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My grandsons are visiting and the youngest (16 months) and oldest (2.5 years) both love it. As soon as they see me, "Pawpaw, train?" and lead me to the train room. We started out with a Lionel LC Polar Express set. Plug in wall-wart power directly to the track. We've grown to a 12'x8' L shaped layout with 4 LCS switches and added a LC+ switcher. Recently added VL Reefers and Legacy 990 base. About to add VL stock cars and the WiFi module.

We've been running the Polar Express and the switcher simultaneously with no problems. We are controlling the switches and reefer freight sounds with the Cab 2 remote, and operating the locomotives with their respective remotes. A grandson on each knee and a remote in each hand and a 90* crossing... you have to be on your toes at all times.

We also have several lighted structures running off track power and all of the PE cars are lighted, too. There's a spotlight car, too.

When will I hit the limit on the wall wart power supply, and how will I know?

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@JackO posted:

When will I hit the limit on the wall wart power supply, and how will I know?

The wall wart will simply shut down when it hits it limit and the fun will abruptly stop. I'd guess that you are running pretty close to the limit of the wall wart. You could go to an MTH Z1000 wall pack which will take you from 72 watts to 100, but I think the best choice is the Lionel PH180. It will be a long time before you find the limit on that 180 watt monster and it has and excellent circiut breaker too.

Last edited by H1000

The 72 watt power supply is rated at 4 amps, if that is the wall wart you have. With both trains and lighted cars on the track at the same time, plus accessories, I'd say you are getting close. The switches only draw power momentarily. You will know when everything shuts down.

If both engines have Bluetooth, you can run them from the free Lionel BT app. I assume you have the 990 for the VL equipment.

The MTH Z 1000 is a good upgrade choice or wait for the new, improved Lionel CW-80 which is supposed to be released shortly.

Edit: - just checked - showing October of this year.

Last edited by Richie C.

I would agree that the Lionel O 6-85226 180W PowerHouse power supply would be a good choice for your current set-up with the Lion Chief Locos and accessories.  If you ever want to run Legacy locos, it would be great for that too.  If you already have or in the future get any conventional Locomotives, you could later add a Legacy PowerMaster to vary the AC voltage from the PH 180 to the track, controlled by your Cab 2 and # 990 base.

Another possibility is a 4 output ZW with external circuit breakers.

Either way, TVS diodes are also recommended to arrest voltage spikes caused by derailments.  These help to prevent damage to the locomotives and switches and other accessories with sensitive electronic circuits in them.  For more info on circuit protection see this thread:

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...ses-circuit-breakers

My thoughts on switching from DC Wall wart to the AC Lionel 6-37947 GW-180 180-Watt Transformer.

Pros:
All the power I will ever need. Actually more than I will ever need. Cheaper CW-80 would have been more than enough.
Can control maximum speed of LC locos by reducing the power.
Electro-couplers work on VL freight.
Can add Legacy engines in the future.

My personal cons:
Big brick, big transformer -- lot of extra "stuff" to make room for.
No auto-reset. Have to walk over and throttle down and backup to reset if there is a short.
Controlling top speed of LC+ locos with the transformer throttle is possible, but at a big sacrifice: Electro-couplers can latch and overheat when firing them, other voltage sensitive things might not work right.

Just my thoughts.

@JackO posted:
My personal cons:

No auto-reset. Have to walk over and throttle down and backup to reset if there is a short.
Controlling top speed of LC+ locos with the transformer throttle is possible, but at a big sacrifice: Electro-couplers can latch and overheat when firing them, other voltage sensitive things might not work right.

I carry around my handy wireless power controller.  It allows me to reset any of four Powerhouse 180 bricks remotely, and I can also kill all the layout power with one button.  I take a different view of resets, I don't want power coming back on until I'M ready for it!

What makes you think that electrocouplers latch at low voltage and burn up?  LC+ when running here at lower voltages just won't properly fire the electrocouplers, and smoke is anemic.

As far as the sacrifices of using lower power, you can have your cake, but you can't eat it too.

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Yes, I solved the reset with a smart switch. Just need to add a Pico remote to control it instead of having to use my phone or Siri.

The low voltage problem is evident on the VL freight's electro-couplers, which were the whole reason to switch to AC. First attempt resulted in smoke when I had it turned down to 66% or so. I didn't measure the actual voltage.

Probably going to bring the wall-wart out, and stow the 990/cab2 and VL freight when the boys are here and give them a lot more freedom to smash and grab.

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