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Lima 201 DCC conversion?

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billyboy
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Hi guys,

 

I'm going to be starting the switch-over of my Lima 201 to digital running, using a Digitax DH126. I'm going to fitting leds to replace the existing bulbs and also fitting red leds for the reverse lights.

 

Any thing I need to watch for? Is the capacitor fitted to the engine requried?

 

 

Bill

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Hi guys,

 

I'm going to be starting the switch-over of my Lima 201 to digital running, using a Digitax DH126. I'm going to fitting leds to replace the existing bulbs and also fitting red leds for the reverse lights.

 

Any thing I need to watch for? Is the capacitor fitted to the engine requried?

 

 

Bill

 

If you're talking about the capacitor that is installed across the motor contacts (the white square in the photo below) then yes, it should be removed before fitting a decoder as it will cause running problems.

 

lima_motor_faceplate.jpg

 

Also make sure the loco runs as well as possible on DC before installing the decoder. If it's runs poorly on DC it will ten times as bad on DCC!

Power pickup is a problem on Lima locos, there is only pickup form one side on the motor bogie and the opposite side on the rear bogie. It may be worthwhile installing extra pickups on the rear bogie.

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Its converted now and running fair to OK, I checked on the cap and its recommended to remove it which I did. The pickups, yes definately need more.

 

The 201 running in DC was pretty good but DC seems to be more forgiving than DCC, I now see why people say the old Lima motors weren't the best. I'll fit the lights in a week or two as the wife wants her table back. I ended up stripping the engine down to it component parts and doing a rebuild...cleaning and adding a small drop of oil where necessary. That helped . Its very poor on slow speeds and only when the notch hits 1.5 to 2 on the controller does it move. But once going it tears along and runs extremely well.

 

I remember a thread on here where somebody had fitted a motor belonging to a CD-Rom unit to Lima BR HST and that made a massive difference to the Loco.

Compared to the other three engines I've converted so far its actually a pretty poor runner . At this point its either rebuild the motor, static display or ebay and I save up for a MM Class 201 , 141 or 081.

 

I also converted an Athearn F7A unit and that runs like a fecking sports car and to me it seems to run better than it did on DC. I even fitted the led as the MARS light, I bought that unit 14 years ago in Canada along with a B unit , an SD40 and some freight cars. Far different motor though.

 

 

Worse comes to worse I'll jsut convert it back to DC running and sell it. I'll fit the chip to another loco.

 

Been fun though.

 

Bill

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Its converted now and running fair to OK, I checked on the cap and its recommended to remove it which I did. The pickups, yes definately need more.

 

The 201 running in DC was pretty good but DC seems to be more forgiving than DCC, I now see why people say the old Lima motors weren't the best. I'll fit the lights in a week or two as the wife wants her table back. I ended up stripping the engine down to it component parts and doing a rebuild...cleaning and adding a small drop of oil where necessary. That helped . Its very poor on slow speeds and only when the notch hits 1.5 to 2 on the controller does it move. But once going it tears along and runs extremely well.

 

I remember a thread on here where somebody had fitted a motor belonging to a CD-Rom unit to Lima BR HST and that made a massive difference to the Loco.

Compared to the other three engines I've converted so far its actually a pretty poor runner . At this point its either rebuild the motor, static display or ebay and I save up for a MM Class 201 , 141 or 081.

 

I also converted an Athearn F7A unit and that runs like a fecking sports car and to me it seems to run better than it did on DC. I even fitted the led as the MARS light, I bought that unit 14 years ago in Canada along with a B unit , an SD40 and some freight cars. Far different motor though.

 

 

Worse comes to worse I'll jsut convert it back to DC running and sell it. I'll fit the chip to another loco.

 

Been fun though.

 

Bill

 

Have you tried adjusting the starting voltage for the decoder? This is CV2 but I'm not sure if it's supported on the decoder you used.

 

Personally I would'nt bother with this loco on DCC, it's just too much hard work to get it running well and even then the results won't be great.

You could also consider using the body on a different chassis. I think the Athearn SD45 is the closest fit and requires some work but as you know the Athearn chassis are reliable even with the stock motor.

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I remember a thread on here where somebody had fitted a motor belonging to a CD-Rom unit to Lima BR HST and that made a massive difference to the Loco.

 

That was me, here's the link - http://irishrailwaymodeller.com/showthread.php/77-Graham-s-Workbench/page12#120

 

It's actually the Hornby HST. The running is vastly improved but it still suffers from poor pickup (although it has slightly better pickup then a Lima).

