Bachmann HO SC-44 Charger with TCS WOW Sound

If you're not an Amtrak modeler, you will be!  One of the most anticipated and sought after models in recent history.  

Bachmann’s all-new DCC sound-equipped SC-44 Charger uses Siemens Mobility’s original design documentation and sound files. This model includes a TCS WOWSound® CD-Quality 16-bit 44,100Hz decoder with Audio Assist® for easy configuration without programming CVs and a Keep-Alive® device for uninterrupted operation, even over dirty track. The WOWSound® diesel-electric locomotive sound package includes horn, bell, prime mover, start-up and shutdown sequences, compressor, cooling fan, coupler close/release, brake release and application, crew alert, grade crossing quill, departing and arriving station announcements, and more. Loaded with prototypical features, the SC-44 Charger brings all the sights and sounds of Siemens' diesel electric locomotive to your layout.

Features include:

  • Siemens-approved design
  • DCC sound-equipped for sound, speed, direction, and lighting control
  • TCS true CD-quality audio in 16-bit 44,100Hz sound
  • Keep-Alive® device that keeps your engine running during power interruptions due to dirty track or loss of electrical contact
  • Voice-guided Audio Assist® programming tool for easy set-up of almost all decoder functionality
  • Dual-mode NMRA-compliant decoder
  • Directional headlights
  • Interior corridor work lights
  • Roof-mounted strobe lights, per prototype
  • Marker lights
  • Steady/alternate flashing ditch lights
  • Die-cast frame
  • Separately-applied windshield wipers, grab irons and other detail parts

The SC-44 charger is at its heart a WOWDiesel decoder but has had some customization to make it specific to the SC-44 Charger locomotive. The information below details where CV’s and operation differ from the standard Diesel decoder.

DC mode operation

When operating in DC mode, the SC-44 Charger locomotive will sit still until a sufficient track voltage is present. Once the minimum voltage is met the locomotive will begin to move. A horn blast and bell will activate automatically. Users may trigger a grade crossing horn quill sound by quickly adjusting the track voltage up and back down quickly. The directional horn blasts, quill, and automatic DC mode bell are enabled by default and are controlled by the Automatic Sounds CV.

Additional Sound Features

The SC-44 Charger locomotive features new sounds such as “Whoosh” and “station announcements” as well as new traction noises like “traction motor” and “traction motor gearbox." Listen for the whine of the traction motors as the prime mover spools up and the Charger takes off. As the locomotive climbs toward 125 MPH, the traction motors are drowned out as the noise from the gearbox hardware hums ever louder.

The SC-44 Charger supports an "automatic bell" in DCC mode. After the locomotive starts the bell will play until the DCC mode automatic bell cutout speed step is reached.

The SC-44 Charger includes a brand new Emergency Brake air dump sound. This sound will play if a user presses the Emergency Stop button on their throttle, or if the Brake button is pressed 5 times.

New Lighting Features

The SC-44 Charger features a fully-functional emergency strobe light that operates prototypically. Send your DCC system into emergency and the engine will immediately stop and turn on the red strobe. Additionally you can also activate the “emergency brake” manually by engaging the TCS-exclusive Braking Feature fully with five rapid presses, after which the train will come to a quick stop and turn on the strobe.

The emergency strobe light also works in conjunction with the “crew alert” feature. The crew alert feature acts as a “dead mans” switch. If no user input is received after a set amount of time the alarm will sound giving the user short amount of time to enter input or else the train will go into emergency, brake, and come to a stop with the red emergency strobe flashing! When the crew alert feature is enabled, the emergency strobe will activate once the crew alert timer expires.

According to § 1.4.12 of the Siemens SC-44 Charger Operations Manual, the strobe lights function automatically when certain conditions are met. The white strobes will flash when the ditch lights are activated and headlights are at full brightness. TCS has implemented automatic and manual control modes for the white strobe lights. The factory default is set to automatic control (CV182 bit 7 is ON). In automatic mode the white strobe lights will behave as described in the Siemens manual section 1.4.12 while the strobe button is activated on the throttle (default Function 5). When Function 5 is activated, the strobe lights will turn on when both the headlight and ditch lights are active. If Function 5 is turned off, the strobe light will remain off regardless of current head and ditch light states. In manual control mode (CV182 bit 7 is OFF), headlight and ditch light status has no effect on the white strobes. The white strobe lights are controlled manually by the throttle button.

