I have several sets of American Flyer trains and am getting ready to start
designing a layout. Any help is greatly appreciated.
I would also like to convert the engines over to use DCC. Any thoughts on
I am also starting to work on a layout for my AF equipment that I have
from my boyhood and acquired the last couple of years. Been having fun
with 3rdPlanIt software as well as getting ideas form THORs trains web
As to use of DCC, I have converted one of my sets to DC operation using
something called a Fricko Converto(this goes way back). Basically, what
is done is using AC bridges to convert to DC out of the power pack and
adding one to the universal motor terminals and putting in a reversing
switch and you operate just like a DC HO set. As to going to DCC, I
would think the issue would be needing a DECODER that has the oompf to
push as AF engine. I suspect something that would work on O or G scale
would work. That is something I am thinking of doing. There are a
number of other WEB sites on S scale including how to do the AC to DC
conversion but I can't find it right now. Seach on American Flyer and
you might find a lot of information. I lost al lot of the URL's 'cause
of a computer crash and I haven't built it up again. Hope this helps.
ready to start
Converting AF steam locos with the reversing unit in the tender
to DCC isn't all that hard.
First you have to convert them to DC motors, which is really
simple since TIMKO makes a drop in can motor that has the correct
worm gear and fly-wheel* built in. Depending on where you get
them they run $25 - $30 each. If you are converting straight to
DCC get the one that does NOT include the full-wave rectifier.
You only need it if you will be converting to straight DC
Just remove the original armature and field coil, then replace
with the new can motor. I'm not a big fan of cloth covered
wiring, so I remove the reversing unit and all existing wiring
from the tender.
You'll need to fabricate a mounting for the decoder. I can't
remember the number off the top of my head, but I've used the
Digitrax two motor G-scale decoder with pretty good success.
Since these locos have a built in 'chuff' with the smoke unit I
haven't tried any Soundtrax decoders.
There are a few ways to wire the loco. The most basic is to
connect the tender truck pick-ups to the decoder, the headlight,
and the smoke unit. Then connect the motor to the decoder for DCC
Another option with the two motor decoder is the same as above,
except connect the headlight to the 2nd motor output. This allows
the brightness of the headlight to be controlled.
Or you can wire the smoke unit and/or headlight through relays to
pick up track power. Then use decoder function controls to
trigger the relays, allowing the smoke and/or headlight to be
turned on and off.
There are other options, like adding a back-up light, that are
only limited by your imagination.
*Note: TIMKO also makes these AF drop-in can motors without the
fly-wheels. Personally, I don't recommend them as starts and
stops are noticably more abrupt.
Head Rust Scraper
KL&B Eastern Lines RR Museum
Mentioned the TIMKO DC motors in my reply about converting AF
locos to DCC and forgot to give the contact info for TIMKO.
You can contract them at:
Phone: (937) 429-1461
349 Grange Hall Rd
Beavercreek, OH 45430
I have several sets of American Flyer trains and am getting ready to
start designing a layout. Any help is greatly appreciated. I would also
like to convert the engines over to use DCC. Any thoughts on this too!!
Here are a few sites that should be helpful:
Thor's All-Gauge Page (outstanding):
Penn Western S Scale:
Grandpa John & Colin's S Gauge:
Paul Yorke's S-Train (great site with lots of S gauge/scale links):
Hope you enjoy your trains!
Bill's Railroad Empire
N Scale Model Railroad: