Adapt Bachmann Vandy Tenders to Run Behind Other Engines

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beiland

Well-Known Member
#1
This idea has surfaced as I attempt to kit bash a Proto2K Heritage 2-8-8-2 loco to look like a C&O H7 loco with the vandy tender option.

View attachment 30647

View attachment 30648

View attachment 30649


I have 2 tenders I would consider using with this loco,...a VC-16 and a VC-12, both of them those very nice ones made by Bachmann. I have already modified one of my VC-16 tenders to mate up with the Proto2K loco;......I carved out a slot in the front of the tender so that it accepts the stock draw-bar of the Proto2K loco.

Here is my basic thought process on the tender and sound situation. I thought I could take one of my Bachmann VC-16 tenders and one of the VC-12 tenders and put the sound decoder and the speakers in each. (I have in mind a dual hi-bass speaker installation in each one). I could then run either of these tenders behind the 'H-7 Proto2K loco, AND behind the various Mountain locos I have ( I have several Bachmann ones and several IHC ones).

I simply need to equip these two tenders with speaker(s) and a Tsunami decoder. I just need to make everything compatible with electrical mini-connection plugs between loco and tenders. I believe I could just utilize the Bachmann style mini-connection plugs since all my Bachmannn tenders have this style, and two of my Bachmann mountain locos have this style already existing ??

The tenders are equipped with 2 different mini-connectors that make connection to their engines, .....one 4-pin plug, and one 2-pin plug, both orange in color. I assume the 2-pin plug brings the loco's wheel pick-up current back to the electrical board in the tender, and then the DCC power and lights get transmitted back to the loco via the 4-pin plug?? Does that sound correct??

If we stayed with the 'Bachmann connector types' then we would have to provide 2 Bachmann male connectors on the Proto2K H-7. My Bachmann mountain locos already have their male connectors. If I wanted to run these 'sound tenders' behind my IHC locos I would have to provide Bachmann male plugs for them also.

Is this doable, and a correct explaination??

Can I get these mini-connectors fro Backmann??
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#2
WTB: Bachmann electrical connector(​s) for steam engines to their tenders

I'm doing a kit-bash to connect a Proto2K loco to a Bachmann Vandy tender.

The Bachmann DCC ready tenders have 2 plugs exiting them to go to the loco,...a 2pin & a 4pin connectors, female type, orange in color.

I need the 'male counterparts' for these Bachmann mini-connectors....perhaps from a trashed loco, or one where someone has converted to another type connector plug.

Bachmann does not list this as an available part.
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
#4
I am not knowledgeable enough to answer your questions or to advise you directly, but I thought I would add an aside that might be helpful to you in your comprehensive enjoyment of the tenders from Bachmann...all types. A long-time DC user of Bachmann steamers on another forum was asked for his general guidelines about getting Bachmann steamers, specifically, to run better. One of his guiding principles that he shared in his reply was that all the Bachmann tenders are quite a bit too light. If you want them to stay in the rails when pulling a substantial drag of freight, especially behind the H-6, you should very seriously think of ways to add about three or four ounces to the inside of the tender.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#5
Can you post a picture of the plug beiland? My thought process is that Bachmann uses a standard plug that's widely used in the industry and maybe we could match it up.
This question also came up on another subject thread, so here are the types of connectors coming from the tenders, (in this case a rectangular one, but also the Vandy ones).
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
#6
With the separate Bachmann tenders that I have, medium length Vanderbilts, with 4 wheel trucks, they have male plugs attached to the tender itself, but in the boxes, there are two wired plugs. Both have female connectors on each end, so that if the loco has the male end attached to the loco, you use the wires to connect the two. If it has Male connectors on wires from the loco, you still use the extra connectors.

If it is to attach to anything other than Bachmann engines, I just rip the boards out, along with the plugs, and hard wire it into place. I may use mini connectors, but that would only be for locos that have to be disconnected from their tenders to be stored.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#7
....., but I thought I would add an aside that might be helpful to you in your comprehensive enjoyment of the tenders from Bachmann...all types. A long-time DC user of Bachmann steamers on another forum was asked for his general guidelines about getting Bachmann steamers, specifically, to run better. One of his guiding principles that he shared in his reply was that all the Bachmann tenders are quite a bit too light. If you want them to stay in the rails when pulling a substantial drag of freight, especially behind the H-6, you should very seriously think of ways to add about three or four ounces to the inside of the tender.
I will likely add some weight as you suggest, but then if I intend to add two hi-bass speakers to the larger vandy tender, this just might be enough.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#8
Ripped Out PCB boards (and plugs)

With the separate Bachmann tenders that I have, medium length Vanderbilts, with 4 wheel trucks, they have male plugs attached to the tender itself, but in the boxes, there are two wired plugs. Both have female connectors on each end, so that if the loco has the male end attached to the loco, you use the wires to connect the two. If it has Male connectors on wires from the loco, you still use the extra connectors.
I see what you mean, as I found this:
View attachment 30818

View attachment 30819


If it is to attach to anything other than Bachmann engines, I just rip the boards out, along with the plugs, and hard wire it into place. I may use mini connectors, but that would only be for locos that have to be disconnected from their tenders to be stored.
Would you have any of these ripped out boards, or the MALE plugs specifically?

