Darthluke824

Pulling Power Needed for a Complete Santa Fe?

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Hello all,

I am thinking about making a Santa Fe or similar EMD-F7 train. As I may create the full train (ABBA - 10-12 Coaches) I need to know how many train motors I will need to pull this lot. The train should be close to the 10020 with the B unit being James Mathis design. As this is a WIP I have not yet fully designed the train.

I will be using Power Functions train motors as 9v is getting expensive. Also rechargeable battery boxes and lights.

So how many motors will I need for pulling all of this?

Thanks,

- darthluke

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I too would guess 4 PF train motors to pull the lot. I have an ABA + 8 car North Coast Limited set, but the cars are about 10 studs longer than the Super Chief cars.

A couple of things you should keep in mind with your build,

1) an IR receiver will only power 2 PF train motors, so you will probably need two IR receivers and two batteries. The two IR receivers will be a little difficult to keep in sync given the fact that the train controller only goes "increase/decrease speed" rather than "run at speed 2". It can be done, it just takes careful attention.

2) My NCL train is already beyond the limits of lego magnets, I had to supplement the magnets with rare earth magnets. If you go out to 10 coaches, you might need to use some form of hook for the first several cars (simplest would be a technic beam with pins)

3) I think the red train bases all have 1x2 holes in them, whereas the PF train bases have 2x2 holes for wires. So to run the PF wires through them you might have to modify the old train bases or build up your own frame using plates. The latter is probably better anyway, because you can feed the wires to the back side of both motors without the need for a pole reverser switch.

4) Speaking of where to put the motors, it will be a lot easier to hide the wires if you put the motors in the B units, also making it easier to put two motors under a single unit. You will also likely want to put some weight over your motors. Either lego boat weights or a bunch of pennies/small change)

Looking forward to seeing your progress.

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If you really want to be ambitious (and want to murder your wallet), you could do 8 motors, 2 in each unit. Would be interesting, and you would get lots of power.

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I too would guess 4 PF train motors to pull the lot... [sNIP]

Thanks for those points, I was originally going to put the motors I the B units but I may have to have some serious planning before picking up any bricks.

Thanks all for the advice!

I will try to keep you posted with updates.

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good,you could do 8 motors, 2 in each unit. Would be interesting, and you would get lots of power.thanks48.gif

Edited by meiyoudaodie

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As all the others told you: 4 motors is enough (for 10 coaches).

Regarding the IR receivers: put the IR receiver of the A-unit in the aft and the IR receiver of the B-unit in the front. Then they are as close to each other as possible and you will have no problems with syncronisation of speed control.

And when you prefer ABBA with 12 coaches I would use 6 motors.

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I too would guess 4 PF train motors to pull the lot. I have an ABA + 8 car North Coast Limited set, but the cars are about 10 studs longer than the Super Chief cars.

A couple of things you should keep in mind with your build,

1) an IR receiver will only power 2 PF train motors, so you will probably need two IR receivers and two batteries. The two IR receivers will be a little difficult to keep in sync given the fact that the train controller only goes "increase/decrease speed" rather than "run at speed 2". It can be done, it just takes careful attention.

2) My NCL train is already beyond the limits of lego magnets, I had to supplement the magnets with rare earth magnets. If you go out to 10 coaches, you might need to use some form of hook for the first several cars (simplest would be a technic beam with pins)

3) I think the red train bases all have 1x2 holes in them, whereas the PF train bases have 2x2 holes for wires. So to run the PF wires through them you might have to modify the old train bases or build up your own frame using plates. The latter is probably better anyway, because you can feed the wires to the back side of both motors without the need for a pole reverser switch.

4) Speaking of where to put the motors, it will be a lot easier to hide the wires if you put the motors in the B units, also making it easier to put two motors under a single unit. You will also likely want to put some weight over your motors. Either lego boat weights or a bunch of pennies/small change)

Looking forward to seeing your progress.

Well, what I do is just put the wire through the 1x2 hole. it fits with no extra room and works just fine ;)

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I know you're using Power Functions but for comparison's sake, my Santa Fe El Capitan (ABBA + 11 coaches) has four 9V motors and could probably use at least one more. I put a motor in the rear of each locomotive (with a light on the front locomotive) and two motors under one of the B-units. My biggest issue is the friction in the curves. I'd recommend a long straight so the train can have some momentum going into the curve. Once the train was up to speed, I didn't have any issues with decoupling using the 9V-style buffers and magnets. The weak link is the connection from the second locomotive to the first coach as the coupling on the locomotive is lower than the coach. Hope this helps.

Cheers from Claremore, Oklahoma USA! :classic:

Dave

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