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Looking for a new transformer.

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Looking for a new transformer.
Posted by Cheese on Saturday, December 31, 2011 5:35 PM

Hey All,

I'm currently in the market for a new transformer. I have a Lionel CW-80 and it works fine, but I'm buying some more track and engines and am looking for something with a bit more power. I have 2 MTH Railking Steamers, 1 with just a whistle and 1 with the original protosounds I, er, Santa, bought on ebay, and a Lionel Hogwarts Express engine. I don't really plan on beefing up my motive power roster, but I'm buying some more fastrack and switches. 

I am considering a Lionel KW, but I've read of people having issues with postwar transformers and modern day sounds, so I wanted t get some info first. I'm open to anything, so any suggestions and input are welcome to this recently out of the closet (a joke, I've been hiding my love of model railroading haha) railroader.

Hope to hear from you guys soon, and happy new year! :)

Nick 

Nick! :)

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Posted by rtraincollector on Saturday, December 31, 2011 5:43 PM

Just because you say you have MTH engines I would have a tendency to look into maybe one of theres whether it be a Z-1000 or Z-4000 ( I think I'm not very knowledgeable on MTH stuff) as I have heard a couple of times its better to have a MTH transformer if you have MTH engines especially if you have that Proto 1 system

Life's hard, even harder if your stupid  John Wayne

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Posted by Seayakbill on Saturday, December 31, 2011 7:06 PM

MTH Z-4000 is the best transformer out there for what it provides especially for MTH PS-1 & PS-2 locos.

Bill T.

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Posted by Cheese on Saturday, December 31, 2011 8:12 PM

I'll look at the z-1000, the Z-4000 is a bit out of my price and size range right now.

Any other suggestions?

Nick! :)

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Posted by Cheese on Saturday, December 31, 2011 8:17 PM

I'm also considering just adding a Lionel 180 power block to my CW-80. Basically I just want a bit more power is all. 

Nick! :)

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Posted by gunrunnerjohn on Sunday, January 1, 2012 10:34 AM

The CW-80 with the brick is ONLY compatible with the 80W brick, you can't put a 180W brick onto it, you'll smoke the controller!

 

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Posted by ADCX Rob on Sunday, January 1, 2012 1:02 PM

No it won't.

The BW-80 will only put out 5 amps, even if connected to 8 or 10 180 watt bricks.

The BW-80 and CW-80 controllers actually have very robust 7-8 amp transformers powering them already anyway.  The circuitry only uses a portion(up to 5 amps) of what is actually available.

Rob

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Posted by Cheese on Sunday, January 1, 2012 7:27 PM

To play it safe then I'll just look for a new transformer lol. I'm thinking about bidding on a MRC 270 watt dual train transformer with a remote controller on ebay, can anyone tell me about this? I'm still strongly considering a refurbished KW. The prices are reasonable and I like the look of it. Plus it's not too huge, having seen them in real life.

Nick! :)

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, January 1, 2012 7:39 PM

Nick,

           I really like the Z1000 myself.  It is simple, reliable, and powerful to sum things up.  I use Z1000 bricks to power my TIUs, and they work great for that.  The breakers used in the Z1000 bricks also trip quickly, which is nice.

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Posted by sir james I on Sunday, January 1, 2012 8:45 PM

The KW will not have both whistle/horn and bell controls. If you buy a PW transformer you would have to add a bell button. Try the Z1000.

"IT's GOOD TO BE THE KING",by Mel Brooks 

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Posted by Cheese on Monday, January 2, 2012 1:38 AM

If I did decide to go with the KW, there is something I can place between the transformer and track to help trip the breaker in the event of a derailment so as not to fry the electronics on my locos. What is this?

Nick! :)

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Posted by rtraincollector on Monday, January 2, 2012 8:55 AM

what type of track are you running reason I ask if its tubalar I have some old new in package K-line protection lockon that is Bi-directional Duplexed protector

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Posted by lionelsoni on Monday, January 2, 2012 9:02 AM

What you should put between your transformer and the track (or even inside your locomotives) is a transient-voltage suppressor (TVS).  This will limit the voltage that your locomotive sees to a safe level of a few dozen volts.

It will not however trip your circuit breaker, nor does it need to, to protect your locomotives.  The circuit breaker protects the wiring and the transformer.  It is not meant to protect electronics, which will not draw excessive current until after the damage has already been done.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by bfskinner on Monday, January 2, 2012 9:48 AM

Things are getting confusing -- again!

It is my understanding that there never was a CW-80 "with a brick." What you must be talking about is the look-alike controller-with-brick, correctly called the BW-80 which was only produced for a year or two and discontinued about the time the all-in-one-case CW-80 was introduced.

This is not meant to be picky-picky, but does suggest that if one searches for information with the "Search our Community" feature one will be better served if one calls things by their proper names.

As far as protective devices are concerned, there are a whole range of built-in and add-on mechanisms: from circuit-breakers to "fold-back circuits" to fuses to TVS diodes, etc. 

This variety of devices reflects the different protective functions of  the different items -- which can be confusing indeed! As a general rule, if you are going to run modern trains with modern electronics, you will not only need something to guard against overcurrents ("short-circuits") but, in additionsomething else to protect from voltage spikes. Ignore this at the risk of permanently damaging your equipment. The anti-spike protection can be added absurdly inexpensively.

Bob "lionelsoni" and others have posted extensively on this subject. A search should yield a LOT.

bf
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Posted by Cheese on Monday, January 2, 2012 2:41 PM

I'm running with fastrack currently.

bfskinner, I was talking about buying the brick to add power to my CW 80.

Thanks for all the info, I've got alot to consider. 

Nick

Nick! :)

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Posted by RRaddict on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 9:59 AM

Hvae patience you can get a Z 4000 at a reasonable price.  I fried my Proto 1 premiere with my ZW PW transformer.  I am speaking from experience here just be patient and hold out for a Z 4000 they will run everything you put on the track.

Can't stop working on the railroad!

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Posted by gunrunnerjohn on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 1:00 PM

I've run a ton of Lionel and MTH locomotives with a KW and ZW, no problems at all.  If you're going to use a PW transformer with modern electronic locomotives, I suggest a TVS and a fast-blow fuse in the track connection.

 

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Posted by RRaddict on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 1:58 PM

That's a great idea I will do that.

Can't stop working on the railroad!

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Posted by Cheese on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 5:39 AM

Thanks guys,

I'm more than likely going to go with the KW. Now, for the TVS, I'm sure I'll be able to find one, so thats not an issue. How exactly would I go about "installing one"?

 

Nick! :)

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Posted by gunrunnerjohn on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 7:57 AM

Here's the TVS I use.

DigiKey 1.5KE36CALFCT-ND

To install them, just connect them across the power to the track beyond the fuse on the track side.

KRM
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Posted by KRM on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 10:35 AM

Cheese

Thanks guys,

I'm more than likely going to go with the KW. Now, for the TVS, I'm sure I'll be able to find one, so thats not an issue. How exactly would I go about "installing one"?

 

 This will work.

 Or this

Joined 1-21-2011    TCA 13-68614

Kev, From The North Bluff Above Marseilles IL. Whistling

 

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