Decoder installation of my Bachmann 4-6-0.

Shortliner13 May 9, 2019

  1. Shortliner13

    Shortliner13 New Member

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    Hello everyone, over the last two days, I've been working on my Bachmann 4-6-0, removing the USRA tender and mating a Minitrix tender that sits on top of a Bachmann Slope tender frame onto my locomotive. It's a more realistic tender for the locomotive.

    However, I have come into a bit of a problem. I don't really know how to fit the Bachmann's PC as well as the Digitrax DZ126T into a smaller tender. I don't know if I need the PC Board or if I can just take the shell of the locomotive off, de-soder the wire and then wire the Digitrax DZ126T to the motor and lighting itself. Or, do I need the PC Board?

    As you can see in the picture, I have tried to make as much room as I can in the tender for the PC Board and the Digitrax decoder, but I honestly don't know if I can fit both of them into such a small space. I could use some help.

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  2. GM50 4164

    GM50 4164 TrainBoard Member

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    Does anyone have a manual that came with their Bachmann 4-6-0? I've read it tells how to wire a separate decoder if you didn't want to use the one that comes with it. Cannot find any literature on Bachmann's site.
     
  3. Shortliner13

    Shortliner13 New Member

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  4. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    You don't need the PC board at all!!! Unsolder the wires from it and replace them with the ones from the decoder. Make very certain that neither motor terminal touches the frame. Your decoder should come with directions for lighting, there are two basic types, ones that output 12 volts and others that are "led ready." easy choice. The ones that output 12 V need a bulb of that voltage, but if you hook an led to 12 V it will likely make a flash and then be dead. Put a regular bulb on and LED ready connection and you get nothing.
     
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  5. NDave

    NDave TrainBoard Member

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    I am converting my 4-6-0 to a Bachmann USRA short tender and installing Soundtraxx Tsunami sound decoder, and an confirm that you do NOT need the 4-6-0 tender's PC board. Looking at your photos, I would solder the decoders track power (red and black) wires directly to the metal pickup busses in the new tender (on the USRA short, the wires are soldered in the middle of the bus, between the plastic posts that hole the buss in place), red to the right side and black to the left side. You will need to solder additional red and black leads to the tender's pickup busses to go to the engines right (red) and left track (black) power wires, respectively. I was able to carefully/quickly solder to the metal buss strips w/o removing them... and w/o noticeably melting the underlying plastic insulation.

    The loco's headlight PC board does not include a current limiting resistor for the LED headlight (it is in the tender PC board), so if your decoder doesn't limit the current and you connect the headlight LED directly to the decoder, you WILL blow out the headlight LED. Ask me how I know... So, (if your decoder doesn't include one) you WILL need to put a resistor (1000 ohm? that is what I am using for the SMD LEDs I am installing) in the circuit powering the headlight LED (and backup light, if you are installing one). I put both resistors in the tender, along with the decoder.
     
  6. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    It is possible to identify the portion of the board that handles lighting, and cut off the other parts. keep resistors, delete diodes that were used for directional lighting.
     

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