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Adding DCC to a Rivarossi Heisler

Posted on Mar 9, 2011 by in Techniques, Updates |

My latest project was to install a DCC decoder into an HO scale Rivarossi Heisler.  I recently acquired this model from another member of SLHRS.  I found that this loco was not actually that hard to disassemble, although it took me a little while to find the screw at the rear of the loco.  If anyone was wondering it is located underneath the water hatch at the rear.  The other screw is located in the smoke stack.  After carefully removing the boiler and cab I was able to access the motor.  Removing the two screws on either side of the can motor made removal very easy.



The contacts for the motor are easily accessible once I pulled the motor out, as you can see in the picture.  Where the screwdriver (and the arrow marked 4) is pointing is where they are getting the power from the frame of the locomotive.  I cut out the little jumper and installed one of the motor leads from the decoder to the brush, and the pickup lead from the decoder to the other end of where the jumper had been located (I could have got that pickup lead from anywhere on the frame).  The other pickup lead I soldered onto the screw where the existing motor wire was located (red arrow marked 5).

For the lights I was careful to insulate the strip that runs across the top of the cab and the boiler, as they were picking up from the frame at that point.  I was able to solder the leads for the lights onto those strips, although I have yet to figure out how to do the front as the clearance is very little.  I think that I will most likely just replace the bulb and solder the leads into place.

This project was not quite as daunting as it originally looked, however using a meter is extremely important to make sure that everything is isolated correctly.