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1  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Putting Sound into Bachmann Vanderbilt (Vandy) Tenders on: June 29, 2014, 09:19:30 AM
I am sure you did not scroll down. There is a HO forum here.

The coal load option is good. Some do this with a 16mm x 35mm oval speaker. You can mount the speaker firing up or down. Drill tiny holes in the coal load and use diluted white glue on the load and sprinkle with coal dust. Some have done that as well with standard coal load tenders.

Also, many suggestions, photos in the below link.


Hi Rich,
Do you think it might be better to place this discussion in the HO section?

Can you post photos on this forum,...or do you have to reference folks to a photo hosting site? What is they say, ...a picture is woth a thousand words.... Wink

Here is another forum where I posted this discussion with some photos:
2  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Posting Photos on: May 15, 2014, 10:00:36 AM
This can get addictive. Build a library in Photo Bucket. Photos can be hard to find after a while.
Don't move a picture or it will go away in the forum you posted it. Just add another photo in a different album. You will get a pop up message if you try to move or change a photo.

You mean to say that if in the future you try to reorganize your photos into 'albums' then the link may no longer be viable?? Seems like foolish software design to me? I'm on a number of boating forums that let you simply post a photo, but limit the size of it. Much more user friendly.
3  Discussion Boards / HO / Putting Sound into Bachmann Vanderbilt (Vandy) Tenders on: May 15, 2014, 09:48:09 AM
I have a number of Bachmann Vandy tenders that I wish to put sound (and decoders) into. In particular I am looking at the VC16 and VC12 tenders at the moment.

First the VC16 tenders. I want to build at least 3 different versions for experimentation purposes.
1) mount a Railmaster bass-reflex speaker (already enclosed in its own 'box') on the bottom frame firing out the bottom of the tender.
2) make another version like that of #1, but add a small round hi-bass speaker firing out the front of the tender (in the slot provided for the drawbar) into the cab area of the loco.
3) make another version that would utilize 2 or 3 small hi-base speakers firing out the bottom of the tender, plus one such speaker firing out front of the tender into the cab area of the loco

The VC 16 tenders I have do NOT have any holes in their bottom sides to let the sound out, so I need to drill some. I am proposing to drill some rather 'larger than stock' size holes in between the two long frame members in the bottom of the tender. My thoughts are that these larger diameter holes will allow for a deeper base sound to emanate (sort of like those custom car mufflers for those small engined imports)

In drilling these sound relief holes it would be much easier if that brake reserve cylinder were not in the way.
Any suggestions on how to remove and then reinstall it and its piping??

RailMaster Speakers I intend to use

4  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Exploring the Spectrum EM-1, 2-8-8-4 on: January 12, 2013, 12:53:00 PM
Can you reference an image posted on some other site than one of the image hosting somewhere else you may have posted the image??

The reason I ask is that I have tried to resist posting images to ANY of these image hosting sites...I just think there are too many alternative motives involved with those sites?
5  Discussion Boards / HO / Photo Posting on: January 12, 2013, 12:19:04 PM
Can someone tell me about adding photos to this forum? I've looked all over and don't seem to find a definitive location/definition.

When I tried a number of times, I believe I read the reqirement that the pimage be less than 128 kp, and that only 4 are allowed to one posting. Is that correct?

Is there also some limit on the dimensions of the image....perhaps width? I would have thought that might be covered by the 128 max definition.

I keep getting the 'upload box is full' even after adding only one 100kp image
6  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Exploring the Spectrum EM-1, 2-8-8-4 on: January 11, 2013, 08:49:19 PM
I'm sure that their were a number of fans just waiting for a plastic model of this EM-1 that was previously only available in brass.

There was another large articulated engine that was also dreamed of for years. And finally Rivarossi introduced their C&O H8 Allegheny. What a beautiful engine these are. I have several, but they remained 'unpacked' as I sold my layout anticipating a move overseas.

