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Author Topic: Decoder for EMD F9  (Read 2418 times)
BestSnowman


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« on: March 16, 2009, 10:16:22 PM »

I've finally convinced my wife to let me upgrade to DCC with the Bachmann Diesel Commander set (Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon helped quite a bit) I'll be getting at the end of the week.

I already have a DC EMD F9 from a Bachmann Challenger set, I was wondering how much work it would be to install a DCC decoder. Would it make sense for me to install one or should I put it aside for a DC track for my son to start out his own layout in a couple years?
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-Matthew Newman
My Layout Blog
jward


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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2009, 08:42:47 AM »

did you know you can run dc locomotives on dcc? i know that the bachmann ez command and digitrax zephyr support this feature....

that said, if the f9 has the split frame design most later bachmann locomotives seem to use, adding a decoder is relatively easy. this link shows how:
http://members.shaw.ca/sask.rail/dcc/tmaster/tmaster.html

if it is the old bachmann where the motor and power truck are one unit, i wouldn't bother trying to convert it, especially when you can get dcc onboard locomotives for $50 or less.......
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
BestSnowman


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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2009, 08:24:32 PM »

I did know that you could run them on DCC but I have read you have to keep a close eye on them to watch for overheating and that you shouldn't leave them parked on a live layout.  As I have a smaller layout right now I doubt I will be running more than two locomotives at a time and I'd rather not have to put it on the track when I want to use it.


I think I will see if its a split frame and install a decoder, otherwise I'll install a siding for it to park when not in use and have it isolated so I can shut it off when not in use. If I leave it DC I can just save it for my son when he gets a little older, he will be three this saturday and loves trains so it would make a nice start for his set.

Thanks for the help!
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-Matthew Newman
My Layout Blog
OkieRick

Trackside in Rural OK


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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2009, 10:12:24 PM »

BestSnowman,

A search on ebay will usually give you and idea about hat your locomotive is worth.  But that may not be what it's worth to you.

I was mouthsticking through a Walthers catalog and found an NCE decoder for Bachmann Diesel Locomotives.  It is item # 524-139 - BACH/DSL replacement DCC decoder for Bachmann diesel locomotives.  I called NCE and asked about this "BACH/DSL" item to see what it would replace.  It is a "one size fits all" DCC board for Bachmann diesel locos except for their newest releases. 

I asked if it would work as a DC to DCC conversion board and was told it would.  You'll need about 5-5/8" x 3/4" in which to work.  The only thing I'm concerned bout in your case is the type motor you have in your F9.  Check the NCE website to look it over and d/l pdf file.  It's $19.95.

I would for sure ask Yampa Bob and / or Jim Banner before investing in this.  The instalation consists of two headlight solder joints, two motor solder joints and two tail light solder joints (if you have a tail light).

                 

Good luck-
Rick
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Tylerf

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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2009, 12:47:04 AM »

Wow, that is one big decoder
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jward


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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2009, 03:31:22 AM »

Re: dc locomotives on dcc.
i have yet to do any damage to a dc locomotive by leaving it on a live dcc track. the "singing" noise the dc locomotive makes while sitting there can be annoying though. i have had my dcc system up and running for about 4 or 5 years now.

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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
BestSnowman


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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2009, 06:27:03 PM »

Rick,

That is an interesting find, and looks like a good deal assuming it will work for me. As for the value, I was thinking about it and it looks like it is worth more to me because it is the first one I bought rather than its actual value (though I haven't found a DCC EMD F9 in any of the catalogs I have flipped through).

I'll definitely be looking into this decoder. Thanks for the find!
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-Matthew Newman
My Layout Blog
jward


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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2009, 08:41:52 PM »

interesting that you should bring up the lack of a dcc onboard f9.....
is there a reason that the ft chassis  is dcc equipped but not the f9? is the ft shorter? if not, it should be possible to swap the shells to get your dcc f9.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
BestSnowman


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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2009, 08:51:53 PM »

I hadn't thought of that, if all goes well this weekend I'll have a DCC FT to try that with.
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-Matthew Newman
My Layout Blog
Paul M.

T&P Railway in the 1950s


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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2009, 11:19:23 PM »

The Bachmann F9 has been out of production for a while. The FT's mechanism may or may not be interchangeable with your F9.
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BestSnowman


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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2009, 06:24:54 PM »

I just got my hands on a FT-A (Got the Digital Commander set) and I am comparing the diagrams and a shell swap might fit (it would be close) but the trucks would not look right with the F9 body's color scheme as well as a piece between the trucks (don't know what its called).

Given this I'm thinking I'd rather not take a part both to make one work and risk breaking both. I can't stand the whine the DC engine makes if I run it on DCC so unless I can make it stop doing that I'll have to convert it to DCC at some point.
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-Matthew Newman
My Layout Blog
Tylerf

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« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2009, 11:00:53 AM »

Some locomotives and brands whine less than others, my brand new kato being tested on DC sounded like it had a decoder because there was close To whine. But other locomotives can whine as loud as a full volume sound decoder. So I'm not sure what does this variation, maybe the motor or something in the wiring but there must be some way to quieten a dc locomotive. A very small muffler:)
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BestSnowman


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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2009, 08:37:16 PM »

I decided on a whim to revisit this and try swapping the F9 and FT shells. The trucks aren't the right color. The FT was a silver Santa Fe and the F9 is obviously a Union Pacific wich should have dark grey trucks. I'm going to try swapping the trucks.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/93301102@N00/3383005201/
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-Matthew Newman
My Layout Blog
BestSnowman


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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2009, 09:25:36 PM »

I got the correct trucks on the FT turned F9 and the F9 turned FT reassembled. A note to anyone else that does this the F9 parts fit better on the FT than the FT parts fit on the old F9 chassis. I was suprised how well all of the F9 parts fit into place.

Picture with the correct trucks and the reassembled (as DC) donor
http://www.flickr.com/photos/93301102@N00/3383120621/
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-Matthew Newman
My Layout Blog
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