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Author Topic: K27 and marker lights, cab lights, number board lights question.  (Read 3212 times)
bobgrosh

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« on: September 16, 2007, 10:03:53 AM »

I plan to pre-order a K27 in two to three weeks.

I run DCC at 22 volts.
I have some Digitrax DG583AR decoders, I could use one in the Kay.
It looks like the Decoder will plug into the plug in the tender and control the motor, headlight, backup light, and possibly the smoke.

So, my questions are:
  • What about controlling the other lights?
  • Can I take the wired functions coming out of the plug on the side of the decoder and connect them to pins on J2. Currently, the decoder has no connections to those pins, so I can solder the wires right to the back side of the pins on the decoder itself.
  • When I plug the decoder into the Kay, will that let me control the cab light, number board, marker and any other lights in the Kay?
  • Can anyone tell me which lights are included in the Kay and what pins they connect too?
  • What are the voltage requirements of the pins? I currently run 22 volts, so 18 volt bulbs work fine. If the Kay has LEDs, are the limited or regulated in the loco so I can wire decoder function outputs directly to the pins in the tender?

Also, is there an official list of pin #s available from Bachmann that the Bach-man can post?
And, I noticed that the hand built prototype has the pins reversed from the Digitrax\Aristo assignement. Will that be changed in time for the first run?

Thanks in advance.
B0B

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the Bach-man
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2007, 10:52:02 PM »

Dear Bob,
The K-27 shown in Portland was an engineering sample. When we get production units we will be better able to answer your questions. In the meantime, I will forward your post.
Thanks!
the Bach-man
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bobgrosh

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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2007, 08:52:27 AM »

Dear Bob,
The K-27 shown in Portland was an engineering sample. When we get production units we will be better able to answer your questions. In the meantime, I will forward your post.
Thanks!
the Bach-man
Thanks for the answer.
I understood the loco was an engineering sample. From the lettering on the board, I assumed this could have been a board from production run of boards. Of course the boards could have been a one off, but, obviously there must be a change to reverse the pin-outs. Digitrax Decoders will not work in that engineering sample. As a result, I will not pre-order until there is a confirmation that this glaring error has or is going to be corrected prior to the first run. I for one don't want to have to wait until Digitrax or QSI redesigns their decoders just to fit the Kay.  I'm really hoping the engineering sample is just a one off board and someone caught the error in time. It would be nice to be able to swap decoders (or even battery control systems) between Aristo and Bachmann. I have several DG583AR decoders that could be removed from old diesels and installed in Bachmann locos should Bachmann make the plug compatible with the DG583AR and QSI decoders. As it stands right now, with the pins reversed in the engineering sample, it looks like Bachmann is intending to make life very difficult for DCC users who wish to move away from ugly dismals and into the beautiful world of 1:20 steam.

I assume the error in the engineering sample was a simple mistake. What I want to know is, "Has Bachmann caught it in time?"  Will the first run locos be compatible with existing decoders, or will they contain the error in the engineering sample? Without an answer, I need to hold off any pre-order and wait until the actual Kay's start to show up.

Hope that someone at engineering gets back to you soon so I can pre-order before my wallet finds something else it wants.

B0B
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2007, 11:39:33 AM »

Bob,

Perhaps I'm not seeing what you're talking about, but if it's only two pins that are reversed from what your boards need, why can't you just cut the wires going between the two boards and cross them? In a worst case scenario, I'm sure an adaptor would be simple enough to make. No, it's not quite "plug-and-play," but what--so far--has been? You know as well as I that we've a better chance at seeing a new mountain range in Kansas before large scale manufacturers actually conform to standards.

Later,

K
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bobgrosh

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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2007, 01:16:14 PM »



All the pins are swapped. By tracing the diodes forming the bridge, I see that the + and - outputs on the Bachmann DC dummy card are opposite of the output of the decoder. So, the regulator In the loco will not work with the decoder installed.

Also the common for lighting is now on the wrong pin.

