Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

BLI Decoder replacement

3068 views
14 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 8,898 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, June 1, 2019 6:04 PM

Hoosak Central Railroad
Hey Mark I'm going to persist in asking if you have any source for wire arrangements in BLI steam locomotives.

I have done several decoder replacements in BLI steam. The main difference in the plugs is weather the engine has a smoke unit or not.

This is the diagram from a early NYC Hudson:

 IMG_1420_zpsbb3b7853 (1) by Edmund, on Flickr

It is pretty easy to sort out left and right rail pickups on the tender and trace those to the BLI decoder.

I don't bother with the "chuff sensor" at all. In one case, I removed the smoke unit from the smokebox and put a cube speaker in there. Used the former wires from the smoker and wired the speaker to those.

Here's the harness from a PRR T1:

 BLI_T1_DCC2 (2016_08_17 08_08_12 UTC) by Edmund, on Flickr

 IMG_6425_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

Now I have to find the slip of paper I made the notes on to get the exact wire assignments. Embarrassed

1= Right Rail

2= Motor +

3= 

4=

5= to Smoke unit

6=

7= Motor –

8= Left Rail

 Here's the assignments I just checked on a Paragon 3 decoder with out smoke (7 pin) *Slightly different from the Hudson (P-2) above*

1= Right Rail (red)

2= Motor – (gray)

3= Headlight – (white) *Don't forget resistor needed*

4= Headlight + (blue)

5= Chuff Sensor reed switch.

6= Motor + (orange)

7= Left Rail (black)

You can use a AA battery to sort out the headlight (4 & 3 IIRC) in any case, every BLI I've done the outer two wires were track pickups and the next pair in were the motor leads.

It is really just a case of ringing out the circuit for that particular locomotive. At the moment I have a Paragon 3 "Pacific" on my bench that I'm ready to pull the decoder out of. I'll check that one as time permits and update this reply and fill in the blanks above.

Good Luck, Ed

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 26,582 posts
Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 10:07 AM

 BEFORE you rip anythign out, note where they connect. At least on older ones, the circuit boards were somewhat labeled, or in combination with what was next to it, it made it kind of obvious which wires went where. A peek at the other side in the loco should be fairly obvious which pins go to the motor, the track pickups, and the headlight.

                              --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    March 2019
  • 6 posts
Posted by Hoosak Central Railroad on Monday, May 27, 2019 7:27 PM

Hey Mark I'm going to persist in asking if you have any source for wire arrangements in BLI steam locomotives. I want to replace several locos with ESU decoders but need to know the wire arrangement going into the locomotive. I.e. For Y6B, L1s and consolidations.

would appreciate a reply. 

Thanks

Daniel Dernbach

Hoosak Central RR

  • Member since
    March 2019
  • 6 posts
Posted by Hoosak Central Railroad on Sunday, May 26, 2019 11:11 AM
Mark how did you identify the wires entering the locomotive from the tender? The’re all black !Would appreciate a reply. Tnx dan dernbach
  • Member since
    October 2006
  • From: Western, MA
  • 8,267 posts
Posted by richg1998 on Monday, May 6, 2019 7:09 PM

About eight years ago I bought a HO F7 A and B with no decoders for about fifty each on specail. Not even wired for DC.

Go look now at the SoundTraxx site. Also, try the TCS site for WOW decoders.

I checked Soundtraxx decoder selector and found a light board decoder and 28 mm speaker for each. I set them up with LED's just like my PCM made by BLI F3 A/B lash up's and ran them an ABBA. One thing I did not like, the, the NYC F3 did not have the Mars light.

What a monster setup.

Rich

If you ever fall over in public, pick yourself up and say “sorry it’s been a while since I inhabited a body.” And just walk away.

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 11,256 posts
Posted by wjstix on Monday, May 6, 2019 4:24 PM

SouthPenn

Seems I got confused with MTH and BLI. 

I just ordered an Alco RSD-15 and was thinking it had the wonky decoder. At the moment I don't have any BLI or MTH locomotives. But it's nice to know I have options. And to stay away from MTH

Thanks

 

I don't know if you have to stay away from MTH, but just do some research before buying. MTH has it's own version of command control called DCS, and at one time it's models came with a decoder/sound system that pretty much only worked - or at least, could only be adjusted/programmed - with their own DCS system controller. My understanding is recent MTH engines come with decoders that, while still working under DCS, respond much better to standard DCC systems. I know someone who uses a Digitrax DCC system and has several of the MTH DMIR Yellowstones and is very happy with them.

