The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Revisiting the S-C 24 volt DC Motor

After years of not owning any models with the early Scale-Craft 24 volt DC motor I have for almost two years had two on the running roster. It finally occurred to me recently to run these on the “large scale” setting on my power pack (Ed Morlok had noted this possibility years ago), and in this mode they run even better. A great product! Clearly some operators adopted it as their standard at the time (Red Adams comes to mind) but it was a voltage level that was out of step with market.

Was it “ahead of its time?” I found an interesting editorial in the May, 1944 issue of The Model Railroader that makes that very claim. It is on the topic of “Food for Thought” relating to the then proposed change of the HO standard from 6 volts to 12 volts. Editor Frank Taylor notes though that in an ideal world
Perhaps all three gauges should be on a 24-volt standard instead of 12. If 12 volts is four times as good for HO, 24 volts would be 16 times as good, and it would improve the OO and O gauge situations as well….
Very small motors are practical at 24 volts. This was proved some years ago when Scale-Craft brought out a 24-volt OO gauge motor which unfortunately was ahead of its time. Would the advantages of a change to 24 volts all around be worth the temporary confusion it would cause?... We pose the question. Too much is involved for us to presume to answer it.
The photo is from this article, on re-motoring my original S-C 4-6-0, and also one of these motors may be seen in operation in this video, in an S-C 4-4-2. When I run these models it makes total sense why Scale-Craft would try to buck/change the trends of the time, as this motor does run well, especially so on the higher voltage available with the large scale setting on a modern power pack.

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