I just bought another of these engines,...a used one that is pretty heavily weathered. I was a little nervous about the purchase until I received the loco a couple of days ago. WOW, the weathering really does show off all of the superb detail on this loco. I'm going to try and post some photos.  (Had trouble posting photos here ??, so here is a link to some of them)
Interestingly this loco came with an aux fuel tender (the Bachmann one). I rather doubt that the Alleghenys ever used an aux tender, but that looooog package looks real neat
7  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Exploring the Spectrum EM-1, 2-8-8-4 on: January 11, 2013, 07:44:33 PM
Thanks for that info Rich. I realize how stupid my question was after I googled 'save a web page' and saw how many different options there were depending on a quite a number of factors. Sorry to clog up this discussion with that question.

I'll try to make up for it with a more substantial posting.

Next I have to figure out how to get notification when a new posting is added?....many different forum software configurations.  Huh?
8  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Exploring the Spectrum EM-1, 2-8-8-4 on: January 10, 2013, 08:25:24 PM
This is great stuff Jonathan. I hope people here are downloading the photos as I am sure with time, this thread will be buried. Bachmann has changed the website in the past and it could happen again.

I am actually saving each page to my PC as a HTML so if the site ever goes away, I have everything. That is a trick many users are not aware of for Internet sites.
I belong to a bunch of forums but not seeing anything like this yet.
Quick question Rich, is that save as an 'HTML only' or 'HTML complete'. I'm still learning this computer language even after 9 years of forum participation. I guess I am old school that thinks I have to save things in 'favorites', or make a print out of a page or so to remind me to return to a discussion.
9  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Exploring the Spectrum EM-1, 2-8-8-4 on: January 10, 2013, 08:15:14 PM
....So, #7600 now runs just as nicely as #7627.  My sound units has arrived, but I still owe a few bucks on my layaway.  Hopefully, I'll have the units installed by the February train show in Timonium.
Just found and read thru this subject thread,...very entertaining.

Do you still live in the area of the Timonium show? Will you be there this Feb??
10  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Track Cleaning. on: January 01, 2013, 02:42:06 PM
First a little chemistry: The black deposit on the top of the rails is nickel oxide (III). Recent studies have shown that this 'deposit' is comprised of a mixture of nickel oxide, dust, and other contaminants. Oddly, under microscopic observation, the 'deposit' is arranged in 'dots' or 'spots' and is not continuous. The current prevailing theory is that small amounts of 'dirt', on the locomotive wheels, causes arcing between the wheel and the rail surface (the 'dirt' effectively 'picks up' the wheel allowing it to lose contact momentarily with the rail surface) - speeding up the process of corrosion.
Interesting, I always thought that crud that built up on the rails, on the loco wheels, and on the rolling stock was 'disolved plastic material' from those cars running plasitic wheels....plastic abrasion against metal rails, helped along by a slight disolving action by all those different 'track cleaning solvents' we are being sold.

As I read a few other forums in addtion to this one, it does appear to be a rail oxidation problem, and applying something to help with this oxidation seems very worthwhile.

I was just this morning looking back thru some older mag articles and took note of this one pager titled "Polish those Railheads".

Decided to see if I could google it and see what else was out there. I ran across this discussion on this forum;

11  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Bachmann Standard Line on: November 02, 2012, 01:11:33 PM
Tip #7 - tender swaps - the following is a copy of a post from some years ago on the Bachmann board regarding tender swaps. It contains most everything you need to know about Spectrum tender swaps and how to do them without major rewiring or moving/replacing circuit boards:

If anyone has other Bachmann tender swap questions, I can likely help, just ask. I have used Spectrum tenders behind a number of other brands of locos with good results as well.

This is quite long now, so I will leave it at this. Feel free to offer your thoughts or ask questions.


So here is my project:

Adapt Bachmann Vandy Tenders to Run Behind Other Engines
This idea has surfaced as I attempt to kit bash a Proto2K Heritage 2-8-8-2 loco to look like a C&O H7 loco with the vandy tender option.

I have 2 tenders I would consider using with this loco,...a VC-16 and a VC-12, both of them those very nice ones made by Bachmann. I have already modified one of my VC-16 tenders to mate up with the Proto2K loco;......I carved out a slot in the front of the tender so that it accepts the stock draw-bar of the Proto2K loco.