It can't be determined from the photo, but it stands to reason that headlight and backup light will be reversed. That can be compensated for by programming CV's but then will cause headlight backup light problems on DC. The track polarity can be swapped but then the motor would be wrong.

Pin 1 can just be removed so it won't interfere with the keyed socket.
That still leaves issues with left and right track wires backward and motor polarity backward. Not really an issue if only run on DCC with the decoder but will cause problems with direction lights when a decoded loco is moved to a DC layout.
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2007, 03:03:09 PM »

Okay, I'm still a bit confused. Would the Digitrax board replace the board with the capacitor and diodes on it, plugging directly into the board below it? Also, is this circuitry being designed to be specifically compatible with the Digitrax board? If that answer is "yes," then--obviously--there are issues that need to be resolved. If the interface is designed for Bachmann's own DCC decoder--or at least not specifically for that Digitrax one--then there's really not a lot of room for complaining. The solution would be to build an interface adaptor that changes the pin order to where it needs to be and move on from there. Perhaps it would mean the decoder would not sit directly above, and would be connected by two wire harnesses, but who cares? It's not like real estate is at a premium in that tender.

Forgive me for sounding a bit unsympathetic, but I run battery R/C. I'll likely end up having to gut most of the electronics anyway, and hoping that I don't have to yank the motor noise suppression board to boot. I'd love to buy a locomotive where my only worry was that I'd need to rewire one plug to make things work properly. Where's that Kansas mountain range, again?

Later,

K
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bobgrosh

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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2007, 03:59:55 PM »

Well,  QSI has just announced the K27 sounds for the Magnum sound card.

The Magnum card is a direct plug in for the Aristo-craft PnP socket.

The Magnum provides sounds on DC and even works with a special controller for DC to allow DCC LIKE control of all sound function. It is also set up for Battery/RC.  Also, The Magnum has a plug in receiver that accepts QSI's radio receiver, which works with the CVP Airwire transmitter.

Add to that Ariso's TE and Directrix's 3 and 5 amp decoders with the compatible plug and you have quite a few choices for battery, RX, DC and DCC all with control of the individual sounds.

Looking at the QSI web site I find that the wiring diagrams match the Aristo PnP pins. several people have reported that they installed QSI sound decoders in Aristo locos with no problems. In matching the the diagrams from QSI I find the same problems, the pins just do not match up to the board shown in the engineering sample.

I understand engineering sample are supposed to isolate and identify exactly such problems. However, sometimes boards get produced and production on some components is started before there are enough pieces to assemble a complete engineering sample. Could be the cards in the sample were from a production run.

I find it unlikely that QSI would announce new K27 sounds for Bachmann K27 unless Bachmann intended to take advantage of the several control systems already out there for the Aristo pin arrangement.

Most likely this is a simple mistake when forgetting that the pin diagram on Digitrax and QSI web sites as viewed with the pins facing the camera.

My question is, will this be fixed in time for the first production run.

I have several of my locos wired to pins that replicate the Aristo arrangement. That way, I can swap decoders, swap back to DC and even swap to a battery/RC unit I sometimes use when visiting unpowered friends. I sure don't want to deal with making special twisting cable adapters, or reprogramming CV's to get the Kay up and running.

I'm sure by now SOMEONE must have tried plugging in the QSI sound system to the engineering sample and knows it will not fit in the Kay. So, can anyone at Bachmann tell us, was the problem caught in time?
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MBB


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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2007, 02:44:46 AM »

It will come as no surprise to Bachmann I am going to wait. This is based on my experience with the Bachmann history of announced intention, lack of relevant information and production model reality.  I will make my purchase decision once I can examine and test run their large scale K27. Almost sure, I will not make a decision until the factory installed, if there is one, sound version can be tested.

It is going to be interesting to me to see who can supply a quality sound for the K27 that is actually compatible with the electronics available in the locomotive and mainstream command control systems.

I do like the possibilities and flexibility the separation approach of DCC control signal packets from the power has to offer over the present DCC Standard.
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