1. Choose mounting location:
Battery car - gondola or boxcar - lots of room but use NiMH batteries if possible to save weight.
Locomotive onboard - more weight over the wheels, but often limited room.
Locomotive pair with batteries divided. Most room and weight capacity.
2. Choose battery type, voltage, and size.
NiMH recommended for size, weight, and output. Gel Cell OK where size and weight allow.
2 AH AA size if restricted room.
3 AH Sub-C size good all-around battery. Charge will last about 3 hours with average train.
4 AH C size excellent if you have the room. Best for high-current engines and long trains.
12 volt OK for switchers, lower-speed freight engines, Bachmann Ten Wheelers.
18 volt recommended for FA's, GP7, RDC, U25, SD45, Dash 9, Mikado, LGB engines.
3. Choose receiver type. Use large 5471 receiver if possible for higher current loads.
4. Assemble required equipment, parts, and tools:
a. Locomotives and/or car.
b. Receiver and batteries.
c. On/off switch, charging jack, loco-to-car connectors.
d. Hookup wire, solder, electrical tape, duct tape.
e. Drill and bits, soldering gun, voltmeter, needlenose pliers, wirecutters, knife.
5. Disassemble the loco or car.
6. Cut off or remove loco/car parts that might get in the way. You may have to discard the main
circuit board, smoke unit assemblies, or speakers.
7. Mount the batteries. You can use plastic cable straps, Velcro tape, double-sided mounting tape, or
even duct tape.
8. Mount the receiver. If it's a large 5471, remove it from the case and mount 1/4 inch off the body
with spacers cut from plastic wheel axles.
9. Mount the on/off switch and charging jack. On locomotives, the fuel tank is a good place. On
boxcars, you may have to make a bracket and mount these behind a door. Solder 12-inch pieces of
wire to the switch and jack and run them through the frame if necessary.
9a. If this is a battery car, mount a connector to the front of the car, wired to the output terminals of the
receiver, and the other end matched to the Aristo battery car connection. If it's another brand, or an
older Aristo, disassemble the locomotive, disconnect the track power leads (usually red and white), and
connect the motor leads (green and blue) to new wiring. At the back end of the locomotive, run about
2 or 3 inches of wire and wire in a 3.5 mm mono plug. This will plug in to front of the battery car.
12. Linking: turn on the battery switch and look for the red LED on the receiver to turn on. Then link
the receiver to the transmitter using the directions in the instruction book (see below) In selecting the
throttle and braking rate, I prefer the B or C position. Now try it out. As you depress the "faster" button
on the transmitter, a green light should light on the receiver, and the motors should slowly build up
speed. Confirm their direction: the right direction button should make wheels on both trucks go
forward. If reversed, just switch wires on the receiver's output terminals. Now you can test-drive the
unit(s) on your railroad. Check for free movement of trucks and couplers and binding of wires.
13. Reinstall headlight wiring or replace with 3-volt LED system described in Headlights.
14. Re-check for secure mounting of batteries and other components. Run antenna wire along the
upper part of the body or as high as you can on the frame assembly. Reassemble the units, taking care
not to pinch wires. At this point you may discover a little extra cutting, filing, or refitting is necessary.
15. Enjoy battery power! No more cleaning track! No more worries about loose rail joiners!
10. Now for the motor wiring. If this is a power car: run a pair of wires from the receiver's output
terminals to an Aristo connector that can reach the locomotive connector (or run them to a 3.5 mm
mono jack). It is important that the wheels of the locomotive are electrically isolated from the
If this is for a locomotive installation: There are two pairs of wires coming from the trucks: one from
the track pickups (Aristo black and red) and power to motors (Aristo green and blue). Run wires from
the receiver's output terminals to each of the motor power wires. A fancier installation - the option of
selecting battery power or track power operation - involves wiring in a DPDT switch, one side from the
track power leads, the other side the receiver output, and middle posts to the motor leads.
11. Now for the battery wiring. Wire the batteries in series, that is, connect a wire from the positive post
of one battery to the negative post of the next, and so on. Wire the "most negative" post to the black
input wire of the receiver. Wire the "most positive" post to one post of the on/off switch. The other post
from the switch goes to the receiver's red input wire. I recommend you check voltage and polarity at this
point with a voltmeter. If all goes well, when the on/off switch is on and the receiver's on/off switch is on,
you should see a red LED light up on the receiver. (Note: leave the receiver's switch in the "on" position
and use the new on/off switch from now on). One more circuit to wire in is the charging circuit. Run a
wire from the "most negative" post to the outer post of the 2.1 mm coax jack. Run a wire from the "most
positive" post to the center post of the jack. Check the jack with your meter: it should read the full
battery voltage (12 or 18 volts, with positive on the center post) whether the on/off switch is on or off.
Crude but effective installation in an Aristo boxcar. Three 3-amp-hour NiMH battery
packs, wired in series; switch and charging jack mounted on scrap plastic, located
behind the boxcar door; old-style 5471 receiver; antenna running along boxcar's roof;
connector to locomotive on boxcar's end.
LINKING THE ARISTOCRAFT TRANSMITTER AND RECEIVER
1. Turn on receiver. Place transmitter at least two feet away.
2. Press the FRQ button for two seconds, until a light flashes. Press FRQ again. Release when the light
is on the desired frequency.
3. Using the two buttons under the 1-10 indicators, set the desired channel number.
4. Press and hold the code set button on the receiver for two seconds. The green light will turn on.
5. Then press the A through E button immediately. Wait for code signal on receiver to flash, then press
another button A through E till the light goes off.
A is for less momentum (faster starts and stops), E is for slowest starts and stops. On Series 2000
Revision A, pressing the A button first removes momentum entirely and the fastest momentum is on B.
Power car wiring
green and blue
motor wires to