Converting old locos to DCC?

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Oranoco
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Converting old locos to DCC?

Postby Oranoco » Mon May 07, 2018 10:16 pm

Apologies if this has been covered before I did have a quick look. I have a decent collection of locos and was perfectly happy with everything.

However I went over to see a friend at his dad's place and had a tinker with his DCC setup and have to admit to being rather impressed. It seems converting older Hornby locos to DCC isn't hard at all but he pulled a face when I said I had a number of tender drive locos. (Mallard, Flying Scotsman, Evening Star to name a few)

Am I stuffed as I really don't want to be replacing the locos

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Roger (RJ)
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Re: Converting old locos to DCC?

Postby Roger (RJ) » Mon May 07, 2018 10:26 pm

Tender drives are fairly easy to convert but you MUST ensure that the motor terminals, particularly the left one, are isolated from the chassis before fitting a decoder. If the terminals are not isolated, the decoder will be destroyed instantly when power is applied. Tender drives, which are usually ringfield motors, also take more current than modern can motors, so you need to use a decoder that can handle the higher current draw.

Details on this page https://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/DCC.html about two thirds of the way down the page.

MickleoverTestTrack
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Re: Converting old locos to DCC?

Postby MickleoverTestTrack » Mon May 07, 2018 11:26 pm

If they run quite well on DC then they should convert OK, if they are poor runners then it could be worth converting to CD tray drive motors before you go to DCC or sometimes a new magnet in the ringfield helps. Plenty of YouTube videos on converting to CD tray motors.

Bigmet
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Re: Converting old locos to DCC?

Postby Bigmet » Tue May 08, 2018 8:29 am

I am with your friend in pulling a face at the thought of DCC conversion to Hornby ringfield tender drives. In principle it has to be possible, it is just a 12V DC motor. The problem is just how many fiddling variations Hornby introduced to the design, and the consequent finding out of just how track power can reach the non-isolated brush terminal, plus the low torque of many of the later versions. And then there are Hornby's traction tyres, the soft gungy rubber makes track dirt and interferes with pick up which DC tolerates, but DCC doesn't do at all well with

The better news. If you have the six wheel drive original design, you are in luck. Hornby simply replicated Fleischmann's design, and it works well, easy to isolate and it has good torque. Still the traction tyre problem, you will be doing more track cleaning that you were used to with DC.

Four wheel tender drive, personally I wouldn't bother. They just don't work well enough mechanically for DCC to really show what it can do for a start. But as ever YMMV, it's a choice.

I would suggest purchase of the current equivalent of whichever of the tender drive locos is your favourite, to see what you get as a comparison from a modern loco drive. Bachmann's 9F perhaps?

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End2end
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Re: Converting old locos to DCC?

Postby End2end » Tue May 08, 2018 1:22 pm

Although not exactly what your looking for, (As in tender driven locos), but here's my write up on how to DCC an old 0-4-0 loco.
Read on from here:-
viewtopic.php?f=49&t=51555&start=30#p642327
Hope it helps.
Thanks
End2end
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Oranoco
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Re: Converting old locos to DCC?

Postby Oranoco » Tue May 08, 2018 9:51 pm

Thank you for the information. ☺


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