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  • Topic: The Bachmann James gets the genuine RCS treatment.

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    • December 10, 2011 8:55 PM EST

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      At long last a Bachmann "James" has crossed my desk to have RCS battery R/C and MyLocosound installed. As James is a tender engine with a quite large tender there is plenty of room for everything inside the tender. The install will be in two parts. After removing the tender shell the first thing I did was remove the small weights from the tender floor.

      Once the weights were gone I cut off the two screw lugs from the floor with side cutters.

      This was so the speaker could sit flat on the floor.

      I used a square 50 mm speaker as that fitted just nicely. I drilled out a hole pattern under the speaker and mounted it with 4 x small self tapping screws. I also drilled a 1/4" hole for the ON-OFF switch with the toggle mid way between two axles.

      Next came four 3.5 mm holes for the tapped metal stanchions. Two each side midway between the axles. These will support the styrene platform that will hold the batteries and the R/C + sound.

      Like this:

      I am using 10 x ENELOOP AA hybrid cells as 12 volts is plenty for a realistic top speed and they fit neatly in the space. Next up was the chuff timer. I used a regular small reed switch mounted in a styrene tube and supported at the correct height. Normally the reed switch I use works best end on to the magnets but this one had to be parallel. The tender wheels are almost exactly half the size of the drivers so I used two small rare earth magnets super glued in place for 4 x chuffs per revolution of the loco drivers.

      Here is the template for the styrene platform.

      The next part will show the ESC,R/C and sound installation. Second part follows. I fabricated a 4 wire loco to tender cable with a plug and socket to make life simple when separating the two. This pic shows where the cable exits the loco chassis. I used heatshrink tubing to protect the wires. The orange and grey wires solder to the two terminals on the back of the polarity switch after I removed the original track pick ups.

      I used another thinnish sheet of styrene glued to the battery pack on which I could mount the three main components.

      Then the assembly was mounted on the stanchions with 3 mm screws and lock washers and wired up.

      Track testing produced an odd problem with the sound chuff timer. I had used the front wheels of the tender upon which two Rare Earth magnets were mounted. Unfortunately the center wheels sit very slightly lower than each of the end wheels. This results in a slight rocking on the wheels and sometimes the front wheels do not make very good contact with the rails. The chuff got a bit erratic. The easy fix in future is to use the middle wheels for chuff timing. As it was a bit difficult to redo the reed switch mounting I opted for another simple solution. I used thin styrene shims under the axle bracket mounts to lift the centre wheels up a smidgin. I removed the bracket screws cut a thin strip of shim just wide enough to fit under the bracket and marked where the screw holes should be.

      Then I drilled out the screw holes

      I slid the styrene shim into position and replaced the screws, then trimmed the styrene to fit. Repeat for the other side.

      So how does James perform? Just like Thomas. Nice and smooth just like Thomas. 12 volts is more than adequate for a quite fast top speed. There is plenty of room in the loco for extra weights. Bravo Bachmann. If I did it again I would possibly mount every thing in the loco and have just the speaker in the tender.

      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

      Remote Control Systems.
        Modern technology. Old Fashioned reliability

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