Installing a DCC decoder in a Heljan LION Loco
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Last updated 5 April, 2020
Heljan Lion


Installing the decoder in this loco is extremely easy. Getting the body off is straightforward, though not helped by the Heljan instructions!!

This installation used a TCS DP2X-UK decoder but any decoder with a rating of 0.6 amp or more should do the job. Tested at an average speed the loco draws 0.3-0.4 amps and at full speed 0.48 amps. Stall current is over 1 amp.




Lion - body removal


You don't need any screwdrivers but use finger nails to gently prise each of the 4 lugs away from the body. If you have some spare pieces of card, put a piece of card in the gap by each lug to stop it relocating itself into the chassis.

When there is visible movement of the body upwards VERY GENTLY jiggle the body from side to side, at the same time trying to move it upwards away from the chassis.



Lion DCC socket Lion DCC socket

Location of decoderEnsure space between decoder and resistors

The loco is DCC ready, having a socket installed on the circuit board in the loco. Gently lever the dummy plug out of the socket.

There is plenty of space inside the loco for almost any size of OO/HO decoder.

Firmly push the plug attached to the decoder into the socket, being careful not to bend the pins. Make sure the decoder is correctly orientated.

Also check, if using the DP2X-UK, that the back end of the decoder does not come into contact with the resistors located just to the rear of the socket.

It is suggested that you do any programming of the decoder and test the setup to check lighting is working before fully replacing the body.

Replace the body carefully. It is probably better to hold the body upside down and push the chassis onto the body. The reason for this is that the red lighting strips at each end of the loco come away very easily and can fall out if the body is up the right way.



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