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Author Topic: Which Sound decoder do I need  (Read 8569 times)
Choo1121

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« on: December 16, 2014, 10:29:53 AM »

I have an Alco N scale loco and want to know if I can add a sound decoder and if so which one should I order?
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Ken G Price


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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2014, 09:42:23 PM »

Is it a Bachmann engine? Most brands are different.

There are a few brands of sound decoders. SoundTraxx and Digitrax seem to be the top ones. There are others, but they are either limited and/or have few functions I am told.
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Ken G Price N-Scale out west. 1995-1996 or so! UP, SP, MoPac.
Pictures Of My Layout, http://s567.photobucket.com/albums/ss115/kengprice/
Choo1121

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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2014, 10:23:39 AM »

Ken, yes its a Bachmann DCC Alco 2 6 0 Loco, is their an 8 point pin connection in the tender to receive the decoder?
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ACY


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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2014, 11:37:37 AM »

The Bachmann Alco 2-6-0 already has DCC so it is very possible that it is built into the board and there is no 8 pin socket especially in an N scale locomotive. Additionally there is probably not room to add sound without some modifications or possibly a different (larger) tender.
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Choo1121

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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2014, 03:59:36 PM »

Ken, I am still confused. When you say because it came with DCC, IT, meaning sound may be built into the board. Please understand that I am new to N Scale DCC , I came from the world of Lionel 50 years ago and this new tech and such a small scale can be overwhelming. So I joined this Bachmann website looking for information on a product from Bachmann that you manufacture, thinking if you want specific information go to the source. I have a NEC Pro Cab controller and running the Bachmann Alco 2 6 0  DCC several times and pressing a bunch of buttons I do not hear any bells, whistles or steam sounds. If I am not Communicating with a Bachmann Tech please give me their contact info, If this is a Bachmann technician, what specific information do I need to provide to get a specific answer as to weather my Locomotive has sound capability built into it and if so what I might try to get it to work. The other answer is what Bachmann Steam Locomotive can you suggest that has factory sound built into it that I could purchased. 
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ACY


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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2014, 06:21:53 PM »

Neither I or Ken are affiliated with Bachmann in any way. You can contact Bachmann at 215-533-1600 during normal business hours Monday through Friday 9 AM to 3:30 PM eastern time (they are in Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania). To answer your question I was saying that a standard non- sound DCC decoder is likely built into the board which means installing another DCC decoder would not be practical or easy especially for someone just starting in N scale. None of Bachmann's N scale steam locomotives lend them to easy sound installation especially for someone just starting like yourself. If you really want an N scale locomotive with sound I suggest the Union Pacific DDA40X which includes DCC and sound and the sound is good quality in my opinion. The following is the link to the locomotive:
http://shop.bachmanntrains.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=265_379_380&products_id=5669
« Last Edit: December 18, 2014, 06:30:07 PM by ACY » Logged
gatrhumpy

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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2014, 06:34:26 PM »

Wrong. Actually, MOST of Bachmann's steam locomotives are very easy to convert to DCC sound. Just need two extra wires for the speaker. All of my steam engines have sound, including the Bachmann 4-8-2 Heavy, 2-10-2, and EM-1 2-8-8-4.

With the 2-6-0, the tender is very small for a sound decoder, but it possibly can be done. You'd have to remove the stock decoder and board to create more room. You'd need a smaller DCC sound decoder like the ESU LokSound Select Micro. The wires would need to be significantly shortened and the speaker correctly placed. On all the steam locomotives I have that came with a medium tender, I added a USRA long tender to replace the original tender so that I would have more room for the speaker and capacitor.
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ACY


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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2014, 10:58:49 PM »

Wrong. Actually, MOST of Bachmann's steam locomotives are very easy to convert to DCC sound. Just need two extra wires for the speaker. All of my steam engines have sound, including the Bachmann 4-8-2 Heavy, 2-10-2, and EM-1 2-8-8-4.
The 4-8-2 is not even in production or available right now. Are Bachmann's new N scale locomotives with DCC now equipped with an 8 pin socket? The Bachmann N scale locomotives I have with DCC all have DCC built into the board rather than a decoder that can easily be removed with an 8 pin plug. Plus like you detailed, often times the tenders in N scale do not have adequate room for sound or require modification or a different tender for sound installation.
 
For what it is worth, I would not consider any instance where soldering wires to a board to be "very easy" as you put it. Most beginners would not be able to do it and likely give up, fry the decoder or encounter some major barrier along the way. However this is obviously not applicable if the new Bachmann DCC locomotives now have 8 pin sockets.

