Bachman Spectrum EMC Gas Doodlebug

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Bob Collins, Sep 14, 2003.

  1. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Again, I shall turn to my friends on the Gauge seeking an answer to that age old question: will the Bachman Spectrum EMC Gas Doodlebug accept a decoder for DCC operations?

    Or maybe even more important: do you think a girl from Buffalo can find true happiness with a boy from normal parents:) :rolleyes: :eek:

  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't see any problem with putting a decoder in the Spectrum gass doodle bug. I don't have one, although a friend in the modular club I belong to bought one in Santa Fe livery. I don't remember it having any kind of lighting package like P2K Alco Pa's or E units. If it doesn't have a plug installed with a removable jumper to plug in a decoder, the T1 decoder from Loys Toys can be easily soldered in, and there should be plenty of room to install the decoder and hide it from view. In case your not familier with it, the T1 is the standard decoder used for converting old Athearn "blue box" locomotives to dcc.
  3. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    New HO ones from have the plug, and were the best price I could find ($15!), but they've gone up to $25. They are not fast, but they are smooth. 'spose you could get old stock and get one without a dcc plug. Nice models. Dunno 'bout the N ones.
  4. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Thanks guys.

    I am about to do some other business with Loys, so will ask them about my doodlebug. I've had the darn think in the box since long before I decided to go DCC so will convert or sell. Would prefer to keep it:D

  5. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Bob, I just double checked, and mine have, as I remembered, an insert explaining the plug. So if yours is DCC plugged, you should find the insert. Keep the bug! :D :D :D
  6. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I have one and am very happy with it. The chip dropped right in. What's really great is to darken the room a bit and turn the car interior lighting and the headlight off and on, independant of each other. Here's hoping your's is DCC ready. Oh, the body is a @#$%! to pull off. Got this straight from Bachmann--- using a small screwdriver, start at one end and pry out the side, inserting a toothpick at each pry point as you go down the length of the body. Repeat for the other side, it'll drop right out.
  7. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    The Digitrax DH163L0 will drop right in - but you have to cut the roof brace. A standard DH163 on a short harness will also do the trick but you will probably have to double-sided sticky tape the decoder to the roof in the passenger compartment.

    The DH163 should power the front headlight as-is (someone correct me if I'm wrong cause I stripped the components off the light board and wired in 12v lights on a 27 ohm resistor). As is, DCC will definitely blow the light in the passenger compartment so this will have to be changed. You wire this into the decoder using the existing lightboard with a 12v light and 27 ohm resistor back into the passenger compartment. You can then turn the light on or off with the throttle.

    If you hardwire any decoder to the oil-electric, make sure you modify or, better yet, throw away the dummy plug and the lightboard! Pin 3 is connected to Pin 7 on the plug which will short the headlights and blow the decoder - or at least the light function part of the decoder.

    There's been discussion on this at the Digitrax@Yahoo!Groups forum in the past.
  8. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    My thanks to all of you who have responded. I shall keep my doodlebug. It IS sort of special as I rode on one operated by the Milwaukee when I was a kid. As I recall that one also pulled one passenger car back and forth from Madrid to Des Moines, Iowa. Boy was that a long time ago:D :D

  9. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    Here's the pinouts for the NMRA 8-pin plug. You will note that Pin 3 is blank. On the Bachmann dummy plug, there is a solder-trace that connects Pin 3 to Pin 7. With the present circuitry on the PC board, this will cause a short which travels down Pin 7 back to the decoder.

    A word of caution - ALWAYS trace the circuitry BEFORE you install the decoder and satisfy yourself that everything is okay.

    Attached Files:

  10. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Thanks again. I shall be careful.


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