Model Train Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I bought this Bachman about 10 years ago. Tested it in a DC track runs well. But now I wish to know if it is DCC ready. It has no serial number and the box is long gone. I have tried removing the shell to look for a decoder port but there seems to be no screws in the bottom plate. How do you get into this beast?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,513 Posts
To remove the shell of some Bachmann diesels you
remove a pressed on 'fuel tank' between the trucks. Under it you'll find
a screw which should release the shell.

Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I didn't find a screw under the fuel tank cover but I did figure how to pry the shell off by lifting it over tabs. It was quite scary. Thought I was going to break it to pieces but that didn't happen. Nor did I find a hoped-for DCC port. But thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,867 Posts
I didn't find a screw under the fuel tank cover but I did figure how to pry the shell off by lifting it over tabs. It was quite scary. Thought I was going to break it to pieces but that didn't happen. Nor did I find a hoped-for DCC port. But thanks.
Migbait;

If you have some DC locomotives that you would, at some future point, want to convert to DCC, you can get excellent info on installing DCC decoders in locos, and anything else you might want to learn about DCC from this excellent book. "Basic DCC wiring" by Mike Polsgrove. Yo can order a copy from Kalmbach Hobby Store or from www.amazon.com

Traction Fan 🙂
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Migbait;

If you have some DC locomotives that you would, at some future point, want to convert to DCC, you can get excellent info on installing DCC decoders in locos, and anything else you might want to learn about DCC from this excellent book. "Basic DCC wiring" by Mike Polsgrove. Yo can order a copy from Kalmbach Hobby Store or from www.amazon.com

Traction Fan 🙂
Great top. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,867 Posts
Great top. Thanks.
Migbait;

You're welcome.
Have you read my response to your original post about whether you would need to change turnouts when you switched over to DCC, where I asked if you had any turnouts now, and, if you do, what brand and type do you have?

Traction Fan 🙂
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
508 Posts
How old is the the engine itself ? You got it 10 yrs ago. But is it, say, 20-30 yrs old ? It's thus possible it was only made for analog DC operation..And if so, converting it to digital DCC (decoder $30 +-) is no cake walk, leave alone mounting a speaker inside ($20 +-), if you want sound...
If any of this rings true you might just want to cut your losses and go with a completely new 'DCC/sound on board' loco(s) for the cost, trials and tribulations of converting what you have 🛤🌄🌵
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
713 Posts
If you don't need sound and are happy with basic forward and reverse light function only, it's not rocket science to wire in a decoder. You can get an appropriate decoder for less than $20 bucks.

You didn't post a pic of the inside, but I see pickups on all trucks, so it's probably powered to and from both trucks. If it runs smoothly, there's no reason not to try popping a decoder in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,160 Posts
I'd have to agree that it's fairly simple to add a decoder to any loco, provided you have a steady hand for soldering, and you understand basic electricity. Essentially you're going to have two wires connected between the wheels and the motor. The decoder will have four primary solder pads -- two go to the wheels, and the other two go to the motor. And you're done, ready to pop it on a DCC-enabled track for testing. The real trick is in finding a suitable way to mount the decoder inside the loco so it fits without shorting out on something else.

Once you have this much figured out, you can start working on the 'extras'. Every decoder will have a connection for a headlight (and probably a reverse light). Your loco likely uses bulbs, so you just hook one wire to the pad for that light (forward or reverse lights), and hook the second wire to the 'common' connection. If your loco uses LEDs, or if you want to convert it to LEDs while you have everything apart (and a lot of folks recommend this), you will need more information about whether the 'common' connector on the decoder is positive or negative, and you'll need to add a resistor of the proper value inline. After you've added decoders to a couple of locos the prospect of switching to LED lights won't seem so daunting, and you may even want to add more realism by adding lights behind the numberboards or adding ditch lights.

Adding sound is just a matter of getting a decoder with sound, and finding a location to mount a speaker. The key to great sound is to have some kind of canister behind it which will amplify and direct the sound, plus add more bass depth to it. You can get kits with round cans to fit specific speakers, and you use the pieces to assemble a can as deep as possible in the space you have available. Or if you're more the DIY type you might have materials on hand to build your own. For my steam loco I picked up a $1 speaker from ebay and 3D-printed the canister to hold the speaker. There's nothing fancy about it, and once you have the speaker in place you just solder the two wires to the appropriate pads on your decoder board.

If you have a local train club, you will almost certainly be able to find someone with experience at converting old locos to DCC, and who can show you what needs to be done. Or folks here can help you out if you share some good close-up photos of what you're working with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
OP:

Take the shell off the diesel.
Then take 2 pics:
  • first of the "light board", looking straight down from above
  • second, viewing loco with the shell off "from the side".
Post them here so we can see what you have.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top