The Charger locomotive supports "function pagination." This makes it easy to access all 28 functions and all lighting effects on throttles with limited function access by adding an offset to the pressed function button (offset of 10 for function page 2, offset of 20 for function page 3. For example:

  • Press function 8 twice to rotate through the pages until the decoder announces "function page two."

  • Press function 5

  • The decoder will activate function 5 + 10 (page 2 offset) = 15

Note: the decoder supports accessing function 15 by pressing F15 on your throttle regardless of the currently selected function page.

Button Mappings
Function Button Sound Action Light Action Dual Enabled Page and Button
0 None Headlights Yes Page 1 Button 0
1 Bell Blink Ditch Lights Yes Page 1 Button 1
2 Horn - Long Blast Bling Ditch Lights Yes Page 1 Button 2
3 Horn - Short Blast Ditch Lights (on/off) No Page 1 Button 3
4 Whoosh Number Board Lights No Page 1 Button 4
5 Train Brake Strobe Light (on/off) No Page 1 Button 5
6 Startup/Shutdown Marker Lights (on/off) No Page 1 Button 6
7 None Dim Headlights Yes Page 1 Button 7
8 1x Press Mute/Unmute
2x Press rotate light/sound mode or page
4x Press Audio Assist™
None Yes Page 1 Button 8
9 Dynamic Brake Corridor Lights No Page 1 Button 9
10 Manual Notch Up Ditch Lights Blink No Page 2 Button 0
11 Manual Notch Down Emergency Strobe (on/off) (or with 5x brake press or with E-STOP function) No Page 2 Button 1
12 Coupler Close None No Page 2 Button 2
13 Coupler Release None No Page 2 Button 3
14 Brake Release None No Page 2 Button 4
15 Traction Motor Blower None No Page 2 Button 5
16 Momentum None No Page 2 Button 6
17 Crew Alert None No Page 2 Button 7
18 1x Press Mute/Unmute
2x Press rotate light/sound mode or page
4x Press Audio Assist™
None No Page 2 Button 8
19 Random Whoosh (on/off) None No Page 2 Button 9
20 Grade Crossing Quill None No Page 3 Button 0
21 Forward Quill None No Page 3 Button 1
22 Reverse Quill None No Page 3 Button 2
23 Stop Horn None No Page 3 Button 3
24 Rotate Bell/Horn None No Page 3 Button 4
25 Windshield Wipers None No Page 3 Button 5
26 Station Announcements Departing None No Page 3 Button 6
27 Station Announcements Arriving None No Page 3 Button 7
28 1x Press Mute/Unmute
2x Press rotate light/sound mode or page
4x Press Audio Assist™
None No Page 3 Button 8

 

Very accurately replicated.  All printing is crisp and legible.  Note, this model has Kadee #148's installed.

 

Clear windshield with detailed interior.  Destination sign is backlit and amazingly mimics the look of leds very well.  Alternating flashing ditchlights and functioning marker lights that work when the locomotive is moving in the opposite direction.

 

Crisp graphics.  Lots of separately applied parts.

 

Amazing truck and sanding line detail.

 

Roof top detail.  All 3 strobes work.  Again, clear windshield displaying a finished workspace for the conductor.  Number boards are backlit.

 

More 3D etching on the top towards the rear.

 

More top-side details.

 

Rear truck detail and fuel filler along with other details.

 

A closer look at the integrated slotted type disc brake wheels...AWESOME!  More of the awesome truck detail.

 

More side view detail.

 

All we can say is WOW!  They really nailed it!

 

Separately applied parts all over the place.  Look at that rear end...the details just don't stop.  Rear marker lights are very bright as well as the rear headlight.

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