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Hi!

Would Converting a MPC Lionel Electric Engine to run on PS2/PS3 (possibly lionchief instead?) be feasible?

I have a great Pennsy Lionel EP-5 Electric with working, conductive pantographs that I would love to convert to bluetooth/wifi control, like all my other locomotives. I have looked at BlueRail as well, but i would like to use a system i already know, own, and use regularly.

Any advice?

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You have two options that I KNOW will work:

(1) Install the ERR AC Commander and run it with a Legacy CAB-2

(2) Send the loco to Frank Timko.  He can install one, or perhaps even two DC "can" motors in it.  Then you can add PS2 / PS3 or whatever command system you like.  That being said, unless it's sentimental you'll save money by just buying a late-model EP-5 with can motor(s) as original equipment.

(3) This MIGHT work... it's possible with diodes, rectifiers, etc., to make the original "Pullmor" universal motor run on DC.  Depending on how much current it draws, operating voltage range, etc., you MIGHT be able to get it to work with BlueRail, etc.  It's theoretically possible but I've never seen or heard of anyone taking this route, so I suggest that you stick with options #1 or #2.

I think option #3 is doomed to failure.  While it's no problem to get it to work on DC, they draw a lot of current and are very likely to be problematic using any common control boards.  Also, reversing will be an interesting exercise, likely involving an auxiliary relay.

I've had Frank Timko fit can motors before, that's probably the best option, Frank is pretty reasonable for the can motor installations, but then there's the expense of actually adding all the electronics...

This may or may not be an option or to the liking of the OP and is kind of a long shot, how about a shell swap with a older Williams EP-5 that already has can motors? If it does work, you'd have a Williams running gear, MPC shell, and an electronics package of your choosing.

I don't know if this is even possible between Williams and MPC (I've done it with a couple of GP shells which worked out well). Someone who has both would need to check for compatibility.

Last edited by H1000
@Ted S posted:

You have two options that I KNOW will work:

(1) Install the ERR AC Commander and run it with a Legacy CAB-2

(2) Send the loco to Frank Timko.  He can install one, or perhaps even two DC "can" motors in it.  Then you can add PS2 / PS3 or whatever command system you like.  That being said, unless it's sentimental you'll save money by just buying a late-model EP-5 with can motor(s) as original equipment.

(3) This MIGHT work... it's possible with diodes, rectifiers, etc., to make the original "Pullmor" universal motor run on DC.  Depending on how much current it draws, operating voltage range, etc., you MIGHT be able to get it to work with BlueRail, etc.  It's theoretically possible but I've never seen or heard of anyone taking this route, so I suggest that you stick with options #1 or #2.

Well I can run TMCC/Legacy engines on the MTH DCS app - could I put TMCC/Legacy in the engine? or perhaps Legacy that I could run via Bluetooth/Lionchief on my iPhone?

I spent like $60 on this engine that's in nearly perfect condition so I'm not toooo concerned about how expensive the conversion would be.

What I did with a MPC Milwaukee Road EP-5 I have was to buy a Post War Celebration EP-5 version (I found a PWC New Haven EP-5 at a decent price), and simply swapped shells. The PWC versions are fully equipped with TMCC, RailSounds, directional/constant voltage lighting, electrocouplers (both ends), and crew figures. The surgery takes less than 15 minutes, mostly just moving the TMCC antenna, which is simple. I then sold the old Milwaukee chassis with the NH body, which offset part of the cost of the PWC EP-5. I've done this same thing with a number of MPC/LTI era Geeps as well.

As Ted S said, adding an ERR AC Commander is another option. That may have better low speed control, but you won't get the RailSounds. You could add the ERR RailSounds, too, but now you're getting into significantly more expense.

Last edited by breezinup

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