Atlantic wiring & DCC install

Stock wiring:

Note that wiring can vary, so check yours against the below:

There were 3 wire nuts holding the wires together:

Blue nut: yellow wire from the smoke unit, one black wire from the headlight, the black wire from the motor, and the black wire from the track pickup

Blue nut: blue wire from the track pickup, the other black wire from the headlight, the red wire from the motor, the red from the on/off switch

Tan nut: Black from on/off switch, and brown wire from smoke unit.

So when I finished disconnecting things i had:

    • headlight: 2 black wires
    • smoke unit: yellow and brown wires
    • track pickups:  blue and a black wires (blue left, black right)
    • motor: red and a black wires (red motor plus, black motor minus)
    • smoke on/off switch: red and black wires


Adding sound and DCC:

Locomotive wiring

I put a irst generation QSI unit in the boiler between the cab and the second driver. There is a perfect little spot for it. You can see it below, this is the "Magnum" socket, notice the screw terminals are to the rear.

This lets me run the loco without the tender for testing. Note that the documentation sometimes identifies the terminals wrong, be sure to follow the silk-screened letters on the board. Common for the lights is NOT ground, but unreg (unregulated).

The stock headlight is described as a 12v light. I missed that and nuked it on my DCC voltage. I bought a new one, and it drew 72 milliamps on 12  volts. So I have 22 volts to the lamp, I found two 270 ohm 1/2 watt resistors, and paralleled them for a 135 ohm 1 watt. (10 volts divided by .072 = 166 ohms).

I knew I eventually wanted a backup light and tender pickups, so I added a 6 pin connector from All Electronics. I connected the wires thus:

  • black - left rail pickup
  • red - right rail pickup
  • brown and green to speaker
  • yellow - backup light
  • gray - decoder common (plus)

Below is where I drilled the hole for the wires, just go horizontally. Remove the cab floor for this operation. Leave enough slack in the wires to connect the plug BEFORE you hook the loco to the tender.

This way, the wires come out in the boiler, and don't foul the trailing truck.

The picture below shows where the wires come out inside the boiler:


Now you can get pretty tricky and bring the wires out working around the 2 screw bosses in the cab floor:


Notice one of the screw bosses is broken off (I bought my loco used). Route the wires between the bosses.



In the picture above, you see how I grouped the 6 wires into 2 groups of 3 and fit them in the slots in the rear of the cab assembly, which is attached to the boiler.


OK, so I decided to update the Atlantic to the new QSI Titan. I made a small mount for it with 4 layers of perf board. I hold the decoder to the perf board with a little velcro.






Tender wiring

Just to reinforce my statements, you HAVE to add power pickups from the tender, the wheelbase is just too short for some switches and the 2 drivers is just not enough power pickup. See the next section.

I put a really nice 3" speaker from Jonathan Belize of Electric Steam and Modelworks, he always finds the nicest speakers.

The tender has 4 screws underneath to take apart, and has a removable underbody detail panel, I removed that and then took a 2-3/4 inch hole drill to make the speaker hole and hot glued it in place. Sounds great. I used small pieces of styrene to cover over the three rectangular holes that used to locate the underbody detail.

I put a piece of foam rubber into the tender shell to help eliminate some of the "boominess" of the enclosure, which is a little large for this speaker. This also improved the sound. Finally glue the tender steps on, they can rattle from the sound vibrations.

My friend R.J. made one up, and added some old steel Aristo weights:


Below you can see the speaker in the tender, I removed the bottom detail to let the sound out without distortion.

Teh picture below shows the mating connector coming out a hole in the front of the tender.


Adding Tender Pickups

I found some split axle wheels, where the metal wheels are mounted to plastic half axles, and that keeps them insulated from each other.

truck 2


I'm finding a way to mount some carbon brushes to the wheels, will probably do the first and last axle:

truck 1

Weather Underground PWS KCACARLS78