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Model Railroading > What's your take on "Helix Humper" motor

Date: 10/28/00 10:36
What's your take on "Helix Humper" motor
Author: sd80mac

I would just like to know what you guys think about Helix Humper motors. I've heard people swear by them, and I heard others curse them. What say ye?


Date: 10/28/00 10:51
RE: What's your take on "Helix Humper" m
Author: mirage

Mac, Find your message on the TO discussion board. Count down 8 lines. See the subject? :-)

Date: 10/28/00 15:46
"Helix Humper" - they suck
Author: barry

It has been a long time, but the one time I used a Helix Humper motor to repower an Athearn, the thing only lasted about 30 hours of running time before the bearings wore out... that was enough for me. I have remotored about 100 locos for myself and my friends, and have had extremely good results using the Aline Mashima repower kits.

Date: 10/28/00 19:00
RE: "Helix Humper"
Author: wheel

I find the A-Line work very well; I,ve never tried anything else.

Date: 10/28/00 19:09
Ditto' on the above
Author: HRWest

I too think they are highly overrated. They are cheaply built! The bearings go out within a short time period as stated above. Also, the brushes have a tendency to fail since they are very small and “glued” to the arms. If they don’t just FALL off the arms, they wear out within a few running hours. (About 20 – 30) If your going to run them, they wont last long. I learned this after buying 10 of the things when they first came out. They ALL have since been replaced with something more reliable. I’d take a stock Athearn any day over the HH. At least they last. Read the threads below about the Athearn Hi-perf C44-9W motors. They show the same performance as the HH and they LAST longer! I've since remotored most of my Athearns with these and find them comparable to the other brands available. (And, yes, I have used them all! Mashima, Buehler, etc. In large quantities!)


Date: 10/29/00 06:52
RE: What's your take on "Helix Humper" m
Author: Common-Sence

Welllllll,emmmmmm since you asked. I personally never made it past
the hobby shop test track. My local shop was smart enough to have
put together an athearn chassis with a "helix-humper" repower kit.
The test drive I witnessed of that chassis was not a good one.
Now maybe I could have still tried it out, and worked my tuning magic
on it. But I don't think that it would have come close to the performance of my A-line or NWSL sagami's (which I like the best of all). Like anything in our hobby I'm sure a few people have the
helix humpers an love'em, I'am glad they are happy.

Date: 10/30/00 07:25
HH is not so hot... IMO
Author: csxt4447

I purchased HH about a year ago and tried it on an Athearn GP40-2. Overall, I was disappointed. I installed the motor and added NWSL wheels for better pickup. While the GP40-2 drive train will still be noisy, I though the whole motor-drive train sound combo was only slightly less than stock Atearn. Also, for smooth, slow running, the HH motor I have is no better than stock Athearn! Finally, it came with a plastic motor mount glued to the bottom that was too tall and put the drive line at a bad angle.

Best choice? A-Line/Mashima. No doubt. Very smooth, very quiet, very consistent. I don't own any A-Line complete chassis-drives, but those that have visited my layout are as smooth as the new Atlas or Proto drives (faster than the P2K drives, since they don't have all those diodes to contend with).

Date: 11/01/00 08:51
RE: What's your take on "Helix Humper" m
Author: roadforeman

I find many of these comments on the Helix/Humper puzzeling?We have used them on a modelrailroad in Jim Thorpe,Pa. now for over five years now,five hours a day.The trains run on a automated system that starts every hour and half hour,runs for fifteen minutes and stops.They usually need to be replaced every two years.All of our Atlas /Kato locos have had the stock motors replaced with them and they lasted as long as the original equipment Kato motor.We had only one motor fail due to bearing failure( out of 25)and the owner of the company replaced it at no charge.Test showed by them that a bad power pack had let to much AC current to the track causing the motor to run "red" hot melting the bearings.They came up to check the layout out the minute it failed.We replaced that unit with one they recomended and have had no problems since.( MRC contolmaster 20)tHE OLD MAUCH CHUNK H.O. TRAIN DISPLAY is open to the public.Come and see for yourself.Winter hours Nov.+Dec. Saturday+Sunday only 12:00 noon til 5:00PM.

Date: 11/01/00 08:55
RE: "Helix Humper" - they suck
Author: roadforeman

barry what type of power supply are you using,and do you have any Walters fa-1s or Bachmanns 2-8-0 in you roster?

Date: 11/01/00 09:00
RE: Ditto' on the above
Author: roadforeman

what type of power supply do you have? do you own a bachmann 2-8-0 or a walters fa-1?my HH motors have run for up to 700hrs.why didn't you get the same service?

Date: 11/01/00 09:05
RE: HH is not so hot... IMO
Author: roadforeman

please for my info what power supply do you use? your experience has not been the same as mine why?Do you own a Bachmann 2-8-0,if so how does that engine run.

Date: 11/02/00 19:48
RE: HH is not so hot... IMO
Author: csxt4447

I used the HH with a Tech II 2400. The motor has not yet been decoder equipped to run with my Digitrax 8amp Cheif. Still not impressed at all for the $, but glad to hear it works well for some folks.

Date: 11/03/00 07:19
RE: HH is not so hot... IMO
Author: roadforeman

csx4447; the MRC tech II series transformers have AC pulse injection built into them.They feed bursts of AC current into the rail at speeds less then 50MPH (on the dial)Can motors do not need that they work best on pure DC current.I had one of them on our layout for some time and it killed several of my locos(also four of my Kato/Stewart Fs had the lower brush springs collapse,lights on but the loco dosen't run).The guys at OUT-SHOP SERVICE tipped me off to it and i replaced it with a controlmaster 20,which they recommend you use with their OSS-180 motor.There wsa a big difference in performance when i switched transformers between a Athearn motor and the OSS motor.Was the motor you used from OUT-SHOP SERVICE? You mentioned a plastic mount was it glued to the motor?Also if it was an OUT-SHOP SERVICE unit did it have instructions with color pictures?About a year ago they upgraded their instrucion sheets. It now is like getting a how-to article with every motor kit,and they have included building tips from their mechanics.Itried some of the tips out on a stock Athearn chassis and it made it run better.Also if it is an OUT-SHOP motor they will be happy to take it back and they will send you a stock Athearn replacement motor free!

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