Installing a DCC decoder in a Bachmann Class 419/MLV

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Last updated 29 March, 2020
Bachmann 419/MLV

Before installing chip into any loco it is advisable to check the current being drawn by the loco. You should test the current drawn when the loco is stalled to find the peak current and select a decoder that will cope with that maximum current requirement.

This installation is very straightforward and uses a TCS EU621 direct plug 21-pin decoder.

Bachmann 419/MLV

Removing the body is reasonably easy, but you will need both a small philips screwdriver and a small flat tipped screwdriver as well as some pieces of thick card to carry out this installation.

First undo the four small screws, two located at each end of the underside of the loco. Why Bachmann have to tighten the screws so much is beyond me. I suppose they are installed by machine in the factory but I consistently have trouble with releasing screws in Bachmann locos - I even had to return a Class 37 when the screws became impossible to move! On this loco you need a good deal of pressure on the screw head to move it, so be very careful not to damage any of the fine detail both on the body roof and on the underside. Put them to one side (so that they can't be lost!)

Bachmann 419/MLV

The body fits very tightly to the chassis so I found it easier to tackle one side at a time. Gently slide a finger nail between body and chassis on one side and put a thick piece of card between the two parts. Slide your nail along the body edge and put another piece of card between the body and chassis at the front and then at the back of the loco. If you don't do this I found that when you try to carry out the separation of the two parts on the other side of the loco they snap back into position on the side you've just released!

Once you have managed to move the body away from the chassis on the second side, gently wiggle it at each end to separate the two parts. Getting them back together after installation can be a challenge, but more of that later.

Bachmann 419/MLV

Once the chassis is clear the location of the decoder socket becomes obvious. You will need the small flat headed screwdriver to gently lever out the blanking plug. Be careful not to bend any of the pins.

Bachmann 419/MLV Bachmann 419/MLV

Insert the 21-pin decoder into the socket. Make sure it is up the right way!

Test and program the loco before fitting the body. Refit the body and check that the cab light works using function 0.

Beware when refitting the body! You need to make sure that the light bar which extends upwards into the cab area at each end is correctly located. Do not push home until you are sure each end is correctly positioned.



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