than linger for any length of time. 

Before proceeding further, you need to ensure that your motor wires work.  You don't want to complete the installation only to find that the locomotive is dead. 
  • Place the locomotive on top of the plastic case that your Atlas decoder came in so that the wheels are off the ground and free to rotate. 
  • Attach jumper wires from an analog throttle (your regular DC power pack) to each of the motor wires. 
  • Slowly open the throttle.  If you've done the job right, the motor should turn. 
  • As an alternative, touch the motor wires to the terminals of a 9 volt battery - make sure you're securely holding the locomotive! 

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