I have a couple of Bachmann J39s and I'm thinking of changing to DCC. But
how can you install a decoder on a split chassis loco like the J39. (Are we
talking a new (Comet or Dave Bradwell) chassis??). Has anyone managed to fit
one and if so how??
Also, how do you find room to fit one?? (ditto for other steam outlines of
older model design e.g. WD, B1, J52)
Thanks in anticipation...
Phil: For Zero-1 (requiring a larger decoder space), and the J72 chassis
(original versions with motor filling cab), and similar tank loco models,
I cut away 1-side of the forward part of the the 'boiler' section of the
casting, and located the decoder there.
This is a much easier job now, because of the smaller dcc decoders
available today! - There is room without cutting on some tank locos.
The other problem is to intercept the electrics to the motor.
1/ Old Mainline chassis with integral motor- this year I opted to replace
these, where available, with replacement Bachmann versions, using the
Split Chassis method...
My standard method with these is to fully dismantle the chassis, and cut
away the top section on 1 side where the upper motor connection to the
chassis is/was, and to enlarge the opening around the lower connector.
I then use shortened Hellerman rubber sleeves over the soldered-to-motor
wiring connections, so that there is no chance of any short to chassis.
my latest method of picking up the chassis connection is to use the
'copper tape' advocated by ZTC for layouts: I use it on either side of a
plasycard/foam pad insulator (larger than the copper tape) which is
inserted and 'clamped' between the two halves of the chassis at a suitable
/ IO __
many thanks to both phil and kim. I've now looked at the Bachmann site and
that's a start. I am amazed (and very grateful) at phil's detailed reply in
such a short time! That description will certainly be used by me in my
approach. However, there is one complication I forgot to mention. I model in
EM and have both widened the keeper plates and, more significantly, fixed
laminated chassis sides permanently to the original chassis to pad out the
greater width. It's such a shame as the J39 EM conversion is one of the
easier ones! But, I do have a spare OO chassis on which I can experiment
using Phil's suggestions.