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Author Topic: New to trains - need some advice please.  (Read 639 times)

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« on: March 08, 2018, 05:27:32 AM »

Hi (From South Africa)
I am a complete novice and am in the process of building my boys a playroom with Ninco cars and a train-set.  

The DCC stuff is getting me a bit unders, as I do not understand the technology/terminology all that well.

My setup (Waiting for delivery):
  • Bachmann E-Z Digital Command Control System.
  • Bachmann 44596 HO E-Z Track.
  • Bachmann 44594 Expander Set.
  • Erie Railroad RS3 HO DCC&Sound.
  • Bachmann GP35 DCC
  • Bachmann F7-A DCC SoundTraxx
  • Bachmann F7-B DCC Ready.
  • 13 train trucks in various states. some needing repair
  • Kadee #5 Magne-Matic Couplers 8 Pairs NIB

Ok, so I think I have all the Couplers sorted out (for now), but my question is about 2 things:
1. Bachmann GP35 DCC - How do I add sound to this device?
2. Bachmann F7-B DCC Ready. - How do I add DCC to this? (What do I need to plug into the device)?

ps - Could I re-use the chip from the GP35 in the F7-B and just get a chip with sound for the GP35?

I am sure to most of you this is an easy answer, but after trying to make heads-or-tails from the various makers of DCC, I am still totally in the dark.

Thank you for your help.
Aubrey Kloppers
Cape Town, South Africa
« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 05:51:30 AM by cyber7 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2018, 08:09:37 AM »

Welcome Aubrey!

I know shipping may be an issue for you (different continent and hemisphere).  But you may need to get a couple more things.

The GP35 (DCC) has a "hard-wired" decoder, built into it's electronics board.  That will not easily transfer into the F7-B.  The F7-B has an 8-hole socket.  You can get an inexpensive decoder with an 8-pin plug.  Just to keep things uniform, I would try to get an EZ command decoder to plug in.  It's relatively inexpensive and will operate well with your system.

To add sound to the GP35, there are replacement sound/motion decoders that are made to be replacements for the electronics board in the GP35.  However, I have never done this.  I would not be able to recommend a good brand for sound.

Hope this helps a little. Perhaps someone will chime in, who has added sound to the GP35.  Good luck!



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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2018, 08:48:54 PM »

to cyber7 :    Welcome to the world of  model railroading  !  There are books  Published by Kalmbach Publishing  covering many aspects of the Hobby that will help you with terminology  and techniques .  You made a good choice going with Kadee for couplers as they the best and oldest manufactures for couplers , though  Bachmann Mark 2 couplers are all right as well .   Starting with DCC equipment  is  more expensive initially  but does mean you avoid later conversion
issues .   Good Luck  on your endeavors  in our hobby .  John2.

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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2018, 04:31:05 AM »

Thank you for the kind words!  You will not believe what hassles I have bringing the hardware into South Africa.  I will, however be patient and will eventually get all the equipment I need.  I did, however, find a DCC stockist in South Africa that can not only help me with the installation of decoders...

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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2018, 09:56:25 AM »

My advice to new model railroaders  .....

When you are new, Id think its best to start with all new equipment or at least equipment known to run trouble free.  At least get something going instead of needing to do a whole lot of repairs or mods first before being to effectively operate at all.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2018, 10:54:55 AM by Trainman203 » Logged

Modeling the New Iberia and Northern 1945

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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2018, 08:41:21 PM »

My 2 cents...
For the F7-B pretty much any decoder marked as HO scale and dual mode with an 8 pin plug will suffice, get whatever is most readily available in South Africa.
For the GP-35 I understand your desire to add sound, however I would advise you to stick with the factory installed decoder as importing one would get expensive due to import duties plus shipping charges, expect to pay at least $200 USD to import one including shipping. Further the installation will not be as simple as plugging in a decoder into an 8 pin socket. You will need a soldering iron and good amount of knowledge and experience to install the decoder. There are some good sites and videos online that demonstrate the installation but even so I caution beginners to not go too far beyond their ability initially.
When you are more comfortable and experienced then you can look into upgrading your locomotive to sound.
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