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Thread: Has anyone installed a decoder with sound in their Bachmann 2-8-0?

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    Default Bachmann sound

    Are you referring to the Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 Consolidation? If so, Yes I have installed a sound decoder on three of them. I did the normal installation of a lenz decoder in the engine itself for the motor and the head lamp, but I installed a digitrax SFX004 SoundBug in the tender. I replaced the speaker that comes woth the decoder with a Soundtraxx 1 X .56* oval speaker. I had to shave a bit of the coal load on the bottom for the decoder, speaker and capacitor to fit. I drilled holes in the floor of the tender and rtv'd the speaker facing down. The sound is great! When coupled to the engine, you would swear the sound is coming from the engine itself. You have to program the decoder at the same address as the engine decoder and also program the sound decoder by the engine driver size the sync the sound to the engine. This is a bit of trial and error, but once you get the decoder sync'd it looks and sounds great. The digitrax decoders come with standard Steam sound bits programed into the decoder, but You can reprogram the decoder with your own sounds. I have been working on this to change the Chuff for a bit Larger engine I want to put this decoder in. I know there are better sound decoders out there, but for the price I am pretty satisfied with the digitrax decoders. The secret with sound decoders is to keep the sound low. We are modeling in a small scale and the sounds they create should be a complement to the model and not detract from everything else we have modeled on the layout. I hope this answers your question..
    Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

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    Default More questions.

    *Are you referring to the Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 Consolidation?
    yes*
    * I did the normal installation of a lenz decoder in the engine itself for the motor and the head lamp, but I installed a digitrax SFX004 SoundBug in the tender.
    Was there any particular reason you used a Lenz decoder in the engine instead of a Digitrax?
    I know there are better sound decoders out there, but for the price I am pretty satisfied with the digitrax decoders
    Better in what way? I know nothing about the differences. Thanks for the info. I can't wait to try it out!

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    Default One more thing

    <div style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 9pt; background-color: #ffffff; color: #393939; line-height: 1.7em; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 10px; padding: 0px">It looks like the SFX004 is designed to plug into a decoder. Were you able to get the plug since your decoder is in your engine?

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    Default Soundsbug

    Thanks.. I had known this can be done but was unsure how. I look foward to trying.I presume some sort of wipers were installed in the tender to get power for the decoder? I have not opened the tender which I understand can be a bit of a hassle.. Chris

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    Default Bachmann Sound reply

    In Answer to your questions. The SFX004 was designed to piggyback an HO decoder, but it can be used as a stand alone sound decoder. The two outside leads are hooked to the dcc track pickups inside the Bachmann tender. This is one of the reasons I chose this decoder and installation method. The Bachmann tender already has pickups in the tender to provide extra pickups for the engine via two short metal springs that connect to the engine under the drawbar. That way there are no wires running between the engine and the tender.* I mentioned the Lenz decoder in the engine, because that's what I had already installed in the engines over a year ago before I even thought of putting sound in. The Digitrax DZ125 could be used as well in the engine. Hope this helps..
    Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

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    Default Two outside leads

    TrainTek I'm not that skilled at soldering so I don't think I will be able to solder leads to the SFX004. Had you looked at the SFX0416?*It has wire leads already attached. I can't tell the difference between it and the SFX004. Lastly can you leave the drawbar connection between engine and tender intact?

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    Default Soldering skills

    Sruddy,** You don't have to be that skilled to solder the leads to the SFX004 decoder. The two outside pads you need to solder to are huge compared to other other decoders I've had to solder to. The two pads are about an eighth of an inch square. *I'm assuming you have*some soldering ability. With either decoder, you are going to have to solder on a smaller speaker, and make soldered connections to the metal pickup strips in the bottom of the tender. * To answer your other question about the drawbar connection, the answer is a big yes.. That is what I loved about this installation. I soldered my connections to the floor wipers in the tender and left the drawbar totally intact, so the engine still receives pickup from the tender as well as the sound decoder picking up dcc from the tender and the engine. Still runs as smooth as the day I bought it.** The SFX0416 is quite a bit larger than the SFX004 so you would have a hard time fitting it in the tender with the speaker and capacitor. Also, the other wires on the SFX0416 are function leads that I didn't need installed in the tender. Hope this helps.. Good luckTom
    Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

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    Default Thanks.. that answered all

    Thanks.. that answered all my questions. I look forward to giving this a try.
    Chris

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    Default Thanks!

    Thanks Traintek. I will use the 416 in a boxcar and use with another engine and order the soundbug for this install.

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    Default

    For an alternative:

    Bachmann 2-8-0; Lenz silver mini for motor control in the boiler, Soundtraxx micro-Tsunami light steam TSU-750 in tender with 15mm round speaker in a round enclosure.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaSha-tJEGU

    John Colombo

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    Default

    Nice video. I just put sound in a box car and didn't know how much I was missing without it.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jdcolombo View Post
    For an alternative:

    Bachmann 2-8-0; Lenz silver mini for motor control in the boiler, Soundtraxx micro-Tsunami light steam TSU-750 in tender with 15mm round speaker in a round enclosure.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaSha-tJEGU

    John Colombo
    Why did you use two decoders?
    The Tsunami has motor drive and a good one at that. And are not the 2-8-0 's equiped with a NMRA 8 pin socket?

