American Flyer - 1/2 Speed Can Motor

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American Flyer - 1/2 Speed Can Motor
Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, December 04, 2010 6:18 AM

If all else fails, and I have to replace my vintage open frame motor, my only recourse is a can motor.

My understanding is that a 1/2 speed can motor will result in better smoke production than a full speed can motor.

But, is a 1/2 speed can motor literally that, 1/2 speed?

Let's say it takes 18 seconds for a fully functioning American Flyer #312 steam engine to complete one cycle around the layout at full speed using my current transformer.  Does this mean that a 1/2 speed can motor will take 36 seconds to complete the cycle?

Of course, I am willing to concede that in its current state, my open frame motor may only be running at 1/2 speed, so maybe it should complete the cycle in 9 seconds.

What might help is for someone to time the speed of his AF steam engine on an oval or circle layout.  How many seconds to complete the cycle with just the engine and tender, and what s the length of the oval or circle.

I would appreciate any thoughts or comments that you might have on this issue. 

Rich

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Posted by Major on Saturday, December 04, 2010 8:15 AM

The difference is in the worm.  Original Flyer worms had two groves, the half speed motors have one grove.  Therefore the have to rotate twice where as the original motors rotated once to move the locomotive the same distance.  I have half speed motors and you definitely get better slower speed performance.  But if you want to run fast even the half speed motor will kick out plenty of speed, It is like the speed equivalent  on some S- Helper locos.  I have been completely satisfied with their speed range. 

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Posted by Timboy on Saturday, December 04, 2010 8:42 AM

Major:

Out of curiosity, how do the 1/2 speed can motors compare in length with the Timko can motors that have a flywheel?  I suspect that the 1/2 speed cans are shorter than the Timkos and would protrude out the back less far and therefore when the can housing is painted black, it would be a lot less noticeable.  

Regards,

Timboy

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Posted by lionelsoni on Saturday, December 04, 2010 1:04 PM

Major, is it not also necessary to replace the worm wheel to match the angle of the new worm's threads?

Bob Nelson

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Posted by Major on Saturday, December 04, 2010 6:44 PM

The motors are only slightly longer that the original ones and do not protrude at all from the rear of most locomotives.  They may from a 0-6-0  switcher.  They are smaller in diameter than the original.  No modifications to the chassis or other gears are required. Un-screw the original and disconnect the wires insert the replacement and screw it in place.  I went the cheap route and got the bride rectifier to put on the mechanical reverse unit.  Just follow the wiring instructions, no permanent modification to the reverse unit  Wire the smoke unit and light directly to the tender trucks. With just two wires going to the motor and two going to the smoke and light the wiring harness matches in appearance the original Flyer four wire locomotives.

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Posted by Timboy on Saturday, December 04, 2010 6:51 PM

Major:

Good to know!  People usually say that when they want someone to shut up, but in this case, I really mean it.  Thanks!  I was wondering about the measurement on them and quite frankly, I was very skeptical about their performance.  You have answered that issue as well in a previous post, I think.  Good stuff, Major.

Thanks again,

Timboy

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Posted by Major on Saturday, December 04, 2010 7:00 PM

Your welcome I also like your current avatar. 
Best picture yet!   LOL

P.S I had to watch again Soylent Green.  LOL

 

Merry Christmas!

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Posted by Timboy on Saturday, December 04, 2010 7:47 PM

Thanks Major:

I did a Google on "Crazy Cat".  Be careful if you do cuz, well...  Anyway, I got a couple stoopid avatars out of it that I just love.  It IS a cat.  A very, very wet and old cat.  I just can't believe a cat can look like that, but that is exactly how I feel a lot of times.

I need to scratch-build a food factory some day and name it, "C. Heston's Food Factory" or something like that.  Well, hey!  Green is IN!  LOL   Oh...  So many things on the RR to do.  Sigh.

Thanks again!

