A.) basically empty inside,
B.) has a real easy body to lift off,
C.) (now) has a 9-pin wire harness and an 8-pin socket (also custom made from 1x40 IC header pins),
D.) is simple enough that I don't think I could possibly damage it with a bad decoder, and
E.) is cheap enough that I don't really care if something does happen.
I am going to install F0F and F0R, of course, as well as the functions that go with purple and green wires. I was also going to install an LED on the board inside the loco with two header-pin-sockets and make a pair of jumper wires. I could plug the jumper wires in and use them as probes to check functions that only have solder pads and do not connect through the harness. It will still be more good practice installing LEDs and soldering in the tight places, etc.
Pictures to come; now that I have a better camera than I had, I will try to take more pictures more often.
Mike, at DieCastoms