I have an American Flyer 30B transformer that needs to be repaired.

I brought it to a train repairman who has fixed ZW transformers for me before. He is  a very smart and capable train repair guy who used to work for the telephone company and used to be a part owner of a LHS doing its Lionel train repairs.

However, he is not that familiar with American Flyer trains and he told me recently that he needs to speak to someone to find out how to get inside my 30B transformer to repair it. 

I would greatly appreciate it if someone can tell me how to open up the AF 30B transformer, so I could pass that information on to my repair guy.

Arnold

 

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Original Post
Lionelski posted:

I dunno, Arnold, but I'd be a little concerned about a repair from a person who can't figure out how to open this transformer - 4 screws on the bottom.

Just sayin'

That occurred to me too, John. 

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Arnold D. Cribari posted:
Lionelski posted:

I dunno, Arnold, but I'd be a little concerned about a repair from a person who can't figure out how to open this transformer - 4 screws on the bottom.

Just sayin'

That occurred to me too, John. 

So... you're going to look for somebody else, right?  

 I completely agree with "Lionelski": working on these old transformers is usually very straight forward and are fairly simple in design and therefore repair. Heck, I don't know much(!) and have been able to trouble- shoot and repair both Lionel and Flyer transformers. Perhaps you should consider doing it yourself...

Mark in Oregon

The other thing to know about these transformers with the turret and handle (both dual and single controls) is that when lifting off the cover (after first unscrewing the on/off switch), the wiper stays with the transformer coil (with the 30B, there are two wipers).  So it is important to know what the position is of both the turret and the wiper when the cover comes off so when reassembling, the arm connected to the bottom of the turret captures the wiper correctly.  I usually set the turret at the mid-point on the speed dial and then try to remember to set the wiper at the mid-point of the coil when I put it back together. There's a sort of U-shaped piece on the arm that comes down on either side of the wiper - you'll see it in the drawings on the factory manual on myflyertrains, as noted above.   Worth noting also that the so-called 'deadman' feature of the handle (or the on/off to track power) is due to the spring-loading of that wiper.  The aforementioned arm on the bottom of the turret pushes down on the wiper when the handle is pushed into the 'run' position.

While the transformer is apart, its worth checking the status of the wiper - which is typically a small carbon wheel that runs along the top of the coil.  Sometimes those are broken or no longer rotate so there is a flat spot on one side -- all of which can lead to the transformer not working correctly.

Its also worth pointing out that while it is tempting to look at the turrets and the arms underneath as a possible problem source, if they are intact they are entirely passive regarding any of the electrical circuitry - other than providing the mechanical connection between the transformer coil(s) and the wiper contact(s).

hmmm - that's interesting.  The tranz4mr link above shows a 30B with the wiper directly coupled to the bottom of the turret - as opposed to my description and the parts diagram blow-up drawing shown in the Gilbert factory manual on myflyertrains, as noted earlier.  So perhaps an earlier (?) version of the 30B has that wiper position as shown in the tranz4mr link.  In my experience with the three 'turret' style AF transformers that I have (30B, 18B and 16B), the wipers are part of the transformer coil, as I described.  So I guess YMMV.

Jeez, this information is extremely helpful. Thank you all, very much.

I have a small AF postwar collection, including the 30B. Love the Dead Man's Throttle, or whatever you call it, and the look of the 30B. To me, it looks very powerful and like something that would be in the engineer's cab to run a real locomotive. 

Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Yes, depending on production run, the wiper is on the coil stack or on the turret. That's why I didn't go into that part!  The wiper on the turret is prone to breaking, just where it fastens, and often leaves the insulation intact so it looks OK, but isn't. The L carbon rollers aren't exactly the size of the ACG ones, but will work.

The Turrets can be a source of issues, as the metal washers that they slide on can cut into the turret mounting posts, so it is a good idea to take them apart and clean & inspect. A dry, teflon-type lube is good here--anything else will attract dirt and grit.  I have built up cut in posts with Epoxy, it seems to work OK.

S'incerely,

David "two rails" Dewey

Add Reply

Likes (1)
MELGAR
Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×