Timboy

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Posted by SkyArcher on Sunday, December 05, 2010 8:24 AM

Major

The difference is in the worm.  Original Flyer worms had two groves, the half speed motors have one grove.  Therefore the have to rotate twice where as the original motors rotated once to move the locomotive the same distance.  I have half speed motors and you definitely get better slower speed performance.  But if you want to run fast even the half speed motor will kick out plenty of speed, It is like the speed equivalent  on some S- Helper locos.  I have been completely satisfied with their speed range. 

 

Are the worm gears separate from the can motor shaft or machined into the motor shaft?  Can they be bought separately?

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Posted by Major on Tuesday, December 07, 2010 7:22 AM

It is just one unit.  The worm gear shaft is part of the motor just as it is with original Flyer steam locomotive armatures.  It is a very easy converson once the old motor is removed the can motor is mounted to a plate that attaches in the same way as the original motors do.  I will get a loco I converted out tonight take pictures and post some photos.

 

Rich

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Posted by Major on Tuesday, December 07, 2010 6:53 PM

You can see how the motor is mounted to a plate that fastens in the original Flyer motor mounts. This is mounted in a #293 New Haven Pacific.  Lots of room to place figures in the cab.

 

 

The motor is 1&1/2 inches long and 1 & 1/16 inches wide

This is the Bridge rectifier mounted to the reverse unit.  It was pre shape and I purchased it with the motor

Here is another view and you can make out the positive lead going to the lower fingers.

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Posted by SkyArcher on Tuesday, December 07, 2010 8:55 PM

Thanks for the pictures, Rich.  I have a bunch of 5 pole can motors, and I was just wondering if i can adapt them to a couple of my American Flyer engines.  *I might be better off ordering from Portline.

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Posted by lionelsoni on Wednesday, December 08, 2010 8:31 AM

I asked earlier whether it was necessary to replace the worm wheel and was told no.  I have since looked up pictures of this motor and don't understand why this is so.  The worm on the half-speed motor indeed has only one start instead of two, but appears to be the same diameter as the two-start worm.  This places the worm's thread at a flatter angle relative to the worm wheel.  I cannot imagine how the two could engage properly, unless the worm wheel is extremely thin.  The only other possibility seems to be that the worm wheel is made of a soft material, plastic perhaps, and the new worm cuts or wears new teeth into it.  Can anyone give me a rationale for this? 

Bob Nelson

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Posted by Major on Wednesday, December 08, 2010 8:30 PM

I'll try to answer your question as the 1/2 gear shafts meshes perfectly with the original gear on the axles. If you take one string and wrap it around a pencil the distance between the string wraps is exactly the same as if you wrap two strings around a pencil.  The difference of course is that on the two string wrap each individual string is twice as far apart from each wrap of the same string.  Unless you look at the end of the shaft you cannot tell the difference between a 1/2 speed gear and a regular gear.

I hope this helps.

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Posted by lionelsoni on Thursday, December 09, 2010 9:06 AM

Here is a link to a photograph of the motors:  http://sns-trains.com/albums/main.php?g2_itemId=108

Notice that the one-start worm on the left has a different, flatter slope to its thread than the two-start worms.  This is inevitable, because the turns of the helical thread are half as far apart as on the two-start worms.  Normally, the teeth on a worm wheel are cut diagonally to accommodate this slope.  That is why I am puzzled that the one-start worm would mesh "perfectly" with a worm wheel designed for a two-start worm.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by Gray Cat on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 6:08 AM

And where do we buy these cans? I think the idea of getting one of my Hudsons (pulling a Heavyweight consist) to smoke more would be a real treat.

 

"I love the smell of Flyer Smoke in the morning"

Lover of all things Gilbert, truly a man ahead of his time.

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 6:53 AM

Gray Cat

And where do we buy these cans? I think the idea of getting one of my Hudsons (pulling a Heavyweight consist) to smoke more would be a real treat.

GC,

I am not sure that you will get more smoke out of a 1/2 can motor than you will out of the vintage open-frame motor, but I am told that the 1/2 can will produce more smoke than the full can.

