Bachmann HO 2-8-0

overviewJune 26, 2010

Bachmann Consolidation 2-8-0 Sound Parts List

  1. Medium or Southern Steam HO DCC decoder sound by SoundTraxx TSU-1000
  2. Speaker 28 x 40 mm rectangular 8 Ohms
  3. Kapton Tape 1/2 inch wide
  4. Shrink tubing in various sizes: 3/32, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4 inch
  5. Nano-Oil 5, 10 & 85 wt
  6. Never Stall

This discussion revolves around the older Spectrum series units. The newer (non-Spectrum) units have a NEM-652 (8-pin) socket in the tender and a cutout for a 28 mm round speaker. Use a Digitrax DHWHP harness or TCS MH harness to replace the harness on your Tsunami.

If you have one of the (older, better) Spectrum units, read on.

The tender of the Consolidation looks as if it were designed with a 28 x 40 mm speaker in mind. A minor bit of plastic shaving and piece of plastic and you are styling!

Be aware that there are several tenders out there for the Consolidation. This tender is about 4 inches long. The shorter (about 3-1/2 inch long) tender will need the SP-28R-08 speaker, but the rest of the install is the same.

The Bachmann Light Mountain loco uses this same tender for the most part. The internal Printed Circuit Board is different. However, if you are removing the board, as Bruce recommends, the installation is the same.

The coal load was perforated with a #70 drill to allow the sound out the top. Some coal loads will require a bit of material removal to clear the speaker frame. Drill about 200 holes from the INSIDE of the coal load toward the outside. This photo is a view of the coal load with about 200 #70 holes drilled randomly in the coal load. Can you see the holes? Don't think so!

tender detail exterior

However, with the light behind the coal load, you can see the acoustic path from the speaker to your ears.

coal load holes

The SP-28x40 mounts on the shelf as shown in the photo. Enlarge the opening below the speaker as much as possible but keeping the front sealed from the rear. A 5/8 x 5/8 piece of plastic runs down the inside front of the tender to complete the seal.

tender detail interior

Note: the magnet assembly of the speaker holds the coal load up just a bit. If you are a perfectionist, plan to use the rear slide plate (red in this install) and then put mesh and loose coal over the speaker, being careful not to get glue or coal into the speaker).

Speaker Mounting

Yes, the speaker is mounted with the magnet up! Sound comes out both sides of a speaker. The sound coming off the magnet side of the speaker goes out through the coal load. The sound coming off the other side of the speaker goes into the shell - which acts as an enclosure.

Bruce removed the Bachmann board and wired the Tsunami directly to the rail power, motor and headlight connections. Removing the Bachmann board provides room for the Tsunami mounting, leaving the mounting boss in place, so the shell can be screwed to the tender floor. A rear light could easily have been added at this time.

Here is a detailed shot of the connector area.

tender detail wires

When reassembling the tender make certain that the Kapton tape is not covering the screw hole for the shell. Also, be sure that the wires are constrained between the bosses on the tender floor, as shown in the photo above. If the wires are outside the bosses, the top tender shell will pinch wires and, perhaps, even cut them.


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Information on this site represents Bruce’s experiences and opinions. They are presented without warranty as an example of ways to utilize DCC products. The user is solely responsible for any use made of this data.