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Discussion Starter #1
I may be crossing forums here but I am thinking about getting either an Aristo C16 or a Bachmann 4-4-0. I really like the Bachmann engine but my concern is in wiring it for DCC. Has anybody had any experiance with this engine? Would the C16 be a better choice for ease of sound and DCC? I have a NCE system and I am planing on using one of their decoders and a P5 sound system. Any help out there? Thanks
 

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These are two completely different animals you DO realize! The Aristo C-16 is a 1:24 version of a D&RGW 2-8-0. Yes, it does come in a variety of roadnames and it also comes as a wood burner as well as a "modern" coal burner. The era of the C-16 is probably closer to the mid 1880's for the wood burner and post turn-of-the-century for the coal burning version.
The Bachmann 4-4-0 American is a model of an 1875 wood burner in 1:20.3 scale. It is a Spectrum engine and has the attendant quality detailing. The C-16's detailing is closer to that of an Annie 10-Wheeler. The later version of the C-16 with belt drive, metal gearing and lowered boiler is the one I would recommend as the older version has been off of the market for five years or so. It makes sense that the newer version would have provisions for the newer electronics but I haven't seen one of the new one's innards yet to really tell.
The Bachmann is set up for having a sound system installed and there ARE new versions on the market but whether they are just repaints of whether they have been upgraded I can't say. Even though the prototype is relatively small, the Bachmann 4-4-0 dwarfs the diminutive Aristo 2-8-0 so you will need to take that into consideration as well.
Lastly, the Aristo C-16 will navigate R1 curves (as the two inner drivers are blind ones) whereas the 4-4-0 will barely navigate a 5' dia. curve. My advice is to figure out which model fits your idea for what you want to do better and then go for it. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Steve, thanks for the info. I do like the 4-4-0. My smallest radius is 9 feet. No problem there. Any info on installing a decoder in the Bachmann 4-4-0? Does anybody have any experiance doing it? I really do not want to buy a brand new engine and then have to gut the thing. Thanks, Kenny
 

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That sounds like a question for Greg Elmassion! I would suggest checking into the Chat Room in the late evening (if you're on the East Coast) where these guys are on almost every night. You should be able to get your question answered right away!
 

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With the 4-4-0, you're going to have to gut it, at least to some extent. All the wiring goes to a circuit board in the boiler (lights, motor, etc.) I believe this slides out the smokebox, so it's at least marginally accessible. At the very least, most all of the wires you need are located there, so you can tap into the lights, motor, track pickups, etc. from there and wire in your own board in its place. There are ancillary circuit boards for the firebox lights, and a filter on the motor which may or may not be compatible with your DCC. I know it's not with the RCS R/C, so separating the boiler from the chassis might be part of the process.

The C-16 has the advantage of having all the wires routed into the tender, where it ties into Aristo's version of the so-called "universal" R/C-DCC plug. If your flavor of DCC or R/C has a board that plugs directly into that, then you're in good shape. Otherwise, it's similar to the 4-4-0 in that all the wires are there, you just need to cut them and attach them to the appropriate spots on the new board.

I love both locos. The new C-16 drive is near bulletproof and quite smooth. It's a matter of aesthetics. If you're doing 1:20, then you'll find the C-16 far too small. If you're doing 1:22 or 1:24, then either loco will work well.

Later,

K
 

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For the ease of installations to convert to DCC you would be better to go with the new C-16 as its all plug and play. You can install a QSI board in 5 min or less and have sound at the same time at one low price. This system works great with NCE as that is what I use. Later RJD
 

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I have installed DCC/Sound in both locomotives. The C-16 really couldn't be easier, but getting the chuff well sync'ed with the wheels is proving to be a challenge (there is no mechanical switch to drive the chuff circuit even though the decoder supports the option), see the review in this months Model Railroad News. I may end up wiring a reed switch to the tender axel and going mechanical. The Bachmann 4-4-0 is more difficult for DCC and tricky for DCC and sound. Bachmann standard instructions call for the decoder to go in the front of the boiler (fairly easy) and the sound card (Sierra or Phoenix) to go in the tender. I used a LokSound XL which is a sound decoder in the boiler and used the wire that would have taken the chuff switch to the tender for the sound to the speaker. Works great, but it was tricky.

They are both nice engines, although I prefer the 4-4-0.

Peter.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I ended up ordering the Bachmann 4=4-0. I really like the way that engine looks. I have a Massoth decoder that I plan to install and a Phoenix P5. I anticipate some difficulty but Greg has offered to help with the install. I do not know when I will get the engine. I ordered it from Ridge Road Station and everything is backordered. Thanks for all the help. Ken
 

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The QSI can be set up to perfectly sync with the drivers with no chuff switch.... the electronics know the exact speed of the motor, and you set (basically) the final drive ratio so you can have 4 chuffs/revolution or really any number you want.

You can also squeeze a DCC decoder into the boiler of the 4-4-0 if you want, like an NCE unit, and then put a sound decoder in the tender.

There are a lot of possibilities.

Pick the loco you prefer, pretty much anything is possible.

Regards, Greg
 
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