Proto 2000 USRA 2-8-8-2

Does anyone know why Life-Like would hardwire the tender light to be on all the time in DCC?

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Frank Eva
http://www.digitalrailroader.org
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I had a similar problem with two first run models of the 2-8-8-2. I found a fault in the PC board which eventually caused the back up light circuit to fail on two Soundtrraxx DSD-150 decoders. Life Like have never replied to my repeated emails, snail mail to fix up these two decoders due to the fault in the board which appears to have be caused by poor production techniques. The copper traces that form the circuit paths have small threads coming off them that allows one path to contact another. I noticed it was very prevalant near the resistor for the back up light to the diode for the DC headlight control. I removed the PC boards from both locos and hard wired the decoder in place with minatronics 12V 30mA bulbs replacing the life like 1.5v bulbs..
Regards Charles Emerson Bellbird, NSW, Australia.

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It's criminal that they didn't even have the courtesy to reply to you. Did you ever try the 800 number given in their documentation?
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Frank Eva
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Frank, Nice as it is the 800 number only works in the US not from outside. From Oz you either go through the local importer, a waste of time or you get in touch with the parent. Another waste of time.
You were lucky it's just a solder bridge. Makes it nice and easy to repair. I hope with the new DCC sound equipped locos we don't have a too many problems. Regards Charles Emerson Bellbird, NSW, Australia

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I analyzed the PCB and found only one solder bridge - it was between two of the pins on the DCC socket. And yes, it already fried the rear light circuit!
I cut through the bridge with an X-Acto knife, right down to the raw board, and now it works great! In fact, because of the short, the light was very dim, but now, it's significantly brighter, now that it's not some of its power draining away. I'll have an update to my article on this at the website.
Thanks for your help, Charles!
Frank Eva http://www.digitalrailroader.org
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