Fitting a Soundtraxx Tsunami2 Decoder in a Bachmann Big Hauler - myLargescale.com > Community > Forums


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Old 02-16-2020, 08:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fitting a Soundtraxx Tsunami2 Decoder in a Bachmann Big Hauler

Okay, So, I own a 5th Generation Bachmann Big Hauler from the 90033 “Tweetsie Railroad” train set, which I eventually desire to fit a Soundtraxx Tsunami2 decoder in. However, I have absolutely no idea how I would do it. I thought that there was some sort of documentation on how to install it, but I cannot find it. Would anybody here be willing to help me out?
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Pretty simple install, track power in, motor and lights out, connect a speaker. You have quite a bit of room in the tender fro a 3 inch speaker.
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Old 02-18-2020, 07:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Does the engine have the RF motor filters? If so perhaps they should be removed as it can interfere with motor power and the back emf reading, just a thought. Also does the engine have a chuff sensor? Just more wiring, and I would try to place the decoder in the engine and just run a speaker and light connection to the tender.
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Old 02-18-2020, 10:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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tweetsie12, if you google on the Internet you will find several articles on how to fit DCC decoders.



It's best to learn exactly what is happening, as opposed to an exact "hook red wire to terminal 5" recipe.


The reasons for this is that there is often variation in the wiring of large scale locos, and they are not all color coded, in fact sometimes they ran out of black or red wire and painted the wire (only to have the paint fall off later).


A simple multimeter and some basic electrical theory can take you down the path.


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Old 02-19-2020, 11:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Does the engine have the RF motor filters? If so perhaps they should be removed as it can interfere with motor power and the back emf reading, just a thought. Also does the engine have a chuff sensor? Just more wiring, and I would try to place the decoder in the engine and just run a speaker and light connection to the tender.
I'm not too sure. My locomotive is an unmodified Generation 5 Big Hauler.
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Old 02-19-2020, 11:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Greg Elmassian View Post
tweetsie12, if you google on the Internet you will find several articles on how to fit DCC decoders.



It's best to learn exactly what is happening, as opposed to an exact "hook red wire to terminal 5" recipe.


The reasons for this is that there is often variation in the wiring of large scale locos, and they are not all color coded, in fact sometimes they ran out of black or red wire and painted the wire (only to have the paint fall off later).


A simple multimeter and some basic electrical theory can take you down the path.


Greg
Thanks for the tip! I'll keep that in mind.
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Old 02-19-2020, 01:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm not too sure. My locomotive is an unmodified Generation 5 Big Hauler.

So, an unmodified big hauler most likely does have the suppression components in it, and need to remove them, normally soldered onto the brush terminals at the motor.


Also, I believe all big haulers have a "chuff cam" or "chuff switch"... you can see that by inspecting the axles of the drivers.


So, I'm pretty sure Dan is correct in pointing these 2 items out.



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Old 02-28-2020, 12:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The Tsunami2 does not have chuff trigger inputs, so you can ignore the cam on the loco. (Chuff rate is set to the motor's BEMF.)

Track power comes from the tender and loco pick-ups to a central board in the boiler of the 10-wheeler. This board feeds power to the lights, firebox, smoke, and motor. I'd be tempted to install the decoder in the boiler, so you can then connect the lights, motor, etc. directly to the Tsu2 board. Then you can use the two wires that carry the track power from the tender to the loco to continue to do that, and then use the two wires which originally went to the chuff cam instead to go to the speaker.

Later,

K
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Old 02-28-2020, 01:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Installing a Tsunami 2 Decoder in a Generation 5 4-6-0

I have done a very similar thing, almost exactly five years ago. I wrote it up on the Bachmann forum, and it can be found in this thread named "Baldwin bash - sort of. Conversion of dummy engine and tender to DCC operation."

What I did was to install a Tsunami 1 in a Bachmann 4-6-0 Anniversary, that was created by combining a new Anniversary chassis with a dummy locomotive and tender that I had purchased on eBay. The dummy is completely devoid of guts, for both the engine and tender.

Contrary to previous comments in this thread I wouldnít call this an easy installation. Much of that is due to the fussiness of the locomotive, in taking it apart, and the arrangement of the wiring. And, while you are in there, you might want to make some improvements.

Do you have an Anniversary or Standard 4-6-0? I donít have a generation 5 standard 4-6-0 to examine, I have a gen 3, and also a couple of gen 5 anniversaries; so I canít be sure which connectors are available to you. Does yours have two wires and connectors from tender? Does yours have a working tender backup light?

The first consideration is the decoder. You say Tsunami2, but donít mention which one. The recommendation is the TSU-4400 which can provide up to 4A motor current. Itís about $150 street price. I used a Tsunami1 1A decoder, and so far Iíve gotten away with it, on a level, indoor layout. If it was outdoors with hills, etc., I donít think it would survive. So, if you can afford it, go for the 4A unit.

The answers to the questions above will influence recommendations going forward.
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