Lionel/K-Line Whistles

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  • Member since
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  • From: Central Vermont
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Lionel/K-Line Whistles
Posted by cowman on Friday, October 2, 2020 9:02 PM

A friend of mine is getting back into modeling and has locomotives from both brands.  Question is why does he  have to reverse the power feed wires to the rails to blow the whistles?  He is using a Lionel transformer and the  Lionel whistles work fine, but he has to reverse the wires to get the K-Line whistle to blow.  

Thanks for your thoughts,

Richard

 

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Posted by ADCX Rob on Friday, October 2, 2020 9:51 PM

If it blows the K-Line whistle reliably, it will blow the Lionel whistle too if it is a pre-1970 Lionel.

If this is a single-train transformer(1044, 4090, 1033, TW, RW, LW, etc), the "U" post should connect to the center rail lockon clip 1.


If this is a multi-train transformer(SW, KW, VW, ZW, etc), the "U" post should connect to the ourside rail lockon clip 2.


 

Rob

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Posted by cowman on Friday, October 2, 2020 11:03 PM

I don't think he's tried his pre-70's locos yet.  The ones he had running tonight were both more recent locos.

Thanks for the information.

Richard

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Posted by ADCX Rob on Saturday, October 3, 2020 7:41 AM

cowman
I don't think he's tried his pre-70's locos yet.



Then one of the whistles is just wired wrong.  What transformer is being used?

Rob

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Posted by cowman on Saturday, October 3, 2020 8:22 AM

He's using the big one, ZW if I remember correctly. He also has a couple of newer ones, but it was the ZW last night,

Thank you,

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Posted by lionelsoni on Saturday, October 3, 2020 9:13 AM

The signal to blow the whistle is a small positive DC voltage on the center rail, relative to the outside rails.  Both old and new Lionel transformers work this way (with the transformer connected to the track as Rob described above).  If the ZW transformer has been modified by replacing the copper-oxide rectifiers by silicon  diodes, the diodes may have been installed wrong.  The Lionel schematic diagrams all show the diodes backwards.  Older locomotives (those with whistle relays) would not have cared about the polarity and would have blown the whistle either way, but newer ones require the positive center rail.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by cowman on Sunday, October 4, 2020 9:41 AM

Thanks for the information, I'll pass it along to him and see how things work out.

Will also try to get him to join or at least follow these forums.

Thanks again,

Richard

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  • From: Central Vermont
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Posted by cowman on Sunday, October 4, 2020 8:02 PM

Armed with the above information, I went down this afternoon and tried all of his locos out.  With the ZW wired as Rob suggested, the K-Line and the pre and post 70 Lionel whistles sounded, however the post 70 Lionel RS-3 horn would not,   it only surged when the botton was pushed.  The horn would sound when the common was on the center rail, so it does function.  

Is this just a reversed wire to the horn unit situation or is  there more of a problem?

Thanks for the help,

Richard

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    December 2005
  • From: Hopewell, NY
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Posted by ADCX Rob on Sunday, October 4, 2020 9:14 PM

cowman
Is this just a reversed wire to the horn unit situation or is  there more of a problem?



Yes.

Here is the wiring diagram(click on image for enlargement):

Rob

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  • From: Central Vermont
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Posted by cowman on Monday, October 5, 2020 10:23 AM

Rob, 

Thanks for the wiring diagram, that should be right up  his alley.

Richard

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