TMCC lock on a circuit breaker protector

A tmcc lock on only takes a transformers voltage and applies it to the track and guards against overloads or shorts. If you connect a powerhouse brick to it you will get a straight 18 volts more or less. If you connect a regular transformer you would get the voltage the you set at the handle. To run conventional with the cab1 or 2 you will need a track power controller plus a brick or transformer. With a cab1 you can use a powermaster instead of a track power controller and brick or transformer. The powermaster is a little cheaper and won't handle the current that a track power controller will. With either of these systems you can run conventional and blow the whistle or ring the bell.

Originally Posted by RailfanRon:

A tmcc lock on only takes a transformers voltage and applies it to the track and guards against overloads or shorts. If you connect a powerhouse brick to it you will get a straight 18 volts more or less. If you connect a regular transformer you would get the voltage the you set at the handle.

Not quite. The TMCC Lock On doesn't apply any voltage to the track until the transformer voltage is at least 13 volts. At that point a relay closes and then the voltage does track increasing transformer voltages. When you reduce voltage the relay drops out at around 11 volts. Its designed with a very fast circuit breaker to protect the transformer from shorts. Best used with older transformers with slow breakers like a PW ZW. Its pretty much useless to try and run conventional as the track will go from zero to 13 volts instantly. Thats why you need a Powermaster or TPC. BTW these do not contain any internal transient voltage suppressors (TVS) so its good practice to install one at the output of the TMCC Lock On.

 

Pete

and it also says "if you run only TMCC- or LEGACY-equipped locomotives."

 

you asked about conventional.

Just got off the phone with Lionel. In order for you to vary the voltage you need to purchase the power house bricks. This eliminates the need for the power master and TPC's. You can hook your post war ZW's into the TMCC Lock ons with some connector modifications like I did.  But you can only vary the voltage manually. 

Railfan Ron was right. Thanks

J Daddy I think you're getting a little confused. To run TMCC or Legacy equipped engines only you can use the powerhouse bricks either connected to the track directly or through the lockon. If you want also run conventional engines you will need a track power controller or powermaster. These units will interface with the cab1 or cab2 to vary the track voltage and blow the whistle and or ring the bell. These units will also let you run command control engines also. So if you want to run conventional or conventional and command en engines a track power controller or powermaster. If you want to run command ONLY then the powerhouse bricks or other transformer are needed.

Ron

Thanks for the patience guys. Its tough cause its not like you can throw a ton of doe out there, and then nothing works!
Right now I have Post war ZWs hooked up to these lock ons and the circuit breaker feature works great..I would like to keep the ZW's, so to vary the voltage via the cabs I should buy.....?

Originally Posted by J Daddy:
How do you control/ vary the voltage with a cab 1 and cab2 remote to run conventional trains with the tmcc lock on? Is there any feed back to tell you what the voltage is dialed too?

In case this hasn't been mentioned.  Note that the TMCC Direct Lockon is designed for command operation and really isn't suitable for conventional operation.  At around 10-11 volts, it drops out, it really expects a steady voltage on the inputs.

Originally Posted by J Daddy:
  But you can only vary the voltage manually. 

you keep missing the above statement.

The product description is wrong.  (That is not too uncommon!)  The Lockon is just a glorified circuit breaker.

 

To run conventional engines remotely with TMCC/Legacy, you need either a modern ZW transformer (bricks and controller head) or a TPC or Powermaster powered by bricks or a large transformer such as a postwar ZW, KW, Z or V.  The TPC is better than the Powermaster.

Yes Dale is correct in what he says as always but if you're running a smaller layout and can get by with 135 or 180 watts of power a powermaster is cheaper BUT only works with a cab1 UNLESS you get a powermaster bridge. With the bridge it will work with a cab1 and cab2.

Ron

I tried that briefly when I had the Legacy base, TMCC base, and connected the PowerMaster Bridge.  They were not happy together.  I wasn't sure exactly what was happening, but it seemed clear from the spastic operation that they didn't like all living in one place. 

 

My PowerMaster bridge is about to be listed on eBay if you need one.   I got rid of all the PowerMasters and for that functionality, I'll stick to the TPC, makes life a lot simpler.

You cannot hook the bridge and command base together to the Legacy base. The Cab1 and Cab2 live together nicely as long as there is no TMCC base involved. That means all controls and commands are available with the cab2 and only conventional TR commands on the cab1(conventional track varied voltage, whistle and bell). That's the way I had it hooked up if I remember correctly.



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