Episode 67: Conversion of a Class 100 (V100)

Here I show you the conversion of an old gauge 1-Class 100 (V100 in Germany) with original AC motor to digital operation with sound:

The Conversion

In “original condition” (i.e., as I acquired the locomotive used), it looked like this:

So relatively heavily played. The handle bars and steps are partly already broken off and no longer present. The interior, on the other hand, still looks very untouched:

The universal motor, which in this old version of the V100 only acts on two axles of a bogie, immediately catches the eye. Below next to it there is the pole reversal mechanism. The old equipment is rounded off with the two light boards at the ends and in the middle “in the fuel tank”. After I had transitionally (for about 2 years) an ancient Märklin DCC decoder in the locomotive (which is still →from my T3), then the opportunity arose to install a modern sound decoder with load control. It took a while, because these things are not that cheap. This was also necessary, because with an uncontrolled 15-step decoder, an →automatic operation is impossible →on my small layout. Either the locomotive doesn’t start or it starts much too fast; then it doesn’t stop properly. So the locomotive could only be run manually for quite a while or lay in the box. The choice fell on a Loksound L from ESU. This has enough current capacity for this locomotive, but is not quite as expensive as the “big” XL decoder. In addition, it fits perfectly into the recess at the bottom of the fuel tank. So you still have a lot of space left free for later special functions.

The first step is to remove the AC motor and all the old electronics. Then a DC motor is fitted (Johnson 12V, should have so 20-30W). Fortunately the old pinion fits on the new motor shaft. So this is pressed on carefully. The motor is screwed with a simple sheet metal strip at the bogie. Then it only remains to glue a speaker into the housing. I made the fan blades “permeable” for this with the mini grinder. The speaker is now mounted underneath; a wooden board seals it from the housing. This avoids the acoustic short circuit and results in a good reproduction also of the bass parts in the sound. A Visaton BF 45 S with 4 ohms is used as speaker. This also has an extra-wide surround for good bass reproduction, and that with only 45mm diameter.

For the electrical system, make the following decoder connections:

  • DCC Track left
  • DCC Track right
  • Motor +
  • Motor –
  • Loudspeaker +
  • Loudspeaker –

I’ll leave out other functions like lights for now (you’ll find out why below).

Finally, the locomotive gets an aging with the powder colors already known →from aging the container:


As can also be seen in the video, the low-speed driving characteristics are now an absolute pleasure. The engine adaptation was done quickly; the factory values (motor CVs) fit almost 100% right away. The ESU sound in version 5 is also great. Actually, one would only have to add the missing steps and e.g. lights and would have a beautiful V100 with good running characteristics, but …

… actually, the V100 is too old for my epoch (and there are already two museum trains running around on my layout :-). In fact, I’m looking for a modern diesel locomotive… Fittingly, there are the original “DH” locomotives from Vossloh, Germany, which are based on the old V100 chassis and is a great example:

→Image of a DH1004 on wiki

And therefore I have the unscheduled plan to retrofit this locomotive with such a superstructure in a few years. The superstructure is largely “angular” and should therefore be manageable to build. This new locomotive should then also get the usual lights. Until then, however, the “shabby” V100 may continue to do its job.

But until the rebuild is ready, there will be many other contributions to read at


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