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ZW and Z100 Transformers

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ZW and Z100 Transformers
Posted by Fred Bear on Sunday, January 7, 2007 5:11 PM
I just bought one of the new Railking transformers with the horn/whistle/bell sound for the Lionel Shay engine I bought. I noticed that transfomer seems to operate the whistles on the 1666's much better than either one of the Post War ZW's I have. Why is that? and, if I decided to run my trains with that new transfomers, can the power pack have a splitter added so a person could run more than one train at a time? I know I"d have to buy extra speed controllers, but the local shop here has 4 of them for 10.00 each used. Any help on this? Thanks to all, Jake
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Posted by willpick on Sunday, January 7, 2007 5:58 PM

The simplest idea is to use your PW ZW's to power the controllers. All you would need is the same coaxial power plug that is on the cord from the Z1000. It should be a 5.5mm x2.5mm plug, and was available from Radio Shack last time I bought them(6 months ago).

when you wire up the ZW's, don't forget the inline fuses or breakers-- 5A or 7.5A should be the highest rating you should use for each output. Set the A/B handles to 18-19V, and then use the handle on the controller to vary the output.

HTH!

A Day Without Trains is a Day Wasted

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Posted by Fred Bear on Sunday, January 7, 2007 6:37 PM
I"m just a teeny bit lost on that concept, only because I'm not familiar with the new stuff. So I'm running a line from where to where? Am I using the new power pack for all of this or just the new one? Sorry I'm so cloudy on this, Jake
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Posted by chuck on Sunday, January 7, 2007 7:34 PM

 "I noticed that transfomer seems to operate the whistles on the 1666's much better than either one of the Post War ZW's I have."

Modern diodes produce a nice clean DC spike that does a noce job triggering whistle/bell sounds.  A PW ZW with the original oxide disk rectifiers will not produce a nice spike and if they are truely old and degraded, they may not trigger a spike at all.

If you want to use the ZW and get nice clean spikes, you can get Lionel Sound Activation buttons to trigger nice clean spikes off of the PostWar ZW.  You can replace the disk rectifiers in the ZW, but this is more complicated and will only allow whistle controls on the A and D outputs.  You can wire in back to back sound activation buttons on all of the channels and get nice clean spikes on all of outputs.

When everything else fails, play dead
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Posted by willpick on Sunday, January 7, 2007 7:57 PM

Jake, you would be connecting the ZW outputs to the input of the individual controller, then the output of the controller to the track. The MTH transformer plugs into the controller using what is called a "coaxial power plug"--- it's the cylindrical plug that plugs into the controller. The reason I reccomended the inline fuses is due to my mistrust of the circuit breaker in the ZW.

            The Z1000 is a 100W unit, the pw ZW has a total output of approximatly 200-225W(that's for all 4 outputs). So you can put a controller on the A and/or B outputs. one thing you did not mention was the wattage of the controllers-- a Z750 controller can handle 75W continuously, a Z500 is good for 50W. The Z1000 is rated at 100W. Hope this clears things up a bit, i'll be here if you need more info--

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Posted by Fred Bear on Monday, January 8, 2007 12:45 AM

Where would a person find the coaxial type plug wire for this connection? Coming off the posts of the pw ZW and then into the controller would take a special coaxial type wire, is this correct? Thanks much, Jake

PS. Would you get the same clean DC spike that Chuck had mentioned if you used the pw ZW's and the modern controller?

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Posted by chuck on Monday, January 8, 2007 5:29 AM

PS ZW's continuous output is more like 180 watts.  The 250 watt figure Lionel used was max power unit would consume.  Modern transformers are rated on the output side.

Yes, you will get clean spikes off of the modern controllers.

Yes, you will need in line fuses between the ZW and the modern units to protect the modern units in the event of a short.

You might be better off just getting several modern transformers and save the ZW for post war trains or as an aux power supply. 

When everything else fails, play dead
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Posted by willpick on Monday, January 8, 2007 5:30 AM

Jake, I just checked the Radio Shack website, they still have the coaxial DC power plugs, and should be available at your local store. Radio Shack P/N is 274-1569 [size M].  To make the connections between the ZW and the controller all you need is 18 or 16 gauge lamp cord or speaker wire- MTH uses this style of zip wire for it's transformers. You will need to solder the wires to the coax plug, but it's not that hard to do.

There is no difference between using the MTH transformer and the ZW,other than the output wattage. The controller is what creates the DC offset that the engine recognizes as the signal to turn on the horn/whistle or the bell.

HTH-- 

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Posted by Fred Bear on Monday, January 8, 2007 6:36 AM

Thanks for all this help, I do appreciate it, this should be a pretty easy fix. Respectfully, Jake

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Posted by Fred Bear on Monday, January 8, 2007 9:14 AM
Would a 167 Lionel Whistle controller create the same spike we are talking about for making the whistles blow if using a pw ZW? Thanks, Jake
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Posted by chuck on Monday, January 8, 2007 9:30 AM

Modern equivalent is the Sound Activation Button:

6-5906 

Two of these can be wired back to back to allow bell/whistle function on a given transformer output.

When everything else fails, play dead
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Posted by Fred Bear on Monday, January 8, 2007 6:13 PM
Bought the radio shack plugs, soldered on wires and ran them from the pw ZW to the controller, works like a charm! Whistle blows on the 1666 like it never has, even at a crawling speed. So it's the best of both worlds really, my old ZW's still cranking out the power with the newer controller doing the regulating. Thanks to all that responded to this and helped, Jake
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Posted by willpick on Monday, January 8, 2007 7:16 PM
Glad I and the rest of those who replied helped, Jake! Enjoy those trains!

A Day Without Trains is a Day Wasted

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