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Hi I am new to this forum and not been involved with my models for a very long time. I am interested in upgrading to DCC and am thinking of buying the mixed goods set as a starter. I would hope through time to upgrade my existing models but if I need to renew my motors X04 and wheels is this possible are spares or alternatives available and is it worth considering. Your advice would be appreciated Thanks Alistair
 

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AlistairH
About 1970s i don't know anything about but i have recently converted some 1930's, Hand built 3 rail locos, you first had to remove the 3rd rail contact them
the wheels and replace them (they were live across). then if it is 12V DC you just have to fit new wheels, making sure they are isolated from the chassis, the connect them up to the motor with brass wipers and your done. If you have the old 230V motors you would have to replace them as well. Test on DC, Run in (30mins in each direction), measure the currant drawn then order the appropriate decoder.
kiwionrails
P.S. Good on you for running them . I'm sick of seeing locos moldering away in display cabinites.
 

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Hello Alistair
Sounds as if you are having similar experiences to mine. I returned to model railways upon retirement. At first I ran with the traditional analogue system with lots of wiring but decided to go DCC, even though some of my models were as old as yours I think. Presumably you realise that if you go over to dcc you can't run your old analogue models. However it is possible to fit decoders. Some old motors work fine and I think X04 is OK if its the one with a worm drive. Have done it with mine. Its a bit frightening doing it at first but having done one it gets easier. Hardest parts in my experience is getting the body off and then finding room to fit the chip inside. The only thing to say only do it to models that run well anyway. DCC won't make them better. Have done all my old stuff now but some motors work better than others. The later ring motors I find very variable and in my opinion are best avoided.
That's enough for now but if want more just ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info I have beeen going over all my models 7 in total but need to go back up into loft to find my controllers (fingers crossed) until I get them I wont kow how good or bad existing motors are. Do you know any good sources to get replacement wheels (if needed) Thanks
Alistair
 

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Alistair,

It is no problem at all to convert XO4 motors for DCC. Disconnect the feed from the wiper pick up to the insulated brush. Take the insulating sleeve off the brush spring, and cut it in half, and use the two pieces to insulate both brushes from the spring. The red wire on the decoder connects to the wiper pick up wire, the black wire to the chassis block, the orange wire to the originally insulated brush, the grey wire to the other brush. Conversion complete, takes as long to write as to do, if you are nifty with a soldering iron.

BUT: things have moved on significantly. Don't plunge into buying a basic Hornby train set as a first new purchase. The set track is limiting for DCC as the points have dead crossings, and both the bodies and mechanisms of the locos in the set you mention are very dated and low cost, and the Hornby Select system is not NMRA DCC compatible, it is a train set oriented cheapy. You could instead use Peco streamline track with 'electrofrog' (live crossing) points, buy one of the much superior locos produced in the last ten years, and some vehicles, from Bachmann or Hornby, and an NMRA conforming DCC system. That is much more likely to prove of long term value. Just compare the Bachmann 08 illustrated in this link http://www.ehattonsv3.com/StockDetail.aspx?SID=23496 with the Hornby toy in the mixed goods set with a body derived from 1960s Triang tooling. The mechanism in the Bachmann has a large motor, 40:1 gears and a flywheel, is practically silent, and will crawl at a scale 1mph: now look at the price. (Hornby also do a better 08, and charge somewhat more for it.)

Upgrading older locos with new motors and wheels has become disproportionately expensive. Kit builders components for wheels, motor and gearbox, plus brass axle bushes to go in the chassis block, will likely cost as much as buying a brand new model, which will be significantly more accurate in every respect. When I restarted, replacing old Hornby and Wrenn mechanisms powering whitemetal kit bodies from my first time around in the hobby was a priority. Cheapest way forward was to buy new locos for their chassis; and sell on the bodies, for which there is steady demand.
 

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Re wheels depends what models you have. You don't need new wheels for dcc but perhaps you have another reason for changing them.
 

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If it is any help, I have rewheeled a few Triang-Hornby 0-6-0, 4-4-0 and 0-4-4 chassis with Romford wheels using their standard axles and brass bearings which are readily available. For an 0-6-0 I buy eight (8) bearings plus three insulated wheels, three uninsulated wheels and three axles.

The extra bearings are used to wedge the gear wheel in place on the driven axle, one each side of the gear. The rest is straightforward, making sure there are no burrs on the wheels where they mount to the axle ends and checking that the wheels run smoothly and without wobbles. The finer wheels improve the appearance and the running. I also add a home made plastic washer behind each insulated wheel to prevent any shorts on tight curves.

It is up to you whether you deem the extra cost of the wheels and bearings as being justified - I did.


I also upgraded the body detailing on the locomotives, with things like separate handrails and boiler pipework added at the same time. I have not added refinements like brake gear which would improve the locos even more - I'm not that good at detailing running chassis without stuffing everything up!!!
 

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The reason for replacing the wheels is if it was a three rail system the two wheels are wired together and are live, providing one pole, and the rollers for the third rail providing the second. In two rail DC if the rails are shorted together it will not run because each rail provides a different pole. so either somehow isolating one axle from the other or sadly replacing the wheels for the self isolating variety.
kiwionrails
 

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Markits /. Romford now do the correct size axle (9/64th) for older Hornby Triang chassis. I have two on my workbench at the moment that I'm rewheeling with 18mm Romfords and I'm also upgrading the coupling rods using the etched rods that Dave Cleal (Mainlytrains) sells, they are cheap enough that if you buy two sets you can solder them together to make rods of prototypical thickness and also joint them so the running improves. Another cheaper alternative to Romfords are the wheels that Dave sells made by W&T, they are only available in a few sizes, but they use the same squared axles as the Romfold and are a lot cheaper.

Usual disclaimer, I have no connection with Dave Cleal other than being a very satisfied customer over many, many years.
 

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This topic is of most interest to me, as I have a Wrenn Brighton Belle 00 gauge two carriage set.
This model has an alloy metal bogy, that also houses the 12v motor. Motor has now unfortunately burnt out or at least no longer functions.
Is there on the market a powered bogy unit, suitable for this Wrenn model? or perhaps a motor suitable to refurbish and allow this nice model to run again! Comments, appreciated.
 

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Having moved to a different area in the UK in the early 80's I was out of the hobby for a good number of years and all of my stock was boxed in the loft. I decided to get back into the hobby only 2-years ago so recoverd my stock from the loft and started to re-wheel some of it, it being late 1970's early 80's stock. BUT; when I saw the super-fine scale modern r-t-r stuff I 'bit the bullit'. I binned all of my old stuff and bought new as there is just no comparison. Although the stock that I had I detailed at the time it just looked 'toy-trainset' not 'model railway' by comparrison. Best advice for old stock; give it to a toy trainset club and start again!
 

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Re The Wrenn Brighton Belle Set, Scalespeed of, I think, Poole, do rewinds and refurbishment on most types of armatures, they also remagnetise and tune the motor so it's best to wrap the power coach well, two layers of acid free tissue, lots of bubble wrap and put it in a box and register it before sending it to them.

I don't have their address or phone number by me at the minute but they advertise in Model Rail, BRM the Toddler and on the internet.

Usual disclaimer, they have done lots and lots of HD and Wrenn Armatures for me when I was offering a repair service, usual turnaround from Australia was about three weeks.
 
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