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| | |-+  Adding DCC to a Spectrum 2-8-0 that is currently DC only
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Author Topic: Adding DCC to a Spectrum 2-8-0 that is currently DC only  (Read 565 times)
newoldtrainguy

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« on: April 02, 2020, 05:53:06 PM »

I plan to plunge into DCC.  Do you know of a DCC manufacturer (and specific part #, if possible) that makes a board for inside my DC consolidation?  Or even reasonably fitting into the tender?  Thanks.
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rich1998

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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2020, 02:07:56 PM »

SoundTraxx has one for N Scale. Check this page. It should be dual mode.
Just do not ask me how to do it. I do not do N scale. Follow NMRA specs.


https://soundtraxx.com/reference/decoder-selector

Rich
« Last Edit: April 03, 2020, 02:11:06 PM by rich1998 » Logged
DaveGard

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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2020, 11:05:01 AM »

I don't think there are any manufacturers that make a "drop in" decoder for the Bachmann 2-8-0, so I think you will have to do a "hard wire" install. I would suggest that you search the WWW, and look thru posts at railwire, trainboard, and nscale.net for ideas and approaches (don't limit your research to 2-8-0 installations... look at different installs to get an idea of what's possible).

I think the first question to ask yourself is, do you want to control just the motor and lights, or do you want sound? If the former, there might be decoders (by Zimo and  ESU/Loksound) small enough to fit into the loco itself (in place of the removable boiler weight of the early non-DCC 2-8-0s). If you are looking for sound, you will likely be looking at a tender installation (there's plenty of room in the 2-8-0 tender for a sound decoder, speaker, and keep alive capacitor).

Installing a decoder might seem intimidating, but it's really not that hard. I did my first DCC sound installation, hardwired into a Bachmann short USRA tender (coupled to one of my Bachmann 4-6-0s) just a year ago, and have completed 3 more since then. My second install was for a Bachmann 2-8-0 (replacing the decoder in a newer Soundvalue model), but I didn't use the stock tender (I replaced it with a Vanderbilt tender).

Lastly, there are individuals and/or shops that offer DCC installation as a service... so that's another route you could go.

Good luck!
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rich1998

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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2020, 04:24:03 PM »

The SoundTraxx page I sent to the OP shows the smallest decoder SoundTraxx makes for this loco. They recommend it. The onboard version shows a small round speaker in the tender frame. It will be a tight fit. he better be good or find a place that can do it.
It is not a slip in.

Rich
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DaveGard

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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2020, 04:40:36 PM »

The Soundtraxx Tsunami 1100 is their smallest decoder, and I like it (the most recent Tsunami 2 Steam 2 version) alot... I have used it in all four of my installs. But looking at the pics of the 2-8-0 chassis in Spookshow's review (http://www.spookshow.net/loco/spec280.html), I don't expect that it would fit into the locomotive. But a non-sound decoder might (I know that both Zimo and ESU make nonsounder decoders that might be small enough).

OTOH, fitting the Tsu-1100 into the 2-8-0 tender with a sugar cube speaker should be possible... the tender is relatively roomy, particularly if you remove the factory PCB. I fit a Tsu-1100, 8 x 12 mm sugarcube speaker, and 220 uF capcitor in a Bachmann Spectrum short USRA tender, which is shorter in length and vertical height than the USRA medium that comes with the 2-8-0.

SO, it should be very possible, but it's not a drop in install.
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rich1998

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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2020, 05:16:56 PM »

Bottom line, you will not find a drop in that I am aware of.

Below is what the Bachmann equipped looks like.

https://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/dwg/dwgs/NBALDWIN2-8-0(DCCSOUNDEQUIPPED).pdf

Rich
« Last Edit: April 04, 2020, 06:28:46 PM by rich1998 » Logged
bnoem1

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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2020, 12:46:14 PM »

The easiest choice is to find a Bachmann 2-8-0 that has the decoder and sound in it.  They are really pretty good.  the other option is to go with the decoder in the boiler (this saves the need to run wires to the tender. This is the method that first came out when the original 2-8-0 was produced.  You can use any decoder small enough: digitrax or Lenz mentioned or the TCS Z2 or M1 or M2 would also fit.  Best of luck.  If you go the sound route, the boiler shell swaps easily, the tender doesn't.  Best of luck.  The installation file I have is too big for the post, if you want it I can email it to you.  Or, go to the Train Control Systems website: www.tcsdcc.com and look under installations.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 12:48:02 PM by bnoem1 » Logged
rich1998

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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2020, 12:55:49 PM »

bnoem1

It is common knowledge that you need a photo hosting site to post a photo here.
Go down to General Questions forum for instructions.

Rich
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