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I recently picked an older CW80 Lionel transformer and its not working correctly. Its putting out voltage but it jumps from 1.5 volt to over 16 in an instant. Im thinking of turning it into a DC output unit. Has anybody tried this and what did you purchase for parts and how did you wire in up. A parts list and wiring diagram  would be very helpful. mine is the early one that has a cooling fan in it.

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The process of making direct current from alternating current is called "rectification."  The reverse, DC to AC is called "inversion."

Rectification is as simple as putting a diode (also commonly called a rectifier) in series with one lead of the AC output. That gives you half-wave rectification. That means that as the AC goes from + to - 60 times a second, the top half (or the bottom half) of each cycle gets cut off.

The next method is called "full wave rectification." That uses 4 diodes in a "full wave bridge."

Finally, if you want "filtered full-wave rectification" that can be accomplished by adding an electrolytic capacitor to the output.

If you google any of those terms, I'm sure that you will find a plethora of diagrams and explanations, including wave form illustrations that explain it better than I did.

DC supplies are dirt cheap / free.  If you are not familiar with electrical terms and concepts, you would probably be better off buying a supply that does not start off with one foot in the grave.

Last edited by Arthur P. Bloom

When my CW80 went belly up, I found it too difficult to work on the PC board because of its positioning in the case and difficulty removing. I decided to junk the CW80 but save its 19 VAC transformer.


You can then take a cheap 2A AC-to-DC voltage regulator board from Amazon, or wherever, to produce a DC voltage anywhere in the 0 to 12 VDC range. 



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