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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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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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