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I was wondering if you can suggest which decoder brands are compatible with Mantua F7A loco? I bought DH123D just to find out after the install that they are not compatible.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
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I thought we covered that in another thread. I (or we) need to see a photo of the motor block to determine which version you have, and then we can figure out how to isolate it to work, or if it is even do-able. The issue on inexpensive H0 engines is usually one side of the motor is grounded to that power truck, the other side goes to the opposing truck.
If that is the case, NO decoder can or will function. You cannot tie one motor lead to one track lead and have anything but smoke from the decoder.
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Well seems I missed a post or two,:( Sorry about that. However as scalecraft had said a picture would be in order to figure out if the train could be isolated and with how much work. I have found that any engine can but the amount of work that has to be put forth can make it unfeasible.

As a long needed update,

I now have the SD40-2 fully finished with the proper incandescent lamps for the forward and reverse instead of the nasty blue LED's I was surprised with, so now the ditch lights blend in perfectly. Next Tuesday I will take some picture of the finished engine as well as the following engine and have them uploaded here by the weekend.


The next locomotive to be finished is the GE 44 ton switcher in Rio Grande that has seen several fried decoders. I have the reasons all figured out so it can be avoided in the future. The first one was caused by a crossing of the motor leads causing either a short, a stall which caused the low max amps of the first decoder to fry. The second decoder was more of a simple issue than the other, the lighting outputs on a 2 function decoder should only be used for two lamps. I tried to use one to put a cab light in the engine which caused the entire lighting part of the board to fail, thankfully that is separate from the motor control so if you had to you could still run the engine.

The final decoder I installed was a three function and motor decoder from Digitrax that allowed me to have the three lights I needed, those being cab, front, and rear, lights. I used a small axial light sold by Miniatronics for the cab lamp.

This install has been a very challenging one to fit everything desired into such a small space (without modification) so I advise that if you want a DCC GE 44 ton switcher buy the newer version from Bachmann, unless you have to have the cab light. When I got this model it was before the release of the DCC version so I took on the challenge and gave it my own unique flare.:laugh:

Again picture to come of the finished engines soon, as well as a few new installs in the future. I plan to do a simple install of the sound module for the Bachmann EM-1 when mine arrives, another Athearn Blue Box/RTR engine with a ready to go on DCC swap kit, the install of a DCC decoder to an 8 pin plug in an Athearn SD50, and then some installation of NCE DCC decoders into some unknown engines, followed by installing a function only decoder in a freight/passenger car for lighting or a FRED (also has transponding), and then finishing it out with the install of a 6 function DCC decoder into an engine (possibly steam). Hope these installs are proving helpful!:)
 

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I'm in process of trying to install a Digitrax SDH164 in a HO Scale Bachmann #56501 Mogul 2-6-0 Rio Grande #65 w/Smoke, I opened the train and found two small boards that I dont know if I should remove them or solder somewhere to them and the weal pickup thing has me baffled a bit as well. I have installed a few sound decoders but this is my first steam loco. I have looked almost every place and with any search I can find to figure this out but there is nothing I can find on this one. I'm not afraid to install it in the tender or to gut and cut so if anyone has info on this or even close to some sort of answer or direction I would be in your debt.

Update:
Took it apart and wired it up, on test everything works but the motor? I found three wires connected to it 1,yellow 1,red and 1,black soldered to the motor body? now I'm really felling lost.
 

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Hello. Did you ever complete the Tsunami TSU-1000 install on your Bachmann SD40-2? I have this same loco and plan on installing the Tsunami in it soon. I'm a newbie to all of this and need all the help I can get. If you have completed this, could you post the steps required to complete the install. I would be forever grateful... :)

Thanks! Josh
 

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Josh,
I have done thousands of installs.
Red flags went flying on your post because the Bachamnn SD40-2 does not take a TSU-1000 decoder. It takes a TSU-AT1000 #828041, and speaker #810113.
You have to install the LED's and make a speaker box for it too. It's a fairly easy install.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
The Bachmann SD40-2 DCC equipped one I did when I did it there was no TSU-AT1000 decoder. I tried to find a drop in board but the only thing I could find was the TSU-1000 or 750. You are right though, the TSU-AT1000 would be a better option over the 1000. I didn't have to cut hardly any weight out to make the TSU-1000 fit though and there is little performance difference. He will still need to take out some weight to make the speaker fit if it does not come with a pre-drilled speaker mount like mine did.
 

