DCC on board running on DC

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by witeagle, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. witeagle

    witeagle New Member

    Hi all -

    I picked up a Bachmann Spectrum N&W J Class 4-8-4 with 4 spectrum passenger cars. The engine is DCC on board and capable of running on DC. I gave it a test run tonight and it doesn't really run as smooth as I expected and the headlight didn't come on. I am running this engine on DC not DCC. Is there something up with it or is it just because I really need to run this on DCC to have it run smooth. I also ran even slower and a bit more choppy when the cars were on because they were drawing power out do to the lights.

    I was running this on a standard bachmann dcc controler that came with my overland set. Do I just really need more power???

    Thanks for any help...

  2. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    You probably don't need more power. I assume you have a spectrum Magnum power pack. I can get my soudn equipped Lionel Challenger to run on it, so your locomotive should definitely work. Maybe it doesn't run on DC. did you check the manual, assuming it came with a DCC decoder manual?
  3. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

    Sometimes a new engine needs to be broken in. If you have a continuous track section, run it at a third to a half for an hour. That works for most engines.
    As for the light not working, it could have loosened during shipping. If you are brave take it apart and look at the connections.

    If that doesn't work the bulb may be faulty.
    As far as I know, all DCC engines are supposed to work on dc. This may be the exception though. My shay is dcc ready without a decoder and runs just fine, including the lights.
    Hope that helps.
  4. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    I am guessing this is a used unit? The previous owner may have left the headlight off in dcc, and that would continue to stay until it gets turned back on in dcc.
  5. witeagle

    witeagle New Member

    The unit is new and packed up like new but the shrink wrap was off the outer box. I am thinking maybe the hobby shop test ran it and left the headlight off and the speed control at a lower speed. Is there a way to reset a dcc to factory defaults without a dcc controller?
  6. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    There is a work shop ongoing in Model Railroader magazine that describes how to do just that in the December issue, which is now available at your local hobby shop.
  7. fseva

    fseva Member

    Bachmann Problems

    :curse: Unfortunately, this is not an isolated experience. I had horrible problems with a new 2-10-2 with DCC onboard - the engine just didn't perform smoothly, as if it had never been tested and was just shoved out the door. I had to return it. I have never had the kinds of problems and the frequency of problems with other locomotives I've purchased than I've had with the majority of Bachmann Spectrums I tried, and that includes Atlas, Proto 2000, Broadway Ltd, and Precsion Craft.
    Now, Bachmann has announced a new partnership with Soundtraxx - I wonder if it's because they were so disappointed with Lenz?!
  8. fseva

    fseva Member


    Or, it could be a re-sell of a return for the very same reason. If you want to run it under DC, there should be no need to reset it. And you can ONLY do a reset with DCC hardware. Sorry but your best bet is to take it back to the LHS, where you should have a warranty that would require the store owner to sell goods that are not defective.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Before you take it apart, Bachmann guarrantees all of their locomotives for life, with free shipping for the first year. After that you pay shipping only. The paperwork that came with your locomotive should have instructions on how to send the locomotive to them. Send it to them with a note detailing what your problem is. They have techs to repair the locomotives who are much better versed in how to build one of their models than the people in china who do the original manufacturing. If you take it apart and modify something to try to get it working first, you may void the warranty.
  10. fseva

    fseva Member

    Bachmann replaces rather than repairs

    Just to qualify that, they rarely make actual repairs. Usually, they just send you a different locomotive. :thumb:
  11. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    I just recently got my replacement Bachmann 4-8-4 from Historic Rail catalog and it works and runs perfectly! As some of you may remember, the first one ran fine, but made a loud heavy clicking noise while running. When I called Bachmann about repair or replacement, they didn't have any parts or any more of these at the time and asked that I contact the retailer. Customer service at Historic Rail said no problem and shipped one out that day. I got it in about two days. I'm just running DC at this time, but all my engines are DCC ready. The 4-8-4 is not a spectrum, my 2-10-0 Decopod is and both run great and lights work. I have had a slight problem with an IHC 4-6-4 and my Broadway Limited sw7 phase 2 switcher lights don't work. I think it's just the luck of the draw. Others on this forum are very pleased with the spectrum engines. Just my opinion---John R
  12. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    I been reading a lot about DCC equipped engines having problems on DC layouts..The manufacturers should make locomotives DCC ready and not force folks to pay for a decoder if they don't want it after all around 33% uses DCC...Of course Bachman does have a DCC system that goes with their DCC On Board locomotives.Street price for this system is around $70.00..
  13. witeagle

    witeagle New Member

    I just orderd an mrc prodigy. Maybe this will help get the engine running a lot better. I'll post back when I get it in and up/running.

    Thanks all for the help.

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