Stix
  • Member since
    March 2019
  • 6 posts
Posted by Hoosak Central Railroad on Sunday, May 5, 2019 8:01 AM

Hi Mark: can you give me the wire sequence on the plug that goes to the locomotive?

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • 1,321 posts
Posted by SouthPenn on Monday, April 11, 2016 10:40 AM

Seems I got confused with MTH and BLI. 

I just ordered an Alco RSD-15 and was thinking it had the wonky decoder. At the moment I don't have any BLI or MTH locomotives. But it's nice to know I have options. And to stay away from MTH

Thanks

 

South Penn
  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 18,256 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Monday, April 11, 2016 8:50 AM

gmpullman

Yes, I did, Rich.

The first two BlueLines I bought from Factory Direct Trains never did program well for me. Yes, the sounds were fine and motor control was fine with an NCE decoder added but I could only get them to run on address 3 after a reset.

Finally one of the sound slots in the decoder went wonky and the prime mover would continually rev up and down repeatedly and endlessly.

When the WOW diesel decoders came out these were the first two to get converted. BlueLine, IMHO, was a poor marketing choice for BLI.

I have since picked up some bargain BlueLine, and "Stealth" series BLI diesels that I put other sound decoders into.

Thanks, Ed

 

OK, I need to put that on my To Do List.  I have to use Old Style Consisting to make the sound and lights work properly with that dual decoder system. Thanks, Ed.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 8,898 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Monday, April 11, 2016 8:17 AM

Yes, I did, Rich.

The first two BlueLines I bought from Factory Direct Trains never did program well for me. Yes, the sounds were fine and motor control was fine with an NCE decoder added but I could only get them to run on address 3 after a reset.

Finally one of the sound slots in the decoder went wonky and the prime mover would continually rev up and down repeatedly and endlessly.

When the WOW diesel decoders came out these were the first two to get converted. BlueLine, IMHO, was a poor marketing choice for BLI.

I have since picked up some bargain BlueLine, and "Stealth" series BLI diesels that I put other sound decoders into.

Thanks, Ed

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 18,256 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Monday, April 11, 2016 7:50 AM

gmpullman

I picked up a few deals on Blue-Line Broadway engines, mostly F-7s but a Mikado, too. It was pretty straight forward to yank the factory decoder, made by Precision Scale Models, and install others. I used both Loksound Selects and WOWsound.

Ed, I wouldn't mind replacing the decoders in my Blueline F7s, but not because of the sound quality. Rather, I would like to eliminate that dual decoder system which basically negates the opportunity for advanced consisting. Did you replace both the sound decoder and the motive decoder?

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 8,898 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Monday, April 11, 2016 7:25 AM

I picked up a few deals on Blue-Line Broadway engines, mostly F-7s but a Mikado, too. It was pretty straight forward to yank the factory decoder, made by Precision Scale Models, and install others. I used both Loksound Selects and WOWsound.

You will want to trace the wire assignments through the tender to cab harness if you are doing steam.

I really don't find the regular Broadway sound decoders to be all that bad and I'm not sure what you mean by "proprietary" since I can program all the features I want using Digitrax and DecoderPro.

What particular BLI engine are you unhappy about the decoder that it has?

Now, MTH— that's another animal, definitely a unique and proprietary system.

I only have one MTH engine and I would gladly rip out their DCS decoder but I am at odds with how THEY have their engines wired.

There are only two electrical paths between the engine and tender, fed through the drawbar. From these they get motor power, track power and headlight. I have already ripped out the smoke generator. It had the smallest motor and blower I have ever seen!

Regards, Ed

  • Member since
    April 2004
  • From: Ontario Canada
  • 3,221 posts
Posted by Mark R. on Sunday, April 10, 2016 7:38 PM

I've done that, and installed a Loksound decoder. Take the shell off and remove everything but the wires from the trucks and the motor and start over from scratch.

Mark. 

¡ uʍop ǝpısdn sı ǝɹnʇɐuƃıs ʎɯ 'dlǝɥ

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 6,755 posts
Posted by maxman on Sunday, April 10, 2016 7:31 PM

I'm sure it is possible.  But if you don't like the sound why not just turn the sound off?

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • 1,321 posts
BLI Decoder replacement
Posted by SouthPenn on Sunday, April 10, 2016 4:57 PM

I am contemplating buying a BLI locomotive. Is it posible to remove their proprietary decoder and replace it with a more standard one? I don't care about the sound.

South Penn

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!