I'm using a Lionel 180w power supply for my 5' by 14.5' layout to run two Lionel LionChief  engines. I tested the track voltage on my track and it shows over 19 volts through the whole track. I'm I doing any harm to the two engines on the track? I thought the 180w power supply is 18 volts, but I'm showing over 19 volts. Too much power for this size of layout? Would I be better off with a MTH 100 w power supply?  I'm not sure what to do. Any suggestions would be helpful, thanks.

Last edited by Prairie Land Junction
Original Post

Do you have a load on it? Put a couple of locomotives on the track and see what it drops to.

What is the voltage with the engine on the track. That's when it matters

yes, you would need a somewhat expensive to an expensive meter to measure the AC at true RMS. Look for a used Fluke if you must have one.

You don't want to exceed 20 volts AC on the track for Lionel products.

I would measure the voltage at the receptacle. That may be a little high. I don't have any 180 watt bricks that exceed the 18 volt plus or minus a small fraction.

I agree with PLCPROF, it's ok. Enjoy your trains.

Your engines will be fine. What you need to worry about are any older powered/lighted train cars. For instance, I have the first run of MTH IC 18" passenger cars, I melted a whole in the floor of the vista dome with the constant 18Vac. Some K-Line cabeese have a switch for CONV/CMD, its put a diode in series with the smoke unit when running on constant AC power.

Some TMCC conversion electronics only turn on the head light for half of the sine wave just for this reason.

Carl might be on to something; the power company has to increase the voltage during the summer to account for the droop caused by for all the AC units on; if there is a cool spell, the voltage coming into your house can be on the high side.

illinoiscentral posted:

Your engines will be fine. What you need to worry about are any older powered/lighted train cars. For instance, I have the first run of MTH IC 18" passenger cars, I melted a whole in the floor of the vista dome with the constant 18Vac. Some K-Line cabeese have a switch for CONV/CMD, its put a diode in series with the smoke unit when running on constant AC power.

I can fix that for you, LED lighting.

illinoiscentral posted:
Some TMCC conversion electronics only turn on the head light for half of the sine wave just for this reason.

Actually, TMCC default runs the lights on half-wave power in command mode, that's universal if you're using the R2LC/R4LC.  When you're running a TMCC locomotive in conventional, the headlights are then run on full-wave power.

My voltage meter is not old, and I haven't used it in long time. But the voltage of my track was showing over 19 volts throughout the whole layout. That's what got me to wonder if too much voltage could harm the lionchief engines. One other thing I noticed. When my engines go around the curves it tends to slow down and then picks up speed when it hit the straights. Again, the voltage measures over 19 volts around the curves. It seems on the lionchief engines you have to move the dial up more on the speed control to get it going. Has anyone else experience this too.

Last edited by Prairie Land Junction
Prairie Land Junction posted:

Got my voltage meter to work. It's showing 18 volts throughout the track. Thanks a lot for imput on this.

Ok, that's as it should be.

The slowing in a curve could be the wheel flanges rubbing against the rails on steamers if you have small diameter curves.

It could also be a voltage drop under load (engine on and running) due to track connections.

Run the engine that slows in the curve and try to measure the voltage behind it as it passes and perhaps in front of it as it approaches.

Let us if you have a drop in voltage and what reading you get.

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×