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1  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: recommended 8 pin decoder for s2/s4 dcc ready locomotives on: March 14, 2018, 12:16:16 AM
I would recommend a Soundtraxx or ESU brand decoder. Both have great motor control but Soundtraxx decoders are a little less expensive. Soundtraxx makes one that will replace the PC board in your engine for only $26, they also make 8 Pin ones for $27.95 for the #852003 8 Pin decoder, and $19.95 for #852001 that is an 8 Pin direct plug (no wiring harness as the pins are integrated into the decoder). ESU LokPilot (DCC no sound) decoders range from $26.20 - $40.90 but for the S2/S4, I would recommend the Soundtraxx #852001 or ESU LokPilot Micro V4.0 with 8 Pin Plug. However, with the ESU decoders, I think you might have to insulate it by putting some shrink tubing that is available at any hardware store for only a few bucks for about 15-ish feet worth of it. But, I am unsure of this as the ESU decoders I do have came insulated (except for a couple 21-pin decoders I used in a couple British engines) but were marketed under the Bachmann Branchline product range.
2  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Coupler for Irish Railways loco? on: February 27, 2018, 04:00:43 AM
It is going to be the Hook and Loop style coupler. Best replacement would be a Bachmann #78979 Hook and Loop Coupler. Bachmann MSRP for them is $13 for three pairs. And looking at the picture on Bachmann's website, they do include the mounting screws.
3  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: GS6 tender shell on: February 15, 2018, 03:53:35 AM
You remove the shell in the same manner as the GS-4 tender. If you flip the tender over so you are looking at the underside, there will be a screw hole near the holes for a speaker. Remove that screw and use a flat head screwdriver as a wedge where the boxes on the bottom of the tender in the center on both sides and lift the sides of the tender shell away from there like you would use a big stick to move a boulder. Once the shell is loose from the two spots I just mentioned, lift the shell away from the frame by grabbing on to the back of the shell and rear tender truck and lifting up. There is a tab on the front of the frame that slots into the front of the shell. Once the tender shell is angled towards the front, slide the shell forward to release it from the tab on the front of the tender frame. Follow the steps in reverse order for re-assembly. Easy way to do it that I thought I would mention, disconnect the engine from the tender. Saves you from having to flip both over for this.
4  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann 4-6-0 DCC versions on: February 06, 2018, 03:35:54 AM
The 52204 is the new DCC Ready Version that is part of the Standard line while the 82032 is the older Spectrum line version. Not much is different about the two as they are the same running number but the Spectrum version's tender doesn't have the mounting point for the speaker in the tender chassis while the standard line version has the mounting point in the tender for a speaker but lacks the cab figures that the Spectrum line version has. Also the wiring harness that connects the engine and tender is different between the two as the Spectrum one has the 4 pin and 2 pin connectors while the Standard Line one has a single 6 pin or 8 pin connector and the standard version also lacks the sliding cab windows like the Spectrum version.
5  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Train Show Treasure on: February 06, 2018, 03:26:03 AM
For your Acela set, I would recommend the Kadee #19 or even the #18 couplers as the #17 ones would just be too short. And while the shank (the part that goes into the coupler pocket) is plastic, the coupler head itself is metal.
6  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: dcc in a 4-6-0 on: February 02, 2018, 12:20:30 AM
Like Jonathan said, Soundtraxx is the way to go for DCC Sound. I myself prefer it to a point where I have Tsunami2 decoders in a couple of my British engines (Tornado and Flying Scotsman) since it has the whistle sound for an LNER A4, but I am getting off topic. If the 4-6-0 is the newer Standard line 52" driver version (or Low Boiler version if you prefer to word it that way), the tender does have a mounting point for a speaker ready to go, however if it is an older Spectrum line version, it won't have a mounting point for the tender and mounting the speaker under the coal bunker is the best choice.
7  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Decoder used in a HO 2-8-8-4 EA-1 on: December 12, 2017, 12:27:19 AM
I think the problem you are having with the chuffs is that the 21 pin socket on the PCB is meant for the soundchip that had been made for that engine. The Sound chip had been made specially for the EM-1. One solution I have would be to replace the PCB with a Soundtraxx Decoder that has the plain wiring harness and hardwire the decoder in.
8  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Baldwin 4-6-0 DCC-ready question on: November 18, 2017, 01:45:35 AM
A couple things I can think of for that issue are simple fixes. One is making sure that Pin 1 on the 8 pin plug is lined up with the spot marked with a 1 on the PCB in the tender. Another is making sure the decoder is plugged in all the way. I had that issue with a Spectrum 2-8-0 when I first got it because I hadn't pushed the plugs between the engine and tender all the way into place so I would recommend checking the ones between the engine and tender as well as the actual decoder socket. The final thing is try a different decoder as it could simply be a faulty decoder.
9  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: bachmann alco s-2 on: October 31, 2017, 02:15:29 AM
I have the S-4 myself. All you need to do is remove the couplers by removing the screws that hold them in place and then you just lift the shell away from the frame.
10  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: sound in a consolidation? on: October 07, 2017, 01:48:39 AM

Consolidations run great! as a rule.

