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1  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: DCC conversion questions, American Standard 4-4-0 on: July 29, 2021, 09:49:23 PM
I just discovered a strange behavior with my decoder.  It, the decoder, will not respond to any loco number with more than 2 digits.   It had been running on "03" as the default address and it worked fine but, when I tried programing the road number 119 the loco would not respond.  I tried two more times with the same result and then tried the number "19" and it works fine.  I can't remember running into this problem with any other decoder.  Maybe this is one of the reasons Digitrax replaced the DZ 143 ? 

Hope this tip helps another operator avoid frustration. 

2  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: DCC conversion questions, American Standard 4-4-0 on: July 29, 2021, 04:39:43 PM
    Thanks for the pictures and the advice.  The pictures look like mine only the color is different. 

Good news is, I finally got it running.  After quadruple checking the wiring and actually re-soldering all connections with no improvement, I decided to put it on my programming track again to make sure nothing had changed.  I hit factory reset and everything reverted back to basics.  I double checked all CVs and put it on my layout and it ran fine on DCC.  It's still a bit noisy but, I guess that's normal for this type of set up.  The drive shaft gizmo makes the most noise.  Next, I'll try changing a few CVs to see if I can improve smoothness, etc. 

The DZ 143 from Digitrax is a small decoder and it barely fit.  I guess a sound system is out of the question unless I want to make some major modifications.  (I think I read that the DZ143 has been replaced with a newer model)

I'll post my results here.   
3  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: DCC conversion questions, American Standard 4-4-0 on: July 29, 2021, 12:56:58 PM
Again, thanks for the reply.

I understand all to well that DC voltage to the decoder will fry it.  Don't ask me how I know.  Sad

Yes, the loco ran fine on DC before the attempt to install the decoder.  The decoder is a Digitrax DZ 143 and I removed it from the original packaging.  I've had it in my box-O-stuff for quite a while.  My motor is "just because it's new doesn't mean it will work". 
My brain is stuck on the lone black wire coming from the locomotive as the culprit. 

4  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: DCC conversion questions, American Standard 4-4-0 on: July 29, 2021, 11:45:05 AM
Thanks for the reply. 

The wiring is OK as I was able to program the decoder address and read all CVs.  That's what has me puzzled.  It should work but, it doesn't.  There is a black wire coming from an attach point at the boiler backhead.  It was attached to the rear truck pickup until I unsoldered it to attach the red wire.  I suspect that this black wire has something to do with the problem but, can't figure out where to attach it.  I thought it might be the power lead for the headlight.  I tried re-attaching it to the read truck pickup without success.   I don't want to mess around with trial and error to much and let the magic smoke escape.
5  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: DCC conversion questions, American Standard 4-4-0 on: July 29, 2021, 12:24:52 AM
I hope you folks will forgive me for resurrecting an old thread but, I think the discussion here is relevant to my "problem".  I have very recently acquired a very well kept older Bachman 4-4-0 American, no. 119, with the pancake motor w/driveshaft in the tender and no digital fittings anywhere.  I'm trying to add DCC control and I've wired in a Digitrax DZ 143 mobile decoder.  It appears to program just fine.  However, the locomotive won't move/run when placed on the track.  It doesn't even try to move and makes no sounds.  Wiring the decoder into the engine was very easy but, I think I've overlooked something. 

I'm hoping some of you can help me see what I can't.  When the solution is found I'm sure I'll be slapping my forehead.  It's got to be something simple, I just haven't been able to figure it out so far.  Smiley

6  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: New Bachmann Large Scale 4-6-0 Chassis Identification list. on: July 24, 2021, 06:08:27 PM
Adam and Bill,
    My new chassis arrived today and it's beautiful.  Although the color doesn't quite match my old V2 (old on is kind of light maroon ?), it is close enough that a bit of paint of the correct color will cure the issue.  Smiley  Don't quite know when I'll have the time to swap out the chassis but, I'm sure you guys will hear from me if I need help.  Grin

Again, thanks for the help/guidance. 


PS - it was well packaged to prevent damage and shipping was fast !
7  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: New Bachmann Large Scale 4-6-0 Chassis Identification list. on: July 22, 2021, 11:42:29 AM
Will do Bill and thanks for the heads-up. 

8  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: New Bachmann Large Scale 4-6-0 Chassis Identification list. on: July 22, 2021, 12:07:19 AM
Wow !  Thanks Adam.  Those are beauties.  Looks like the 81095 will be the best match with my 90011 paint scheme.  I love the looks of those  chassis with the metal side rods and valve gear.  I'm placing one on order as soon as I finish this post.

9  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: New Bachmann Large Scale 4-6-0 Chassis Identification list. on: July 21, 2021, 01:06:09 AM
Hello Bill,
    Thanks for the reply and thanks for all of the great info you've provided to the forum concerning these great locos.  There's so much great info provided that it's overwhelmed the "hard drive" between my ears.  I'll have to keep that post handy with a bookmark.  Smiley 
     I watched a YouTube video recently that describes replacing the chassis on a Loco just like mine.  I was especially interested in it because the author mentioned that it had metal valve gear and side rods. I got really excited about installing one (a V6?) into my loco.  Sadly, when I looked at the Bachman site, there were none to be had.   However, in your June 27 post, I notice that you mentioned new/upcoming versions V5A, V5B, and V7.  I'm in no real hurry since my #49 is still in excellent condition but, if a new series of chassis with metal valve gear and/or upgraded motor & drive train come available I'd like to grab one.  Any news about the possibility of those coming available?   

Thanks again,
(aka Garry)
10  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: New Bachmann Large Scale 4-6-0 Chassis Identification list. on: July 19, 2021, 05:58:17 PM
Hello Big Hauler fans. 
My Big Hauler is a V2, I think (#90011), that runs fine, very smooth too but, a bit noisy.  It has had very little use over the years and the drive train is very clean with the factory grease still on it.  No damage or wear could be seen when I opened up the bottom to check the chuff sensor.  BTW, I can turn the drive wheels manually.

If I wanted to put a new chassis under old #49, which one should I buy.  None of the model numbers on the Bachman web site match my model number (90011).  The version 5 (or later) chassis appear to have some desirable updates.  I have plans to put much more time on the old #49 in the future as I'm mulling over a garden railroad installation. 


11  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: PRAIRIE ENGINE on: January 04, 2009, 07:56:44 PM
    What's the cut-off date for Old vs. New on these locos?  I have one in my sights at a local hobby store but, can't see a date of mfg. on the box.  It would be a perfect fit on my layout as a general work-horse.  I plan to convert it to DCC also.  Someone on another thread posted an excellent link to instructions on the conversion for this loco. 
     If it's an old one and doesn't run well, I guess I could always return it for repair under Bachman's excellent warranty and get a new verrsion?

12  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum Steam Durability on: September 16, 2008, 12:17:29 AM
One time I built a house in a week with a pair of tweezers and a flat rock and I had two broken arms and a headache.   Grin

Sheesh, you guys take the cake.  Your idea of quality went out with high-button shoes and is far below what is acceptable today.  If you want to repair your locos yourself instead of return them for warranty work, knock yourselves out.  As for me, I'll return it to the mfg. for warranty repair and when the warranty runs out, I'll fix it myself ... if needed.

Some of you more "experienced" model railroaders have been a large help to many folks new to the hobby.  However, your superiority complex really turns people off.  Perhaps it's time you passed the baton to someone who can keep their ego in check.  Thanks for the help but, since it comes with the attitude ... there's the door.  Don't let it hit you on the way out.

Frankly, I don't know why I bothered posting anything here.  I should have listened to my firends who have posted here.  They were right.  All I got in return were snide remarks made by egotistical know-it-alls who look down on folks who believe in making the mfg. responsible for the defects in their product.