Here is my basic thought process on the tender and sound situation. I thought I could take one of my Bachmann VC-16 tenders and one of the VC-12 tenders and put the sound decoder and the speakers in each. (I have in mind a dual hi-bass speaker installation in each one). I could then run either of these tenders behind the 'H-7 Proto2K loco, AND behind the various Mountain locos I have ( I have several Bachmann ones and several IHC ones).

I simply need to equip these two tenders with speaker(s) and a Tsunami decoder. I just need to make everything compatible with electrical mini-connection plugs between loco and tenders. I believe I could just utilize the Bachmann style mini-connection plugs since all my Bachmannn tenders have this style, and two of my Bachmann mountain locos have this style already existing ??

The tenders are equipped with 2 different mini-connectors that make connection to their engines, 4-pin plug, and one 2-pin plug, both orange in color. I assume the 2-pin plug brings the loco's wheel pick-up current back to the electrical board in the tender, and then the DCC power and lights get transmitted back to the loco via the 4-pin plug?? Does that sound correct??

If we stayed with the 'Bachmann connector types' then we would have to provide 2 Bachmann male connectors on the Proto2K H-7. My Bachmann mountain locos already have their male connectors. If I wanted to run these 'sound tenders' behind my IHC locos I would have to provide Bachmann male plugs for them also.

Is this doable, and a correct explaination??

Can I get these mini-connectors from Backmann??

12  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Bachmann Standard Line on: November 02, 2012, 08:55:40 AM
First, there are a lot of locos in the standard line, some run better than others, the motors are not the only issue, if there really are any "issues".

As Rich suggested, be more specific.

I have multiple copies of standard line GE70 tonners and 2-8-4's - All run great.

All have had their DCC decoders removed and I run them on Aristo Craft Train Engineer wireless radio throttles.

So without a specific loco to comment on, no one can really help you. It is foolish at best to judge these products by the "brand" or the "group". Each different loco is a different design with its own strengths and weaknesses. Same is true with Spectrum locos or other brands - another reason to be more specific about a problem you are trying to solve.

Personally, replacing motors in Bachmann locos sounds crazy to me. I have about 40 Bachmann locos, Standard and Spectrum, diesel and steam. They all run great. some did need some minor adjustments and I have learned lots of little tricks to make them run their best, but none started out as terible runners.

The following are a number of small improvements I have developed, in some cases with the help of others, for many of the current and recent Bachmann HO locomotives, mostly those in their Spectrum line.

Here is a repost of some of my Bachmann loco tips:

After mentioning some of these items in another post, John requested I elaberate. Much of this info I have posted before, either here or on the Bachmann board, but for those who missed those - here goes:

But first a disclaimer - I run DC, using Aristo Craft Train Engineer wireless throttles. Some of my performance related changes are directly related to the use these throttles or in some cases, you may see an improvement with any DC throttle, but maybe not to the same degree as the Train Engineer which has a pulse width modulated output.

Tip #1 - remove the motor circuit RF suppression capacitors. They are generally located on the circuit board often right near were the motor leads are attached. Sometimes they are disc type, on most newer models they are PC board type. Removing them will lower the starting speed and lower the slowest operational speed. It will also correct problems with some brands of aftermarket decoders.

This mod is especially effective on the 2-8-0, but does improve EVERY loco, and I have now removed ALL such capacitors.

I do this to all brands of products that have such RF filters in place. In addition to Bachmann, I have found them on some Intermountain and Proto2000 DC versions.

Tip #2 - add weight to the tenders - if you run long trains or do lots of backing, or back whole trains into staging, this will vertually eliminate tender derailments while backing. Additionally it greatly improves electrical pickup and is one key step in eliminating problems with the tender to loco wires.

Some other brands also need weight, but this is mainly a Bachmann issue. I add about 2 oz to most all Bachmann tenders. It seems to have no negative effect on pulling power as it is less than the weight of one freight car.

Tip #3 - OK, now we get loco specific - Spectrum USRA Heavy 4-8-2 - I modify the drawbar by bending a "dip" into it as close to the loco end as possible - about 1/8" in length and depth. This provides better clearance for the wires, which plug in directly above the drawbar on this model, and shortens the drawbar slightly, which improves the locos appearance. I run all my locos close coupled as I have large curves, but this mod does not seem to effect the use of either position or decrease useable minimum radius.

