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converting old big boys to DCC

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converting old big boys to DCC
Posted by thomas81z on Saturday, November 30, 2019 8:50 AM

i have looked for videos oonupgrading old cabmotored big boys to DCC nothing in depth is out there, i figure RRMEL is is i  your wheelhouse. anyone have a video or done the conversation?

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, November 30, 2019 9:34 AM

Who made them, are they the same manufacturer?  What motor is in them?  Makes a big difference.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by thomas81z on Saturday, November 30, 2019 2:00 PM

RR_Mel

Who made them, are they the same manufacturer?  What motor is in them?  Makes a big difference.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
 

hey mel they would be cab motored  rivarossi big boys between 1967 1980  & the motors would be original equipment. 

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Posted by snjroy on Saturday, November 30, 2019 3:14 PM

Does the engine run well in DC? Do you want sound?

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, November 30, 2019 3:46 PM

The DCC wiring for a Rivarossi Big Boy would be the same as my Rivarossi Cab Forwards and AC-9s.  A word of caution about the older Ricarossi motors, they draw a lot of current so go with at least a 1½ amp decoder.  They normally draw close to 1 amp at 80% throttle, locked rotor is over 1½ amps.  I have remotored all of my Rivarossis with can motors.
 
I haven’t done a Big Boy (I’m an SP nut) but the wiring should be the same as my drawing. Click to make larger.
 
 
 
I use the 8 pin NMRA size connectors for all of my steam.  I make my own micro connectors from Micro Header Connectors off eBay.
 
 
I use a 7 pin connector between the boiler shell and the frame so that the shell can easily be removed for maintenance. 
 
 
Mel made 2 and 7 pin polarized connectors.
 
I also use the 8 pin NMRA connector between the tender and the locomotive.  I mount a female under the cab and use a male pigtail on the tender.  Using the standard 8 pin connectors makes testing everything much easier.
 
 
This is one of my Rivarossi AC-9 tenders with a pigtail and a AC-9 locomotive with the connector mounted below the cab.
 
 
The hole in the tender for the wires is large enough to push the wires back into the tender after coupling the tender to the locomotive.  I use #30 AGW super flex wire for all of my DCC pigtails.  There is less than a ½” of the pigtail showing when they are coupled so I paint the wires black for about ¾”.
 
Because the NMRA connectors can be plugged in backwards I put a red dot (Crafters Paints) on every connector next to the red wire.  I mount the connector below the cab with the red dot on the bottom so that when the male connector is plugged in the red dot can’t be seen.  The connector attached to the bottom of the cab has the red dot (red wire) in the lower right corner.
 
  
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by garya on Monday, December 2, 2019 1:32 PM

No video, but you can follow Mel's advice, or see http://www.wiringfordcc.com/hrbigboy.htm

I replaced the motor in an old Rivarossi Big boy and installed a decoder in the cab.  I followed the advice above for wiring.

 

Gary

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Posted by snjroy on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 3:25 PM

From what I could find on the Internet, there is the pre-1974 square motor and post-1974 round motor. The round motors of the post-74 models, if they are the same as the other Rivarossi's of the time, were quite good. I have a Heisler and a Mallet that have their original round can motors and they still run great. As mentioned by Mel, they do draw up a bit of current, but a 1 amp non-sound decoder should work fine with it. I put in low cost MRC decoders and they have been running for years on them. But if you want sound, you will need a lower amp motor. I have never encountered the older 60s to early 70s motor, but I remember reading that they did not perfom very well. But hey, that was about 60 years ago...

Simon

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Posted by RR_Mel on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 5:06 PM

I have 12 Rivarossi SP Cab Forwards, 4 Rivarossi SP AC-9s (kitbashed Cab Forwards) and 6 Y6Bs.  I kitbashed two Y6Bs into AC-3 Cab Forwards, two into SP MC-1s and two are still Y6Bs.
 
Of my 22 Rivarossi articulateds I bought one Cab Forward new in the box (1989) and one was a gift from a RR Buddy, 20 were clunkers bought at either the Bakersfield yearly Train Show or off eBay.
 
I really enjoy restoring Rivarossi articulateds.  All of them look and run better than new out of the box.  I have remotored all of my Rivarossis, currently I’m redoing them for dual motors.  I build up a new brass frame that excepts two either Canon EN22 or Mabuchi SF-266 motors.
 
 
That said several of the Y6Bs had melted cabs from the Rivarossi motor over heating, square and round motor.  All of them were factory, no mods.  I don’t have any idea what heated up the motor but that was enough for me that I decided to remotor all of them with can motors.  15 years ago the Y6B shells showed up on eBay quite often.
 
I did buy one Cab Forward that had a heat dimpled roof.  Early on I had found a Kemtron brass Cab Forward cab, it fit the Rivarossi quite nicely.  Most of the Cab Forwards had broken Monkey Decks, very easy fix.
 
I wouldn’t recommend doing anything with a Rivarissi articulated that would cause the original motor to run hot, all but one of the Y6B cabs were really melted.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by snjroy on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 9:14 PM

Wow, i will start looking for a new motor for my Mallet!

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