One decoder - 2 motors? : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

Has anyone tried to power an engine with two motors through a single decoder - I was thinking of 2 "identical" small motors designed for N or HO narrow gauge engines and an HO decoder. I don't have a project in mind yet, this is more along the lines of random thoughts of something that might be useful.

-- Charles Lewis (, March 13, 2003


Yes. I do it in several of my G-scale locomotives. As long as you have a decoder that can handle the stall current of both motors as if they were one bigger motor, it has worked fine for me.

-- Allan Gartner (, March 14, 2003.

Thanks Allen - by the way, did you wire your motors in series or parallel?

-- Charles Lewis (, March 14, 2003.

Wiring the motors in parallel. If you wire them in series, you will cut the voltage to the motors in half. Your train may move too slowly if you do that. Then again, a coal drag may be what you are after!

Even if you put the biggest decoder you can into the small engines you mention and you cannot get a decoder that exceeds the stall current of the motors, it probably will not be a problem to simply use the biggest decoder you can. Just make sure you get a decoder with thermal shutdown - which many, if not most, do.

-- Allan Gartner (, March 14, 2003.

Hi Charles.

I recently hooked two motors to one decoder. The project was a Spectrum GE 44 Tonner. I followed an article on how to do it that appeared in MR. Two things to remember is YES you want to wire in parallel and two...

If the motors are opposing each other as in the case of the 44 tonner project, you need to make sure that you reverse the gray and orange wires for one of the motors. If you wire them identically, the motors will to try either collide with each other or run away from each other.

You definitely want to have "identical" motors as well. I would try even for the same batch or lots and not buying one today and another a few months later. You will want a *matching pair* or one motor could creep faster than the other.


-- Doug Fraser (, March 14, 2003.

Charles, I wired up a single NCE D408SR decoder, in parallel, to four O scale Atlas industrial switcher motors used in a scratch built Milwaukee Bi- Polar with excellent results. In addition the unit has reversing headlites, ditch lights on both ends, and directional marker lights on both ends that change from red to green utilizing a relay and bi polar LEDS. Regards, Art D.

-- Art DeFazio (, March 29, 2003.

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