Bachmann Spectrum SC-44 (Charger) - HO

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Information on this wiki page provides particular details about this model not found in our basic guide.

Bachmann Spectrum SC-44 Charger
Siemens SC-44.jpg
Model Information
Stock Number67901-67907
Power TypeDC or DCC w/Sound
Release Date10-02-2019
Retail Price499.95
Decoder Information
Decoder Type(?)WOWDiesel (OEM WOW121)
Lighting Functions10
Prototype Information
BuilderSiemens Mobility
Build Date2016 - Present
Motive PowerDiesel-Electric; Cummins QSK95
Cylinder CfgV16
Power Output4,400 hp (3,300 kW)
More InfoSiemens SC-44


Bachmann’s all-new DCC sound-equipped SC-44 Charger uses Siemens Mobility’s original design documentation and authentic sound files recorded from the prototype. This model includes a TCS WOWSound® decoder with Audio Assist® for easy configuration without programming CVs, and on-board Keep-Alive® device for uninterrupted operation, even over dirty track. The WOWSound® diesel-electric locomotive sound package includes sounds for horn, bell, prime mover, air compressor, dynamic brakes, cooling fan, coupler close/release, brake release and application, and many more!

Loaded with prototypical features, the SC-44 Charger in HO-scale from Bachmann Trains brings all the sights and sounds of Siemens' sleek new diesel-electric locomotive to your layout.

Features include:

  • Siemens-approved design
  • DCC sound-equipped for sound, speed, direction, and lighting control
  • Dual-mode NMRA-compliant decoder operates sound, motor, and lights on DCC or DC power.
  • TCS true CD-quality audio with 16-bit depth resolution at 44,100Hz
  • Authentic and prototypical sounds
  • Voice-guided Audio Assist® programming tool for easy set-up of almost all decoder functionality
  • On-board Keep-Alive® device that keeps your engine running during power interruptions due to dirty track or loss of electrical contact
  • Directional headlights with "Rule 17" dimming operation enabled by default
  • Interior corridor work lights
  • Roof-mounted strobe lights, with operation per prototype
  • Directional marker lights
  • Steady/alternate flashing ditch lights
  • TCS' industry-leading "quiet drive" Back EMF motor control for superior slow-speed performance and load compensation
  • User-loadable speed table options (3-point, 28-point, and 126-point curves)
  • Three select-able Throttle Modes
  • Two configurable Momentum Modes
  • TCS' new and exclusive Function Pagination System
  • Die-cast frame
  • Separately-applied windshield wipers, grab irons and other detail parts
  • Realistic top speed (limited in some cases by track voltage)

Specific Features

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. Please refer to the CV Addendum (Indexed CV's) section below for more information.

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.

Button Mappings

The Bachmann Spectrum SC-44 (Charger) - HO locomotive supports TCS' new "function pagination" system. 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, to access function 15:

  • Press function 8 twice to rotate through the function pages until the decoder announces "function page [two]"
  • Press button 5 on your throttle/controller
  • The decoder will activate function 5 + 10 (page 2 offset) = 15

Note: the decoder supports accessing functions above 9 at any time by pressing the corresponding button(s) 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 Blink 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
Random Sound Mapping
1 Air Compressor
2 None
3 Dust Blower
4 Whoosh (When enabled with F19)

CV Addendum (Standard CV's)

The SC-44 Charger follows the motor and lighting CV's as described in TCS's Comprehensive Programming Guide. Listed below are the CV's that have been modified for the Charger decoder.

CV Number CV Value Description
CV3 6 Acceleration
CV4 6 Deceleration
CV13 247 DC Mode lights
CV29 6 Configuration CV
CV35 16 Light output 1 mapped to F3
CV36 16 Light output 2 mapped to F3
CV39 16 Light output 3 (brown wire) mapped off of F3
CV40 64 Light output 4 (pink wire) mapped to F5
CV41 64 Brown wire mapped to F11 (Red emergency strobe)
CV49 8 Front headlight uses Rule 17
CV50 24 Rear headlight uses Rule 17
CV51 10 Light output 1 is a Ditch light
CV52 11 Light output 2 is a Ditch light
CV53 36 Light output 3 (brown wire) is a single pulse strobe 1 (red emergency beacon)
CV54 27 Light output 4 (pink wire) is single pulse strobe 2 (white strobes)
CV61 41 Configuration CV
CV63 10 Ditch light blink holdover time
CV117 221 Ditch light blink rate
CV123 0 So Rule 17 does not dim on F4
CV124 76 Ditch lights blink (F0-F6) on buttons 1, and 2
CV140 255 Increase red strobe blink rate to about 2 seconds
CV142 255 Increase white strobe blink rate to about 2 seconds
CV158 4 Enables Rule17 dimming on F7
CV159 32 Ditch lights blink (F7-12) on button 10
CV182 134 Disabled motor delay (motor changes speed right after throttle is changed, no delay), activate automatic control of the white strobes.
CV189 0 Dynamic brake min speed set to 0
CV190 10 Rate of deceleration from Dynamic Brakes
CV191 10 Dynamic Brake speed decrease (in speed steps) per press of the dynamic brake button

CV Addendum (Indexed CV's)

The SC-44 Charger follows the motor and lighting CV's as described in TCS's WOWDiesel Programming Guide. Listed below are the CV's that have been modified for the SC-44 Charger decoder.

[The Sound type "Air Spitter" was re-named to "Dust Blower" in Audio Assist]

[The Sound type "Sanding Valve" was re-named to "Emergency Brake" in Audio Assist]

Indexed CV Number Indexed CV Value (CV203,CV204) Description
8 3 Default to new Charger K5LA Horn
9 0 Charger defaults to Traditional throttle mode
10 80 Reduced Global Volume of decoder
11 0 Only one prime mover is available in the Charger decoder
v12 255,2 Enable all DC mode automatic sounds
14 16,15 F0, 1, 2, and 7 dual mode enabled (active in light and sound mode)
15 9 Dynamic brake notch setting
19 16,251 Using Dynamic brakes does not notch up prime mover
23 0 Only 1 bell available (E-bell)
32 10 Notch 2 speed step (traditional throttle mode)
33 25 Notch 3 speed step (traditional throttle mode)
34 35 Notch 4 speed step (traditional throttle mode)
35 50 Notch 5 speed step (traditional throttle mode)
v36 60 Notch 6 speed step (traditional throttle mode)
37 70 Notch 7 speed step (traditional throttle mode)
38 80 Notch 8 speed step (traditional throttle mode)
43 5,0 DC Mode start voltage – Voltage at which the engine will start making noise in DC mode, the higher the value the higher the voltage
44 5,70 Voltage at which the DC mode bell will stop playing, the higher the value the higher the voltage threshold.
45 15 Speed step in DCC mode that the automatic bell will stop playing at
46 1,144 DC Mode motor hysteresis – When the engine starts moving in DC mode the increased current draw may cause some oscillation, if so increase the value in this CV until the oscillation goes away. If the engine is going through a power on reset try increasing Sound CV 43 (Voltage at which the Engine will power up at while in DC mode)
50 6 “Switching momentum” mode acceleration value
51 6 “Switching momentum” mode deceleration value


Decoder Service and Repair

For service/repair, contact the Bachmann Service Department by visiting, calling 1-800-356-3910 (toll-free within the U.S. and Canada), or emailing Bachmann’s Service Department is available Monday thru Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM ET.

You can also send your locomotive to: Bachmann Trains Service Department 1400 East Erie Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19124

Please include a detailed description of your concern and complete contact information. For some service issues regarding DCC sound decoders, the Bachmann Service Department may forward your locomotive to TCS for resolution.