Skip to main content

Hi All,

I've never played with a TMCC aquarium car before and I recently picked-up a 19845 TMCC Whale car.  Everything seems to be working OK in TMCC cmd mode (couplers, back-lite, sounds, etc...) but my whale swim speed seems to range from very fast to super this "normal" for this car or might I have an issue with the DC motor control board?  I did re-seat the card and reset the car but nothing changed...

Thanks as always for your insights,

S/F Mike


Original Post

I'm not by any means an expert on this car, but I did have to fiddle with one I bought at York a few years ago to get it working properly.

If it's new old stock and has been stagnant in the box for 20+ years (as I am pretty sure mine was), I wonder if the film strip is maybe a bit "formed" to the point where the locations that were wrapped around the sprockets at the ends may have a somewhat permanent curve to them from taking the shape of the sprocket.  That's not unusual for aquarium cars, I don't think.

That might cause the motion to speed up and slow down as the film tries to rotate.  Carefully removing it to check for this may help figure it out.


Making them slower may be possible.  It is likely a dc can motor in there. If you add diodes on a motor lead in series each will lower the voltage by 0.75v.

4 diodes inline = -0.75 + -.75 + -.75 + +.75 = -3v

Now when the board outputs 0v-3v, the motor barely sees it's first sign of voltage. Board puts out 5v, motor sees 2v ish.  Prettt easy. Larger amp diodes will remain cooler (voltage used becomes heat) use like 50v+ (or 35v if you like to gamblea little... both usually ok.)  2a should be plenty for the motor, but 4a-6a etc, might be more useful long term and/or reason to buy a small bulk & save.   (or pull some out of an old radio and read the number and look it up for fwd amp/current limit. Try it "4007 diode". You may even see the prefix that is often skipped on the diode to be seen easier. Point is, the numbers are often common.)

You still have to explore for motor heat by testing for an hour or so, checking often, when running at lower rpms.  Watch real close near stall speeds.

To try carefully is a dirt cheap and easy project. Tmcc board won't care.

Your whale car is working correctly.  Lionel made 2 TMCC aquarium cars.  The whale car was the first one.  The speed control is not that great.  You basically get 2 speeds.  I've had mine repaired once for a radio board issue.  Trying to put a standard r2lc08 in it gave me great speed control but the funky lights no longer worked correctly.  Lionel had to burn the specific code into a r2lc to get the car to work properly.  When they did, the speed control went back to the fast/faster.  So I can only assume its the code in the r2lc.  The shark TMCC car which was the second revision, works much better.  I get true speed control with the remote and the sounds are better.  The lights in the whale car are luminescent panels which required the special code which seems to affect the speed control.

Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
Link copied to your clipboard.