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DCC Equipped Bachmann Climax on DC track - Not Impressed

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DCC Equipped Bachmann Climax on DC track - Not Impressed
Posted by bibbster on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 4:10 PM

I'm sure that title got some attention. lol

So in trying to fill out our fleet for modeling Cass Scenic Railroad, I picked up the last of our logging locos, a Bachmann Climax (3 truck). I had read, and been told, that we could run a DCC equipped loco on our DC layout, but that we would not be able to make use of all of the many functions. Made sense and I was okay with that so I proceeded with the purchase. That was all well and good until this loco arrived and was promptly put on our test track.

The sound is, well, annoying. The constant chuffing might be okay if it didn't sound like it was recorded in a tin can. Perhaps it's the speaker? Either way, I do not want to hear that the entire time the train is running. I can handle the 'bell' and the 'whistle' sounds that occassionaly occur, but the chuffing has to go.

According to my sources, the only way to adjust the sound is to put it on a DCC layout, but there is nothing that I have read that says that the changes will stay set when moved to a DC layout. Is this possible?

I guess I could just disconnect the speaker/chip/board, but then I have something that is useless to me, a fancy DCC loco. Maybe a trade with someone for a non DCC loco is possible. Of course the only catch there is that it would have to be the Cass Scenic RR road name.

Anywho, if there is a way to adjust this DCC model on our DC track I'd appreciate any insight/help that you all could provide. I don't want to relegate it to display duty at C.S.R.R..

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Posted by slammin on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 4:20 PM

There should be instructions with the engine explaining how to either turn down the volume or silence it altogether. I don't have any Bachmann sound value locos, so I can't advise you. You might consider going to the Bachmann forum site and asking for help there.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 6:20 PM

Sorry to hear the bad report.

.

I only own one Bachmann locomotive, my EM-1 2-8-8-4 with a dual mode decoder. My only complaint is that it does not begin to start moving unit about 10 volts, and then by 12 volts it is moving too fast. That only gives me a small range of control on my throttle. However, in that range it runs like a dream.

.

I hope you get your issues resolved, but I can offer no advice.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 7:14 PM

SeeYou190

Sorry to hear the bad report.

.

I only own one Bachmann locomotive, my EM-1 2-8-8-4 with a dual mode decoder. My only complaint is that it does not begin to start moving unit about 10 volts, and then by 12 volts it is moving too fast. That only gives me a small range of control on my throttle. However, in that range it runs like a dream.

.

I hope you get your issues resolved, but I can offer no advice.

.

-Kevin

.

 

All dual mode decoders work that way. They need some minimum voltage to operate, usually between 6-10 volts. And many such locos need 14-16 volts DC to reach reasonable speeds. 

The worst offender in this regard is MTH, requiring even higher voltages.

Simple fact, dual mode decoders do not generally work very well on DC and some will not work at all on some types of DC throttles.

As a DC operator I remove all decoders....and I have no interest in onboard sound. If I wanted sound I would have DCC.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 9:22 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
As a DC operator I remove all decoders

.

I considered removing the decoder. However, the MARS Gyralight effect on the front headlight is wonderful. I am afraid if I remove the decoder I would lose this.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 9:31 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
As a DC operator I remove all decoders

 

.

I considered removing the decoder. However, the MARS Gyralight effect on the front headlight is wonderful. I am afraid if I remove the decoder I would lose this.

.

-Kevin

.

 

I'm not sure how that loco is wired, but in the past most Bachmann locos had a seperate light board and the decoder can be removed and jumpers installed. But that might not be true with the new sound versions.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 9:42 PM

Another DC operator here.  I remove the circuit boards and the lights (I don't run night operations, and daytime headlights weren't used in my operating era).  I then re-wire the locomotives so that they'll run without a tender - not much use in operations, but very handy for maintenance or troubleshooting.  I also install mini-plugs between tender and loco for better electrical continuity.

With the circuit boards removed, locomotive response is much better, and control and the speed range is vastly improved at both the low- and high-ends.

Wayne

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Posted by richg1998 on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 9:51 PM

bibbster

Anywho, if there is a way to adjust this DCC model on our DC track I'd appreciate any insight/help that you all could provide. I don't want to relegate it to display duty at C.S.R.R..

 

You need a DCC system to make changes to the microprocessor data.

Dual mode decoders require at least five volts just to wake up the microprocessor and maybe a couple more volts for the loco to move.

Too my knowledge it would retain the changes but I would carefully read though the documentation for analog operation.

You can also join the Bachmann forums as there are users there and Bachmann reps.

The NMRA knew this was second best when they came up with the dual mode option.

