Model Train Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was at my work bench the other night doing a dcc install on yet another locomotive and was wondering if I was the only person out there that enjoys installing them in old locomotives. I know most modern engines come dcc equipped or dcc ready but I tend to enjoy doing motor swaps and installing decoders. Was just wondering if I was one of the few that enjoy that aspect of the hobby
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
im new at model railroad and have been diving more and more in. long story short.. i bought from craigslist and sold 90% off to get my money back. still kept some goodies..
i want to setup a test track and test these trains out... now to me.. new to dcc so dont know whats involved.. but if it is cheaper to put dcc controller in than buy new trains with it. its something i want to check out.

i ended up keeping the mrc tech ii dual power 2800
and the following trains. any of these good and would be good keepers to do dcc on?
not sure id want to keep the carousel.. but could use old controller for accessories...
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,946 Posts
That Pennsy E8 set looks pretty good...
What's the manufacturer?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,613 Posts
The diesel trucks likely need to have old lube
replaced with Labelle's plastic friendly grease and oil,
Then test run them, Good runners would be
candidates for DCC.

I agree with Jscullans. Working on loco innards
can be a nice easy and enjoyable afternoon.
Installing non sound decoders is actually a very
easy chore. You get good instructions that
are easy to follow. What is there to be difficult?
You have 2 wires to the motor, 2 wires to the
lights and 2 wires from the wheels.

Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
that Pennsylvania e8 looks like an ahm. I originally thought it was a p2k but looked and saw the pizza cutter wheels so that may or may not be a good candidate. the atlantic shoreline loco would possibly be a good candidate due to it being a blue box athearn. I have a few that have dcc installed. my first install was on a blue box athearn dash 9. as far as dcc goes its a pay me now or pay me later kind of thing from what ive seen. if you want blocks where you can run multiple engines at different speeds you will need more wiring and more power packs with a dcc system they can be less of a wiring nightmare if you can understand basic circuitry. dcc costs more up front but is less work in the long run and less chance of a wiring mistake and if youre into smart technology you can use your telephone to hook up to your layout to run trains off a downloadable free app and also you can have jmri to custom program dcc decoders or computerize your switches or set up working signals. you can have a very close to prototype model that runs like an actual railroad. if youre going to run a single track around a 4x4 sheet of plywood I would say stick with dc but if you want to run on a bigger railroad dcc is the way to go. that's why I don't belong to the railroad club by me. they all run dc equipment and im set up for dcc. I tend to enjoy rejuvenating an old engine and making it run good again. as far as the less expensive pancake motor locomotives I generally don't mess with them due to them being a rougher start and also don't seem to have the power most can motor engines do. that's my own opinion though
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
For me, it varies. I usually like to go for mid-range or moderately-priced locomotives that are either DCC-ready or already have a decoder installed, like modern Bachmann, Athearn Ready-To-Roll, Mantua Classics or Walthers Trainline. Heck, even an older Life-Like Proto 2000 locomotive would do nice. BUT, I have hardwired DCC decoders into a few Walthers Trainline locomotives from the 90s or 2000s, including a couple of Dash 8-40BWs and an F40PH, and with the Trainline locomotives it's fairly easy to hardwire a decoder into. (I'm actually looking to get a TCS T1 with harness soon to hardwire into my Walthers Trainline BNSF "Heritage II" Dash 8-40BW.) Maybe I'll then learn how to hardwire a decoder into those older Mehano locomotives (like the Mikado 2-8-2 steam engine and tender, or the Alco C628.) Even with DCC, I do enjoy running older rolling stock and sometimes older locomotives. With the former, I especially like running old A.H.M., Life-Like and TYCO freight cars that I upgrade with knuckle couplers and sometimes metal wheels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,389 Posts
I buy either locomotives with pre-installed decoders such as ESU or Viessmann, but I will, and have, bought DCC ready locomotives that are either not offered with DCC pre-installed, or that are out of stock when I'm ready to purchase, and install my own decoders.

I don't fool with older equipment for two reasons.

I don't know what the size of the wheel flanges will be, and I don't know what type of motor is in these older units.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I like the athearn and p2k locos and some of the newer rivarossi as far as older ones go due to them running pretty good. The only engines I go through and put new motors in anymore are brass but they’re worth money so to me worth more time. I have a few of the newer can motor rivarossi steam engines that have the hornby drive in them. They’re excellent runners but are only dc. So I’ve installed decoders in all but 1 because I can’t figure out how to get the motor out of it without breaking it. Not too worried about that one though. My p2k and west side brass e8 locos are excellent pullers and smooth as silk and I have an entire fleet of athearn blue box engines in the warbonnet paint scheme with every generation diesel to my knowledge. They all run good for the most part. But shoe to the other foot I have a couple bachmann steam locos like my 2-10-2 c&im 603 and my bachmann 2-10-4 5034 along with a couple bli locos that I enjoy running too.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top