Portlines is a great source for can motors.  Here is the link:

http://www.portlines.com/

Here is the link to the page listing types of motors and pricing:

http://64.251.10.24/~worldofw/cgi-bin/shoppl.pl/page=canmotorconvkits.htm/SID=493927372

Rich

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Posted by Gray Cat on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 8:05 AM

richhotrain

 

 Gray Cat:

 

And where do we buy these cans? I think the idea of getting one of my Hudsons (pulling a Heavyweight consist) to smoke more would be a real treat.

 

 

GC,

I am not sure that you will get more smoke out of a 1/2 can motor than you will out of the vintage open-frame motor, but I am told that the 1/2 can will produce more smoke than the full can.

Portlines is a great source for can motors.  Here is the link:

http://www.portlines.com/

Here is the link to the page listing types of motors and pricing:

http://64.251.10.24/~worldofw/cgi-bin/shoppl.pl/page=canmotorconvkits.htm/SID=493927372

Rich

Rich, it does seem that by running a half speed motor you would be applying more voltage to get an equal amount of speed in comparison to the full speed motor. We get the most smoke at full throttle, but it's not practical to run at full throttle unless your last name is Addams. I do most of my running at 1/4 to 1/2 throttle now as I assume most of us do and all but the freshly rebuilt smoke units produce very little at these low speeds..

Lover of all things Gilbert, truly a man ahead of his time.

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Posted by Major on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 8:33 PM

I have used 1/2 speed motors.  You will have improved smoke output because you will be using the higher range on your transformer for moderate to higher speeds and therefore more voltage to the smoke unit.  Also when I use a MTH M1000 transformer ALL of my Flyer locomotives smoke better and the Flyer by Lionel smoke alot better.  I was told that this is due to the way the sine wave is produced.

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Posted by azflyer on Friday, January 27, 2012 1:11 AM

richhotrain

 

 Gray Cat:

 

And where do we buy these cans? I think the idea of getting one of my Hudsons (pulling a Heavyweight consist) to smoke more would be a real treat.

 

 

GC,

I am not sure that you will get more smoke out of a 1/2 can motor than you will out of the vintage open-frame motor, but I am told that the 1/2 can will produce more smoke than the full can.

Portlines is a great source for can motors.  Here is the link:

http://www.portlines.com/

Here is the link to the page listing types of motors and pricing:

http://64.251.10.24/~worldofw/cgi-bin/shoppl.pl/page=canmotorconvkits.htm/SID=493927372

Rich

I just did my second conversion on the 293 4-6-2 NYNH&H with the 1/2 speed can motor from Portlines. My first was a full speed can on a 300 4-4-2 Atlantic. Both conversions I used the 400 Dallee reverse units. I can tell you comparing the full speed to the half speed can motors. You get a lot more smoke with the half speed can motor, because at half speed your putting out just as much smoke as you would be going at full speed. But I might get more smoke because I'm going with the Dallee reverse unit and followed their directions on wiring the smoke and light directly back to the tender not to the E-Unit or motor.

I have my lay out in the garage. The smoke was so thick I had to open the garage door and turn on the big floor fan. But you can do that in Arizona this time of year....

My wife came out it the garage and ask what I was smoking? Just a little cho-choo!

I will get some photos up and maybe a video comparing the two conversions running side by side.

Note: I did find one thing that was interesting. I always bench test everything before putting it back together. When mounting the can motor I found that I had to tweak the clearance between the mounting plate and the engine motor mount. When tightening (hand tight) the allen screws my rpm on the motor drop off quite a bit. I found out by backing off, all most a full turn on the allen screws the can motor ran at its highest rpm. I just went ahead and made a gasket for that clearance for the mounting plate and hand tightened down the allen screws on the can motor. The can motor ran just perfect after that tweak! 

Az-Flyer

 

“Tell me and I’ll forget;Embarrassed show me and I may remember;Smile involve me and I’ll understand.”Big Smile

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, January 27, 2012 4:47 AM

azflyer

 

I have my lay out in the garage. The smoke was so thick I had to open the garage door and turn on the big floor fan.

No way !

Seriously?

