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Author Topic: Porter and DCC  (Read 3549 times)

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« on: July 19, 2007, 06:54:16 PM »

Can a Porter be equiped for DCC control Huh?  Also for sound?

Thanks in advance for the help.
the Bach-man

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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2007, 01:40:11 AM »

Dear Sapple,
I've seen many DCC installs, and a few have sound. Generally the speaker is monted under the cab roof.
Have fun!
the Bach-man

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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2007, 06:17:11 PM »

This can be done, but I will warn you this install is not for the faint of heart. The DCC part of things is pretty straight forward and many of the smaller N or Z scale decoders will work. For sound, I recommend the ESU Loksound Micro or one of the new Soundtraxx Micro-Tsunami decoders. Good luck!

PS> The 0-4-2 porter is much simpler as the speaker and decoder can be hidden in the load behind the cab.


Jeff - The Train Shoppe

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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2007, 06:51:47 PM »


Thanks for the reply as the installs I have seen are flat difficult.  Any suggestions for a good tutorial.

Sam Huh?

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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2007, 09:52:37 PM »

This is not perfect, but maybe helpful.  I couldn't get the link to work, but this is what I downloaded awhile ago.

Decoder Install - Porter 0-4-0 01/06/2007 09:18 AM Page 1 of 5
Back This article has been viewed 160 times
Decoder Install - Porter 0-4-0
By Ray Montgomery
Installing a DCC decoder on either of the Bachmann Porters, 0-4-0 or 0-4-2, is not a task to be undertaken lightly. Ray Montgomery explains his method.
In this conversion I used the following materials and tools:
Lenz 511 decoder. Any properly rated small decoder will work I chose this decoder because it was what I had on hand.
Heat shrink tubing
Soldering iron
Dremel tool with #115 cutter
This installation is not particularly easy. You will be completely disassembling this engine. If you are not
comfortable doing that, stop now. First take a look at the exploded view that is on Ted Hawkins web-site
(Thanks Ted). (or the one which comes with the locomotive - Editor). The headlight wires and the engine leads will be routed around the motor under the tank to the cab. The pickup leads come out of the frame and up into the cab. You can choose not to connect the headlight to the decoder. My decoder had leads for front and rear lights and since I will be adding tenders I did use the decoder front headlight wires. Also, I did not use the cab light so I cut the leads off. If you would like to use it you can leave it connected as is or use
Decoder Install - Porter 0-4-0 01/06/2007 09:18 AM Page 2 of 5
your decoder aux leads.
1. Pull the cab without floor up and off, yes it comes right off, it may have a bit of glue holding it to the
floor but mine just popped right off.
2. Turn the engine over and remove the four screws that hold the water tank. Also notice the sand lines
are attached, remove those carefully. The tank should come right off. (See photo below)
3. Next the motor needs to come out. Hold the motor between your fingers and thumb. Pull gently up
and the motor with gear will pop out. Notice there is only one wire to the motor. The other connection
is a contact strip under the engine. Note, this contact strip will be removed later.
4. Look at the rear of the boiler, see the two small slots in the sides of the firebox area. Use a small
screwdriver and push in on the clips and lift up on the boiler/firebox. Once it is released the
firebox/boiler/smokebox will move forward and detach. Under the smoke box you will see the wires
connecting the headlight and the motor. Cut these wires if you are going to connect the headlight to
the decoder. (See photo above).
5. Now pull the cab floor towards the rear of the engine it will come off easily.
Decoder Install - Porter 0-4-0 01/06/2007 09:18 AM Page 3 of 5
6. Now look at how the wires will go around the motor. You can run down either side but I chose the
engineers side because the tank has a cast in gap that can help routing the wires. (See photo below)
The wires will continue around the side of the motor to the cab and inside the cab. Take a marker and
draw a line on the inside of the tank where the wires will run. You will need to remove material from
the inside of the tank. I used the Dremel tool with #115 cutter. If you have access to a mill that is even
better. It will not need to be very neat BUT make it smooth so the wires don't get nicked. This routing
will take some time don't rush it and work carefully. At the back of the tank use the cutter to make a
slot for the wires to exit the tank.
7. Take a good long look at the valve gear. This stuff comes completely apart. Turn the engine over and
pop the bottom clip off. The wheels and valve gear will now come off in many pieces.
8. Remove the three screws that hold the two frame halves together. Now you can see where all the
wires went. I de-soldered all of them and removed them. Now is the time to remove the pickup to the
bottom of the motor.
9. Let’s turn to the pickups. The pickups are spring loaded pins that connect to strips inside the frame. I
do not like these pins for pickups but I am adding NG Trains tenders and the pickups on those should
make up for this. If you want you could make some pickup shoes or buy some and attach them to the
Decoder Install - Porter 0-4-0 01/06/2007 09:18 AM Page 4 of 5
frame strips. Notice that the wiper strips run along both sides of the inside of the frame. Drill a hole in
each frame side between the screw hole and the rear driver. Make sure the hole goes through the
wiper. Insert a wire in the hole and solder it to the pickup strip.
10. Now take the cab. You will need to make a slot for the wires coming from the boiler. First check the
line up of the cab and tank. Where the wires exit the tank you must make a matching slot in the cab.
There is a space between the cab and the tank, which the wires must cross. On my first installation I
just colored the wires with a black marker but you could use tubing painted black or heat shrink
11. Place the cab on the cab floor. Locate where the wires coming from the frame are located. Mark and
drill a hole in each of the two front corners for the pickup wires.
12. You should have all the wires in place. I routed the left frame pickup line over the backhead to the
decoder. Now it is time to reassemble the engine. I would assemble only as much as necessary to test
run the engine. If your test is successful continue to reassemble.
13. I placed my decoder in front of the engineer. I plan on cutting an engineer figure at the waist and
placing him on top of the decoder.
Decoder Install - Porter 0-4-0 01/06/2007 09:18 AM Page 5 of 5
The valve gear is the toughest part of this install. Go slow and consult the exploded drawing. Let me know how you’re doing, post your picture on the Conspiracy or forward it to 'On30 Tracks' for all to see.
Photos copyright © 2005 Ray Montgomery
Page last changed 07/09/2006

Not the best, but some info-hope it helps.

Eric Root

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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2007, 11:35:41 AM »

Thanks Eric,

Nice tutorial, but I am not sure that I will tackle this project.

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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2007, 02:31:39 PM »

Very good intructions, but please note that more recent production Porter 0-4-0's have a revised chassis from the 0-4-2.  The new chassis omits the spring contacts and has an electrically isolated moter.  I have found it easier to convert to DCC.

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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2007, 02:32:34 PM »

Make that motor, not moter!

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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2007, 06:12:13 PM »

I found 2 more tutorials in the On30 2006 Annual.  Larry Puckett wrote the first article and the Porter install portion begins on page 41.  Text and 3 pictures.  John Everett wrote the other article which begins on page 72.  Text and 4 pictures.

Hope this helps.

Eric Root
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