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RCS system for Bachmann Shay.

1747 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  toddalin
I have been collecting large scale trains for several years. One I purchased about two years ago was a first edition Bachmann two truck Shay. Until this week, I didn't realize that with the loco came a complete RCS wireless system along with a Sierra sound system which were still in the plastic bags in the bottom of a box of accessories under a cardboard divider which hid the items underneath. It appears everything is there; rechargeable batteries, battery charger, an Eric-4 circuit board, etc., etc. The handheld transmitter is a model TX-8. I went to RCS's website but did not find info on this transmitter. This whole box of "goodies" appears to have been purchased new back in the 1990's along with the loco and then put on a shelf for years. The loco has never been run. My question is... Is it worth it to have both these systems installed, or are they now obsolete with all the new technologies on the market? Thanks again for your help. VTRRLoco18
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Sounds like you've got a real bonus there!

The answer to your question is both yes and no ...

There are newer RCS systems available these days. If the one you have is that old, it may also be the old "blue" frequency ... meaning a lower powered transmitter. That doesn't mean it's obsolete, though, and it could probably run your locomotive very successfully; I have a system very like the one you're talking about that I bought in 2000 and then sat on a shelf till 2006 or 2007 .... and now runs my army diesel quite nicely. I did need new batteries .... that kind of shelf time is often unforgiving, depending on what batteries you actually have.

Sierra is pretty much unchanged over the last several years.... so that should be fine.

One last thing - if your Shay is first run, you may need to replace the trucks to run it successfully. If you look at the bottom of the trucks and see eight screws holding on the bottom cover plate, that's a sure sign you may have the problematic ones. Other trucks MAY have trouble.

If I were you, I'd go to: http://dnkgoods.home.mindspring.com/index.html and discuss what you want to do with Dave. He can tell you for sure what it's going to take to get you up and running, and if you're talking about having it done by someone else, he's the Shay specialist.

Matthew (OV)
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came a complete RCS wireless system along with a Sierra sound system

I had the same pleasant surprise when I bought a Lionel Atlantic at an auction - it turned out to have a complete working sound system in the tender worth more than I paid for the loco.

As Matthew says, there are newer technologies, but the old ones still work. I have the same set-up as you just found; I bought some old Sierra sound systems from a pal who had changed to something else, and a complete RCS throttle from another pal who was moving to Airwire. My Bachmann 4-6-0 now sounds great and Soundtraxx undapted the other board to an EBT Mikado chip so now I'm ready for my RY model.

A couple of things you need to know. The lead-acid battery with the Soundtraxx Sierra is undoubtedly toast by now. If you decide to go the r/c + battery route you won't need one, but you will need a voltage stabilizer circuit to feed the Sierra, as detailed in their Tech Bulletin
http://www.soundtraxx.com/documents/technotes/sierra/technote6.pdf. It has wiring diagrams that you'll find useful. (I have a spare interface kit and Star Hobby still has a couple.)

RCS has a variety of useful articles on their "how to" pages. http://www.rcs-rc.com/?page=how_tos/index.html. There's one for the Shay with newer components, but it may give you some ideas.

Dave Goodson is definitely a resource to talk to, and I'll be happy to help talk you through the process - send me an email offline.

But first I'd get those trucks fixed.
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The old RCS systems had more voltage drop thorough the receiver than the new ones. But Shay's run so fast with so little voltage, this should not be a concern.

I have an older RCS, 10 amp, track-powered R/C system from the '90's (like a train Engineer) that I still use, and the transmitter has better range than my two Train Engineers, so range should not be a concern.
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