The newer consolidations come with DCC on board. So it's simply a matter of pulling the plug on the old decoder and plugging in a DCC/Sound decoder, like a Tsunami. 

Also, the newer versions already have a speaker mount in the tender.  If memory serves, a 28mm (1") speaker fits.

You will probably have to solder an 8-prong plug to the decoder wires, and solder a speaker to the decoder output wires.

This should be a simple conversion, as conversions go...

Once in a great while, on eBay, one can still find "sound onboard" connies. 

Call me biased, but you are starting off with the best all around HO steamer. 



Actually, as far as the wiring goes. If he goes with a Tsunami or Tsunami2 decoder, he can get a wiring harness that already has an 8 pin plug attached and cut the shrink tubing back on the decoder just enough to remove the stock wiring harness and plug the new one (with the 8 pin plug already attached) into place. All the installation instructions can be found on the Soundtraxx website under the Manuals tab at the top of their web page.
11  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Shell Removal on: September 25, 2017, 11:01:57 PM
I have a Bachmann GP-40 as well and to remove the shell, just remove the screws holding the couplers in place and lift the shell away. Most Bachmann diesels are like that.
12  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann ho dcc 4-8-4 and 2-10-4 on: August 01, 2017, 10:33:07 PM
For removing the wires I just use a flathead screwdriver or a set of needlenose pliers. And as far as the wires causeing the front tender truck to derail, I found that the trick to fixing that is to take the shell of the tender off while the tender wires are still connected to the engine and pulling the wires back into the tender until there is only enough slack in the wires to allow the engine to negotiate turns and taping the wires down using electrical tape. The wires are as long as they are so those who have to run the engine with the tender coupled using the second hole on the drawbar can still run the engine comfortably around tighter curves. I myself have the Santa Fe 4-8-4 and had that same issue with the tender truck.
13  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 2-8-4 Berkshire ok over Hornby points? on: July 28, 2017, 10:16:17 PM
Thank you for your help.

This does sound a lot more positive. Its just that I bought the Hornby points and its a lot of money to lose I'd the Berk cant negotiate the curves.

 I was actually looking at the Atlas turnouts myself.

You have no issues running DCC Locos over them?

Yes I have no issues with running DCC engines over Atlas turnouts as I use only Atlas track and all my engines are DCC or DCC sound equipped and I have only had problems with derailments on the turnouts when the track work itself was uneven. Though in my defense my layout at the time was made on a 1X3 frame with white Styrofoam as the base. Not the most stable material to run trains on with no plywood below it I will tell you that. Had to put my hand under the train board to keep the track level or trains would derail just coming out of the turn onto the front of the layout.
14  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 2-8-4 Berkshire ok over Hornby points? on: July 28, 2017, 01:00:40 AM
Welcome B81!

In comparison to other steam locomotives, my Berkshire was quite reliable when moving through turnouts.  That being said...

My only experience with Hornby has been their small turnouts that appear to have quite a short divergent rate, something along the lines of a #4 turnout with other brands of track.  That would probably be too tight for the berk and too tight for the Mikado.  Does Hornby make longer turnouts I am unaware of? If so, you'll want to use the longer turnouts.  I use #6 turnouts off the main line and smaller turnouts in the yard areas.

The Berkshire runs reliably on curves with 22 inch radius or larger.  Sorry, I don't know the metric equivalent. I think you'll have a tough time keeping the berk on the rails through small turnouts.



A Hornby R2 curve is roughly a 20" radius as a Hornby R1 curve is about 18" radius. I personally have had my Bachmann Berk around 18" radius curves and standard Atlas turnouts which are roughly a #4 turnout but shorter in length with no issues. Even had my Berk around a bend that was flex track that was set at my estimate a 15" or 16" radius curve with no problems when running with the engine and tender coupled long.
15  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Ex-Spectrum Baldwin 2-8-0 and Southern #630 Question? on: July 17, 2017, 09:08:52 PM
I know they had released the Spectrum 2-8-0 in Southern green as #722 and a couple other road numbers and in Southern Black but don't remember the road number.
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