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Phasing Lionel transformers

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  • Member since
    November 2007
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Phasing Lionel transformers
Posted by stuartmit on Sunday, February 11, 2024 6:14 AM

When you use more than one transformer on the same layout, the traditional recommendation was to phase them, by adjusting to the same voltage and connecting appropriate outputs together to see if you got a strong, spark, or no spark at all

With the adoption of plugs with a larger and smaller prong, is that problem eliminated if you simply change all the plugs on your transformer?

  • Member since
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  • From: Hopewell, NY
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Posted by ADCX Rob on Sunday, February 11, 2024 8:43 AM

No, it complicates the issue.

Rob

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Posted by stuartmit on Sunday, February 11, 2024 10:33 AM

In what way is it more complicated? 

I need to replace a plug, and what I see in Home Depot all has a grounding 3rd prong, and the two flat prongs are of different widths. 

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  • From: Hopewell, NY
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Posted by ADCX Rob on Sunday, February 11, 2024 12:02 PM

stuartmit
In what way is it more complicated?

Well, run through your procedure of replacing the cords.

-Will you use some kind of convention as to where to connect the ribbed vs smooth conductors?

-How will you assure all transformers can be phased to yours with the new plugs?

Rob

  • Member since
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  • From: Bensalem, PA
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Posted by Dave45681 on Monday, February 12, 2024 7:42 PM

stuartmit

In what way is it more complicated? 

I need to replace a plug, and what I see in Home Depot all has a grounding 3rd prong, and the two flat prongs are of different widths. 

 

You should search the Home Depot or Lowes web sites for "non-polarized plug" to find the ones that are non-polarized.  They are still available (though certainly may have been out of stock at your store when you looked). No third prong, no wider blade.

(when I just checked, the Lowes search engine seemed to do a slightly better job of filtering them to show the actual non-polarized ones).

Don't make the phasing process harder than it needs to be. ;)  As Rob said, it's much simpler if you stick with the non-polarized plugs on the old PW transformers. 

Especially if you ever decide to mix them with a modern transformer, as the modern transformers will of course be polarized plugs, and it would be much more simple to phase the old PW to match the modern one than the other way around.

-Dave

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Posted by BigAl 956 on Wednesday, February 14, 2024 1:50 PM

After phasing my 3 ZW transformers I replugged them with polarized plugs to insure they would always work correctly. A 3-prong plug would also have worked.

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