Best power source for older FEC Williams Berkshire

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Best power source for older FEC Williams Berkshire
Posted by GEORGE GAGLIARDI on Sunday, October 4, 2020 8:35 PM

Well, guys. I bought a Williams FEC Berkshire, used, but the fast track I have leftover from my LionChief set has got a section of track set up for a LionChief power pack -- I guess. I don't know since I only had a remote but they still gave me the option to use a power pack. But the remote is gone and wouldn't work for the Berkshire anyhow. So here's the question -- what route should I go to power my steam loco. I don't have a whole lot of money to spend at the moment but I'd like to be able run the train. Any suggestions? I should add the steam loco is a few years old, at least 8 or more years, I'm guessing since I had it on my other layout at my old place and I've been in the new place at least 4 years.

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Posted by smokey1 on Monday, October 5, 2020 6:37 AM

If you have a regular transformer you can connect a wire from the U post to the center rail and from the A-post to an outside rail and it should work. If you have one with just red and black the red goes to the center rail

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, October 5, 2020 9:24 AM

Smokey's right, but let me add any convetional AC transformer will work with that Williams locomotive.  I've got a Williams Bershire myself and they're good runners. 

Right now I run mine off an MTH Z-1000 transformer set-up, but I've also used a Lionel CW-80 and a vintage Lionel KW.  That Berkshire won't care. 

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Posted by GEORGE GAGLIARDI on Thursday, October 8, 2020 11:44 PM

Thanks, guys. One more question will the connector track I've got from my LionChief set hook up to any AC transformer? The outlet on the track looks a bit different from what I'm used to seeing on connector tracks. Will I need to buy another conventional connnector track?

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, October 9, 2020 9:23 AM

More than likely.  From what you've described your LionChief track's got a plug-in set-up, which won't work with a conventional transformer.  You'll need a Lionel conventional FastTrack section with two wire leads to connect to the transformer.

OR, flip your FastTrack sections over and see if there's any conventional connector tabs on the undersides, they're plain white metal and easy to recognize.  In that case you'll only need the wire leads.  

OR, one last thing, if you're handy with a soldering iron you can drill two small holes in the plastic track base to allow the wires to pass through and solder one wire to the center rail and one to one of the outside rails. 

As the saying goes, there's more than one way to skin a cat.

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Posted by GEORGE GAGLIARDI on Sunday, October 11, 2020 3:39 PM

Thanks, that helps. Appreciate your time and suggestions.

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Posted by GEORGE GAGLIARDI on Sunday, October 18, 2020 9:13 PM

Flintlock76
How do you get the MTH Z-1000 to works with Fast Track? Will that work?

Smokey's right, but let me add any convetional AC transformer will work with that Williams locomotive.  I've got a Williams Bershire myself and they're good runners. 

Right now I run mine off an MTH Z-1000 transformer set-up, but I've also used a Lionel CW-80 and a vintage Lionel KW.  That Berkshire won't care. 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, October 19, 2020 9:26 AM

No big deal.  On the back of the Z-1000 "Z Controller" you'll see two "knobs," for lack of a better term, one red and one black.  They unscrew and you can attach your wires to the track to them.  

I'm assuming you have the power "brick" to go with the controller.  The brick plugs into the wall outlet, the cord from the brick plugs into the controller. 

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