Dash 9 Functions and Revolution Train Engineer Compatibility

Started by StanAmes, March 28, 2023, 08:22:12 PM

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While the socket used in the Dash 9 is identical to the one used by bachmann in its steam locomotives since 2007, it's new for the 1:29 diesel folks, especially to the Revolution Train engineer folks.

To assist this population I thought it useful to go over the functions.

The Dash 9 has 8 functions each of which can be controlled separately.  To activate a function you simply connect the function pin to ground.

On J1 there are three functions

Front Headlight J1-4  1.9 mA
Rear Headlight J1-9  1.9  mA

Most users will connect these terminals to a function output on the device they put in the socket which switches the pin to ground to turn them on.  Doing it this way allows directional or independent control and also headlight dimming. through the device installed in the socket.

There is one identified compatibility that has been identified. Revolution has two sets of products.  One provides linear motor control and one provides PWC motor control.  Unfortunately the PWC frequency and approach used by Revolution is not compatible with the Dash 9 headlight lighting circuits. The revolution engineers are aware of this and hopefully will have a solution with their plug in board adaptor shortly.

The third function on J1 is the Smoke activation function.

J1-8 Smoke Activation 11.2mA  The smoke unit itself draws up to around  0.6A. but this current is funneled through the + and - connections and not through the function pin.

This function pin can be connected to any available function output or you can manually install a wire between the J1-8 solder pad and the J1-7 ground solder pad.  When this is done the switch on the top of the locomotive can be used to turn on and off the smoke.

J2 functions,  Plug in devices specifically designed for Aristocraft locomotives normally do not support connections to J2.  The total current draw is well under 50mAs so all the functions can be connected to the revolution functions if so desired.

J2-10 Front Number board lights 5.5 mA (2 leds)
J2-9 Cab Light 2.8 mA
J2-8 Safety Lights 20.1 mA (8 leds)
J2-7 Right Ditch Light  2.8 mA
J2-6 Left Ditch Light  2.8 mA

Note a feature not documented in the manual is that the front ditchlights will not turn on if the front headlight is also not on. 

One issue with the revolution is that although you can hook up 6 functions, 3 of these functions also share sound functions.

Some suggested mapping for the Revolution folks. The safety lights can either be connected to ground or connected to the function number that turns on the sound.
The left and right ditch lights can be connected to a seperate blinking circuit which is connected to the horn function or to one of the three separate functions.  You can also connect both ditchlight solder pads to the -(gnd) solder pads.  In this case the ditchlights will always go on when the front headlight is also on.

I hope this helps explain how the functions work on the Dash 9.  The upcoming GP40 will likely have similar function mappings.
Stan Ames


Following Stan's instructions I was able to get my Dash 9 fully working with Revolution. Safety lights and smoke unit are bridged to ground and controlled with the main board switches. Ditch, cab and number board lights are connected to the Revolution accessory harness and turned on/off using function keys 4, 5 and 6. I also connected the Revolution speaker wire to the main board as well.


That's the reason why I did pony up for the Blunami.  Can run off battery, DC or DCC with the App.  The hook up was straight forward and you have a lot of sound and control capablities.  I'm sold on the Blunami now.  Will look at converting other locs in the future.