Tip 5: Making the taillights on a DCC Bachmann Freightliner 57 independant from the directional control

Simon Evans and Mick Bryan

If anyone wants to make the taillights on a DCC Bachy Freightliner 57 independent from the directional control, then here’s how.

Freightliner class 57 DCC

No pcb track cutting involved.
First of all the 57 doesn’t follow typical UK practice of forwards = No.1 cab leading (this of course presumes that they didn’t swap no1/no2 ends when they were rebuilt to 57’s). I altered CV29 bit 1 to 1 to reverse the loco, so that no.1 cab (cooler group end) is now leading in “forwards” mode on the controller.
Remove the 6 screws (there are two under the cabs) to get access to the PCB board. Remove the pcb by taking out the two screws holding it to the chassis block. It may prove easier to also disconnect the pickup and motor leads by sliding off the black plastic caps on their connections to the pcb. Locate pin 3 on the underside of the pcb and solder a short length of wire to it (I use green as that’s the standard DCC colour for pin 3).Go back to the upper side of the pcb and unsolder the green wire at terminal C on the no 1 end. Re-solder this no 1 end green wire to your new pin 3 wire. Unsolder the green wire at terminal C at the no2 end and connect this to the purple lead from the decoder. Re- assemble and test.
F1 is no 1 end lights, F2 is no 2 end lights. F0 head/marker lights on/off with directional control as normal.

Mods for a Bachmann Virgin Thunderbird 57/3.

Same as the 57/0 with a minor difference (see copy of the 57/0 mods).
Unsolder the BLUE wires (terminal D) from the pcb at both ends. ( the FL 57 uses terminal C/green for tail-lights.) Connect function output 3 (green wire, soldered to the underside of the pcb) to the no.1 end blue wire. Connect the purple wire from the decoder to the no.2 end blue wire.

Another one.

Bachman class 66 DCC independent tail light directional control.

Remove the 4 body screws (early batches of 66’s have screws that were over tightened by Bachmann and may be difficult to remove, take care) and unclip the cab ends (may need a small knife blade just to lift the ends off the lugs.
Two cuts are required in the pcb tracks. With the circuit board facing you and the White arrow facing left……

1. Identify R6 (lower left) and cut through the diagonal track to the right of it that runs to D3. Make the cut between R6 and the small hole. ( These holes are for “through plating” and electrically link the two sides of the circuit board together)
2. Identify R10 (top right). Cut through the pcb track between the left end of R10 and the hole. (Note – this cut can also be carried out on the underside of the board, on the long track that runs from the through holes to the left of R10 to the hole to the right of R8)

Whilst under the board, identify pin 3 of the decoder socket and solder a wire to it (preferably green – as this is pin 3’s colour, but that doesn’t really matter!!). Solder the other end to the upper side of the pcb at the right end of R6.
Solder the purple wire from the decoder, directly to the left end of R10.

Re-assemble and test.
F0 operates headlight off/on, with direction dependent switching. F1 is no.1 end tail-lights and F2 is no.2 end tail-lights.

NOTE – on a class 66, no.2 end is the radiator/cooler group end – not the normal no.1 end for UK built locos. This is standard US practise!!


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