I could likely wire a pair of these male plugs into the Proto loco so it could run the Bachmann 16V or 12V tenders behind it, ....as well as continue to use those tenders behind my Bachmann Mountain locos. I might even be able to add a set (pair) of those male connectors to my IHC mountain locos as well.
 
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beiland

Well-Known Member
#9
I also found this dwg of the Consolation loco from Bachmann. Here the FEMALE plug and its wiring is attached to the loco, ...that in turns plugs into the MALE plug wired to the PCB in the tender.

If someone has alterted this during installation of sound into their Consolidated engine, ...or if they have a damaged ltender, I could salvage the pair of MALE plugs from them??
 
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beiland

Well-Known Member
#10
PCB problems in Bachmann Tenders?

I had seen mention of some problems of simply plugging DCC decoders into stock existing PCB boards in Bachmann locos,...some sort of problems with getting the full functionality of the DCC decoders because of wiring or filtering components on the stock PCB boards??

Can anyone bring up more examples of PCB boards to be wary of?

I found this example for the 2-8-0 Consolidation locos:
http://home.roadrunner.com/~mrwithdcc/con280.html

"NOTE: There is one other problem with this loco. There is a capacitor and 2 coils on the PCB, that form a filter that act to cut down interference from the motor brushes. If this loco is used in Analog mode, that is with out a decoder. The capacitor will act as a heavy load or short circuit. It will cause wheel tender wheels to pit, and has actually tripped the shut down of some boosters. Once a decoder is installed, this is no longer a problem. But if you plan to use this loco in Analog mode on a DCC system very much, I would suggest you cut one of the leads on the capacitor till you get a decoder installed."

"Also note: That with the release of newer high speed decoders, those that are called silent, high frequency, super sonic, etc, the little yellow capacitor at the top right of the PCB becomes more import then just with analog, '0 pulse stretching on DCC' then it was. With these new decoders it must be cut, one leg will do as shown above. Also there is still no reason to cut out the chokes 'C' in the picture, they do not cause any problems, and if they are removed a jumper wire would have to be installed in their place.

What we have is a noise filter consisting of two chokes [coils] and a capacitor. The two chokes are in series with the two motor leads and capacitor is in parallel with the motor. This results in power reactive circuit, or a noise suppression circuit. The idea is to reduce possible noise generated from arcing at motor brushes, wheel rail contact points and so on. The problem is with the higher speed decoders, the high transition speeds of the decoders PWM outputs to the motor, the capacitor wants to short them out, just like it was noise. The result is Poor, erratic DCC speed control. Simply cutting one leg of the capacitor as shown in the picture solves the problem by disabling the noise suppression circuit, and besides the decoders onboard electronics already have any required circutry."




Sort of makes one consider just not utilizing the stock PCB boards??
 
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beiland

Well-Known Member
#12
beiland said:
....Would you have any of these ripped out boards, or the MALE plugs specifically?

As I plan on using these tenders soon, to go onto a pair of MDC 4-6-0's send me your address, (via a PM) and I'll send them to you.
Cjcrescsnt was kind enough to send a few of these in the mail to me,...BUT somehow our USA postal service managed to lose the envelop. So I'm still looking for any surplus male plugs
 
#13
I'm actually doing a similar project...

I'm turning a Broadway Limited USRA 2-8-2 into a C&O K-2 2-8-2 and have replaced the USRA tender with a Bachmann 6-axle Vanderbilt tender. So far I have work work out some kinks, but here's what I did, and it should theoretically work for you too...

Essentially I ripped out the PC board in the USRA tender and wired it into the Vandy tender. It was a tight fit to get the PCB and sound module in there. In fact, it's just "floating" inside the Vandy diagonally, but it's snug so it won't be going anywhere. The way I did it, the Bachmann tender now has all of the electronics from the BLI tender, so the loco doesn't "know the difference."

My only problem is I think I've got some electrical pickups switched around so it shorts out. I'll figure it out though...

