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Installing DCC in Broadway Limited Blue Line AC6000

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    August 2008
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Installing DCC in Broadway Limited Blue Line AC6000
Posted by gator4506 on Thursday, August 14, 2008 9:55 PM

This is my first Blue Line locomotive, and it appears that converting it to DCC will be quite a procedure.  Anyone have any advice as to how to make the conversion less complicated?

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  • From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
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Posted by cacole on Friday, August 15, 2008 9:01 AM

Don't read the Blue Line instructions, because they are dead wrong!  You do NOT have to remove the couplers and pull the shell off of the frame.  All you have to do is remove the top rear of the locomotive (dynamic brake cooling radiator), which exposes the electronics.  There is an 8-pin NMRA standard decoder socket.  Remove the dummy plug and plug in one of the decoders that their instructions recommend.

I first tried the recommended NCE decoder, but it quickly burned out because it did not have a high-enough load rating.  I then installed a TCS M1-SH and it has been performing okay.

Their instructions are also FUBAR on ditch light operation.  As it comes out of the box, the ditch lights turn on and flash only when the horn is sounded, and then go off.  They flash too fast and for too short a period of time, and there's no way to adjust them.  The BLI web site has a FAQ on how to program the ditch lights so they can be turned on and off with the F7 function, but then they no longer flash.

Their instructions also state that you can move a plug from one socket to another so the lights are controlled by the motor control decoder instead of the Blue Line decoder; however, this is not true.  I moved the plug, but the lights are still controlled only by the Blue Line decoder.

After installing the TCS M1 decoder, I lost the headlight function completely.

The sound is excellent, but the lights can't be programmed to operate as they should.  Their decoder and the instructions that come with the locomotive are really fouled up.  It seems to me that changes were made to the model after the instructions were written which render the instructions totally useless.

 

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  • From: Winnipeg
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Posted by Magnum019 on Saturday, August 16, 2008 1:33 AM
I have a Digitrax DZ125PS which fits in very well with a little room to spare..............the Z is the scale  and is rated at 1 Amp (1.25 peak) and Functions and sound are very good so far............................
  • Member since
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  • From: Bettendorf, Iowa
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Posted by djb39 on Saturday, August 16, 2008 11:01 AM

Since I was restarting after 12 years out of Model Railroading, and after listening to several locomotives, and trying one Bachmann Spectrum which I returned in favor of Proto2000, I decided to use QSI DCC/Sound decoders only.   Since March 2008 I have purchased 6 new locomotives, all with QSI sound.  Easy to program, adjust volume, etc.  I have one [NON BLUE LINE] Broadway Ltd. SD40-2, Proto2000 F7 A/B consist [New run], Proto2000 2-10-2 steam engine, and 2 Atlas Gold Dash8-40CW's.   All sound and run great.    Most purchased at www.caboosehobbies.com when on special with free shipping.  Very satisified with Caboose Hobbies.  Incidently before buying the 2-10-2 steam engine I contacted proto200 who said all their steam engines are designed to run on 18" radius and run thru #4 turnouts.   This turned out to be true.

The Atlas Dash8's crawl better than the other.  Atlas locos also seem to use less power, or at least run the same speed as the others at a much lower speed setting on my NCE DCC system. 

I guess what I am saying is why bother installing a decoder in a new loco, when there are so many excellent choices RTR right out of the box.  By the time you buy the decoder for Blue Line, and futz with it, a RTR DCC/Sound choice is about the same cost.

Video of my locomotives running at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DueYsPCSYks

 

Don
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  • From: Ontario, Canada
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Posted by Ballantrae Road on Saturday, August 16, 2008 4:27 PM

May I wish you good luck. I've had my AC6000 since about December.  It worked fine in DC out of the box (initially). However I wanted to convert to DCC. So I got the recommended Digitrax decoder , the N scale one. So I installed it but couldn't get it to work. I tried for hours and hours. Eventually I got frustrated and just forgot about for a few months. It now didn't even work in DC. Then I decided to call BLI when I had a day off. The fellow walked me thru a few steps but when the loco started bleeping incessantly he said to return it. I returned it with the decoder. 6 weeks later I got it back with a report saying they found nothing wrong with the loco...they reset it....but they said the decoder was bad.....Ok so now I sent the decoder back to Digitrax. along with the BLI report ....5 weeks later they were nice, I mean that sincerely, and sent me a replacement one N/C. Maybe there's hope yet for this Loco.