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, January 27, 2012 4:49 AM

azflyer

 

But I might get more smoke because I'm going with the Dallee reverse unit and followed their directions on wiring the smoke and light directly back to the tender not to the E-Unit or motor.

Now, why would that be?

Rich

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Posted by Major on Friday, January 27, 2012 6:53 AM

For any given speed with a 1/2 speed can motor compaired to a Flyer motor or regular can motor you have to increase the voltage to the track for the 1/2 speed motor to give the locomotive the same speed as other motors.  This tranlates into a higher voltage for the smoke unit and therefore more smoke.  You can max the transformer throttle on a locomotive that has a 1/2 speed motor and it will speed along the track but not at the same speeds as flyer motors or regular can motors but that max voltage will mean more smoke production! 

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, January 27, 2012 7:31 AM

Major

For any given speed with a 1/2 speed can motor compaired to a Flyer motor or regular can motor you have to increase the voltage to the track for the 1/2 speed motor to give the locomotive the same speed as other motors.  This tranlates into a higher voltage for the smoke unit and therefore more smoke.  You can max the transformer throttle on a locomotive that has a 1/2 speed motor and it will speed along the track but not at the same speeds as flyer motors or regular can motors but that max voltage will mean more smoke production! 

I understand that principle, but enough smoke that you feel compelled to open the garage door?

And, why would you get more more, rather than less, smoke by wiring the Dallee electronic reverse unit to the tender, not the E-unit or motor?

Rich

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Posted by azflyer on Friday, January 27, 2012 9:44 PM

richhotrain

 

 Major:

 

For any given speed with a 1/2 speed can motor compaired to a Flyer motor or regular can motor you have to increase the voltage to the track for the 1/2 speed motor to give the locomotive the same speed as other motors.  This tranlates into a higher voltage for the smoke unit and therefore more smoke.  You can max the transformer throttle on a locomotive that has a 1/2 speed motor and it will speed along the track but not at the same speeds as flyer motors or regular can motors but that max voltage will mean more smoke production! 

 

 

I understand that principle, but enough smoke that you feel compelled to open the garage door?

And, why would you get more more, rather than less, smoke by wiring the Dallee electronic reverse unit to the tender, not the E-unit or motor?

Rich

 

I just took this video this afternoon of the 293 NYNH&H 4-6-2 Pacific with the 1/2 speed can-motor conversion and Dallee electronic E-Unit.  I ran the train on the inside oval and gradually turned the speed down on the transformer.

Link to video: 

The problem was I had the garage door open to let the smoke out. Also school just got out, so you can hear a lot of car traffic in the back ground. So much for realistic sound!

AZ-Flyer


 

 

 

“Tell me and I’ll forget;Embarrassed show me and I may remember;Smile involve me and I’ll understand.”Big Smile

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, January 28, 2012 4:40 AM

Let me try this again.

Why would you get more more smoke by wiring the Dallee electronic reverse unit to the tender, not the E-unit or motor?

Rich

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Posted by Gray Cat on Saturday, January 28, 2012 7:44 AM

richhotrain

Let me try this again.

Why would you get more more smoke by wiring the Dallee electronic reverse unit to the tender, not the E-unit or motor?

Rich

Rich did you mean to ask, "Why would you get more smoke by wiring the smoke unit and headlight directly to the tender and not to the Reverse Unit, Motor or E-Unit (which in Flyer Speak is not an E-Unit that is a word used by those other guys! Surprise)

Let me take a stab at this Rich. Perhaps what is happening by direct wiring is that there is less amperage drop across any of the above mentioned parts.. direct wiring would give the electricity a super hiway right to the smoke unit (path of least resistance) thereby making sure that it is performing at it's optimum.

Hope I got this right and that it helps..

 

And by the way my son and I were using Super Smoke in a freshly rebuilt Pacific and the smoke got so thick around the Christmas tree and in the living room and dining room this year that we had to stop and open the door and dining room windows.. Based on what I'm reading hear about the 1/2 speed motors I would definately stick to original formula Flyer smoke fluid! Plus it smells so much better than super smoke..

Lover of all things Gilbert, truly a man ahead of his time.

