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I am hoping @Norton or @harmonyards can help me with this.   I see different steam engine upgrades documented on the forum using 12V Pittman motors.   Given that we typically operate at a higher voltage than that, and fixed voltage systems from mth and lionel run at 18 or in some cases 20 volts, how are these motors not burning up?  I am used to industrial equipment and if I put 600 volts in a 480 volt motor for an extended time it would run until the insulation fails and be scrap soon after.

Also, what is the typical rpm of these motors?  I am still playing with my lego steam locomotive idea drive train and the lego motors are rated for 9 or 12 volts, and the speed is less than 300 rpm so they need to be geared up considerably to get a decent operating speed.

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While I can't really answer why we run motors at higher than rated voltage, that's sort of the way it's always been. Even old Pittman motors from the 40s are normally considered 12 volt motors - but they don't ever burn out, as evidenced by still running so many years later.

It's probably similar to how light bulbs in vintage trains that are rated for 12 volts don't mind being used at a higher voltage - but may burn out quicker.

The Lego motors are internally geared down, that's why they're so slow. I assume Lego didn't want to give too high rpm motors to children. I wonder if it's possible to remove the gearing, but it would probably be challenging.

Last edited by Johnbeere

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