Rich

N

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Posted by richg1998 on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 10:05 PM

I read about this loco sometime ago in the Bachmann forums and I believe it has a motor, lights decoder and a sound module.

The link to the loco parts.

http://estore.bachmanntrains.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=66_68_153

Rich

N

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Posted by bibbster on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 1:49 PM

Thanks for the input everyone. The loco did come with some paperwork but it didn't seem to cover this type of thing. Maybe the DVD has some info on it, I didn't look at it at all, just tossed it to the side. lol

I'll head to the Bachmann forum and see what I can find out there. Had I known it would be this much hassle, I'd have just waited to find a non DCC model. Oh well. I'll post an update once I have one.

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Posted by richg1998 on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 4:38 PM

It's not really a hassel. All you need is a DCC system. Don't get the Bachmann EZ Command. It cannot change CV's. Only program the loco number. Right in the manual.

When you get to the Bachmann site, you will find all kinds of info. pictures. diagrams

Manufacturers expect users to have some knowledge of DCC.

Rich

N

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Posted by bibbster on Thursday, May 18, 2017 7:53 AM

richg1998

Manufacturers expect users to have some knowledge of DCC.

Rich

I'm in trouble then. My knowledge of DCC is that it stands for Digital Command Control. Outside of that, nada. Laugh

 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, May 18, 2017 8:06 AM

Bibbster maybe you live close to someone who can help.  In what part of the country are you?

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by bibbster on Thursday, May 18, 2017 8:51 AM

BigDaddy

Bibbster maybe you live close to someone who can help.  In what part of the country are you?

 

 
That would be great! I never even thought of that. I'm in West TN, near Jackson.
 
 
I've tried signing up on the Bachmann page but have yet to get the activation code email. Tried it three times and checked all my other folders including Junk/Spam. How long does it usually take to get that email?
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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, May 18, 2017 8:51 AM

Someone - I can't remember who now, maybe MRC? - makes a gizmo you can hook up that allows you to adjust the CV settings in a DCC decoder without having to buy a DCC system. That would allow you to adjust the volume settings of the chuff down to where it's more palatable. Although I imagine the Climax has a pretty small engine, you may be able to get better sound out of it - some sound decoders have EQ settings where you can boost or reduce the treble, midrange and bass.

I think a couple of companies make devices you can connect between your power pack and track that allow you to access some DCC function buttons. I have a old BLI one that just has bell and horn/whistle (F1 and F2), I used it one year running a small train around the Xmas tree using a DC power pack and a DCC-sound engine. Works well.

Stix
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Posted by bibbster on Thursday, May 18, 2017 8:56 AM

wjstix

Someone - I can't remember who now, maybe MRC? - makes a gizmo you can hook up that allows you to adjust the CV settings in a DCC decoder without having to buy a DCC system...

That's interesting. I'll see what I can dig up about that while trying to figure out what to do in the meantime.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, May 18, 2017 9:26 AM

bibbster
I've tried signing up on the Bachmann page but have yet to get the activation code email. Tried it three times and checked all my other folders including Junk/Spam. How long does it usually take to get that email?

I had the same problem.  You have to email their customer service.  I don't have the email addy any more, to the right dept., but they will connect you to the right people that will let you in.  I was told there was a huge spam problem, and now you need the OK from their web site manager, or something like that.

Mike.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, May 18, 2017 9:35 AM

I found it, here's the addy for the forum:

webstore@bachmanntrains.com

Send them an email about your problem, they will set you up.

Mike.

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Posted by bibbster on Thursday, May 18, 2017 9:40 AM

Thank you, Mike!

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Posted by cuyama on Thursday, May 18, 2017 10:28 AM

wjstix
Someone - I can't remember who now, maybe MRC? - makes a gizmo you can hook up that allows you to adjust the CV settings in a DCC decoder without having to buy a DCC system.

Edit: corrected link

MRC Tech 6 Handheld

This plugs into a separate controller that goes to the track. MRC's website makes it a bit hard to find things, so reseller sites can be easier.

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Posted by bibbster on Thursday, May 18, 2017 2:24 PM

cuyama

 

 
wjstix
Someone - I can't remember who now, maybe MRC? - makes a gizmo you can hook up that allows you to adjust the CV settings in a DCC decoder without having to buy a DCC system.

 

Edit: corrected link

MRC Tech 6 Handheld

This plugs into a separate controller that goes to the track. MRC's website makes it a bit hard to find things, so reseller sites can be easier.

 
Thank you, I appreciate that. I'll check it out.
 
I was also able to contact Bachmann and get the greenlight to join their forum, so thanks for that info as well.
 
You guys rock! Or maybe roll? I dunno. lol

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