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Author Topic: Will adding a DCC tender to DC Loco work?  (Read 1790 times)
Uncle Ray

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« on: December 14, 2017, 10:55:08 AM »

Is it that simple?  I am new(ish) to model railroading.  About 20 years ago I built a small N layout on a door.  I was fun for a while.  Got bored and sold it.  A few months ago I came across some old camera stuff and traded it for store credit at a camera/hobby store planning to buy a small set to tinker with.  I thought I would start with something simple so I picked up a Bachmann Durango and Silverton set.  Simple right?  Not 2 days went by before I discovered DCC with sound on You Tube.  My whole world has changed.  I went from an occasional putterer to a full blown addict.  My hobby car is now listed for sale so I can make room in the garage for a 6" X 12" layout and as soon as it's sold I'll have the $$$ to do it.  For now I have the 0-6-0 from the Durango and Silverton set.  It looks like any Bachmann tender will connect up to the engine and I see that Bachmann sells tenders with a DCC decoder already installed.

If I replace the stock tender with a Bachmann DCC equipped tender will it work or is there more stuff that needs to be done?

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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2017, 02:33:03 PM »

The short answer is no, it is not that simple. For a longer explanation, check out my dissertation on Bachmann's "DCC Ready" tenders here (towards the bottom) -



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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2017, 09:03:09 PM »

Bachmann does not sell a separate tender with DCC already installed.

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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2017, 09:31:22 AM »

When B-mann first issued these tenders separate, it appears that they did not have the circuit boards.  I have a few that do not.  Later versions of them do  have the circuit board.  Although I am still in the Dark Ages and do not use DCC, I prefer those with the boards to improve my Model Power and other steam engines.  It is far easier to wire those equipped with the circuit boards to the MPs, or any other steam engine that you want to improve.  If you solder the wires from the locomotive to either or both of the outer two pins that protrude from the circuit board, you will have proper contact between tender and locomotive.

The above, of course, applies mostly to non-B-mann steam engines.  It does not apply to the USRA 0-6-0 (or its 2-6-2 version), as the contact wires in the drawbar touch the split contact post on the locomotive, thus there is no need for wires.  You can use the circuit board equipped tender on B-mann power (or any power, for that matter), if you want to run DC, only.  As Spookshow indicates, you must do some work if you intend to use it for a DCC locomotive.

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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2017, 02:57:57 PM »

The way the Bachmann locomotive control mechanisms have ended-up after a lot of developmental changes over time, Bachmann could now make a DC locomotive that could be changed to DCC or DCC with sound simply by changing the tender.  But, they do not do that. 

The locos they sell with the beginners sets are mostly their old DC designs, and are not intended for easy upgrade.  Even their newest offerings are supplied with tenders that have electronics intended to run on both DC and DCC without changing tenders, even though Bachmann could make a better system by making interchangeable tenders for converting from DC to DCC to DCC with sound, or back the other way.  (Some people like DC, some people do not like sound, etc.)

Mark (Spookshow) has a website with great info on the various designs of each locomotive (Bachmann and pretty much all the others, too).  If you want to upgrade to DCC, the easiest way is to buy another locomotive.  But, there are instructions on how to convert juat about anything, if you want to make the effort to learn and execute some intricate model work.
Uncle Ray

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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2017, 11:58:04 AM »

Thank you all for your very helpful info and advice.  You have all been very encouraging.  Yes I will be buying more and different locos that are already DCC with sound.  For now and until the car is sold (for $$$ and space) all I have is the B-Man dc loco and it just seems like a waste to throw it away.  I will be buying a b-man dcc ready tender and attempting to make a dc to dcc conversion work.  I have been tinkering with electronics since 1961 so I think I can make it work.  Of course I thought using duct tape to repair the blade on my lawn mower was a good idea too.

I'm OK but I think my neighbors dog got a little annoyed.

Thanks again and I will keep you all posted

Ray G.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 11:16:26 AM by Uncle Ray » Logged
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