Bachman programming

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by racer25j, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. racer25j

    racer25j Member

    Bachman says a resistor from radio shack is required for the programming track. Is it true that without it, you can damage the locomotive?
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I don't know about that - but you should follow the instructions. Are you willing to sacrifice a loco to verify this?

    It may be that the resistor is required to enhance the "load" that the system (Bachmann EZ DCC??) "sees" on the programming track.

  3. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    It's basically to protect you if you installed a decoder incorrectly. The resistor limits the amount of current going to the track, and that limits the amount of damage it can do to the decoder.

    You can program your loco on the layout without a programming track, and if it's a factory-installed decoder, you should have nothing to worry about.
  4. racer25j

    racer25j Member

    Thanks Squidbait. I wasn't sure if it was to protect it from a surge or not. I will probably get the resistor anyway just to be sure.
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Jeff, one thing I would like to add. Make sure your wheels and programming track are clean. One piece of gunk in the right spot and the decoder will not get the signal with that resistor in the circuit.

  6. CAS

    CAS Member

    Here's what i was told to do when i had problems with my Bachmann DCC equipped loco.

    The resistor worked for me.

  7. racer25j

    racer25j Member

    Nah, have'nt even attempted it. I wouldnt even bother but my Athearn came programmed to channel three and I have another engine programmed to that one. I'll hit a radio shack near work tomorrow. The one down the street only has Ipods, cell phones, and robo toys. Does anyone remember when you could go to radio shack and pick up parts to build anything you wanted?
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    I remember those days... Most of the Radio Shacks around here have been converted to "The Source by Circuit City", which seems kinda like "Best Buy Lite". I don't think they are going to survive much longer unless they either go back to their roots, or become something different than Best Buy / Future Shop.

  9. Stan Ames

    Stan Ames New Member

    Let me try to clear up some confusion. If you are installing a new decoder then a low current programming track helps prevent dammage should you install the decoder incorrectly. The resistor Bachmann recommends does this.

    The Zephyr feature mentioned is another topic. The Zephyr will not send packets to the programming track if it does not see a load. The Bachmann decoder are very efficient and do not provide sufficient load. The resistor in this case is to fool the Zephyr into actually sending out programming packets.

    Hope that helps

    Stan Ames
  10. racer25j

    racer25j Member

    OIC. So if this is a DCC on board, I shouldn't have to worry to much about it?

  11. CAS

    CAS Member


    I had purchased a Bachmann DCC on board loco. I tried programming it with my Digitrax Zephyr, but nothing happened until i put the resistor across the rails. After that i was able to program it.

  12. Dick Elmore

    Dick Elmore Member

    :thumb: I purchased 2 Bachmann 4-8-4's with DCC on board and programmed them both on the clubs Digitraxx controlled layout with no resistor and no problems.

    Texas Chief
  13. racer25j

    racer25j Member

    I'm just afraid that I'll fry my loco. Maybe I'll reprogram the Cheap Bachman to another number instead...hehe.
  14. racer25j

    racer25j Member

    I reprogrammed the cheap bachman and it worked fine. I think that the want you you to use the resistor on user installed decoders. Just in case you screw something up. Thanks again all.

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