HO Bachmann Shay Decoder

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by ScottyB, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. ScottyB

    ScottyB Member

    Hey all,

    Just bought a new HO Bachmann 3-truck shay that needs a decoder. I know Soundtraxx has a low cost drop in sound decoder ($60 at Loys), but I have heard mixed reviews on the quality of the sound. Just wondering if anyone has opinions on this decoder.

    My other options would be to just drop in a non-sound decoder (with the NMRA plug -- easy) or install one of the new Tsunami light steam/logging decoders (don't know enough to determine how easy).

    Thanks for your advice!
  2. Hammerli

    Hammerli Member

    I see the tsunami is 1.7" long, I'm just wondering how that is going to fit? I didn't go measure my Shay, but I don't think the tender is anywhere near big enough to accomodate that size decoder.
  3. knewsom

    knewsom New Member

    I have the Soundtraxx drop in, and I think it sounds great. The installation is pretty straight forward and I have not had a problem with it at all.
  4. Hammerli

    Hammerli Member

    Kevin, what model Shay did you have that was just a drop-in, and which Soundtraxx? I've been looking for one that wouldn't require any modifications, and I was told by my local shop that none of them were small enough to go in the Shay's very small tender area.
  5. knewsom

    knewsom New Member

    I have the HO Bachmann 3 Truck shay (Cass Scenic RR #5). The Soundtraxx DSD-B3TS which you can get for around $60 drops right in to the third truck. You need to drill a small hole in the third truck floor and run speaker wires to the coal bin in the second truck for the speaker. The instructions that are provided are really easy and it can be done in a night. You have to make your own coal load afterwards.

    Here is a picture of what it looks like after the conversion and the addition of a coal load.

  6. Hammerli

    Hammerli Member

    Thanks Kevin, I'll have to look into that. I currently have the Digitax 123 to put in my Shay; when you installed the decoder did you cut one leg of the yellow capacitor on the circuit board? I found several places that mentioned that, but then several others that didn't. It was suggested that the capacitor function was a filter, and that it affected low speed performance.

    Where did you find the lowest price on the SoundTraxx?
  7. knewsom

    knewsom New Member


    I did have to cut the yellow capacitor on my Shay. It is in the directions of the Soundtraxx decoder. I have actually had to cut one leg of a capacitor on all of my Spectrums when I add a decoder. I left one in and after a while the decoder began acting erratic. As far as price I got mine from Empire Northern for $60+shipping. You may be able to get a better deal at Tony's Train Exchange or Loys Toys.

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