Replacing the "wall pack" / power supply for a Lionel Trainmaster Command Base

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Replacing the "wall pack" / power supply for a Lionel Trainmaster Command Base
Posted by NNJRailfan on Wednesday, April 04, 2018 1:59 PM

I see this topic come up occasionally but unfortunately the options are running out.  I have a Lionel Trainmaster Command system, and the transformer for the base unit is burnt out.  Lionel doesn't sell the replacements anymore, and any dealers I came across that used to carry them are out of stock.  Only complete systems are available on eBay.

Lionel sells a transformer for a different system that puts out 300mA vs. 100mA on the original.  Both are 12v class 2 transformers.  I don't know yet if the barrel that plugs into the base unit is the same size as the original; I'm waiting to hear from Lionel customer service about that.  SO...

1) can I use the more powerful transformer without damaging the command base unit?

2) if the plugs aren't the same size, is it easy to simply splice the plug from the old to the new?

3) if anyone has a working transformer they wish to sell, please let me know!

 

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Posted by rtraincollector on Wednesday, April 04, 2018 8:28 PM

If you have a original TMCC system you can use about any transformer to it as long as you don't add to many volts or watts. I didn't realize they had a limit on the watts to that. the TPC did I know. I use a post war ZW with mine. 

Life's hard, even harder if your stupid  John Wayne

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Posted by ADCX Rob on Wednesday, April 04, 2018 8:36 PM

If you change the subject of your post to:

"Need help with replacement TMCC Command Base Wall Wart / Power Supply"

You will get more relevant responses.

rtraincollector
If you have a original TMCC system you can use about any transformer to it as long as you don't add to many volts or watts. I didn't realize they had a limit on the watts to that. the TPC did I know. I use a post war ZW with mine. 

This has nothing to do with the original inquiry, although, as TMCC/Legacy runs in passive mode, there is no built-in or constrained limit as to how much current(amperage) you can supply to the track. Even with 2500 amps at 18 volts it will all work fine, as long as you don't ever have a short circuit. The trains will only comsume as much power as they need for operation.

Rob

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Posted by ADCX Rob on Wednesday, April 04, 2018 8:49 PM

NNJRailfan
1) can I use the more powerful transformer without damaging the command base unit?

Yes, if that is the only difference. The TMCC Base will only use what it needs of that power. It won't "push" more current into the base.

NNJRailfan
2) if the plugs aren't the same size, is it easy to simply splice the plug from the old to the new?

Yes, except that the wire connected to the sleeve(outside of the barrel) must remain connected to the sleeve of the new barrel. This is the only "special" feature of the Lionel power supplies - the barrel has to be linked/connected/coupled to the third, (round, grounding) prong of the power supply(it is done within the wall wart enclosure) for the TMCC/Legacy signal to propagate.

NNJRailfan
3) if anyone has a working transformer they wish to sell, please let me know!

There is a work-around for regular off-the-shelf wall warts with the same electrical specifications but lacking the ground pin, and therefore the coupling to the AC/house earth ground, if you come up otherwise empty-handed.

Rob

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Posted by NNJRailfan on Thursday, April 05, 2018 7:56 AM

I do recall reading about the work-around you mentioned.  Can you please explain how it's done?

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Posted by ADCX Rob on Thursday, April 05, 2018 9:32 AM

Run a wire from pin 5 of the Command Base rs-232 port to the ground screw of a nearby grounded metal duplex outlet or household electrical ground until you get the right adapter.

Rob

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Posted by NNJRailfan on Thursday, April 05, 2018 3:10 PM

I've located a 12v, 1.67 amp three-prong power supply that has three screws (one the ground) for connecting your own wire (see URL below).  If I cut the cord off the command base wall pack,  is it obvious which wire goes to which terminal?

https://www.allelectronics.com/item/actx-12167/12vac-1.67-amp-screw-terminal-wall-transformer/1.html

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Posted by ADCX Rob on Thursday, April 05, 2018 8:29 PM

That will work. one wire to one AC screw, the other wire to the other AC screw and the ground screw.

Use a VOM to check wire continuity to the sleeve(outside) of the barrel, that wire goes to the ground connection.

Rob

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Posted by NNJRailfan on Thursday, April 05, 2018 8:44 PM

There is one problem with using pin 5 of the serial port if you run conventional locomotives (like I do) - you need to connect the serial port to a PM1 or TPC.  Can you ground one of the terminals on a TPC instead? 

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Posted by ADCX Rob on Friday, April 06, 2018 6:56 PM

There is no connection to a PM-1.

The TPC does need the serial connection, so a rs-232 breakout would be needed.

Rob

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Posted by rtraincollector on Friday, April 06, 2018 9:22 PM

I have no idea what I was refering to. 

unless it might of been in this "Lionel sells a transformer for a different system that puts out 300mA vs. 100mA on the original.  Both are 12v class 2 transformers.  I don't know yet if the barrel that plugs into the base unit is the same size as the original; I'm waiting to hear from Lionel customer service about that.  SO"Lionel sells a transformer for a different system that puts out 300mA vs. 100mA on the original.  Both are 12v class 2 transformers.  I don't know yet if the barrel that plugs into the base unit is the same size as the original; I'm waiting to hear from Lionel customer service about that.  

Back then who know what I was thinking that was less than a week since my wife had her stroke and I was running around like a chicken with his head chopped off. Things have gotten a somewhat better now 

Or it could of been this statement ( can I use the more powerful transformer without damaging the command base unit? ) who knows lol. 

 

Life's hard, even harder if your stupid  John Wayne

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Posted by NNJRailfan on Thursday, April 12, 2018 12:06 PM

I finally heard back from Lionel customer service and they said the SC1/SC2 wall pack (the 300mA "transformer" I mentioned above) should work for the TMCC base.  I ordered if from Lionel to test it and will post the results here.

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