Adding Small Capacitors to a Lionel O27 Handcar,
without a Trailing Car,
for a Minimal Flywheel Effect

      Although the flywheel effect is minimal with the smaller capacitors, no trailing car is needed, and the benefits are worth the effort. Running is very smooth and some track problems are eliminated. Depending on the physical size of the capacitors, values can be increased for a better effect. Yes, they barely fit, but take your time to carefully arrange the wiring! Two 470 mfd, 35V electrolytic caps in parallel were used. Try to fit as much capacitance as possible into the tiny space inside (notice the blue capacitors in the photos below). When operated on AC, the handcar will now run faster than before, so a power resistor (10 ohms, 1 watt or better) may be added to the lead coming from the center rail wiper into the rectifier (or use the lowest throttle setting from the transformer). Or run the handcar on DC when you can, for the usual speeds. Be sure to connect these polarized capacitors correctly or they will explode! Protect eyes, face, and fingers while testing all circuits!

The longer lead is positive.
The capacitors can be painted black with acrylic paints to make them less obvious.

(This photo was taken before the caps were added.)
My Home-built Rudolph & Hermey Handcar

The other pages on this site that use the flywheel concept:
Still More Improvements To A Lionel Handcar
eBay Handcar Project
Santa's On Wheels

List Of Handcar Related Pages

Very Important !!!!

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      Please refer to hobby reference materials for correct and safe use information regarding these and all electronic circuits.  These diagrams are intended to explain how things were accomplished in theory, but it is the responsibility of the individual to locate precise information regarding electrical circuits, materials, ratings of components, etc.  Do not attempt these hobby projects, or any electrical project, if you don't have the necessary skills and experience.

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