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Author Topic: Got a Thomas for my son, can I....  (Read 3007 times)

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« on: June 22, 2007, 08:48:59 PM »

My son visited the Thomas attraction in Strasburg, PA as a guest of the Make A Wish foundation, and while there we picked up a Bachman Thomas engine for him. The last time I had an HO train, they were all DC. I just now learned about DCC (and I'm a computer programmer).

I have an old DC power supply and a couple of old DC trains. Is there any way to use the Thomas engine with that?

Or must I get DCC equipment to run this engine?
Guilford Guy

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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2007, 10:25:34 PM »

DCC engine will run on DC power but I do not think that Thomas has DCC.



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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2007, 11:46:56 PM »

Guilford Guy is correct, the Bachmann Thomas is a DC engine, so it should work fine with your DC equipment.  I recently bought a Thomas for my son and am in the process of converting it to DCC - or I should say, I have it all torn apart but haven't found the time to start putting it back together yet!  :-)

Who sez only UK engines can have fenders?

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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2007, 10:45:30 AM »

Dear JVene,

DCC is not required.

If you are thinking about layout planning for Thomas. or Thomas of other scales or manufactures, check out my free Yahoo! Group in the text below where I boast that I am the Founder.  It has info on W. Awdry's layouts.

In deference to the Bach-man, I have spent practically all my Thomas money on Bachmann.  A Thomas regular and deluxe set, and additionally one each of #1, 3, 5, 6, and 7.  I have even bought a 'EZ Track Expander" set.

I await Emily.

Mike Nickerson, age 49
Tracy, California USA

Founder, (Electric Thomas)
In Sodor, not being perfect is OK as long as your heart is in the right place.
Even though your heart runs on Welsh Steam Coal and rain will ruin your lovely green paint.

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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2007, 08:58:22 PM »

Thanks everyone!

My 6 year old is ecstatic over his Thomas. Just an oval track on the floor, a few 'stations' and such, but I think we're hooked.

I tried my old transformers but when they didn't work, and I read around the Bachmann website, I thought it was DCC that might be the problem. It turned out that the transformers were so old they simply didn't work anymore.

I had some LM3876 power amplifiers on a chip; they're 50w operational amplifier designs. I took out a breadboard and cobbled together one with a gain of 15, used a center tapped transformer, a few diodes and capacitors, picked up a 5K linear taper potentiometer and fed the + input a control voltage (after a couple of 47K feeder resisters and a 30k/10K voltage divider), tuned it to stop at 14V under load. Now he can control it backwards and forwards with good speed control.

In the bargain (junk parts from my bench), the LM3876 has short circuit and thermal protection - it shuts down automatically if he drops something on the track that shorts it out.

He had LOTS of fun helping me build that.

A 6 year old never tires of asking "what's that?" For the first few tries, capacitor came out "caspasitor".

He's already asking for James  Roll Eyes

Glad to see I'm not the only 40 something that's enjoying this as much as a kid!

Thanks again.

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