Accucraft Bigboy

For this locomotive, the customer wished to run it with Airwire while retaining the original Phoenix sound-card, he also wanted chuffed smoke.

the battery, along with the other electronics are mounted in the tender, I designed mounting brackets for the battery and electronics. to achieve the pulsed smoke I used a Massoth smoke generator with the a built in DCC decoder, and the ability to use the LGB sensor and magnet.  the magnet is mounted on one of the pilot wheels. Additionally as the front marker lights were tied to the headlight, and turned off in reverse I rewired them to work with the number boards always on.

Airwire RCC decoders have very basic programming options with typically no more than 4 outputs that are dedicated, forward and reverse lights an Auxiliary function out and smoke out for the smoke heater only, to use advanced smoke features such as pulsed you need to use separate circuitry to control the other effects. many of the aristocraft and USA train smoke units use a built in fan with circuitry that regulates and runs the fan as always on, it also regulates the voltage to the heater.  these smoke units can be modified and operated from a decoder that offers control for the smoke fan and heater, or just used as they were setup originally.

for this I chose the Massoth smoke unit due it’s ability to be controlled with a DCC decoder direct or from the SUSI connection,  pulling it’s timing for the fan from the decoder.  The Massoth smoke unit also has the ability to run in Analog mode using sensors to activate the smoke fan.  while less expensive smoke units can be setup to run in analog mode, the circuitry would need to be made and added.

Here’s a video of the smoke test:

At the time the Owner graciously printed the mounting brackets. Here’s the photos of the brackets.



here’s the test fit,  with a basic routing of the wires, the center box is the speaker box and as well as portion of the mount for the electronics and top control panel, this is is all on the tender chassis.

this is a top view with the control switches, there is a pigtail that is extended and tucked under the rear of the tender for running a battery car. because of the switch for the internal/external battery, the charging port can be used to charge either battery.


Here’s some examples of the lighting – the marker and number board lights are wired off the Aux port of the airwire card, so that they work Independence of the directional lights, personally I would have liked to have setup a lot more lighting effects with the locomotive, as well as a feature to turn on all of the lights with the F0 function, then mapped them using Swiss mapping as Zimo calls the lighting group mapping.  – when I received the locomotive some of the lights also needed to be replaced, the rear marker was sealed with some liquid electrical tape before returning to the owner of the locomotive.


due to the size of the locomotive, at just about 4 feet long, even in at 1:32 scale, this is truly a big boy locomotive, the owner purchased a carrying case from Split Jaw. whats nice, being that the locomotive is self powered it can pull on or off of the carrying case, when transporting it’s strapped down.


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