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The Little Engine That Could – I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can.

steam switcher engine model powerIn the spirit of Watty Piper, author of “The Little Engine That Could”, Ron submitted this question:

“I have a charming little engine that I’m sure I can hear puffing out ‘I think I can, I know I can’. I  get the feeling it wants to grow into a DCC engine, and I would like that too! My little switcher is an 040 by Model Power. It was cheap to buy (no offense little engine), so I am uncertain if it can ever become DCC? Can someone say yes or explain how I am to break the bad news to my little engine if it can’t ever become DCC? Please help!!!”

6 Responses to The Little Engine That Could – I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can.

  • Herveysays:

    Ron,
    First off I have never attempted to convert this type of engine to DCC but it is most probably possible. There are very few locomotives that can not be converted. Cost and complexity may be a more important factor. You have to ascertain its stall current draw. I suspect it is quite low and you can probably use a small (N size) decoder. You will also have to ascertain if the motor is isolated from the frame. Even if it isn’t this is usually not too complicated. By the fact you are asking this question I suspect you don’t have a lot of experience installing DCC in locomotives. This install is not the type someone with little experience should undertake. I recomend you approach an experienced DCC installer to get this done.

  • Fredsays:

    Ron,
    I think just about any engine can be converted to DCC. But I am NOT an expert. I just had Bachmann’s N scale Thomas the Tank converted to DCC. I did not do it. The person who did was very capable and had the skill. He actually put the decoder in Annie, a Bachmann passenger car. So the Thomas and Annie are “married” to each other. The decoder was one of the small Digitrax’s. Believe it or not Thomas runs very well even over turnouts. I say this because I was thinking about a stay alive, but so far no need to. Have fun. If you can’t install a decoder your local hobby shop might and there are plenty of people who might do the installation for you. A search on line might solve your question.

  • Georgesays:

    I agree with Hervey 100 percent. It can be done, don’t give up little engine.

  • Ronsays:

    Thanks guys, I know the engine is a cheapie. I will investigate further. Ron

  • Stephen Frisiellosays:

    Let us know how you make out. I have a couple of smaller engines I would love to convert.

  • Jerome Olsonsays:

    I have converted one of these using an n scale decoder, still cramped but it works fine, will only pull a couple of cars for switching. Good luck

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