Lionel Transformer ?

1026 views
8 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January, 2006
  • From: Florida
  • 2,110 posts
Lionel Transformer ?
Posted by traindaddy1 on Sunday, December 31, 2017 6:31 PM

Hello:

My "trustworthy" neighbor asked me for advice. (Not a good thing!)

Wants a suggestion for a reasonably priced transformer to be used just to power accessories.

SO, I turn to you. Appreciate your input.

As always, many thanks.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
  • 188 posts
Posted by Michael6268 on Sunday, December 31, 2017 7:36 PM

It really depends on how many accessories and what accessories he's planning to run. It could range anywhere from a cheap 40 watt Transformer to a post-war ZW. Try to get an idea what he's trying to do with it.

  • Member since
    January, 2006
  • From: Florida
  • 2,110 posts
Posted by traindaddy1 on Sunday, December 31, 2017 8:14 PM

Michael6268:

I'll ask him. (Right now he is enjoying the "Bubbly" so I'll wait until next year!!) 

I do know that he has highway street lights, a couple of light towers, a watchman shanty and a few other items I can't recall just now.

Will follow-up. Thanks, so much.

  • Member since
    January, 2006
  • From: Florida
  • 2,110 posts
Posted by traindaddy1 on Monday, January 01, 2018 9:55 AM

Michael62 68: Follow-up

From what I can tell, the layout currently uses one terminal of a vintage ZW for the accessories. He would like to free up that terminal to be used for another train line. 

The accessories include, among other things, 18 highway street lights, 5 crossing gates, 2 crossing flashing signals, automated watchman, automated crossing shanty, 2 four bulb and 2 two bulb light towers, Marx signal tower and 8 yard lights. 

I can see his point. Looks like a lot to be hooked up to one terminal. I do beleive that he really wants to "clean up" the power end. 

(Our layout, smaller, uses a couple of old HO transformers and a CW18 for our accessories. But, then, we are "scavengers" and use whatever we find.)

Thanks, again.

  • Member since
    May, 2008
  • 260 posts
Posted by teledoc on Monday, January 01, 2018 2:39 PM

My suggestion would be the KW, which should be enough power, for all his accessories.

  • Member since
    February, 2014
  • 86 posts
Posted by Leverettrailfan on Monday, January 01, 2018 2:47 PM

I would reccomend a type “Z”, if you can find one. They aren’t particularly rare, or valuable. The “Z“ is a Prewar transformer, which preceeded the ZW. It’s basically got the power and output of a ZW, but a different case, and no whistle or direction controls. Just 4 separate throttles, and 250 watts of juice. Supposedly, they can be had for around $50. If you want the output of a ZW, but don’t need the whistles and bells, a type Z is your best bet for a vintage transformer.

"If it don't work, then gosh darn it, get a' fixin!"

Can I fix trains? Mostly. How long have I been doing it? Took me years to get much success beyond the "taking it apart" step. Where am I at now? Well, does she run?

  • Member since
    April, 2013
  • 188 posts
Posted by Michael6268 on Monday, January 01, 2018 6:28 PM

I think both of these suggestions above are good ones, with the Z giving you more expansion capability / power reserve.   You could also go with a more modern transformer if desired, but you'd end up spending a lot more money for the same amount of power those deliver.

  • Member since
    March, 2013
  • 405 posts
Posted by BigAl 956 on Tuesday, January 02, 2018 1:55 PM

There are a few possibilities, I'll rank them:

  1. Pick up another ZW. The inside controls, B&C, are best used for accessories. Having more than one is good because some accessories need different power levels. ZWs have become inexpensive so adding another and phasing it properly with the first will give 4 controlls for trains and 4 controls for accessories.
  2. KW. The KW has seperate dedicated accessory voltage connections and 2 control handles. It's not as slick as a ZW but can be had well under a hundred.
  3. 1033. The venerable 1033 or 1044 transformer has a single control but also has a couple of accessory outputs. The 1033 can be had for under $50 and would be good for a smaller layout.
  • Member since
    January, 2006
  • From: Florida
  • 2,110 posts
Posted by traindaddy1 on Wednesday, January 03, 2018 7:27 PM

teledoc; Leverettrailfan; Michael6268; BigAl956;  Thanks for the suggestions.

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Get the Classic Toy Trains newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month