PS: I'm fascinated by your project! I'm a huge C&O fan and am always looking to kitbash C&O steam! Let me know how it turns out and keep us updated!
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#14
Back to this Subject again

Cjcrescsnt was kind enough to send a few of these in the mail to me,...BUT somehow our USA postal service managed to lose the envelop. So I'm still looking for any surplus male plugs
BTW Cjcrescent I never did find those items you were so kind to offer....you had wanted me to let you know.

So I'm back to doimng a little more research on this project, not having the time to play with it till now.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#15
Proto 2000 Electrical Plugs

Proto 2000 steam locos utilized a flat 6-pin mini-connector plug to
electrically connect their loco to the tender.

The FEMALE end with the wire harness was wired to the locomotive. This
FEMALE end then plugged into the MALE socket that was mounted to the PCB
(printed circuit board) located in the tender.

I'm looking to get at least 1, maybe 2 of these MALE recepticles

Perhaps someone has removed the original PCB boards from their tenders
in order to install speakers, or hardwire in a custom decoder and
speaker installation? Could I get their old PCB board?
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#17
This idea has surfaced as I attempt to kit bash a Proto2K Heritage 2-8-8-2 loco to look like a C&O H7 loco with the vandy tender option.

View attachment 30647

View attachment 30648

View attachment 30649


I have 2 tenders I would consider using with this loco,...a VC-16 and a VC-12, both of them those very nice ones made by Bachmann. I have already modified one of my VC-16 tenders to mate up with the Proto2K loco;......I carved out a slot in the front of the tender so that it accepts the stock draw-bar of the Proto2K loco.

Here is my basic thought process on the tender and sound situation. I thought I could take one of my Bachmann VC-16 tenders and one of the VC-12 tenders and put the sound decoder and the speakers in each. (I have in mind a dual hi-bass speaker installation in each one). I could then run either of these tenders behind the 'H-7 Proto2K loco, AND behind the various Mountain locos I have ( I have several Bachmann ones and several IHC ones).

I simply need to equip these two tenders with speaker(s) and a Tsunami decoder. I just need to make everything compatible with electrical mini-connection plugs between loco and tenders. I believe I could just utilize the Bachmann style mini-connection plugs since all my Bachmannn tenders have this style, and two of my Bachmann mountain locos have this style already existing ??

The tenders are equipped with 2 different mini-connectors that make connection to their engines, .....one 4-pin plug, and one 2-pin plug, both orange in color. I assume the 2-pin plug brings the loco's wheel pick-up current back to the electrical board in the tender, and then the DCC power and lights get transmitted back to the loco via the 4-pin plug?? Does that sound correct??

If we stayed with the 'Bachmann connector types' then we would have to provide 2 Bachmann male connectors on the Proto2K H-7. My Bachmann mountain locos already have their male connectors. If I wanted to run these 'sound tenders' behind my IHC locos I would have to provide Bachmann male plugs for them also.

Is this doable, and a correct explaination??

Can I get these mini-connectors fro Backmann??
I'm back to give new considerations to this project I was pursuing, but got terribly distracted by a lot of other things.

First off I was able to get those other mating Bachmann connectors, but I began to have serious reservations about utilizing them:
1) little to large and cumbersome for my liking
2) a bit temperamental to pull apart, particularly with the idea of doing it multiple times while I would expect to be experimenting with anticipated 3 different 'super sound tenders' behind a variety of my locos including the H7
3) once chosen I would have to rewire all my different locos and tenders with these style connectors.

One of the reasons I think I was originally drawn to utilizing these connectors was that they were already wired into the PCB boards of their tenders, and I would be just plugging the decoder(s) into those PCB boards. I've come to realize that it appears to be a better choice to simply strip out these PCB boards and hardwire the decoders into the tenders. I kept looking at alternative wiring solutions (whenever I could find some time to play with the project), and there was not a great hurry as the gentleman who was doing the mechanical kit-bash portion of the job had fell very ill, and could not work on the project.

Fast forward, I need to decide how I want to wire these locos/tenders up. Just last week at the Timonium train show I experienced a manufacturer's display/demonstration of their new WOW TCS sound decoders.......WOW! Not only are they of a great sound quality, they appear to me to me a lot more 'user friendly'. I was dreading this big immersion into program all these various CV's to get a good sound. These decoders make it a LOT easier to get ALL the sounds you might want. I think I will definitely utilize some of these WOW decoders.

Now back to my mating/wiring considerations. I've been trying to look up a number of optional mini-connectors to wire up my locos. I'm giving serious consideration to this 6-pin TCS connector #1309. It is not their smallest model, but I think it is small enough, and has plenty of wire on either end to wire into the locos and the tenders. Plus it is reasonable priced, and will likely be obtainable as a repair part should one become a problem.

