Converting IHS Locomotives from DC to DCC

To make a long story very short, for the last twelve years I have not been able to engage in model railroading. Now I am slowly getting
back into the game and I am amazed at how much the hobby has changed. I have several IHS locomotives I purchased years ago that are standard DC and I would like to know if it is possible to convert them over to DCC with sound?
Specifically, I have a 4-6-2 Pacific, a 2-8-0 Consolidated, a 2-6-0 Mogul, and a 4-4-0 American.
How hard and expensive would it be to convert them to DCC? Is it something that a relative novice can do? Or are there services that will do the conversion for a fee? Is it worth it or should I just go ahead and purchase new locomotives already DCC compatible? Are there any articles or books that you could recommend to me so I can understand how to convert them? Any clues and suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.
JP
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Sorry, I mean IHC, International Hobby Corp., not IHS.
JP
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snipped-for-privacy@habitant.org wrote:

If the engines have the cookie cutter flanges, unless they are very special to you, I would not recommend adding decoders to them. That said a basic decoder cost about $19. Sound decoders cost more depending on the quality of the sound.
The instructions that come with most wired decoders is quite good and the IHCs are fairly easy to convert.
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snipped-for-privacy@habitant.org wrote in

It depends on your electronics ability. If you've got good electronics ability, you'll probably be able to convert them with following the instructions and a little help. If you're not comfortable rewiring a locomotive, then I'd suggest having someone convert them for you.
If you decide to do it yourself, make the first purchase a new TCS decoder. They have a goof-proof warranty that no one else (of the few companies I've looked at) has. If you screw it up, they'll replace it.
Puckdropper
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: To make a long story very short, for the last twelve years I have not : been able to engage in model railroading. Now I am slowly getting : back into the game and I am amazed at how much the hobby has changed. : I have several IHS locomotives I purchased years ago that are standard : DC and I would like to know if it is possible to convert them over to : DCC with sound? : : Specifically, I have a 4-6-2 Pacific, a 2-8-0 Consolidated, a 2-6-0 : Mogul, and a 4-4-0 American. : : How hard and expensive would it be to convert them to DCC? Is it : something that a relative novice can do? Or are there services that : will do the conversion for a fee? Is it worth it or should I just go : ahead and purchase new locomotives already DCC compatible? Are there : any articles or books that you could recommend to me so I can : understand how to convert them? Any clues and suggestions would be : appreciated. Thank you. : : JP
The older IHC locos can be done, but it does take some time, soldering skills, and a lot of patience. The hardest part is dealing with the headlight wires running down/through the boiler weight.
I highly recommend the TCS M1 decoder for x-6/8-x locos. I've never done a conversion on an IHC 4-4-0, so can say what will fit.
Len
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THe basic idea of doing a conversion for any loco is to isolate the motor brushes electrically from the body of the loco and putting the decoder to those brushes. The power on the track is 12VAC and goes thrgough the decoder which converts it into the voltage needed for the speed desired. All else falls from that. Needless to say, the track voltage can't get to the motor or you won't have any control.
-- Bob May
rmay at nethere.com http: slash /nav.to slash bobmay http: slash /bobmay dot astronomy.net
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<snip> One thing that helps with IHC locos is that the plastic frames don't convey curretnt.
Jeff
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