Tip #4 - replacing Bachmann couplers with Kadee couplers - generally the coupler pockets are too shallow to allow Kadee's to drop in. To solve this I gently file down th shank of Kadee #148's until they fit - I never use generic couplers on anything.

Tip #5 - the previously Spectrum, now regular line 2-8-0 - I add a small amount of additional weight in the domes. Not sure it really helps much, but I feel better about it. I also remove the metal spring from the pilot truck. This does seem to show a measurable increase in pulling power, if only by a few cars.

Tip #6 - the new regular line 2-8-4 - it is very easy to add about 5 oz of weight to these and greatly improve their pulling power - I will try to get a picture up showing the boiler off and the weight added. Mine will pull 35 cars on level track after the added weight.

Tip #7 - tender swaps - the following is a copy of a post from some years ago on the Bachmann board regarding tender swaps. It contains most everything you need to know about Spectrum tender swaps and how to do them without major rewiring or moving/replacing circuit boards:

Tender Swap – Bachmann medium Vanderbilt oil tender (Item #89905) with 63” driver 10 wheeler (Item #82307)


Initial test using jumpers provided with the tender – dead short, no operation.


Original plan – move 10 wheeler circuit board into new tender. This proved unworkable for several reasons, 10 wheeler circuit board too large and wires too short to fit into Vanderbilt tender without major modifications to both the tender and the circuit board.


New plan – can existing circuit board from Vanderbilt tender be rewired to work with 10 wheeler. A simple examination of both circuit boards revealed that while different, they both have the same basic connections, so the problem must lie in pin assignments in the connectors.


Tracing wires and a few simple checks revealed that the two wire connector simply brings the loco pickups to the circuit board. Reversing the wires on one end of the two wire jumper corrected this. Now the loco runs but in the wrong direction.


Two of the wires on the four wire plug are the motor leads. Reversing them gave us correct operational direction.


This only left the front headlight. The circuit board in the Vanderbilt tender is for the 2-8-0 which has 12 volt lamps for lighting. The 10 wheeler uses LED’s, this is the main reason the circuit board is different. Rather than trying to modify the circuit, I simply replaced the loco headlight LED with a 12 volt lamp.


Additionally I added weight to the Vanderbilt tender bringing it weight to about 5 oz. and replaced all couplers with genuine Kadee #148 on both the loco front and tender.


Result – loco now converted, runs well with original 10 wheeler draw bar and looks great.  


 This issue seems to be tied to what tender cam with what loco in the first place. I do not have all of the Bachmann spectrum locos, but from what I have seen, read and experienced, the following may be a good beginning of a compatibility chart:


Light Mountain & Consolidation will work with all of the "medium" tenders.


Heavy Mountain and 2-6-6-2 will work with the long coal tender, hicken tender and long vandy tender


Russian shares same tender with some 10 wheelers, so I am guessing they share the same circuit board.


The 10 wheeler is really a wild card here because it comes with three different tenders, depending on roadname. Some have the low, small "pre 1900" looking tender, some have the small tender from the Russian and one has the same tender as the consolidation, but obviously with a different circuit board.


But again, I think most of these differences are just the pin assignments and the type of headlight.

If anyone has other Bachmann tender swap questions, I can likely help, just ask. I have used Spectrum tenders behind a number of other brands of locos with good results as well.

This is quite long now, so I will leave it at this. Feel free to offer your thoughts or ask questions.


WOW,this is just the information I was looking for.I will return here soon, but first I must finish with other related posting I was preparing. Brian
13  Discussion Boards / HO / Locomotive Wheel Corrosion on: July 12, 2009, 11:56:27 PM
...short note I wrote to some HO manufacturers recently

I have been experiencing some significant problems with locomotive wheel corrosion on some Broadway Ltd locomotives, one steam loco so far, and several diesels.

I have been trying to do a little investigating on what makes for the best wheel construction, and what constitutes the best materials.

I would really appreciate at the very least a short note from each of you as to your preferred construction materials for wheel-sets in HO products.

I have started several discussions on some forums, and included photos of some problem wheelsets for review:

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