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ZW shorts out too eazy

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ZW shorts out too eazy
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 2:05 AM

I have some fifties Lionel trains that I only set up and run for a month each year at Christmas. I bought a ZW type R on e-bay so I could run two or more trains with one transformer. The transformer works well if I run one train only. If I run two trains on separate tracks that do not touch each other it will run for a lap or two and then stop with the red light coming on. After the trains stop for a few seconds the red light goes out and the power comes on, it will then run for anything from a few feet to a couple of laps and happen again.  I have switched the wires around and get the same results. It usually happens when one of the trains is going past a switch or cross. It has never happened when I run a single train.

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Posted by Model A on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 7:02 AM

   HELLO TOMBN4

 NOT SURE WHAT DATE YOUR ZW TRANFOMER IS . I HAVE ONE THAT DATES BACK TO THE 1950's .  I HAD THE SAME PROBLEM . HERE ARE A FEW THINGS I HAVE DONE THAT MAY HELP YOU . FIRST WHAT SIZE WIRE IS YOUR SUPPLY TO THE TRACK . I CHANGED FROM 18 GAUGE TO 10 GAUGE AND RUN IT TO A JUNCTION  BLOCK, AND RUN A 14 GAUGE  SHORT JUMPER TO THE TRACK ABOUT EVERY 3 FEET .IT HELPED A WHOLE LOT. ALSO FROM MANY YEARS OF USE THE BI-METAL BREAKER INSIDE OF THE TRANSFOMER WAS WEAK, SO I INSTALLED A 6 AMP AUTOMOTIVE CIRCUIT BREAKER OUT SIDE OF THE TRANSFORMER TO EACH TRACK AND REPLACED THE OLD BREAKER INSIDE WITH A 10 AMP BREAKER . I ALSO RUN THE ACCESSORIES WITH AN AUX TRANSFORMER.           GOOD LUCK MODEL A

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Posted by ChiefEagles on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 7:32 AM
You say you have a ZW type R Question [?].  Well, the suggestion to replace the breaker is a good one.  If you have a ZW, an automotive 15 amp resetting breaker will work.  In fact, I have three Post War ZW's.  I have replaced the breakers in all three with automotive type breakers.  It will fit inside the case.  I get the fuse holder for the blade type fuses, the breakers have blades usually too long, clip them off to the shortest prestaped section, install in the fuse holder, solder in place of the old breaker [remove it first] and wrap with electrical tape for safety.  Then I do a "short" test and they will trip almost immediately.  You will hear a click when they reset.

 God bless TCA 05-58541   Benefactor Member of the NRA,  Member of the American Legion,   Retired Boss Hog of Roseyville Laugh,   KC&D QualifiedCowboy       

              

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Posted by chuck on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 7:40 AM
Could you elaborate more on the track arrangement?  It's possible you have a bad breaker and that the load from two trains is tripping it.  It's also possible you have an odd wiring arrangement or a bad piece of track that contributes to the problem.   Are the track loops totally sperate or do they cross over each other or are connected by switches?  You said it runs fine with one rain but not two.  Does it matter which train is running, aka have you tried running train a) for a while and then tried running train b) with train a) off of the tracks?
When everything else fails, play dead
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Posted by ChiefEagles on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 6:00 PM
Wanted to move this up to see waht he found out was wrong. 

 God bless TCA 05-58541   Benefactor Member of the NRA,  Member of the American Legion,   Retired Boss Hog of Roseyville Laugh,   KC&D QualifiedCowboy       

              

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 9:33 PM
Thank You for the excellent advice. It was a bad breaker and I put in an automotive blade type 10 amp like you suggested and it works great.
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Posted by lionelsoni on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 9:51 PM
The original circuit breaker was rated at 15 amperes.  So, if you find in the future that you are tripping the 10-ampere one, you can safely replace it with a 15-ampere model, as Frank advised.

Bob Nelson

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