So one day I may get around to going thru the whole instal route. In the meantime my Proto 2000 and Atlas QSI's run great out of the box. Never had an issue. I'll run them for a while before I try to install the new decoder.

Tom

 

Tom

 

 

 

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  • From: Gahanna, Ohio
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Posted by jbinkley60 on Saturday, August 16, 2008 7:14 PM

 

I've got an AC6000 and installed a Digitrax DZ143PS decoder.  I followed the instructions on their website and had no problems converting it to DCC.  I have heard folks with Lenz DCC systems having problems programming Blueline locomotives.  I've got a Digitrax Super Chief system and have had no issues.  The most important thing I figured out was to set the address in Ops mode for both decoders at the same time.  I tried to set them individually to no avail.

   

Engineer Jeff NS Nut
Visit my layout at: http://www.thebinks.com/trains/

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  • From: Austin, Texas
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Posted by jasperofzeal on Sunday, August 17, 2008 3:14 AM
 gator4506 wrote:

This is my first Blue Line locomotive, and it appears that converting it to DCC will be quite a procedure.  Anyone have any advice as to how to make the conversion less complicated?

The first time I tried to convert my AC6000 to DCC, it didn't go well.  I tried to hard wire a decoder to a 8-pin female plug, like the one that is provided with the locomotive.  I soldered the wires in the correct order and it seemed like I was well on my way to converting this locomotive to DCC.  My girlfriend was with me at the table while I worked on my engine and when I was ready to test the DCC decoder, I ended up frying something on one of the boards (sound or DCC).  It was kind of funny because my girlfriend said, "oh cool, it's going to make noise and have smoke."  I told her what the smoke meant, she found it sad that I broke my toy. Disapprove [V]  It goes without saying, I wired something wrong somewhere.

I sent the loco back for service to BLI and about a month later I got my engine back good as new.  I learned not to take a risk and decided to buy a decoder with the built in 8-pin plug.  I decided to get a Digitrax DH165IP.  This is a HO scale 1 Amp (1.5 Amp peak) decoder with 6 FX3 Functions (0.5 Amp).

As someone stated, no need to take off the shell, just remove the radiator part at the top-rear of the engine.  Under that part, you'll see the dummy plug.  Remove the plug and you'll then be able to move the light plug from where it's at to where the instruction sheet tells you to plug it in so that the DCC decoder can control the lights (if that's what you want).  Look at the instruction booklet to see what I mean about the jumper plug.  Here is a picture of the removed radiator part and you can see the dummy plug that comes factory installed (the black rectangle).

When I installed my decoder, I found that it sat too low when plugged straight to the sound board and it was not sitting correctly.  I used the extra 8-pin plug that came in the locomotive box as an extension.  I first plugged the extra plug to the sound board and then I plugged in the DCC decoder.  This provided enough clearance for the wires that are running underneath while still keeping the decoder low enough so as to not interfere with the removable radiator part.  Here is a pic of the decoder installed in the engine.

As far as programming, the default address for the sound decoder is 3 (or 03), same as the DCC decoder.  The engine responded immediately to all commands; forward/reverse, sounds, lights in address 03.  I easily changed the address to a different address and both the sound and DCC controls changed accordingly (without locking anything).  Now mind you I didn't follow the instructions in the manual because I have a Bachmann EZ Command system.  So if I can convert a BLI AC6000 to DCC with an EZ command, I'd say anyone with a more capable system should have no problems at all doing the same.  The only thing I can't do is adjust the CV's for the starting speeds and what not (EZ command limitation) but at least the engine works fine and I have sounds at my command.  Good luck with your conversion.

TONY

"If we never take the time, how can we ever have the time." - Merovingian (Matrix Reloaded)

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    August 2008
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Posted by gator4506 on Friday, August 22, 2008 8:26 AM

I think you are correct.  I don't think I'm going to purchase another Blueline locomotive unless the manufacturer improves the way dcc can be added without a lot of difficulty. Seems I'm not alone about having trouble with the sound and motor decoder installation in those units.   

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