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Heljan 33 chip


D08
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Morning all, I'm new to DCC and have acquired a second hand Heljan class 33 with chip fitted.

this is prone to stalling and cutting out, and the lights often flicker. I have been told this loco draws a lot of power and needs a beefier chip, possibly 1.5 amp. This means very little to me, but if it needs a new chip, any recommendations please.

thanks, Tim.

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Before you get too deep into chips and power requirements, look at the simple common problems such as making sure the track, wheel treads and pickups are spotlessly clean and that there are no loose track joiners.

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  • RMweb Gold

A 1 amp chip is more than adequate. I have Lenz Standard+ chips in mine and never had any problems. The first one I had did indeed have brass wheels which were quite a problem as has been mentioned, and I subsequently replaced them. 

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  • RMweb Gold
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, D08 said:

Thanks, where do I get replacement wheels? Are they all the same? What do I ask for?

 

I got my replacement wheelset from Howes Models - https://howesmodels.co.uk/product/oo-general-spares/. It's a fairly simple replacement. However you will have to contact Howes to find when/if they going to be back in stock. 

 

But they're also available from Gaugemaster - https://www.gaugemasterretail.com/magento/Heljan-hn19853583.html . But whereas Howes was £11.50 for a complete set of wheels, they're now £22.50 per bogie!

Edited by RFS
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I would echo the advice above, but would add: check the electrical pickups. Most Heljan locos in my experience have only picked up power on four or five wheels out of a possible eight when frst out of the box. On the class 33, it is very easy to tweak the pickups if necessary, by simply pulling the sideframes off the bogies and bending the contact strip outwards slightly at the ends - pull the sideframes horizontally outwards, they just clip onto the spigots on the bogie centre block.

For decoders, Lenz is good, but I standardised earlier on with ESU because some of my 33s were fitted with ESU lokSound decoders, and the LokPilots allow a delay to be programmed in for double-heading, mixing sound and non-sound fitted locos. Even later on, I fitted a couple of newer 33s with Zimo decoders, also very good. All three of those brands have some overload protection built-in as well, and can cope easily with Heljan's extra power consumption under load.

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