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Recomend someone to install decoders???

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  • Member since
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  • From: N. East Texas
  • 39 posts
Recomend someone to install decoders???
Posted by HackSaw on Saturday, July 12, 2008 12:58 AM
I have half a dozen or so HO scale locos that i bought DC. They are very nice looking locos and I don't want to just let them sit on the shelf.  I have converted to DCC with the Dynamis and it works very well with the DCC equipped locos I have, however, I have proved to myself that installing a decoder is not my "thing", if you will.  Getting to my question, can anyone recomend someone or some reputable company i can send my locos to and they can do the install for me?  I have found that i have many talents in Model Railroading, but installing decoders is NOT one of themDunce [D)].  any help would be great. thanks.     ( sound decoders or reghular decoders)
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Posted by Rotorranch on Saturday, July 12, 2008 2:13 AM

I'll volunteer for the job! Smile [:)]

Tony's Train Exchange has a very good reputation. This forum's David Bedard seems pretty knowledgeable as well.

I'm sure there are others, but those are a couple that come to mind.


 Jake: How often does the train go by? Elwood: So often you won't even notice ...

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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Saturday, July 12, 2008 5:36 AM


Lackawanna Route of the Phoebe Snow

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Posted by cacole on Saturday, July 12, 2008 7:08 AM

Litchfield Station in Glendale, Arizona, installs decoders.  You don't indicate where you are, but he or Tony's Train Exchange in Vermont would be one of my first choices.



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Posted by locoi1sa on Saturday, July 12, 2008 7:39 AM

  You might want to visit a local model rail road club in your area. There is always some one doing decpder insals for the club. I have been doing most of my clubs decoder instals for a couple of years now. The plus side of local instals is no shipping.


 I pray every day I break even, Cause I can really use the money!

 I started with nothing and still have most of it left!

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  • From: Springboro, Ohio
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Posted by ripvanwnkl on Saturday, July 12, 2008 7:40 AM
I also recommend  I have had ESU Loksound decoders installed by them into two Diesel Kato locos and one Jouef (French) steam loco.  I have been very satisfied with results.  DCCTrain is in Cincinnati, Ohio.   


USAF (Retired)


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Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, July 12, 2008 8:22 AM

My LHS,, does electronic installations.  You should look for an LHS in your area, and see if they do them, to save on the expense and risks of shipping.

Consider sound while you're at it.  I'm afraid you're going to find that having this done is kind of pricey, and you might want to get sound installed the first time around rather than have to do this all over again later.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by simon1966 on Saturday, July 12, 2008 8:42 AM
I would also recommend Litchfield Station.  Who ever you choose make sure you get a good commitment on turn around time. Sometimes these shops have quite a backlog and you need to know if there is going to be a delay.

Simon Modelling CB&Q and Wabash See my slowly evolving layout on my picturetrail site and our videos at

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Posted by Randall_Roberts on Sunday, July 13, 2008 11:26 AM

While I respect the online suppliers listed who do installations, you have to consider that the shipping both ways may cost nearly as much as the decoder.  Add this to their installation fee and it becomes rather expensive.  I'd look for an LHS in your area that does the work.

But I'd bet with a little practice you could become comfortable with doing your own installations.  It's only a matter of soldering 4 - 7 wires.  And if you went with M1 decoders, the TCS "good proof" warranty would assure that messing up wouldn't cost you anything.

Randall Roberts Visit Subscribe to the FREE weekly Model Trains newsletter.
  • Member since
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  • From: Florida Panhandle
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Posted by hickstmj on Wednesday, July 16, 2008 12:05 PM
I know many of you are lucky enough to have several LHS's but some of us do not have that option.  The city I live in is not "small" but we do not have a LHS with any interest in trains.  The closest hobby shop (with train related items) to me is about 50 miles.  When gas is over $4 a gallon paying shipping is certainly looks more appealing than a 100 mile, 2 hour round trip.
Failure is not an option! LSU #1 - Geaux Tigers
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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, July 16, 2008 12:25 PM

Are these new engines or very old ones or?? Most new engines - made in the last 5 years or so at least - have "plug and play" decoder receptacles. You take the body shell off the engine (or tender if a steam engine), remove the eight pin 'dummy plug' and plug in a decoder and put the body back on. That's it.

It's easy to be intimidated but if you're going to continue modelling for...well, the rest of your life, do you really want to be dependent on someone else to do this for you - especially when you can become an expert at it within a short time?? Smile [:)]


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