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October 16, 2021, 04:43:04 PM
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Author Topic: 2-8-0 Connie TSU decoder install  (Read 1077 times)
nymark


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« on: March 17, 2021, 06:30:43 PM »

I've been reading as much as I can about installing a TSU 4400 decoder into my 2-8-0 Connie. I emailed Soundtraxx and they recommended unscrewing and cutting all the wiring from the PCB, taking it out and reconnecting to the decoder. I can figure out track, motor and lights maybe. There are other, soldered wires that I don't know what to do with. I am going to contact them and ask about that problem. If anyone has knowledge about this issue and the best option, I would really like some advice.

Another question I have is about the lights. Soundtraxx said I may need a resistor for the LED's. The Connie is DCC ready so I am wondering if I need to add resistors to the forward/back up lights or are the lights DCC ready? The Connie light is amber like my 3 truck Shay. My C-19 and Climax are white lights. Are these two kinds of lights different?

Finally, can I run wires directly from the track to the track screws on the decoder and run wires directly to the speaker to see if it makes sound?

As always, your knowledge and advice is appreciated,
Phil Nymark
« Last Edit: March 17, 2021, 10:10:41 PM by nymark » Logged
Greg Elmassian


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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2021, 12:17:05 AM »

Did you download the pdf file?

https://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/dwg/dwgs/81294.pdf

It has the wiring diagram. That should identify the mystery wires.

I am not a fan at all of ripping out all the wiring and circuit boards unless absolutely necessary.

Greg
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nymark


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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2021, 04:48:43 PM »

Hi Greg,

I have read the "Connie" decoder install on your site a number of times. This is what gave me the confidence to try it with my own Connie. That will be my number one guide for this project. I realize that this project is kind of old news to many but if I can do it successfully, it will be a big deal for me. Replacing the drive gear was a bit intimidating but after I was done, I was quite happy with my own work. I have the wiring diagram on a hard copy and will tack it to the wall of my work area. Then I will take it a step at a time as you suggest on your site. Hope that magic smoke doesn't appear.

I also bought back up gears for the gearbox. I ordered two each of the available gears from Bachmann. Then I bought the another middle gear from NWSL thinking I was getting the one that connects to the worm drive. Finally I bought the one that connects to the worm drive from Jiro Yeramian. Probably overkill but I do like extras parts.

Garden RR is a really great hobby. I very much like having a civil engineering project that, if I mess up, does not have serious consequences. Like many on this site, I am a member of the other G scale sites as well. Some of the posts are over my head and there are so many people like Greg who have advanced education in fields like electrical engineering and other such occupations. Honestly, I'm just not that smart, though I do have some strengths. The hobby is great exercise for my brain.

Well, I am sticking with Bachmann steam and am looking forward to that new Ten Wheeler coming out.

Much appreciated,
Phil Nymark
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Greg Elmassian


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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2021, 12:55:45 PM »

If you want to take the board out, we can probably walk you through the identification process if you are game, and have an ohmmeter.

The motor and track pickups are pretty easy, the chuff contacts and the lights will be tricky.

Also, I did run into a loco that had a hidden internal connection between the motor and the track pickups, it was hidden inside the boiler, and it was a head scratcher for a bit.

Best, Greg
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StanAmes


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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2021, 07:43:39 PM »

The DCC suggested wiring in contained on page 5 of the followinf link.

https://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/dwg/dwgs/81294.pdf

I have always kept the bachmann board in because it controls the smoke unit and the firebox flickr.

The instructions are a little hard to understand because they refer to a specific lenz decoder rather then identify what each wire is for.

If you have problems understanding the diagram just ask

There is a diagram of the specific wiring for this decoder on page 3 of this german manual which might help understand the bachmann DCC wiring suggestion

https://www.lenz-elektronik.de/src/pdf/b_10230.pdf

Hope that helps

Stan
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Greg Elmassian


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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2021, 10:33:22 PM »

Stan, did you read the thread?...

I already posted the manual, and how does a German manual for a Lenz decoder help a guy with a Bachmann?

Page 3 has wiring for the Lenz 230 decoder, nothing Bachmann.

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nymark


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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2021, 11:58:59 AM »

I have to say, for me, every little bit helps. I learn a lot of new stuff unrelated to my original questions when reading through various posts. What Stan said about leaving the original board in to run the smokebox and firebox flicker was something I was quite unsure about. I had been wondering if I had to hook such stuff up to the decoder, so thank you for that info.

I bought a small speaker from Soundtraxx. It's 28 mm square and 11.2 mm thick. I am thinking of removing my smokebox and trying to fit this speaker under the smokestack. I'll see if it is possible today.

Thanks for the information,
Phil Nymark
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StanAmes


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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2021, 12:37:17 PM »

Stan, did you read the thread?...

I already posted the manual, and how does a German manual for a Lenz decoder help a guy with a Bachmann?

Page 3 has wiring for the Lenz 230 decoder, nothing Bachmann.



Greg   

The Bachmann wiring instructions show the DCC wiring configuration Bachmann outside frame 2-8-0 when using the board.  However unfortunately it uses a Lenz 230 decoder and shows what 2-8-0 wire goes into which LE230 screw terminal.  However it does not say what these wires are for.  Yes you can figure it out but it is not obvious.  The diagram in the lenz manual shows the purpose of each wire which makes it easier to determine track motor and function wires.

Stan
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Greg Elmassian


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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2021, 04:53:08 PM »

OK, so  I think I follow now...

If you look at both diagrams, and you read German, you can:

  • look at the bachmann wiring diagream
  • follow the wires to the pins on the drawing of the Lenz decoder
  • now look at the Lenz document
  • see what pins are defined as (In German)
  • using this translation to map to a different decoder

Not only is that a ton of work, notice the wiring diagrams tie the common for the lights to one of the pickup wires, not the common provided by the decoder.

Really not a good idea at all, as the #1 cause of decoder damage is accidentally connecting a track pickup wire to a motor wire, with all the translation involved just to further identify wires I think it's bad advice really.

Even more damning is that often locos have wiring errors that allow them to run on DC, but when converting to DCC you find a problem, as INDEED I have mentioned and personally experienced in a Connie.

There was an internal connection deep in the boiler between a track pickup wire and a motor wire. Most decoders can be destroyed.

This is why I always recommend verifying wiring with a meter when converting, with or without the main board.

Greg
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