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Yep, it was a hornby hst , just re-read your thread, i did work on CV2 no noticable difference.

 

I'll see how it goes and revert to dc and sell if not happy.

 

Thanks for the feedback.

 

Bill

 

Have you tried different speed step settings? I have found that with certain decoders CV2 changes only work when the loco was set for 128 speed steps as opposed to 28.

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Reluctantly I decided not to bother converting our Lima locos to DCC because the ones I have are poor runners at low speeds and not smooth over point work unless running at moderate speeds. I've yet to see a Lima model that is a smooth low speed runner. In fairness I don't know if the Lima 201s had better motors but from the threads on here they seem to have the same crude rough running pancake motors that ours had.

Edited by Noel
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I fired the 201 up this morning and played around with CV2 and the speed tables, its still runs like badly on DCC.

 

Once you hit notch 2-3 its fine....slow speed running is non-existent. Back to DC for that engine then.

 

I'll use the chip for an N Class bachmann steam engine I have.

 

Anybody want to buy a Lima Class 201 that runs great on DC? :D

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Hi

 

Forget those pancake motors, I reckon its the gear drive system that causes all the problems. By the time you've messed about with it, you would have fitted a replacement Tenshodo spud or a Black Beetle into that hole with a little brass bridge support fixed to the chassis.

 

Eoin

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Forget those pancake motors, I reckon its the gear drive system that causes all the problems.

 

It is not the geartrain that is the problem, it is the motor itself. I have a number of BR Lima locos fitted with the CD-ROM motors as described by irishthump, still with the original geartrain, plus extra pickups, and they run beautifully. Unfortunately, the CD-ROM motors are too wide to fit into a six wheel motor bogie, as they foul the centre wheels.

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I am doing something similar.

 

I am fitting a LIMA 201 with DCC directional lights.

Having ripped the motor and gears out, it will be towed/pushed on the end of my Push/Pull rake with motorised MK4 DVT.

The newer motor in the DVT, from a Bachmann Voyager, has no problem moving 6 coaches and the dummy 201.

 

It does look quite nice on the end of a rake.

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I am doing something similar.

 

I am fitting a LIMA 201 with DCC directional lights.

Having ripped the motor and gears out, it will be towed/pushed on the end of my Push/Pull rake with motorised MK4 DVT.

The newer motor in the DVT, from a Bachmann Voyager, has no problem moving 6 coaches and the dummy 201.

 

It does look quite nice on the end of a rake.

 

I like that idea! Are you going to use some form of "stay alive" for the decoder?

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I don't have a capacitor built into the circuit for the lights.

I have used the circuitry before and found it woks fine using the Hattons 8 PIN with Harness chips.

 

I just thought a capacitor might be a good idea as the Lima 201 has such poor pickup you might get some flickering, especially over pointwork.

Another issue is that I installed tail lights on a brake van which I controlled with a Hornby decoder. The lights were linked to F0 but every time there was a break in the pickup the lights would go out rather than flicker and you would have to turn them back on with F0. Apparently, some decoders "remember" function settings after a power interuption but some don't.

I got around the problem by wiring the Leds to the motor outputs on the decoder instead and using the throttle to turn them on and off!

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I just thought a capacitor might be a good idea as the Lima 201 has such poor pickup you might get some flickering, especially over pointwork.

Another issue is that I installed tail lights on a brake van which I controlled with a Hornby decoder. The lights were linked to F0 but every time there was a break in the pickup the lights would go out rather than flicker and you would have to turn them back on with F0. Apparently, some decoders "remember" function settings after a power interuption but some don't.

I got around the problem by wiring the Leds to the motor outputs on the decoder instead and using the throttle to turn them on and off!

 

Yes, I can see where the capacitor would come in handy for that.

I have all live frog points and am not relying on the blades for contact.

 

A bit of dirt on the contacts now could cause me trouble but i have always kept the Lima contacts as clean as possible.

If I notice a decline in the future, I have the option to add the capacitor in any case.

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I am doing something similar.

 

I am fitting a LIMA 201 with DCC directional lights.

Having ripped the motor and gears out, it will be towed/pushed on the end of my Push/Pull rake with motorised MK4 DVT.

The newer motor in the DVT, from a Bachmann Voyager, has no problem moving 6 coaches and the dummy 201.

 

It does look quite nice on the end of a rake.

 

That's a great idea.

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DCC in the 201 was a non-runner. I removed the chip and put it into another loco , its back as a straight DC loco now. I'll keep it for static display either on the layout or a shelf.

 

Railway Lyons use of his 201 seems like a good idea, I might try that though.

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