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Philip

Bachmann Voyager - Light replacement and chipping

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Thought I might share this project with you all. Plus anyone who might want to try a similar thing can find out how I did it.

I wanted to upgrade my Voyager a while ago to DCC and also replace the dull and rather annoying bulb lights that were quite dim and more yellow than anything else.

I also decided to add coach lighting just for the fun of it ;)

Now, this was my first DCC project and I got rather ambitious and made some mistakes that I will highlight.

The Voyager light box. These are also pretty much the same in other Bachmann trains such as modern DMU's

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First I took this to bits. Unsoldered and removed everything (never throwing anything away though). The LED's are bigger than the light box so i came up with a better solution to fitting them.

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Solution to fitting the LED's in the light box was to drill two holes in the back for the main head/tail lights. The top light could fit head on still but the housing needed to be filed a bit to make it big enough.

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Testing the lights once capacitors were added. Marked on the light box where the red light was prior to fitting.

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Inside of the coach. The original plan was the run the wires through each coach to the motor in the centre to save using 3 seperate decoders - I forgot to test how much the gaps between the coaches moves prior to doing all this. Big mistake. Ended up having to strip all the wires back and putting a decoder in each coach.

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Testing the motor coach lighting with the decoder packed out the way - It was positioned near the wheels to provide good air circulation encase it gets hot.

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Testing the headlights. Some work still to be done to stop the glow across the other lights but generally it looked much better. The coach lighting also has a brilliant look in the dark. Much like a real railway - However, the motor coach still needs some light insulation around the wheels and one other coach has nothing in as the wheels have no pick-ups. Considered making some small wires to connect up with the main motor coach.

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Testing on the clubs layout - tested both DC and DCC.

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However, there is a major problem in that the motor now runs only 40% maximum of its original speed. No matter how high the controller is, it only ever runs at around 35-40% power. I've so far concluded it is the chip which is Hornby. Hopefully will replace the motor chip with a Bachmann one and use the Hornby chips for accessories/lighting only.

First ever DCC project. Actually, first project involving modifying a model. I personally think I started a bit too high with this bachmann model but it didn't turn out too badly in the end and I'm definitely pleased with it apart from the speed loss.

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