Replacing Bachmann E-Z Command DCC decoder with Digitrax DZ126

Started by pogybait, August 04, 2017, 03:09:36 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


I recently purchased two Bachmann 4-6-0 DCC-equipped N-scale Baldwin steam locomotives (Item No. 51451) as additions to my Denver & Rio Grande Tincup Branch (circa 1905).  I am going to use Surroundtraxx for my sound generator, but need transponding Digitrax decoders to move the sound around (Digitrax is the only game in town).  I've been able to remove the body of the tender of the Bachmann loco but in going over the instructions, it isn't exactly clear how I can remove the E-Z Command decoder and replace it with a Digitrax DZ126.  The instructions say to "remove the DCC board from the main board by tools" by cutting along perforations in the main board.  What the instruction don't say is whether one can directly solder the DZ126 leads into the labeled holes in the main board.  Since they are empty and labeled the same as the leads within the loco, I'm assuming you can, but I'd rather not fry a decoder if that assumption is wrong.  Has anybody else tried this and, if so, how did you go about installing the replacement decoder?  The instruction sheet, by the way, shows how the wires should be connected by color code, further suggesting that the Digitrax wires can be soldered directly to the main board once the DCC portion of the board is removed.


Use rail cutting plier, sprue cutter or the like to remove the decoder per Bachmann instructions. You can use any small blade hobby knife if you are very careful.

Follow the Bachmann and Digitrax instructions to install the Digitrax decoder. Yes, you solder decoder wires to Bachmann PCB. DO NOT use Flux,  use Rosin core solder approved for electronics use.


Thanks Hunt.  I thought what I had in mind was correct, but didn't want to fry anything.


During the process of removing the E-Z Command decoder section of the main board, the red and black leads connected to the trucks on the tender broke loose from their solder joints.  I can see where they go on the truck appendages, and just happened to see where the black (fireman's side) wire is attached to the mainboard.  However, there are two similar spots on the red (engineer's side) of the board, and I didn't notice which of those the red wire was attached.  Does anybody have or know of a wiring guide for the circuit boards on the N-scale Baldwin 4-6-0 with E-Z Command decoder?


The red wire from the tender truck pickups solders to the "R" hole (indicated by the yellow arrow below) -



Thanks, Spookman.  I'm not exactly sure why I didn't realize it myself, but got to looking at the board more carefully under magnifying glass and saw both the R and the L.  Not only that, for some reason it occurred to me that I had two of these locos, and the second one hadn't been touched.  I popped the tender body off and looked at things to confirm my suspicions.  Now I got it.  Thanks for your patience in responding to somebody who didn't look far enough into the problem to figure it out. 

Oh, I called Bachmann and asked them about the wiring before I posted the question on this forum.  The lady I talked to told me that even they didn't have wiring diagrams for the main boards, and that the only thing they have access to is what is contained in the packaging when the locos are shipped to them from the manufacturer (China I presume). 

Thanks again.