Roco BR118 remotoring + dcc

This documents my re-motoring and DCC mod of my Roco BR118 loco. This was an older loco that came with a great Roco motor. However there were 2 issues.

1: The motor’s stall current was about 1amp

2: The loco did not have any flywheels.

At my disposal were couple of ESU basic DCC decoders that i wanted to use. Their Max current rating was about 700ma. I also wanted to add in a flywheel. So i decided to replace the stock motor with a smaller can motor from Igarashi with skewed armature.

This loco also had a peculiar spring type coupling and not cardan shafts like in the newer models. Here’s a close up shot of the spring coupling (after the modification).

This type of coupling seems to be great when the distance between the motor and truck assembly is small.


The partly assembled chassis with a custom made PCB. The 2 smaller boards at the right and left of the main board carry the 0603 LED’s. This loco uses light pipes.


Closeup of the ESU decoder and the LED board. No more NEM connector after the i discovered the issues with capacitive coupling with my home made PCB’s. So the decoder is directly soldered to the PCB. Again, liberal use of the liquid tape to secure the wires.


The final assembled loco.

This is a great looking locomotive. It runs great, except for a slightly higher noise from the spring coupling.



I am a computer engineer living in the beautiful city of Austin,TX. While my day job is designing computer chips, I love to dabble in woodworking, metalworking, r/c and electronics.

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Posted in Electronics, Model trains

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