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Converting IHC loco's to DCC

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  • Member since
    March 2007
  • 2,751 posts
Converting IHC loco's to DCC
Posted by Allegheny2-6-6-6 on Thursday, March 20, 2008 1:57 PM

I finally made the leap to DCC and I'm glad I did. I now encounter another issue. Converting some of my lower end DC locomotives to dcc. For example I have several IHC 4-8-2 mountains as well as a few 0-8-0's and an 0-6-0 and maybe a 2-8-0 or two. I've detailed and weather them and for my DC purposes they look and ran just fine. But I've been haring conflicting stories on converting such lower end engines. A: they can motors aren't the greatest B: for all the work involved they are just not worth the effort. On the upside they draw very little amperage and I already own them. So converting them myself I figure I'm looking at a cost of around $20.00 per engine if I buy decoders in larger lots of 10 or more, which I intend to do and of course not add the sound conversions to all of them. As nice as it would be to have every engine in my roster (which not numbers around 95 plus) to have sound but unless I win the power ball lottery that aint gonna happen. So do I cut my losses and sell the lower end units for what I can get and use the funds to purchase a few DCC or DCC ready loco's or bite the bullet and dive into converting them. I know most if not all of them aren't very prototypical but for short haulers or switching freight they fit the bill.

So I throw it out to the board what would you do?

 

Just my 2 cents worth, I spent the rest on trains. If you choked a Smurf what color would he turn?
  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Calgary
  • 11 posts
Posted by Crox on Thursday, March 20, 2008 2:02 PM
$20 per engine isn't a lot when you consider the time spent weathering and detailing them.. i'g upgrade them personally, not least as it would up my skill level on DCC conversion and soldering.  Good luck with whatever you decide.....
In the absence of light, darkness prevails
  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 396 posts
Posted by UpNorth on Thursday, March 20, 2008 3:10 PM

Did a quick search on previous sales on Ebay for the IHC 4-8-2. 60$ 70$ range.  Few are sold/ most sit unsold (2/6).

The IHC's I purchased on Ebay were hit or miss. So i imagine people in the know would shy away from them. I purchased  nothing over 35$ 

I have a small roster of 7 steam locos. All are DCC/Tsunami.  4 are IHC 2-6-0 and run resonnably well and converted by yours truly.

At 95 locos, I'd sell off some of the less desirable and put the money into DCC/sound. As they are weathered, they may sell better. Just don't expect top dollard for them and leave the bid open. Any money is put towards newer and better quality with sound.  Unless you have the time and patience to convert all this and live with the fact some of them may not live up to your standards when converted to DCC.  Surprising how some of the DC IHC work well, sound ok, but devellope strange noises when converted to DCC. My experience. A tad  frustrating to convert and then watch it rattle down the tracks.

If you up the volume, it drowns it all out ;-)

Marc 

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: St. Paul
  • 692 posts
Posted by garya on Thursday, March 20, 2008 3:31 PM

If you like the loco, convert it to DCC.  Try buying a simple decoder, such as the TCS T1 or even the Lenz LE1000s, in bulk and you may drive the cost down to $15 or so per decoder.

Here's a link from MR a few years ago: http://www.trains.com/mrr/default.aspx?c=a&id=188

Or http://www.tcsdcc.com/decoderpics/ihc_asa_packer_4_6_2.htm

http://www.tcsdcc.com/decoderpics/IHC%20Mogul/ihc_mogul.htm

 

Gary

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • 13,757 posts
Posted by cacole on Thursday, March 20, 2008 8:54 PM

I've converted several older IHC and Rivarossi engines and always found room in the boiler for the decoder.  The biggest problem with them is that on some models the headlight is connected to the front set of drivers, and connecting the headlight to the decoder wiring requires an almost total disassembly of the engine.  On ones like that, I just left the headlight alone, which means that it is always on.

The motors were already isolated from the frame on all of the ones I have, including a Rivarossi Big Boy and Cab Forward.  Only one IHC engine, a 4-6-2 Pacific, had electrical pickups for the tender, so I put a DSX Sound Only decoder in it and the motor control decoder is in the boiler.

 

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 396 posts
Posted by UpNorth on Friday, March 21, 2008 1:30 PM
I might add that my IHC have plastic frames and no bearings for the drivers. As the frame wears, they get noisier.  I replace a frame on one. It came with the power pick ups (PPU) installed. The PPU  also wear out.

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