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Converting Older DC to DCC
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 Posted: Thu Jun 14th, 2012 01:52 pm
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GUTMACH
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Pretty straight forward, upgrading older DC motive power to DCC, for the non-electrical engineering types. :dope:

Can it be done ? And is there an Open Source solution ?

-Wayde

PS: Mac OS X and Debian Linux user.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 14th, 2012 03:06 pm
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W C Greene
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Wayde-all you need to do is be sure the motor is electrically insulated from the frame. Then it's just a matter of hooking up the proper wires. This includes brass locos, old Athearn, and even Varney, etc. It's about as simple as that.

Woodie



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 Posted: Thu Jun 14th, 2012 04:57 pm
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smokebox
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HIYA,

How would you do that with an old Bowser ( all metal) trolley with truck mounted motors?
I would like to run it off the wire if that would make is any easier to do.
Or would I have to set up a drive line inside with gear boxes to the trucks to be able to isolate the motor?
And before you ask I have no idea about anything DCC just like my lack of RC control....

Rob Wright
smokebox smokebox:bang::bang::bang:

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 Posted: Thu Jun 14th, 2012 07:40 pm
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W C Greene
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I believe that you could isolate the motor brushes (both) from the rest of the motor. This might involve using the insulating parts from a motor on both sides. All you need to insulate are the motor brushes. I hope that answers your question. Good luck.

Woodie



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 Posted: Sun Jul 15th, 2012 12:42 pm
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Espeefan
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You also have to watch out for those old open frame motors.  Some of them draw quite a bit of amperage and can toast a decoder.  Guess how I know this :bg:  I have done many brass models and replaced quite a few old Pittman style motors with more modern can motors.  I had one little brass 4-6-0 where it was going to be more work than I thought I wanted to do to change the motor so I left the old one in.  The model ran for a while but before more than an hour or two of running time the decoder blew.  Check your motor with a multimeter set for continuity.  Touch one probe to each motor lead and the other to the loco frame, and make sure you don't get a tone or a reading on your scale/display. This will confirm that the motor brushes are isolated as Woodie has said.  Digitrax decoders now have a failsafe built in in case you goof, and some decoder manufacturers have a goof proof warranty if you do mess up.  The older Bowser trollies can be done this way. 

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 Posted: Sun Jul 15th, 2012 01:24 pm
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NathanO
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How about letting us know which loco's you plan to put DCC in.

Nathan

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 Posted: Tue Jul 17th, 2012 03:02 am
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GUTMACH
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I guess the first order of business would be replacing the older (open frame) motor with a more modern (can) one, am I right ?

-Wayde

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 Posted: Tue Jul 17th, 2012 05:42 pm
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Espeefan
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Yes, in almost all cases.  Be aware that motor replacement is typically not "Plug & Play".  In a few, very few, cases I have been able to replace motors by simply drilling a new screw hole or two, but I often end up either making a cradle or buying one of the A-line ones.  I sometimes end up changing gearboxes as well.  Sometimes the motor speed of the can motor is slower than the original motor, causing a corresponding reduction in loco speed.  This isn't always a bad thing.  Other times I have noticed that old fiber gears are swollen or worn esxcessively, and in the case of some models, the original gearboxes are just plain junk!  It will depend a lot on your model.  There are several very good websites on repowering older locos as well.  Let us know which models you are going to do and maybe you'll get some more specific suggestions.

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 Posted: Wed Jul 18th, 2012 03:07 am
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GUTMACH
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I have an advantage, regarding the issue of gearimg and gearboxes, I am a machinist, I can fabricate or build new. Even cut my own gears, if need be.

-Wayde

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