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Transformer wiring

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  • Member since
    June, 2018
  • 1 posts
Transformer wiring
Posted by oldgrandpa on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 5:39 PM

After 25 years away from the hobby I am jumping back in.  I have a question regarding the MRC Railpower 1370 powerpack.  There are 4 screws on the side - 2 for track DC and 2 for accessories AC.  I can only loosen screw #2 on the track DC and screw #4 on the accessories.  I can't loosen screws 1 and 3.  Is this normal or is the unit defective?  If normal are all wires attached to these 2 screws?  Sorry for such a lame question.

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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 9:13 AM

oldgrandpa

After 25 years away from the hobby I am jumping back in.  I have a question regarding the MRC Railpower 1370 powerpack.  There are 4 screws on the side - 2 for track DC and 2 for accessories AC.  I can only loosen screw #2 on the track DC and screw #4 on the accessories.  I can't loosen screws 1 and 3.  Is this normal or is the unit defective?  If normal are all wires attached to these 2 screws?  Sorry for such a lame question.

 

I looked at a photo of a 1370.  I see 4 screws in a row.  They should all be able to be unscrewed.  If they cannot be, it is defective.

It's hard to see, but it looks like the heads are Phillips, only.  That type does not accept a lot of force before the driver twists out.  You MAY damage the head if you try too hard, and then you might have trouble returning it as defective.

 

Ed

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 9:19 AM

All 4 screws should work.  You don't want to mix wires.  DC to track, AC for accessories.  Maybe there is a slight bit of corrosion. 

I doubt if there is a defect, but I don't know the condition of the power pack, as far as it's age, and how long it's been sitting around, and in what kind of enviroment it's been in.

Mike.

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Posted by davidmurray on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 9:22 AM

oldgrandpa
can't loosen screws 1 and 3. Is this normal or is the unit defective? If normal are all wires attached to these 2 screws?

 

I agree with ED. 

For your other question, all track wires go to screws one and two, being careful the one is to one rail, and the other screw to the other rail.

Dave

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by j. c. on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 11:19 AM

has this pack been sitting around for 25 years ? or how old is it ?

if it is an old used pack ,sounds like the screws are jammed you might try while pushing down and turnning having some one tap the driver blade with a small hammer , or you could heat the outside of the connecter with a soldering iron while turnning to try to break bond.

 

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  • From: Southern California
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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 12:53 PM

I am assuming that this is a 25 year old transformer so I am assuming that there might be a little bit of rust on the screw threads. With the power unplugged, spray some WD40 or penetrating oil on the screws where they go into the unit. Let it sit for a few minutes and then try to loosen the screws again. Let the oil dry before plugging the transformer in.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
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  • From: Phoenix, AZ
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Posted by bearman on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 2:01 PM

If it is a 25 year old unit, maybe just toss it and invest in a new one.

Bear "It's all about having fun."

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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 4:00 PM

Lone Wolf and Santa Fe

spray some WD40 or penetrating oil on the screws where they go into the unit.

 

I think spraying oil in this unit would be a mistake.  I would dip a toothpick in some, and apply it to the edge of the screws.  It will seep under nicely, and you won't have oil all over everything.

 

Ed

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    December, 2015
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Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 4:54 PM

Tighten the screw a teeny tiny bit then loosen it.

Acetone mixed with ATF is supposed to be the best penetrant.  Acetone may also melt the plastic case on your transformer. You should be using a drop on a toothpick, not a squirt. Kroil is second best, if you know anyone who is into precision target shooting, they might have some. PB blaster is ahead of liquid wrench or WD 40.  

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by Lee 1234 on Thursday, June 28, 2018 8:09 AM

I just looked at my 1370,  the screws are Phillips and go into a terminal block.  I would not use any type of lubricant or solvent on the terminal block.  There is room to grab the outside of the screw with pliers.  I would carefully use 6-inch slip-joint pliers to grab and turn the screws.

L

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Southeast Texas
  • 4,880 posts
Posted by mobilman44 on Thursday, June 28, 2018 9:29 AM

MRC has made some amazing power packs over the years.  But they don't last forever, especially if stored away.  There are a ton of them on Ebay, and I would dump the one you have for a replacement.

That said, I have an MRC throttlemaster that is over 30 years old and still faithfully powers lights and turnouts on my DCC railroad.

 

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

PED
  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • 339 posts
Posted by PED on Thursday, June 28, 2018 7:21 PM

Not familiar with this unit but do you have room to solder a wire on the head of the screw so you can use that to connect to? The heat from the solder iron might also loosen up the screw.

Another option might be to use a screw remover tool. It is designed to drill into the screw head and turn in the same direction that would remove the screw.

Paul

Washita and Santa Fe Railroad
Circa 1970's in south central Oklahoma

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