Has anyone utilized these connectors??
 

Attachments

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beiland

Well-Known Member
#18
I'm back to give new considerations to this project I was pursuing, but got terribly distracted by a lot of other things.

Fast forward, I need to decide how I want to wire these locos/tenders up. Just last week at the Timonium train show I experienced a manufacturer's display/demonstration of their new WOW TCS sound decoders.......WOW! Not only are they of a great sound quality, they appear to me to me a lot more 'user friendly'. I was dreading this big immersion into program all these various CV's to get a good sound. These decoders make it a LOT easier to get ALL the sounds you might want. I think I will definitely utilize some of these WOW decoders.

Now back to my mating/wiring considerations. I've been trying to look up a number of optional mini-connectors to wire up my locos. I'm giving serious consideration to this 6-pin TCS connector #1309. It is not their smallest model, but I think it is small enough, and has plenty of wire on either end to wire into the locos and the tenders. Plus it is reasonable priced, and will likely be obtainable as a repair part should one become a problem.

Has anyone utilized these connectors??
I got one of these 1309 mini-connectors in the mail a few days ago. It is definitely of a good small size to utilize, and has nice long wires to attach both the female and male ends to their respective connections within the loco and tender. The wires themselves are subtle enough, not too stiff. There is also an optional female socket available that could be utilized in place of the 'wired' female plug, if someone was doing a PCB installation.

I think this will be my go-to mini-connector for steam engine installations.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#19
Speaker Installation into Vanderbilt (Vandy) Tender (part 1)

First off I would make note that this Bachmann vandy tender is much more easily accessed than the older Rivarossi one....thank goodness !

To begin with here is the metal chassis of the tender with the plastic shell removed. Note that this particular model is one WITHOUT the speaker relief holes in it,... that the later stock 'factory sound versions' came with.
DSCF3411, ps.jpg
DSCF3412, ps.jpg

Those 2 round 'studs' that are sticking up into the cavity area are not required for our installation, and in fact will just get in the way of our speaker(s) installation. (the plastic shell is held on with two screws thru the holes at either end in this photo). So we need to cut those off. I propose to do that with a drill since I don't have a nice milling machine.

One of the primary speakers I want to utilize for my 3 different vandy tender experiments is this Railmaster bass-reflex speaker (DLG8) shown here next to the chassis.
DSCF3419, ps.jpg
DSCF3416, ps.jpg

I am still debating as to which end the bass-reflex hole will face, ….and more importantly, IF the base reflex hole should also be vented out the bottom of the tender, or maybe not ??.....any opinions on this ??
 
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beiland

Well-Known Member
#20
Speaker Installation into Vanderbilt (Vandy) Tender (part 2)

My understanding is this speaker is a really good supply of bass sound. It has 2 other features that really attracted me:
1) It is already 'enclosed' unto itself, so I don't have to be concerned about 'back speaker sound interference'.
2) It fits VERY nicely between the edges of the plastic shell (width), so I am able to mount it onto the chassis in a permanent fashion, and still remove the shell for easy access.
DSCF3420, ps.jpg
DSCF3424, ps.jpg

I am still debating as to whether to mount it down low to the sills (edges) of the tender chassis as shown in that 3420 photo, ….or maybe raise it up some off of the bottom of the chassis, and provide a 'skirt' to channel the sound out the bottom??

I am definitely excited about the possibility of mounting the decoder piggy-back onto the top of this speaker housing. That would mean no wiring needed between the chassis and the shell of the tender,...everything self contained on the chassis frame of the tender (except simply wire for back-up light).

I've seen the many factory stock sound installations where there are MULTIPLE small holes provide to let the sound out. This might be fine when you are trying to disguise this 'relief hole', but I feel that it doesn't really provide as big of an opening as I would like to really project the total speaker's volume capacity. I also feel that a multiple series of small holes might 'color' the sound to a higher frequency, than larger holes would. I might make a comparison with these little car aftermarket exhaust mufflers where the larger diameter exit pipe(s) seem to give the sound a 'throat-er sound'

So I intend to drill (mill) a series of holes down the centerline of that chassis, and as large in diameter as the two exterior frame ribs will allow (between those ribs, so as to maintain the rigidity to the chassis that those ribs provide).
DSCF3414, ps.jpg
DSCF3421, ps.jpg

I want to try and drill (mill) these relief hose without removing that 'brake detail' that appears almost permanently attached to those ribs along the bottom. Any suggestions accepted.
 



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