13  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum Steam Durability on: September 13, 2008, 03:23:47 AM

     I've been involved in this hobby since May this year and was not aware of the defects that some locomoitves come with from the mfg.  I expected to pay my money and throw them on the rails and have it run for at least a year providiing regular preventive maint. is performed.  Looks like I expected too much in the case of Bachman steam locomotives.
     Now, I'm a bit more experienced and a tiny bit wiser and will perform the inspection that you describe.  I have some mechanical skill but, I wouldn't call myself a craftsman.  I'm a "remove and replace" kind of guy.  I do very little parts fabricating or repairing.  I can make a decent solder joint as I've had training and experience at it but, these tiny wires are a challenge even with a quality soldering staation, small tip, and small solder.
I just performed a baisc "field strip" of a Proto 2000 FA1 unit to find and  repair a short circuit.  I found one broken wire and resoldered it but, that didn't seem to fix the short.  I sprayed the heck out of the contacts, motor brushes, etc. with electrosolve and tested it and found that the probelm was gone.  I lubricated all moving parts and reassembled the loco and ran it with the "B" unit for at least an hour this evening. 
     I shouldn't complain too loudly because I bought this locomotvie at a very good price on-line.  However, I didn't expect it have poor quality parts and require early repair.  It is, after all, one of Bachman's "top of the lline" locos. 
     I'm not asking Bachman to make custom modifications to my locomotive, I'm asking them to improve two important parts on this product.  Yampa Bob has given "us" the "fix" for protecting the fragile wires but, the issue of the unprotected and fragile "wipers" is still there.  Will I have to return it for repair again in 2 months?  I certainly hope not BUT, I will if that's what it takes to keep it running.  I LIKE this locomotive and want to keep it in serviceable condition for a long time.  I'd also like to run it on my layout often ... like everyday for an hour or more.  If it won't stand up to that, I won't be buying Bachman products anymoe.

14  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann srevice and durability??? on: September 10, 2008, 12:07:36 PM
     Last week my 2 month old Spectrum steam locomotive broke so, I emailed Bachman service and asked about repair.   They answered my email within two days and told me to fill out the on-line serivce form and send it, the locomotive, and a copy of my receipt ... which I did.  I'm waiting now for repair or replacement.
     My experience with their service dept., so far, has been good but, that's not to say they are always that quick to respond.  I also have a "standard" quality Bachman steam loco that I needed replacement parts for (I broke it).  It's an older, our of production, loco and it took about 6 weeks for them to reply.  I was surprised one evening when they called me at home and told me they had the parts and how much they cost.  They were surprisingly inexpensive and I bought them.
     I agree with the other fella that the Spectrum line is the best way to go when buying Bachman steam locomotives.  Don't know about the diesels because I don't have any.  They are not without flaws but, most can be overcome. 
     Frankly, there are other brands that are more durable and hold up better for children, who tend to be a bit rougher on toys than an adult would be.
15  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum Steam Durability on: September 10, 2008, 11:49:01 AM
    Gee, that news is sort of disappointing.  Instead of replacement, I was hoping they would repair it and improve the durability of those two issues.  The wipers need to be moved in toward the axles to protect them in case of a derail.  They should not be located where they are now ... it's like they planned for the wipers to get beat up and eventually break.  The engineer who came up with that briliant (not) idea should be looking for a new job ... maybe in a clothes pin factory. 
     Yampa Bob's fix of putting a piece of tubing (snug fitting) on the draw bar pin is a very easy fix for anyone to do but, we shouldn't have to go to that trouble.  The factory should provide a removable "keeper" of some sort. 
     If anyone has a fix for the "wiper" issue, please let me know.  If they replace rather than repair mine, I'll need some help doing the modification.  It's such a nice locomotive and I'd like to keep it working for a long time.

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