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 Bachmann GE 44-ton Switcher Decoder
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CEFinkJr
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/26/2011 :  12:54:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a pair of Bachmann Spectrum GE 44-ton Switchers that are "DCC Ready" (Bachmann Item No. 80034). I'd like to put decoders in them, but I don't know what decoders would fit.

To be perfectly honest, I'm not really sure where to start either. If anyone has any experience with putting decoders in these little engines, I'd really appreciate your advice.

Country: USA | Posts: 233

desertdrover
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 03/26/2011 :  10:28:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You could install a Micro Tsunami by Soundtraxx if you want sound. See video here; http://www.youtube.com/user/traintek or install a non sound decoder like here; http://gearedsteam.blogspot.com/2010/08/bachmann-ge-44-ton-decoder-installation.html
If you don't care about sound, I suggest using a Digitrax DZ123 because of the size of it and the lack of space that you have in the 44 tonner to play with.



Louis
Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

Edited by - desertdrover on 03/26/2011 10:34:40 AM

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nhguy
Fireman



Posted - 03/26/2011 :  11:33:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
To piggy back on Louis' recommendation, just because it's an HO scale doesn't mean you have to use a HO decoder. N and HO are quite interchangeable. The only thing you have to worry about is motor amperage. Now a days they rarely exceed the decoders amp rating which in most cases is 1 to 1.5 amps. In the larger scales like O and G you have to get a more hefty amp rated decoder and they make decoders for those. I used a NCE N14SR decoder in mine an stuck it in the cab.

Bill Shanaman
Superintendent, Chief Track Cleaner,
New Haven RR in the 1948 to 1952 era
PMRA President 2014-15, OpSIG Member
NCE User Since 1999
Sugar City, Colorado

Country: USA | Posts: 4241 Go to Top of Page

CEFinkJr
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/26/2011 :  11:36:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Many thanks, Drover.

Not so long ago, I'd have said, "I don't need no stinking sound!" But having operated several locomotives with even barely passable sound, I really miss sound when running without it. The YouTube link you provided proves that sound is possible in an engine this small and knowing that a thing is possible is a big step toward accomplishment.



Country: USA | Posts: 233 Go to Top of Page

desertdrover
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 03/26/2011 :  2:21:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CEFinkJr

Many thanks, Drover.

Not so long ago, I'd have said, "I don't need no stinking sound!" But having operated several locomotives with even barely passable sound, I really miss sound when running without it. The YouTube link you provided proves that sound is possible in an engine this small and knowing that a thing is possible is a big step toward accomplishment.


It's a little more work to get sound, but it does make a nice difference.
I wish I never got hooked on sound, for the money reason, but once you do. "There is nothing like it".
As Bill stated above, "N" scale decoders work very well in HO equipment, and fall within the 1 to 1.5 amps range.


Louis
Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

Country: USA | Posts: 13172 Go to Top of Page

CEFinkJr
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/26/2011 :  2:57:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ah, yes, the "money reason". To paraphrase a friend of mine, Tsunami is awfully proud of those decoders. I'm having to wrestle with the thought of having about three times as much money in the decoder as in the engine itself.

OTOH, the 44-tonner at http://www.youtube.com/user/traintek is awfully tempting. The "engine starting" sound blows me away.

OTOH, the Digitrax DZ125PS (replacement for the DZ123PS) can be had for under $30.

As Fagin said in Oliver!, "I think I'd better think it out again!"



Edited by - CEFinkJr on 03/26/2011 2:58:26 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 233 Go to Top of Page

richg1998
Engine Wiper

Posted - 03/26/2011 :  8:48:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Search this forum. I have put a LokSound Micro and 16mm x 35mm speaker in a 44 ton, single motor.
I put a DZ125 decoder in a two motor 44 ton. The decoder is about the size of a dime and good for 1 amp.
The single or two motor draw about 600ma at 12 volts DC.
I used the 12 volt bulbs that came with the locos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDosTzkQiWg

Rich



Edited by - richg1998 on 03/26/2011 8:54:39 PM

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richg1998
Engine Wiper

Posted - 03/27/2011 :  08:26:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought I had posted the article here but could not find it.







Rich



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richg1998
Engine Wiper

Posted - 03/27/2011 :  08:29:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Two motor with DZ125.



The motor have to be isolated.

Rich




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CEFinkJr
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/27/2011 :  3:28:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks very much for the posts, Rich, and particularly for the pictures and the precise specifications (LokSound Micro 72843 etc.).