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by woodone View Post
    Why did you use two decoders?
    The Tsunami has motor drive and a good one at that. And are not the 2-8-0 's equiped with a NMRA 8 pin socket?
    The 2-8-0's are not equipped with a socket (you may be thinking of the Walthers 0-8-0's, which do have an 8-pin socket).

    I use two decoders for three reasons. First, I think the motor control of the Lenz is superior to that of the Tsunami. I don't dispute the Tsunami is "good"; but in my opinion, the Lenz is far better, particularly when it comes to multiple-unit operations (e.g., double-heading). The Lenz does not suffer from some of the serious BEMF quirks that the Tsunami does in these situations.

    Second, the Lenz has CV's 2, 5 and 6 for speed adjustment, whereas the Tsunami has pre-set speed tables (or a user defined speed table). I can pretty easily match chuff rate to driver rotation by adjusting CV's 2, 5 and 6 in the Lenz along with CV 116 in the Tsunami. Otherwise, you almost always have to design a custom 28-step speed table, which is a pain (I had to do this this on my Challenger, which I converted from an MRC decoder to a Tsunami, and used the Tsunami's motor control. Here's a video of my converted Challenger: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1797N4BIpKw ).

    Third, doing it this way avoids running at least four wires (motor and headlight) between the tender and engine. I dislike having the tender hard-wired to the engine, and I haven't been very successful in using micro-plugs to avoid the hard-wire scenario. Again, this is just personal preference, but all three of these things together make it worthwhile for me to spend an extra $30 on a separate motor decoder that I can install in the boiler.

    John C.

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    Default Thanks for the insight John

    Yes the Lenz decoders do have very good motor control. And like you said the Tsunami's do not have the CV 5 or 6.
    Have you tried the NEM 651F and NEM651M connectors. They are a 6 pin male pin and a 6 pin female socket. You must have a steady hand to solder the wires to the connectors and use heat shrink on the connections. This will make a very small connector. I would also use the NWSL 29 gauge wire between the loco and the tender. This wire is very flexable and will not cause any problems with derailing. I have use this wire between N scale sound installs and it works great.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by woodone View Post
    Yes the Lenz decoders do have very good motor control. And like you said the Tsunami's do not have the CV 5 or 6.
    Have you tried the NEM 651F and NEM651M connectors. They are a 6 pin male pin and a 6 pin female socket. You must have a steady hand to solder the wires to the connectors and use heat shrink on the connections. This will make a very small connector. I would also use the NWSL 29 gauge wire between the loco and the tender. This wire is very flexable and will not cause any problems with derailing. I have use this wire between N scale sound installs and it works great.
    I have three locos working DCC now, one (Bachmann 4-4-0) has an old MRC generic mounted in a boxcar, one (Model power 2-6-0) has the NCE Z14SR and the third (Model power 4-4-0) has a Digitrax DZ125.

    Of the three, the Z14SR equipped one seems to have the most realistic accelerate, run and decelerate of the bunch.

    The DZ125 seems to rack rabbit and then brake too quickly.
    The MRC-N is not bad, but seems to jack rabbit on startup but it does decelerate better.

    All three were programmed with factory set CVs.
    Will -- Modeling the Credit Valley circa 1880-1900

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jdcolombo View Post
    For an alternative:

    Bachmann 2-8-0; Lenz silver mini for motor control in the boiler, Soundtraxx micro-Tsunami light steam TSU-750 in tender with 15mm round speaker in a round enclosure.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaSha-tJEGU

    John Colombo

    That sounds good. I would love to do a steam engine with sound some day!
    -Bruce
    Dayton N-trak
    PKB Paint Shops

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    Default Bachmann spectrum heavy mountain SOUND INSTALL

    Anyone have any experience with this? Just getting started with DCC but could use some advice on how to do this. Thanks Ron

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    Default

    Hi John
    I really appreciated the info in your post. I am trying to do the same type of install with a Digitrax DZ125 and the Tsunami Medium Steam. I understand how to hook up the decoder in the boiler but would you mind explaining how you hook up the Tsunami in the tender? I'm brand new to this stuff and would very much appreciate any help. I have no idea how to adjust the chuff rate after I get everything installed.

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    Default

    Hi Train Tek
    I am planning on copying you except I am using a Digitrax DZ125 along with the Tsunami Medium Steam. When you installed the TSU in the tender would you please explain how you wired it and if you don't mind explain a little about the programming process. I am brand new to DCC and this forum and am excited to learn. I would think that I could basically program my soun decoder the same way that you did since it's in the same loco. Any help or advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks!

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    Default

    I've looked at some of the videos linked from this thread and have searched for other videos and would really be interested in any instructions anyone has on how to add the sound board and decoder into one of these Bachmann's. I really like the look of these.

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