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, January 28, 2012 9:10 AM

Gray Cat

 richhotrain:

Let me try this again.

Why would you get more more smoke by wiring the Dallee electronic reverse unit to the tender, not the E-unit or motor?

Rich

 

Rich did you mean to ask, "Why would you get more smoke by wiring the smoke unit and headlight directly to the tender and not to the Reverse Unit, Motor or E-Unit (which in Flyer Speak is not an E-Unit that is a word used by those other guys! Surprise)

Let me take a stab at this Rich. Perhaps what is happening by direct wiring is that there is less amperage drop across any of the above mentioned parts.. direct wiring would give the electricity a super hiway right to the smoke unit (path of least resistance) thereby making sure that it is performing at it's optimum.

Hope I got this right and that it helps..

 

And by the way my son and I were using Super Smoke in a freshly rebuilt Pacific and the smoke got so thick around the Christmas tree and in the living room and dining room this year that we had to stop and open the door and dining room windows.. Based on what I'm reading hear about the 1/2 speed motors I would definately stick to original formula Flyer smoke fluid! Plus it smells so much better than super smoke..

Gray Cat,

Thanks for that explanation.

As for the way I worded my question, I was just lifting a direct quote from azflyer's earlier message.

Rich

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Posted by azflyer on Saturday, January 28, 2012 6:56 PM

"Slap my hand" I said Dallee E-Unit. It should of been "Dallee Electronic E-Unit". Go to there web site at Dallee Electronics.

Let the smoke settle, and open the garage door!

AZ-Flyer

 

Note: I have added these pictures for photo reference on my Can-Motor Conversion.

First install the Dallee # 400 4 amp electronic reverse-unit in the tender, on top of the weight with the mounting tape provided (following instructions provided with unit). 

1. Make all the following connections before attaching the six-pin plug supplied  for the reverse-unit in order to eliminate any potential heat damage to components.

2. Connect the Blue wire to the truck rivet that has the metal wheels on the right side of the engine when facing forward.

3. Connect the Black wire to the other truck rivet.

4. Connect the Red and Brown wires to the the two terminals on the Can-Motor.

5. Connect the Yellow and Orange wires to each other and insulate by putting (heat) shrink tube over the very ends of the two wires as in the photo below. (these would be the field wires if you leaving in the American Flyer motor).


6.  The head light wire ( and smoke unit if present) should be wired directly to the two track rivet connections. Do not connect these wires to the can-motor.

7. The Dallee reverse unit is designed for easy installation of accessory items such as lighting. Many lighting variations are possible and easy to incorporate because of the design. 

 

You can see in the picture that I ran the two Black head light wires thru the jack panel to give the conversion a cleaner look.  All four wires from the engine were wired thru the rubber grommet in the tender body assembly.   

AZ-Flyer

 

“Tell me and I’ll forget;Embarrassed show me and I may remember;Smile involve me and I’ll understand.”Big Smile

 

AZ-Flyer@American Flyer Cabinet-top Layout (5'x16'): http://az-flyer.blogspot.com/  

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Posted by lionelsoni on Monday, January 30, 2012 2:20 PM

Let me try this again:

I would like to understand how the (1-start) half-speed worm can mate "perfectly" with the same worm wheel that was used with the original (2-start) full-speed worm.  Both worms have the same diameter; so the half-speed worm's thread is at a flatter angle than the full-speed worm's threads (http://sns-trains.com/albums/main.php?g2_itemId=108).  This implies that the worm wheel's teeth should be set at a different, flatter angle, to match the angle of the worm.  Yet it has been said that this is not necessary.  There must be an explanation for how either worm can be used with the same worm wheel.

The only possibilities that I can imagine are (1) that the worm wheel is so thin that the slope of its teeth is unimportant or (2) that the worm wheel is made of something soft that conforms to the shape of the worm.

I understand completely how the locomotive speed varies inversely with number of starts on the worm.  My problem is with the mating of two different worms with the same worm wheel.

Can anyone provide a picture or description of the worm wheel that might clarify how this happens?

Bob Nelson

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