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50Hz Transformer, replacement for CW80 ?

  • I have a Thomas set with the CW80.  Transformer worked fine in the States for about two years, then we moved to Europe.  I have a big 1000watt 220v to 110v transformer, but it outputs 110v at 50Hz.  Plugged the CW80 into this 110v @ 50Hz, and it ran for about an hour, then died.  No green light, no fan, no power to track.  I NOW understand, after browsing this forum, that the CW80 doesn't like 50hz.  It's just a transformer... it shouldn't be killed by 110v/50hz !!  Uughh...

    Question 1)  Do you think the 50Hz blew a fuse inside?  Or is the damage more extensive?  I'm wondering if I should try to fix it, and then set it aside until we return the States in a few years.

    Question 2)  What are my options to run the Thomas set (no accessories) with either the 220v wall power, or the 110v/50hz power?  Is there a replacement 0-18v transformer that is tolerant to both 50hz and 60hz ?

    Question 3)  What do you guys think of this idea...

    Use an AC-DC convertor to switch the 220VAC to 12VDC.  Then connect an american automotive style AC-DC invertor to switch the 12VDC to 110VAC.  This should create a 60hz signal, although I'm not sure if it will be a clean sine wave.  Then obviously, plug the CW80 (or perhaps a better replacement??) into the invertor.  Would this work?

    Thanks in advance for any help.  My two boys keep asking when we'll have it fixed.  :-(

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  • Try to find a local train store and purchase a 220 Volt 50 Hz power pack to run Thomas while you're there.

    Using transformers intended for 60 Hz power on 50 Hz power causes them to overheat.  I was in Germany twice when I was in the U.S. Army, and we were always told to never take an appliance to Germany that was not clearly marked that it could be operated on both 50 and 60 Hz power.