Model locomotive motors

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Model locomotive motors

Third-party images may be clicked on for source citations. They were all the same on any relatively modern model, right? Well, no, actually not. Motors in HO will be larger, and draw more current to pull more weight, but otherwise are built similarly to N-scale motors. This page was updated considerably in earlycorrecting some earlier mis-statements on my part, and adding a bit of history. At the same time, the detail of actual motors has been relocated and expandedand can now be found on the Typical Motors page.

As of earlythe history material formerly on this page, along with some other material, has been separated into a Brushed DC Motor Technology and History page that describes the evolution of DC motors for model train use in the twentieth century, and some of the details that matter to hobbyists.

model locomotive motors

Information about motor maintenance has been relocated to the Model Train Maintenance page in the Model Trains section. Motors An electric motor is a very simple device, particularly in the form found in small model trains.

In bulk they are quite cheap. There are many details that can vary from one motor to the next, affecting how they will work in a given application.

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Distinctions such as three-pole versus five pole armatures, alnico versus ferrite magnets, skewed versus straight armature slots and open-frame versus can motors all have a sound basis, but sometimes matter less than people might think. As in most engineering disciplines, absolutes are hard to come by, and trade-offs more complex than can easily be summarized in a marketing brochure or on the side of a model box. And never forget that a model train motor is part of a system.

The photo below shows the major characteristics of typical N-scale motors: the open plastic frame graywith two bar magnets inside a U-shaped piece of metal black magnets are top and bottom inside the silver metal to form the outer North and South magnetic poles, the brushes topped by brass electrical contacts on right gray section top and bottomthe windings made of layers of stamped metal center vertically-oriented layers of silver metal with reddish copper winding wires and the brass flywheels ends for added momentum.

This motor has a big brass flywheel attached at each end, which is fairly common as it puts the most mass possible on the drive shaft, to maintain momentum when power fluctuates. Modern N-Scale open-frame skewed-winding motor with twin flywheels mounted on the motor shaft from an Atlas model Types of Motors Most motors used in model trains today are brushed DC permanent magnet motors.

These operate at maximum speeds around 10, rpm some can operate at higher speeds using gear trains to reduce the speed at which the wheels turn, and thus can be rather noisy. Older ones were also rather poor at low-speed performance, but this has been improved significantly with newer designs.

Motors with different features can be optimized for specific kinds of use, or for use with specific drivetrains. At the same time, much of what can be changed with a different motor design can also be changed by modifications to the drivetrain, so many trains do use very similar if not quite identical motors. There is considerable variation in motor speed and torque, for example, and in the gears used to convert that to turning the wheels can be varied to compensate or emphasize speed or pulling-power.

A motor that makes one train run much faster than prototypical speed at full voltage could make another into a slow and powerful switching engine.

Similarly, the brushed DC permanent-magnet motor has slight variations in power torque as the shaft turns, and these can be compensated for though motor design or heavy flywheels or both. Motor technology has also evolved over the years, with modern motors producing the same power in a smaller form than older ones due to improvements in materials, magnet technology, and manufacturing. One more thing that has changed has been our understanding within the model railroading hobby of how motor designs affect performance characteristics we care about, like low-speed running and pulling power.

This has been aided from time to time by modelers who are also skilled in the areas of technology relevant to concerns of the day. But why we choose what we choose is often reduced to generalities so vague that it can be hard to tell what is still relevant, and what was a choice based on the limits of a technology no longer in use. Important Characteristics of Motors Motors have two related attributes: speed and torque.

The power of a motor ability to do work derives from the torque and the speed. Speed is directly proportional to voltage: at maximum voltage the motor turns at the maximum speed for a given load.

Thus a motor rated for 16V use will turn slower at 12 volts. Speed is measured in revolutions per minute RPMand for the kind of motors we care about is typically around 12, RPM at maximum voltage with nothing attached to the motor this varies.Hello all; I have seen some references to the use of coreless and or brushless motors in the use of model trains but the information seems to be sparse and incomplete.

I wonder if some members of the forum can give me a somewhat more complete picture of these motors. Do they have advantages such as improved performance or torque?

As Coreless Dc Motors usually can reach very high rpms and has a compact structure, these motors can heat quickly. Especially when running at full load for a short time. So it is usually advised to use a cooling system with these motors. Overheating can be an important problem specially for Coreless Micro Dc Motors. So a disadvantage of a coreless motor is, it cannot handle overloads when compared to a cored motor.

model locomotive motors

The bonding adhesive that holds the windings can lose its bonding character and the motor will be broken. Ulrich: First off thank you for your reply. Does the heat factor in your opinion make these motors a good fit for model trains, specifically HO scale. When you speak of a cooling system are you speaking of added ventilation or an actual on board system? They do get a bit warmer, but, unless you stall the engine under full load, there is little danger of overheating.

Coreless motors work best with pure DC. The don't like pulse width modulation PWM with low frequency, which can lead to overheating.

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That was the reason they were deemed unsuitable for DCC for some time. Faulhaber, one manufacturer, recommends a PWM frequenzy of more than 20 kHz. Most current decoders comply with this recommendation.

They need a special controller that creates the rotating magnetic field that makes them turn. DC track power is obviously not suitable.

A speed controller is needed in the locomotive that needs controlling, possibly radio control. Todays DCC is not able to control brushless motors either.

Coreless and Brushless motors

The speed control part of a decoder needs to be changed. A brushless motor wouldn't be a drop-in fit for a locomotive. Regards, Volker. Check out our. Login or Register. Latest Headlines. Popular Topics.BetBull holds customer funds separate from company funds in a client account.

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Add Weight and Pulling Power to an HO Scale Locomotive

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model locomotive motors

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