Replace DCC Decoder for Bachmann 4-8-4. is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


Well-Known Member
Yes, this one here...
View attachment 38505View attachment 38505

I have actually ended up with 3 of them...somehow?
I got all 3 of them out today, and was trying to recall the history of how I ended up with 3?,...and which ones had what modifications??

If I recall correctly, I purchased 2 of them from Peach Creek Shops when they were closing. They were both brand new, and came with the stock 'DCC installed',.....just motor control, not sound.

I burned one of these up when it stalled out on a Shinohara double crossover during some turnout experiments I was working on Subsequently I was visiting with a gentleman south of me who promised to show me some introductory work on DCC installations,...and to sell me a few of his surplus (used) TSU 1000 decoders at a very attractive price. We replaced the burned out 4-8-4 Bachmann with one of those TSU 1000.

While we were at it I replaced the second new loco I had with a TSU decoder as well.

That left the 3rd one of those engines that I believe I bought thru the mail (craiges list or something) a few years ago. It came all packaged up as a new one would be, so I'm now thinking I must have never removed it from it box and done a thorough inspection?...strange??. Why do I say this? I unpacked it today and noticed it was missing the one, rear most wheelset on the tender. I then decided to open up the tender and do an inspection on its interior. This is what I found.

It appears as though the previous owner installed some sound capability, and perhaps changed the motion decoder?? The motion decoder I am assuming is the Digitrax DH-163. Is this original equip from Bachmann?
The sound decoder appears to be the Digitrax SFX-0416?

My question at this point is can I run this engine on a DC track (not DCC) without problems, or burning something up? In other words is this a dual mode decoder setup??


Well-Known Member
I was taking a closer look at that 3rd Northern to see if I might find out whats wrong with it,... I got some sound, but no motion.

I pulled the components further apart for these next 2 photos,..

...and I marked the 4 wires that I have questions about. It appears as though the sound decoder is hooked in with current pick-up wires from the tender's wheels,..those 2 with the shrink wrap on their ends.

There are 2 wires on the motion decoder that appear to not be connected to anything,...could they previously been connected to those shrink wrap ends? (that might connect the sound decoder with the tender wheel pick-ups ??)

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.