Hard wiring an Athearn?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by KCS, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. KCS

    KCS Member

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    Well guy's, I'm at a stand still and confuzzled about wiring. I have an AC4400 that was hard wired with a light kit. I removed the light kit from the locomotive to install in a Athearn SD40-2. Thing about this SD is, it's forced air and water cooled. Thing is I tried installing the light kit but with the light kit and the fan hooked up the locomotive doesn't hardly do half of the speed it could with just the motor drawing current. Does anyone have a diagram on how to wire a light kit into an Athearn? I'm trying to see if I can hook the fan and lights up directly through the trucks rather than through the motor so it doesn't drag the motor down so much. It ran fine before I tried putting the light kit in but now it's a big wiring headache.:curse: Any thoughts?
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I don't see why it would be a problem to put the lighting kit wiring directly from the trucks rather than from the motor, but I doubt it would make any difference. It would still be hooked up in parrallel to the motor. If it is wired in series to the motor, that would be a big problem. Lighting kits just seem to suck up a lot of power. If you are running dcc, you can compensate with your throttle settings, but in dc I'm not sure there is anything you can do.
  3. KCS

    KCS Member

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    Everything was pretty much right at brand new when I bought it but the thing is the light kit doesn't drag down the motor as much in the other locomotive it came out of. I'm running DC. DCC? Ha, I wish. :) But I do need to find a wiring diagram to study on until I can get some new GOR light bulds do to the accident I had the other night.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    What kind of motor does the Athearn have? The Genesis models have can motors, the older blue box had an open frame motor, but I'm not sure what is in the new rtr models. If the locomotive that the lighting package came out of has a can motor and the Athearn has an open frame motor, that would make a lot of difference.
  5. KCS

    KCS Member

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    Both locomotive's are blue box Athearns. One is an AC4400 and the other is an SD40-2 both with can motors. I've never seen anything other than a can motor in an Athearn. Now I see there is a slight bit of difference in the size motor between the locomotives. The one in the AC4400 unit is a little longer in length than the SD. Not sure what the deal is though.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I don't model anything as modern as you are using, so I'm not familier with these models. What do you mean by "forced air and water cooled"? Are you telling us you found an electric locomotive with a working water filled radiator? Is the fan a working fan? How does the fan operate? If the fan is driven off the flywheels by a belt, it won't have any effect on the operation of the locomotive. If it has a separate motor to drive it, then that is your problem. If you have two motors in a locomotive and add a lighting package, it will slow down considerably because you now have 3 electrical loads on one model.
  7. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

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    The out-of-box athearn has the wiring for the following direction: with the the top off, and the engine facing away from you, the right side is wired to the motor, and the left side is connnected to the frame and connects to the bottom of the motor. as for the light kit, the frame holds the negative side of the bulb and the contact on the back connnects to the same side as the top of the motor.