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Choo1121

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« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2014, 01:47:59 PM »

Ken, Thanks for all the good information, I will pursue the larger tender and the ESU Decoder option, Have a Merry Christmas.
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Ken G Price


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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2014, 02:31:17 PM »

Ken, Thanks for all the good information, I will pursue the larger tender and the ESU Decoder option, Have a Merry Christmas.

Acy and gatrhumpy, gave you good info. And a Merry Christmas to you.
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Ken G Price N-Scale out west. 1995-1996 or so! UP, SP, MoPac.
Pictures Of My Layout, http://s567.photobucket.com/albums/ss115/kengprice/
gatrhumpy

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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2014, 04:00:05 PM »

Wrong. Actually, MOST of Bachmann's steam locomotives are very easy to convert to DCC sound. Just need two extra wires for the speaker. All of my steam engines have sound, including the Bachmann 4-8-2 Heavy, 2-10-2, and EM-1 2-8-8-4.
The 4-8-2 is not even in production or available right now. Are Bachmann's new N scale locomotives with DCC now equipped with an 8 pin socket? The Bachmann N scale locomotives I have with DCC all have DCC built into the board rather than a decoder that can easily be removed with an 8 pin plug. Plus like you detailed, often times the tenders in N scale do not have adequate room for sound or require modification or a different tender for sound installation.
 
For what it is worth, I would not consider any instance where soldering wires to a board to be "very easy" as you put it. Most beginners would not be able to do it and likely give up, fry the decoder or encounter some major barrier along the way. However this is obviously not applicable if the new Bachmann DCC locomotives now have 8 pin sockets.



Soldering six wires is not all that hard. About as easy as you can do besides a drop-in decoder. The Bachmann steam engines don't have the 8-pin plug. It's very easy to remove and replace (and solder) the new decoders to the old PCB.
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ACY


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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2014, 05:33:30 PM »

Soldering six wires is not all that hard. About as easy as you can do besides a drop-in decoder. The Bachmann steam engines don't have the 8-pin plug. It's very easy to remove and replace (and solder) the new decoders to the old PCB.
I understand what you are saying and although you or I could easily install the decoder that doesn't mean a beginner could do the same without any trouble. I have come across lots of people in this hobby who are so used to the ready to run and plug in play that would find it very difficult to perform this installation. Even if someone is able to do it without any trouble, installing the sound has the additional challenge of making room for the decoder and speaker in a very small area which often requires milling or removing or rearranging or shortening something.

Difficulty is a matter of perspective, what is easy for the experienced modeler can be very difficult in the eyes of the beginning modeler.
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JKramer328

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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2015, 01:38:41 PM »

Neither I or Ken are affiliated with Bachmann in any way. You can contact Bachmann at 215-533-1600 during normal business hours Monday through Friday 9 AM to 3:30 PM eastern time (they are in Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania). To answer your question I was saying that a standard non- sound DCC decoder is likely built into the board which means installing another DCC decoder would not be practical or easy especially for someone just starting in N scale. None of Bachmann's N scale steam locomotives lend them to easy sound installation especially for someone just starting like yourself. If you really want an N scale locomotive with sound I suggest the Union Pacific DDA40X which includes DCC and sound and the sound is good quality in my opinion. The following is the link to the locomotive:
http://shop.bachmanntrains.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=265_379_380&products_id=5669

Uh... I noticed that everyone was talking about Bachmann Steam engines (of which I have several) and have sound boards to be added to them (These are DCC but no sound) and have four which are DC only (wanting to convert to DCC
reading this wrong?I'm just curious as to why you chose a diesel engine with sound to replace the steam engine. (??!?)  Am I
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ACY


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« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2015, 02:55:27 PM »

Uh... I noticed that everyone was talking about Bachmann Steam engines (of which I have several) and have sound boards to be added to them (These are DCC but no sound) and have four which are DC only (wanting to convert to DCC
Am I reading this wrong?I'm just curious as to why you chose a diesel engine with sound to replace the steam engine. (??!?) 
Because the only N scale locomotive that was available at that time from Bachmann with sound was the Union Pacific DD40AX. And at this point in time the only Bachmann steam locomotive available with sound is the 2-8-4 Berkshire which was not yet available at the time the thread was started and just recently became available in the past few weeks or so.
I couldn't suggest any steam engines with sound if there were none that existed at that time, so hopefully this clears things up a bit. And it would be inappropriate to suggest other manufacturer's products on this forum.
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