I've got to ask though: How did you post those pictures? There used to be a "how to" thread but I haven't been able to locate it. (Can't seem to get the search to do anything but time out either. )



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desertdrover
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 03/27/2011 :  3:42:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Charles, here is the thread posted by John on how-to post pictures. http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=27749

Louis
Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

Country: USA | Posts: 13172 Go to Top of Page

bitlerisvj
Fireman

Posted - 03/28/2011 :  08:58:12 AM  Show Profile  Send bitlerisvj an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Here you go. This one doesn't have a plug, but it has solder pads that you solder the decoder wires into.
http://www.tcsdcc.com/public_html/Customer_Content/Installation_Pictures/HO_Scale/Bachmann/GE_44_Ton/Bachman%20GE%2044%20Ton%20Diesel%20Switcher.htm
There were actually at least three versions of the 44 tonner that Bachman made. The original one with two motors, which due to split gears, burned out the motors, the second series with one motor, like the one you have and the third series with two motors again, but this one comes with a decoder built in. The jury is still out on the version three one. The first version required special micro surgery to isolate the frame from the motor, but it wasn't too bad. The problem is when the gears split and hangs up the drive line, causing the motors to smoke. I found out that NWSL sells upgrade gears, so I will be replacing those before I run my decodered first generation Bachmann 44 tonner again, because I can hear the tell-tale gear sounds, but fortunately, it hasn't smoked yet.
Regards, Vic Bitleris



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CEFinkJr
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/28/2011 :  11:07:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks a lot for that link, Vic. It provides clear instructions that I needed, regardless of whether I use the TCS decoder.

Thanks too for the overview of the three versions of the Bachmann GE 44-ton switcher. I had thought the history was something like that but had not seen or heard it all in one place before. I had thought I had the first version until I noticed the poorly documented DCC wiring diagram on the bottom of the exploded parts drawing.



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richg1998
Engine Wiper

Posted - 03/28/2011 :  8:28:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CEFinkJr

Thanks very much for the posts, Rich, and particularly for the pictures and the precise specifications (LokSound Micro 72843 etc.).

I've got to ask though: How did you post those pictures? There used to be a "how to" thread but I haven't been able to locate it. (Can't seem to get the search to do anything but time out either. )



I have been using Photo Bucket for quite some time.

http://photobucket.com/

I use You Tube for videos.

http://www.youtube.com/
The last I knew, Bachmann sells the single motor 44 ton with DCC on board as well as the single motor 70 ton.
I have two single motor 44 ton and one single motor 70 ton, all with sound.

The Bachmann site shows the diagrams. The locos are now in the Standard Category, not the Spectrum Category.

Bachmann has downgraded some of the locos into the Standard line.

Rich



Country: USA | Posts: 153 Go to Top of Page

CEFinkJr
Engine Wiper



Posted - 09/25/2011 :  5:07:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I finally bit the bullet and bought a Micro-Tsunami TSU-750 sound decoder and a speaker. With my hesitation in unfamiliar waters and my normal procrastination, I might get it installed by the end of the year.

I did some test fitting this afternoon and it looks like that decoder will fit very nicely in the cab without even removing the engineer. It will have to be painted flat black, of course, to make it less obtrusive but that is preferable to me over darkening or frosting the windows. My engineer has his lunch box in the cab with him and he has a VERY big appetite.

The 1" oval speaker will also fit very nicely in the front hood. There is a bit of detail on the hoods that looks like it might be an engine compartment vent. I think I can open it up cleanly with a small drill and the smallest Xacto blades. Even if they aren't vents and shouldn't be open, there is a ridge around them that will hide the fact that they're open. But opening them will give me better sound from the speaker right below and facing upward.

While I had the shell off the frame this afternoon, I removed the handrails in preparation for re-painting. For anyone considering such a project, this was good news too. All of the handrails (molded in a very flexible plastic) were press-fit and came off with only a little persuasion. On the other hand, I also noticed while removing the handrails that the air horns and windshield wipers are very, very crude molded parts. They are going to have to be replaced. Did I say I might have this engine finished by the end of the year? Didn't say what year, did I? And then there's its twin.



Edited by - CEFinkJr on 09/25/2011 5:09:27 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 233 Go to Top of Page

Graffen
Fireman



Posted - 09/25/2011 :  5:46:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit Graffen's Homepage  Reply with Quote
For anyone interested, the Loksound V4 sound for the 44 tonner is really impressive. I tested it on my new V4 decoder, and it sounds almost real with twin speakers :-)
The sound is like the 3.5, wich you can hear here:
http://www.esu.eu/en/downloads/sounds/generation-3/loksound-micro-v35/us-sounds/
Lovely size on the micro as well!


Swedish custom painter
http://sites.google.com/site/graffairbrushart

Country: Sweden | Posts: 1093 Go to Top of Page
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