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Just getting started in “O” and I already know going about it the wrong way even though I have read a lot of info about it. No current permanent layout but will have one. I have already gotten a lot of stuff, I know, wrong.  Anyway, I am wanting eventually a layout with maybe 4-6 independent loops.  I have several conventional engines and a couple of old legacy engines and the legacy 990 is on the way.  I also have an old ZW 275 watt transformer and a couple of cw-80.  I have some tubular o27, loop of fast-track and circle of real-trax.  Thinking of going tubular from Menards with different radius.

After researching, power is confusing, but wanted clarification on my understanding?  
(1) If just running legacy engine on loop, all I need is to hook up transformer to legacy lock on?

(2) If just running conventional on loop, need legacy powermaster and legacy lock on?

(3) If want option option for both conventional  and legacy, need same as #2?

(4) I can hook up ZW to all 4 tracks even if conventional or legacy?

(5) Can use cw-80 as power on conventional  or legacy as well?

(6) All of scenarios are also hooking up legacy base to outer rail on all loops?

Hopefully not looking too stupid?

Last edited by Mrtbig
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@Mrtbig posted:

Just getting started in “O” and I already know going about it the wrong way even though I have read a lot of info about it. No current permanent layout but will have one. I have already gotten a lot of stuff, I know, wrong.  Anyway, I am wanting eventually a layout with maybe 4-6 independent loops.  I have several conventional engines and a couple of old legacy engines and the legacy 990 is on the way.  I also have an old ZW 275 watt transformer and a couple of cw-80.  I have some tubular o27, loop of fast-track and circle of real-trax.  Thinking of going tubular from Menards with different radius.

After researching, power is confusing, but wanted clarification on my understanding?  
(1) If just running legacy engine on loop, all I need is to hook up transformer to legacy lock on?

(2) If just running conventional on loop, need legacy powermaster and legacy lock on?

(3) If want option option for both conventional  and legacy, need same as #2?

(4) I can hook up ZW to all 4 tracks even if conventional or legacy?

(5) Can use cw-80 as power on conventional  or legacy as well?

(6) All of scenarios are also hooking up legacy base to outer rail on all loops?

Hopefully not looking too stupid?

Welcome to the hobby.  I'll preface this by saying I'm new to Legacy too, but I think I have learned enough from reading here on the forum and the Owner's Manuals (and an electronics background) to answer your questions.  If I'm mistaken, I'm sure someone will jump in.  Here are some answers to your questions in order:

1 - yes

2 - if you want to control Conventional Locos with Cab2 Remote you just need a Powermaster and one 18VAC transformer output per Loop, if not using Cab 2 remote you can just use the transformer's throttle control with it's output connected directly to that track loop with additional circuit protection (see below)

3 - option for both Legacy and conventional Locos you need one Powermaster and one 18VAC transformer output per loop

4 -yes

5 - yes as long as you use an 18VAC output, and don't connect it to a Powermaster.  (Powermasters need a pure sine wave output like the PW ZW or a Powerhouse brick)

6 - yes, unless you only want to control some loops conventionally without Legacy Cab 2 remote and Powermaster

The TMCC lockons are not required, but if using a postwar ZW, additonal overcurrent protection is recommended that is faster than the breakers built into the PW ZW.  The Lockons and the Powermasters have faster breakers than the ZWs.   The lockons are more expensive than other discrete options.  TVS protection is also recommended to protect electronics against voltage spikes caused by derailments.  Also you will need to make sure that all the connected transformers are phased correctly.

More information about transformer phasing, circuit breakers, and TVS diodes can be found here on this forum.

Last edited by SteveH

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