There are some threads in the past about people trying to upgrade the AtlasO AEM7 to PS3.  To my knowledge, I do not think anyone has done it successfully yet.  The large horizontal motor in the AEM7 just takes up too much space.

When the MTH 44 tons came out, my son had the idea of using that PS3 system to power the AEM7 because of its small size.  I scoffed at the idea... "That's a $400 engine?  Who would buy a $400 engine to use the guts to transplant into an older Atlas engine?"

Well today in Allentown, we scored a premier MTH PS3 44 Tonner for... are you ready?  $100.

I thought, there had to be something wrong with it.  I was told it ran great and if it did not I could bring it back for a full refund.   3.8 miles on the Odom and 2 hours on the Chrono.  It does indeed run great.  So great, that I'm thinking of keeping it as is.

However, the original plan was to use it as a transplant into the AEM7.  So my question.  Can I use this board?  I thought I heard the 44 ton used an "S" scale PS3 system because of the size.  Will the the larger, more powerful Atlas AEM7 draw more current and possibly fry that PS3 board?  Are there any other unintended consequences I'm not thinking about?  Are there tests or measurements I can run?




"I'd rather be lucky than good"


For goodness sake, if you "reply with quote" to my posts, remove the pictures.

Original Post

Why not just buy the very nice MTH AEM-7 and get it with DCS already installed?  The board in the 44-tonner is a smaller board, not sure what it's capabilities are in regard to larger motors.  Also, my experience is those Atlas horizontal motors tend to draw quite a bit of current.

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

Hi Ron:

Before I got too involved with MTH AEM7s, I explored installing PS3 in an Atlas AEM7.  Physically, it isn't possible; the Pittman is just too big.  However, you could get around that issue by installing it in a gutted coach with a permanent tether.

The bigger issue is the electrical specs on the Pittman 9233 series motor, (datasheet).  It runs on 24VDC and stalls at 6A.  I tend to run long trains, and that motor will draw between 1 and ~3A depending on the load and grade.  My MTH units hardly ever draw over 1A.  Even without the current draw, the voltage difference and tach wheel mismatch makes it quite a challenging build.

I also lament the lack of proper control with Atlas AEM7s, as they are awesome units.  The best idea I have to is to install an ERR board somewhere or just enjoy them conventionally.  I am sure some enterprising soul could make PS3 work, but I do not feel it is worth the time and subsequent hassle to try.

--Nate Murry

I put the MTH AEM-7 next to the Atlas at one time.  While there were minimal differences, they are both very good looking units.  Given the fact that the MTH is already available with PS/3, this is one project I wouldn't really consider.  I originally bought the Atlas to do a TMCC upgrade, but once I looked inside, I decided to simply turn it over and not go through the angst of trying to fit it all in.

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