Postwar Lionel Gateman 145: correct contactor?

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Postwar Lionel Gateman 145: correct contactor?
Posted by LoewyLocos on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 11:01 AM

New to the hobby.  Inherited a basic O27 Lionel set from 1953 (2037 loco), and have been slowly expanding (RW transformer, multiple switches, various accessories--all postwar) on temporary on-floor layouts, as I learn by doing.

Purchased a 145-54 Gateman (1951 model, I believe--no base-mounted light, matches this image exactly: https://www.tandem-associates.com/lionel/lionel_trains_145_acc.htm).  Salesman also sold me a 153C contactor, rather than the more compatible 145C.  Ran into wiring problems and am wondering whether the contactor is the issue.  According to the relevant page from the Tandem Associates site, "The No. 153C could work with any accessory that used the No. 145C Contactor..."  Assuming that's not the case, however, could using the 153C instead of the 145C be my problem (before getting into any other possible issues with the wiring configuration)?  Here's what happens:

The second the Gateman is connected to the transformer with the throttle off, the light goes on, the man pops out, loud solenoid/plunger buzz--with no loco on the track yet, so no motion or weight-change over contactor.  Altering placement of the contactor on track relative to distance from accessory makes no difference.  Have also tried alternate track-power method using lockon, as well as experimenting with different transformer posts to keep voltage down: same result. Is it just that I have the wrong contactor, or am I doing something else wrong?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! 

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Posted by sir james I on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 9:33 AM

153c is the correct one. IF YOU wired it right, then you MUST adjust the spring loaded knob untill the door closes and only the light remains on. 

"IT's GOOD TO BE THE KING",by Mel Brooks 

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Posted by rrswede on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 11:02 AM

LoweyLocos, welcome to the forum.

Although a 145C or 153C contactor can be used successfully with many accessories such as the 145-54 Gateman, they are somewhat finicky to adjust properly, in my opinion. I much prefer creating an isolated section of track that provides power to activate the door and gateman when a train is present on the isolated track. The attached link is just one of several that demonstrates the use of isolated track. You may find this a better approach to power your gateman.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEt4BZ1xtlU

swede

 

 

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Posted by LoewyLocos on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 1:08 PM

Thanks so much.  I haven't attempted an insulated block section, but there's always a first time, right?  Am I correct that in order to isolate a section of postwar tubular track, I'll need some fiber pins (which I don't currently possess)? 

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Posted by sir james I on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 3:57 PM

You can use round toothpicks, just make sure the rails don't touch. You can make insulated rails using electrical tape as the insulater. 

"IT's GOOD TO BE THE KING",by Mel Brooks 

  Charter Member- Tardis Train Crew (TTC) - TCA  - Detroit3railers-  Detroit Historical society Glancy Modular trains- Charter member BTTS

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 6:54 PM

Welcome aboard!

A thin bamboo barbecue skewer also makes a good track pin and you can cut up index cards or even the backs of greeting cards to make insulators if you don't have any tape.

Becky

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Posted by rrswede on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 8:25 PM

Here is a link from CTT on making an insulated track.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZV5vcd4EnA

swede

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Posted by LoewyLocos on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 10:23 PM

Many thanks, gentlemen.  This was extremely helpful. 

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