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Author Topic: Being a gluten for punishment DC to DCC conversion 0-4-0 Docksider  (Read 3978 times)
lesklar

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« on: March 11, 2013, 01:51:58 PM »

I thought I would give this a try, has anyone tried to convert a Bachmann 0-4-0 Docksider (no tender attached) to DCC?
I got one for about $10 and it seems to run OK in DC so I believe it should work in DCC. Not sure if there is room for a decoder and a search turns up zero info.
In the end I may try this and I will video and document for future information. I figure the $16 decoder is cheap and I do not mind a challenge Grin.
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Desertdweller

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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2013, 07:47:50 PM »

Good luck with this project.  The Dockside is a great basis for kitbashing.

In HO, I once made an 0-4-4-0 articulated out of two of them.  Powered the rear engine only and turned the motor around inside the cab.

I also saw a really neat little engine made by adding an SP cab-forward cab front to a Dockside.

Les
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Moose

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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2013, 08:24:46 PM »

There's an article in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of N-Scale Magazine where the author mentions (several times) that he converted a 0-4-0 Dockside to DCC. I've been meaning to write to the editor to see if they might ask the author to submit an article about the conversion, but I have not had the time.

The loco. has limited electrical contacts (obviously), limited weight and no traction tires, so it seems that modifying it to fit a decoder might render its capabilities more than you would like.

I look forward to reading about your conversion...
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lesklar

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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2013, 09:53:34 AM »

Thought I would update.
I have disassembled this loco and found that the conversion should be fairly easy as the pickups are copper 'fingers' that reach up and contact the motor brushes. That is the only electrical! So my plan is to solder the red and black decoder wires onto the pickup fingers (shortening them a little) and heat shrink them to insulate them from touching the motor brushes. Then solder the grey and orange decoder wires to the motor.

That should be it! Smiley I did have to go and buy a smaller decoder (same amp ratings) as the space in the cab above the motor is the only place available to place the decoder (unless you want to mill the large weight for room). I am just waiting for the smaller decoder to arrive in the mail. The only other possible modification is some small milling for the pickup wires to get past the shell and weight (very small slots to prevent wire pinching).

Now this model does not have a light. There is a clear lense on the front that is a fake light. I was wondering if anyone has a suggestion on what size and style LED might fit this best? Again, I know that this will require adding some small holes in the shell to route the wires.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 09:57:20 AM by lesklar » Logged
lesklar

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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2013, 10:07:41 AM »

Also, this model has brass pipes that run from the front to the cab in back. Could I use these to conduct electricity to the front LED? Adding in the appropriate resistor in the circuit somewhere! The shell is plastic.

Not sure how to load a picture?

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Desertdweller

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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2013, 11:39:44 AM »

It has been a long time since I worked on a Dockside model, and that was in HO.  But as I can recall, the "brass pipes" are handrails on the sides of the saddle tank.

These would be a slick way of getting power to the headlight.  The hardest part would be making a contact system so you could take off the body shell without having to cut wires going to the brass tubes.

Be careful when you start milling away weight to install the decoder.  These little guys need all the weight you can fit into them.

Les
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lesklar

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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2013, 11:48:36 AM »

Thanks Les for the heads up about the shell removal Smiley

This is one reason I thought of using the brass hand rail and using some sort of contact pads in the cab. Not sure how that will work out, but it will have to be very small. This is also the reason I wanted to try and use the brass handrails so I do not have to mill anything off of the weights! Running in DC, this pulls about 5 to 7 cars but more than that I get wheel spin and have to crank up the speed to keep it moving up any slight grade (thus my interest in DCC and using BEMF). Pulling about 3 cars is about ideal, thus it is a switcher!

Any suggestions on an LED? How small is small for LED's?
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lesklar

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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2013, 02:11:00 PM »

I have completed this conversion and am very pleased! I did not add the light at this time, only motor control. I used a TCS Z2 (little more than the $16 decoder I was going to use). This little decoder fit nicely and in an unusual spot! I have the 0-4-0 early version with the scary running gear. This version does not use a screw to hold the motor to the chassis so there is a spot under the motor to place this decoder. Trim the pickup figers that extend up to contact the motor posts and solder the red and black wires to these (make sure nothing touches the motor posts). Then solder the orange and black wires to the motor post (do this quicly so as not to melt the plastic motor housing). I had to cut off the screw boss in the bottom chassis (screw not used in this version), trim the pick-up fingers, and cut two little slits to route the wires forward (these slits are behind the rear wheels and the wires easily reach up and out of the way of all moving parts).
The nice thing is I still have the room above the motor to add the lighting wires and resistors when I get ready to do this project!
I am compiling a short Youtube video of this install. But I have to say that this little Docksider runs very well in DCC (with power-routed frogs).
I should give one caveat, I have 4 versions of this Docksider and this was the only one that ran smooth in DC. Not every locomotive is a candidate for conversion (see my post of a F9).
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