Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bachmann GE 44 Ton Decoder Installation

How the board looks after removing the shell.

This photo shows a decoder (no sound) installed. Notice the two yellow capacitors are gone and the decoder is in their place.  The decoder is held in place with 1/4" wide Capton tape.  The leads were kept just long enough to allow for a very tidy installation.  The solder pads on the light board were tinned. The wires were tinned  Then the wires were soldered to the light board. It is not necessary to pass the wires into the holes in the light board. In this installation they were just soldered flat on the pads.  The pads are numbered starting with 8 on the left then 1,2,4,5,6,7 (three is skipped).  Solder the wires as follows:  8= red, 1= orange, 2= yellow, 3 is not there, 4= black, 5= gray, 6= white, 7= blue.

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  1. Your description of installing a decoder in a GE 44-ton switcher makes it look like even I might be able to handle it. What decoder did you use?

    On your page about the P2K 0-8-0, you mentioned using a Digitrax DZ125PS. Would that work in the 44-tonner? (I like the features Digitrax lists for it.)

    Finally, any advice for a DCC newbie?

  2. Hello Chuck
    On the climax unfortunately I used a Bachmann decoder, on the boxcab I used the Digitrax DZ125PS, so yes it will work on the 44 tonner just fine. Like you I like the features of this decoder, small size EMP, which keeps the loco at the same speed climbing and descending grades.
    I still consider myself a DCC newbie so I don't feel I'm really qualified, but to solder this, use a clean pointed tip, tin the tip several times and rub on a wet sponge, clean the decoder wires using a little flux, then tin each wire. When your ready, put the wire in the hole of the board (if possible) and touch the tip to the wire and the board, it should only take a second for your tinned wire to become liquid. Remove your solder tip, should be in and out fairly quickly.
    Once you accomplish this your confidence will grow (mine did anyway).
    One other piece of advice, pay attention to what kind of bulbs are used in your locos when you install a decoder, I fried the bulbs in the P2K 0-8-0 because they were 3volt and the DZ125PS puts out 12v to the bulbs (oops!). The bulbs on the Bachmann 44 ton are 12volts so no problems there.

    Thanks for reading Chuck and good luck to you!


  3. Did you just remove the capacitors? or .......? I see them on the PC board but where are they in the circuitry - across the motor or lights? I'm going to install a Soundtraxx TSU-750 Micro Tsunami with a 1/2" speaker.

  4. Dave
    I ended up removing the entire PC board and wired the decoder direct, it gave me much more room. I would recommend doing just that. See sound installation here