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Is a 1 amp Motor Stall Current Decoder enough for a Bachmann 4-8-4?

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  • Member since
    May, 2014
  • From: Berwyn, PA
  • 422 posts
Is a 1 amp Motor Stall Current Decoder enough for a Bachmann 4-8-4?
Posted by Trainman440 on Saturday, March 31, 2018 12:16 PM

Hello, all. I have an Econami 100. It's stall motor current rating is 1 amp. 

Is that too little for a Bachmann 4-8-4?(The newer version, with can motor, metal axles, etc)

I have no way to test motor current draw. Im asking more from people who can provide experience/CAN test their engines. 

Thanks!

Charles

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Charles L.

Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO!

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLb3FRqukolAtnD1khrb6lQ

  • Member since
    May, 2010
  • 3,166 posts
Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, March 31, 2018 2:11 PM

Just checked out your YouTube channel.

What your asking, is a good reason to pick up a multi meter, even the cheaper ones from Harbor Freight work just fine.

The ECO 100's  MAXIMUM current is 1 amp.  I'm not going to tell it should be alright in your Bachmann, but can motors today usually only draw about 0.6 or less.  I'm thinking your Bachmann would not be over an amp.

Is your Bachmann "DCC Ready" ?  If it is, than the ECO 100 should be ok, but I can understand you wanting to do a stall test first.

Go get yourself a multi meter, it has lots of uses on a model railroad.

Mike.

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Western, MA
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Posted by richg1998 on Saturday, March 31, 2018 3:01 PM

These are the meters I have used for this test for some years.

About $6.00 each. Harbor Freight. Stores in some cities. One not to far from me. My meters cost me about two dollars some years ago. Even ebay sells them for maybe less and sometimes free shipping.

Everything comes from China now. By the way, they read about 13.6 VAC on my NCE Power Cab DCC layout I also use one in my DCC amp meter but that is another story.

http://www.trainelectronics.com/Meter_HF/index.htm

The SoundTraxx site has a decoder selector for model locos including Bachmann locos.

Rich

N

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    January, 2015
  • 226 posts
Posted by RR Baron on Saturday, March 31, 2018 4:41 PM

 

SoundTraxx recommends their ECO-200 decoder for Bachmann HO 4-8-4.

You should properly measure the stall current draw of the locomotive you have to see if you may get by with the SoundTraxx ECO-100.

 

RR Baron

 

 

  • Member since
    May, 2014
  • From: Berwyn, PA
  • 422 posts
Posted by Trainman440 on Sunday, April 01, 2018 1:29 PM

Thanks everyone for the replies!

I guess I'll have to test the current draw after all....sigh 

Charles

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles L.

Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO!

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLb3FRqukolAtnD1khrb6lQ

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Western, MA
  • 7,772 posts
Posted by richg1998 on Sunday, April 01, 2018 5:43 PM

S.O.P. Standard Operating Procedure. Not uncomon at all.

I have worked in electronics for many years but still did that though I knew the Bachmann were ok from their forums.

Many sites on the Internet about converting a loco to DCC recommend that procedure.

Using a programming track first, especially if new to DCC in case of a wiring error. My NCE Power Cab alerted me when I had switched the orange and red wire doing a hard wire install. Trying to run first time would probably have smoked the decoder. There can be Gotchas in DCC installs. I have seen them posted here over the years.

Your loco will probably be ok. I have some Bachmann HO scale locos and under one amp. SoundTraxx is usually accurate.

Bachmann has a good HO scale forum with company reps and many users I have watched for some years. Google Bachmann forums. It will come right up. Parts list, loco diagrams, CV lists.

Rich

N

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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, April 01, 2018 9:52 PM

Trainman440
I guess I'll have to test the current draw after all....sigh

No reason for the big "sigh".  From the looks of your YouTube, you are well into model railroading.  The multimeter is a basic tool you NEED, just like the NMRA gauge, the MicroMark truck tuner, and the Kadee couple height gauge.

Actually, the HF multimeter is priced low enough, get a couple of them.  You'll use them.  I'm getting another so I can keep one set up for stall current testing, and use the other for the many other testing procedures, like continuity.

I might even get a 3rd, for my outdoor shop, for working on small engines, that way, I can leave the meters I have set up for model railroading as they are, and have another in the garage.

Mike.

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Western, MA
  • 7,772 posts
Posted by richg1998 on Monday, April 02, 2018 12:10 AM

HF meter also good for working on the car.

I mentioned before about using the meter for a cheap DCC amp meter. Below is a link to a five amp DCC amp meter.

Some years ago I built two. One for home and one for the club that runs the five amp NCE Power Pro. With a high wattage rheostat clipped acorss the rails, I decreased the resisatnce until the booster tripped at 4.97 or 4.98 amps. Good enough. It works on the 20 ma scale. A three terminal does does most of the converting.

There are two ways to indicate. The HF meter or buy a cheap LED meter with large display to see across the room. I bought one off of ebay direct from China, free shipping for under five dollars.

The RRamp meter is nice but this is less expensive.

http://www.circuitous.ca/DCCammeter10.html


Rich

N

  • Member since
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  • From: Berwyn, PA
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Posted by Trainman440 on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 10:46 AM

Yeah okay, so I tested it, and just for the record(in case someone else had the same question and found this forum), bachmann 4-8-4 can motors use 0.3amps stalled. 

I tested this on my ATSF 4-8-4, and N&W J class(both can motor type)

So a 1amp decoder should work. 

Thanks!

Charles

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles L.

Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO!

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLb3FRqukolAtnD1khrb6lQ

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Western, MA
  • 7,772 posts
Posted by richg1998 on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 11:02 AM

N

  • Member since
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  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 4:54 PM

It never hurts to check, but really unless you come across an old 1960's Mantua or early Athearn / Globe engine or something similar with a open-frame motor, you're not going to find anything getting up to 1 amp in HO. Anything made in recent decades is going to have some variation of a low-current-drawing can motor.

Stix
  • Member since
    May, 2014
  • From: Berwyn, PA
  • 422 posts
Posted by Trainman440 on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 5:58 AM

Yeah true, modern motors(even large ones) dont draw more than 0.6amps stalled. 

Still, its a good habit to check Smile

Charles

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles L.

Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO!

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLb3FRqukolAtnD1khrb6lQ

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