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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A new article has been added to our club web site showing a second method used to convert an FA-1 to on-board battery power and radio control. This method uses a Super Socket to install an Aristo-Craft 75 MHz receiver. The socket contains radio noise suppression components that greatly improve radio range.


 
The locomotive was also equipped with an LED headlight, lithium-ion battery pack in the fuel tank, and Black Kat antenna for the receiver. To view the article, click on the following link. ovgrs.editme.com/FA1-V2
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This morning I received a polite e-mail asking, “Why would I remove all the factory wiring and circuit boards from my Plug and Play FA-1, and then build a Super Socket to install a 75 MHz receiver?”



Over the years I have purchased half a dozen 75 MHz receivers for my diesel roster. Unfortunately I experienced radio range problems when the receivers were used for on-board for radio control. After years of frustration, I finally learned the problem was radio noise generated by the motors. :(

The chokes on the Super Socket suppress this Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) and greatly improve radio range. I now get over 100 feet of reliable and immediate radio response from both my FA-1 and NW-2. This winter I will convert four more of my diesels to on-board, battery power and radio control using this method and the remaining receivers. :D

I like the Super Socket method of power conversion for a couple of other reasons besides improved radio reception.
  1. The Super Socket can be used to convert ANY Aristo-Craft or USA Trains 4-axle diesel to on-board, battery power and radio control.
  2. The wiring is much easier to understand and trouble shoot than the factory wiring. The heads of the screws in the terminal blocks can be used to test the wiring using a multi-meter.
  3. Resistors mounted on the board make it easier to add LED headlights.
The Super Socket method can also be used for track powered on-board radio control. The track power wires are connected to socket in place of the wires from a lithium-ion battery pack.

Would I recommend you use this method to convert your Plug and Play diesels to on-board radio control? ABSOLUTELY NOT, unless you have a number of unused 75 MHz receivers kicking about or you have a number installed and are unhappy with the range of reception. I would run them with a power car until the new 2.5 GHz Plug and Play receiver is available. Hopefully it will not suffer from the range problems that I experienced with the 75 MHz receiver.
 

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I agree with removing the existing electronics. I find that it's in the way and the wires are usually too skimpy. Here is a picture of an FA-1 that I did a whila ago.
 
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