Author Topic: Anyone ever convert an Atlas 2-8-2 to DCC?  (Read 669 times)

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johnb

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Anyone ever convert an Atlas 2-8-2 to DCC?
« on: April 16, 2020, 05:07:15 PM »
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Has anyone here ever convert an Atlas 2-8-2 to DCC? I inherited a really smooth running loco and I am about to start investing into converting my roster to DCC, and would love some tips.

Thanks,

John

SkipGear

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Re: Anyone ever convert an Atlas 2-8-2 to DCC?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2020, 11:59:35 PM »
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I tried, then decided it would need a new motor on a Pacific. The stupid refrigerator magnet motor does not agree with DCC and BEMF. I have converted some of the Con-cor Rivarossi versions that came with a more modern motor with mild success. Their eventual downfall is lack of reliable pickup.
Tony Hines

johnb

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Re: Anyone ever convert an Atlas 2-8-2 to DCC?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2020, 12:21:53 AM »
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Thanks for the warning

mmagliaro

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Re: Anyone ever convert an Atlas 2-8-2 to DCC?
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2020, 12:03:01 AM »
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I have to concur.  I wouldn't start tinkering with any of that old Atlas/Rivarossi stuff unless you are willing to change out the motor AND put Kato or Bachmann tender trucks in the tender and wire them for all-wheel pickup (or change the tender to a Kato Mikado or Bachmann USRA tender with the all-wheel-pickup already in it).

The motor is an odd duck in those engines, but if you are willing to cut and grind on the frame, you have about 20mm of length to work with and plenty of width.  The venerable Faulhaber coreless 1016 would fit in there and you can find those surprisingly inexpensively on eBay these days.  Also, the Maxon 13 x 20mm  are floating around from time to time on eBay at good prices.  Since the motor mates to the worm through a u-joint coupling, you have a lot of flexibility in motor choice on that engine, because you don't have to worry about pulling worms or making gear meshes work.

And hopefully, you have one that doesn't have the Zamac metal corrosion that makes the frames just crumble.  But if that engine is still solid after all this time, it is probably going to outlive all of us.

johnb

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Re: Anyone ever convert an Atlas 2-8-2 to DCC?
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2020, 12:35:57 AM »
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Max, it works great, I wish that I had the NSN Retroframe, the biggest issue on rewiring is going to be the 6 wheel trucks with the Dimi Trains Vandy tender

 If it wasn't for the lack of a Vandy and the cost, I would  love to get the BLI Mike

mmagliaro

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Re: Anyone ever convert an Atlas 2-8-2 to DCC?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2020, 03:31:30 AM »
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Very good, sir.  I'm glad it works for you.  I have an old RR 4-6-2 that still has the original motor in it, too.
The thing about those motors is that, like the frames, they can just decide to "go" any time.  Sometimes they go on and on seemingly forever.  If you can make the decoder work with the original motor, then my only caution would be to pick up a spare motor when you find one, just in case.

FYI... I am currently doing some experiments with some cheap sources of better armatures and magnets that I hope I can just "drop in" to those old Rivarossi motors, so that they can be turned into something better and more stable, and still use the original can so they fit right back in without any frame cutting.   Years ago, NWSL used to market a nicere 5-pole armature for them, and it did make them run better.  But you were still stuck with that crazy rubberized ring magnet that can swell, flake apart, or lose its magnetism.   It will be months before I get all the pieces together that I need and see if I can make it work.