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Author Topic: Decoders for Diesel EMD FTA&B units  (Read 1634 times)
Fountainville Express

Former Industrial Arts (Junior High) teacher


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« on: April 02, 2011, 09:53:57 AM »

Hi folks,

Since I used to work for the CB&Q RR, I bought the Bachmann EMD FT A&B units with the CB&Q shells. I'm running them on DC, but wondered if anyone has done a DCC conversion for these locos? If so, please advise on decoder installation. I'm using the Digitrax system.

Thanks,

Fountainville Express
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Len

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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2011, 11:09:23 AM »

Instructions with pictures for doing the FT-B using a TCS T-1 decoder can be found at:

http://www.tcsdcc.com/public_html/Customer_Content/Installation_Pictures/HO_Scale/Bachmann/EMD_FT-B/EMD_FT-B.html

The FT-A should be very similar.

I like the TCS decoders because the instructions are written for real people, not DCC 'geeks'. Also because it's fairly simple to asign 'Back EMF' to a Function button to turn it off when MUing and back on when you're not.

Len
 
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
Fountainville Express

Former Industrial Arts (Junior High) teacher


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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2011, 10:15:57 AM »

Len,

Thanks much for the very detailed installation reference. I installed a decoder in a Athearn loco last month, but needed to call Athearn and Digitrax to get a sense of compatibility and fit. Fortunately, the Athearn loco had a DCC harness in place, but since this was my first attempt in going from DC to DCC, I wanted to get assurances that I wasn't going to screw up the effort!

Fountainville Express
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Len

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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2011, 05:35:23 PM »

You're welcome. The TCS site has quite a bit of helpful installation information. Even if you can't find info on the exact loco you're trying to do, you can often find one that very similar.

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2011, 09:32:10 PM »

The instructions are indeed well detailed and the photos are great but there are two areas where you could do better.  In photo 13, it looks like A.G. had problems soldering to the phosphor bronze (A.G. calls it "copper") pickup spring.  It appears the joint did not get enough heat, probably because the truck casting was stealing much of the heat.  If you have this problem, remove the screw that holds the pick up spring in place and slip a bit of thin cardboard or a few tooth picks between the spring and the casting while soldering.

Secondly, you will get a much more professional looking installation if you use shrink tubing instead of tape to insulate the wire joints.  But looks aren't everything.  More importantly, shrink tubing cannot come loose with continued exposure to the heat from the motor and the decoder.  Tape can.  It is disheartening to blow a $25 decoder for the sake of a few pennies worth of shrink tubing.

Jim
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Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
Fountainville Express

Former Industrial Arts (Junior High) teacher


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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2011, 09:59:53 AM »

Jim,

Thanks for the additional "heads up" on what appears to be an inadequate soldering and insulation job on the installation of a decoder on the EMD FTB unit. 

Fountainville Express
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