American Flyer Transformer

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American Flyer Transformer

  • I have been the process of resurrecting and rehabilitating my two old American Flyer engines.  One is a steam engine, #312, and the other is a diesel switcher, #355.

    I also have my two old transformers, model no. 1A and model no. 8B, but I am concerned about the safety and reliability of these old transformers, so I intend to buy a new, modern transformer.

    Both of my old transformers are marked as AC only, so I assume that my American Flyer engines must be run on AC not DC.  Is this correct? 

    Since pulling these two engines out of storage one week ago, I have been testing them with a more modern transformer that I have on hand with both AC and DC terminals, but I have been using the DC terminals.  Now, I am concerned that this is incorrect and that I should be using the AC side.

    Can someone educate me on the proper current for these two American Flyer engines? 

    Also, can you recommend a good transformer that I can purchase to run these two engines?

    I would like to set up two sets of track and run each engine on a separate track. So, if a new transformer is available with separate controls for each track, that would be even better than running both engines off of a single power source.

    Thanks in advance for your help and advice.

    Rich

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  •  They were designed to run with AC in mind, but DC will work too.  They are universal series wound motors.  AC supplies with the current you need will be much easier to find.

    A Lionel 1033 or 1044 transformer for each would be perfect.  The Lionel KW is a two-train unit that would also work quite well to power both sets with power to spare.

    For something more modern, get 2 CW-80 transformers from Lionel, or 2 Tech II  O-27 transformers from MRC.  MRC also makes big power with their Pure Power 135(single) & 270(dual) units.

    Lionel also made  the 4690 MW and RS-1 within the past 20 years which will work too, if you can find them.

    Rob

    Rob

  • Rich,

    If the cords are in good shape and the transformers do not get overly warm during operation they will be safe to use.  But do not leave the transformer on unattended.  The 8B has an circuit breaker to make it even safer.  I have several 8B’s and they are very good transformers.

    The engines will operate on both AC or DC.  The AF engines mark DC are DC only.

    The current draw test for proper operation is established on a 140” oval @ 12 V should pull no more than 1.75 amps.  Pulling 4 boxcars on the same oval at 8 revolutions per minut around the oval should not pull more than 2.1 amps.

    As far as transformer to use, for the money, two 8B’swould work fine.  8B is rated at 100 watts.  If you want a single transformer to operate two trains the 12B 250 watts, the 18B 175 or 190 watts, the 30B at 300 watts or the 22090 at 350 watts would all work fine.

    Vintage transformers are very durable and cost effective.  As I said if the cords are good and no broken parts I’d use (and I do) old transformers.

    Jim

     

  • Here is one of my 8B's on my test board

    Here is the 17B on left and 30B on right

    The test track

    Jim

  • ADCX Rob

     They were designed to run with AC in mind, but DC will work too.  They are universal series wound motors.  AC supplies with the current you need will be much easier to find.

    A Lionel 1033 or 1044 transformer for each would be perfect.  The Lionel KW is a two-train unit that would also work quite well to power both sets with power to spare.

    For something more modern, get 2 CW-80 transformers from Lionel, or 2 Tech II  O-27 transformers from MRC.  MRC also makes big power with their Pure Power 135(single) & 270(dual) units.

    Lionel also made  the 4690 MW and RS-1 within the past 20 years which will work too, if you can find them.

    Rob

    Rob,

    Thanks for your response.  I will look into those transformers that you recommended.  Also, I appreciate your indication that the motors are universal series wound motors, so it is OK to run on DC power.  I did not know that.

    Thanks again.

    Rich

  • Sturgeon-Phish
    Rich,
    If the cords are in good shape and the transformers do not get overly warm during operation they will be safe to use.  But do not leave the transformer on unattended.  The 8B has an circuit breaker to make it even safer.  I have several 8B’s and they are very good transformers.
    The engines will operate on both AC or DC.  The AF engines mark DC are DC only.
    The current draw test for proper operation is established on a 140” oval @ 12 V should pull no more than 1.75 amps.  Pulling 4 boxcars on the same oval at 8 revolutions per minut around the oval should not pull more than 2.1 amps.
    As far as transformer to use, for the money, two 8B’swould work fine.  8B is rated at 100 watts.  If you want a single transformer to operate two trains the 12B 250 watts, the 18B 175 or 190 watts, the 30B at 300 watts or the 22090 at 350 watts would all work fine.
    Vintage transformers are very durable and cost effective.  As I said if the cords are good and no broken parts I’d use (and I do) old transformers.
    Jim

     

    Jim,

    You inspired me with your response.  I got out my volt meter and the old American Flyer 8B tested out OK.  So, I hooked it up to further bench test my two engines, #312 and #355.

    Thanks for the support and encouragement.

    Rich