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Josh,
I have done thousands of installs.
Red flags went flying on your post because the Bachamnn SD40-2 does not take a TSU-1000 decoder. It takes a TSU-AT1000 #828041, and speaker #810113.
You have to install the LED's and make a speaker box for it too. It's a fairly easy install.
Thanks. Actually I did mean the TSU-AT1000 (#828041) and speaker (#810113) which I just received today along with the corresponding enclosure and gasket kit.

This will be the first time installing any type of decoder (both for the Bachmann sd40-2 loco and myself) so any help would be appreciated. Step by step instructions along with wiring new lights in the loco would be even more appreciated... :)
 

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Where did you get you enlosure from? I haven't been able to locate any in a while.
The wiring instructions for the TSU-AT1000 are pretty strait forward, PM me if you run into a problem.;)
 

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Where did you get you enlosure from? I haven't been able to lacate any in a while.
The wiring instructions for the TSU-AT1000 are pretty strait forward, PM me if you run into a problem.;)
I got it (and the rest of the items) from Litchfield Station www.litchfieldstation.com

SPENC-16x35 Speaker enclosure for 16 x 35 mm rectangular speaker US $6.50

Shipped fast with no problems. Thanks for your offer. When I get to the point of installing I'll definitely send you a PM.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Sean is right it should all be straight forward with the provided instructions. The speaker enclosure will be the only part that you might need to modify the engine to make fit. If you plan to install ditch lights like I chose to do on mine then put the bulbs into the ditch light cases first then drill the holes in the front of the shell and mount the lights. I ran the wires up and through the front to the decoder with small but not as small as I could have gone wire.

I would recommend using something like thin speaker wire to run from the ditch lights to the decoder. DON'T forget to put the proper resistor in line to prevent the ditch lights from burning out instantly and good luck. I will also be more than willing to help if you need it.
 

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Thanks for the tips. They're very helpful and appreciated. I still have to get the replacement directional lamps and the lamps for the ditch lights. I also want to get the exhaust fans. So once I order and receive those I'll be ready for my "little project" :)

Thanks!!!
 

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This is where I will be posting about how to install a Digitrax DH123D DCC decoder into a(n) Bachmann Spectrum Line GE 44 Ton Switcher Yard Engine.

First Step,
Examen the insides of the Bachmann Spectrum GE 44 Ton Switcher and plan where the DH123D DCC decoder will be installed.


http://profile.imageshack.us/user/gc53dfgc

Engine with the shell on.


http://profile.imageshack.us/user/gc53dfgc

The engine with the shell taken off to expose the insides of this intricate switcher. Note that this switcher has two motors intead of the normal one. While this greatly improves pulling power this also makes the install of the Dh123D more complicated and compact.


http://profile.imageshack.us/user/gc53dfgc

For the placement of the DH123D I am planning on putting it in the center or on one of the sides. there is currently no extra space in this engine so I will have to grind away a lot of the wheight to make room for the decoder. This limit on space will also increase the amount of difficulty that I will have installing the DH123D DCC decoder.

_____________________________________________________________________________
Had a major mishap today and fried the DZ123 decoder for the 44 ton switcher. I have not figured out if it was the fact that I had two different pickup points or the fact that I am wiring it up for two motors. I am thinking it was the first one and am going to the train store tommorrow to get another one. Other than that I have to install the two lights and it will be finished. Then I will upload the install guide for this engine.

More updates to come...

Hi friend,

I am trying to install DCC for my bachmann 44T, the exact one you have. Can you pls share with me how you install your decoders for this? I am baffled by its twin motor

Thanks
Musicwerks
 

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AHM/Rivarossi 4-6-4 Hudson

I recently purchased an older AHM/Rivarossi 4-6-4 Hudson and would like to convert to DCC with sound. I think there's plenty of room in the tender for this. I've converted some of my older diesel engines but have not done a steam engine yet. Has anyone converted this model or similar model. Or does anyone know of a tuitorial for AHM/Riviarossi steamers anywhere?

Thanks
 

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Might be a dumb question, but I'll ask anyway.
Is it cheaper to convert a non dcc n scale locomotive to dcc? Or, is the cost about the same, buying dcc factory installed?
 

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An N scale suitable decoder runs around $20.00. You can buy
used N DC locos from 5.00 on up depending on age. Older locos
may draw too much current for an N Scale decoder and you
may have to replace the motor, that's around 25 to 30 $. So, you could
get a nice DCC loco for 30.00 to 50.00 after upgrading. New diesel DCC
no sound N scale locos are selling at a discount at Hobbyline, one
of the major on lines dealers, for just under 100.00. You might be
lucky on Ebay and win a bid for less.

You takes your chances.

Don
 
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