Having a single fastrack that can use lionchief and non lionchief

Good morning,

This is my first post.  As a Christmas gift I received my first Lionel train in over 40 years, the Batman Phantom train.  I love the train.  It is really cool and I'm having a blast with it.  The train uses the lion chief control system.  I do have my eye on a non lionchief train in the future, but it does not come with a track or transformer.  I wanted to know if could set up a single fastrack set to be able to run both the lionchief and a non lionchief train on it (obviously not at the same time).  I know the track piece for the transformer is available, but I didn't know if you could have them on the same track.  Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated. 

Ackleplem

 

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

Original Post

yes as uberstation stated , you will need trans former to control  conventional trains, to power engine speeds up or down,also to use bell horn features. forward,reverse. to run  lionchief engine just power up transformer , then run LC engine with remote. works great.   enjoy.

 

Ackleplem,

   Remember this however, your LC & LC+ can only take 18V max or you can damage the engine.  Keep the V below the 18 V mark and you are good to go, I run mine at just over  16V and everything works perfect.  This is especially true if you plan to use DCS and Legacy on the same tracks as you run your LC Batman set.

Have fun and welcome to the OGR Forum!

PCRR/Dave

 

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

What; no pictures? 

We love pictures  You aren't the only "fanboy" around  Modded or plain, we want to see um

  (and welcome! )

  Time to try out the blue paperclip....an attachment tool appears at the bottom of the text box when you start typing

You don't mention the model of the conventional train, but that, and expanding your roster and track someday would be considerations in choosing the size of transformer you may want to buy.

  Besides "which trains", the power supply is likely the biggest decision you'll make. 80w would be the very smallest I'd consider for two trains. Note the cw40 and cw80 look much alike, always read the labeling; even the old ZWs have watt variance depending on year.

    Note that few folks, if any, ever complained that  they "bought too large of a transformer". New or old alike will work. Old ones would be "safer" used with a modern breaker, and all supplies benefit from a transient voltage suppressor(tvs) to help protect the more modern engine electronics during derails and other shorts. A tvs is very cheap insurance (looks like a diode)

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Thank you all for your responses.  I will not be buying for awhile, but the I am considering one of these two:  The first Area 51 alien response train set or the MTH Lionel corp armored train.  I figured that I would need the section of track needed to hook up a transformer of the type that the Area 51 set and have either the lionchief cord or the other transformer powered up to run whichever train I have on it and the other plug powered down.

 

On a separate note: I just picked up a Lionel prewar o gauge tinplate tender at an antique store today for five bucks.  It is missing the coupler nearest to the four vents on top.  It is difficult/expensive to find and repair that part?  The rest of the tender appears to be in decent used condition.  I figured at worst, it will make a decent static piece for a future layout.  I'll include pics in my next entry.

Ackleplem

 

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

Adriatic posted:

What; no pictures? 

We love pictures  You aren't the only "fanboy" around  Modded or plain, we want to see um

  (and welcome! )

  Time to try out the blue paperclip....an attachment tool appears at the bottom of the text box when you start typing

You don't mention the model of the conventional train, but that, and expanding your roster and track someday would be considerations in choosing the size of transformer you may want to buy.

  Besides "which trains", the power supply is likely the biggest decision you'll make. 80w would be the very smallest I'd consider for two trains. Note the cw40 and cw80 look much alike, always read the labeling; even the old ZWs have watt variance depending on year.

    Note that few folks, if any, ever complained that  they "bought too large of a transformer". New or old alike will work. Old ones would be "safer" used with a modern breaker, and all supplies benefit from a transient voltage suppressor(tvs) to help protect the more modern engine electronics during derails and other shorts. A tvs is very cheap insurance (looks like a diode)

The electrical aspect of this is one of my bigger points of ignorance at this stage.  My intention, for now, is to have one set of fastrack that can operate either a lion chief or a non lion chief train, but not at the same time.  In other words, run my batman train with the remote.  Pull it off the track, unplug the batman power cord,  put a non lion chief train, plug in the conventional transformer and run it.  At some point, I will work out a multi track layout.  Whether or not I combine them will depend on space and what I can learn about the electrical part of this hobby.  How does a TVS work and where does it get installed?  This and many things I need to learn.  Is there a post that shows the basics of this?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

John

Ackleplem

 

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

Just get a 80 plus watt Ac transformer, or a 75 that MTH makes for a single train, eve n50wat like train sets should be plenty, and a voltage meter and you should be set to go.

There is always something new to learn and greater understanding in the quest for wisdom.

A traditional transformer is all you need. The Lionchief loco only needs constant power, it does not care where it comes from. Set the transformer to a high power setting and you are ready to go.  

Corey West

Aircraft for work, trains for fun.

Thank you both for the replies.  I am curious as to a TVS works and where  and how is it installed.  Also, has anyone done a glossary of model train terms?  That would definitely be helpful.

Ackleplem

 

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

If the new locos you want to run are command control you can merely add a 16v to 18v transformer to your existing layout (remove the Lionchief wall wart) and leave it on. The Lionchief loco(s) will runfine. What other command components you will need will be determined by who makes the locos you will buy. For example to run a TMCC loco in command just add the command base to the existing transformer connection and use the TMCC remote.

Frank Ventura

choochoo@technologynation.us

 

 

... Another dedicated member of the model railroad quality control department. whenever I see quality, I try to control it...

 

Adriatic posted:

 Old ones would be "safer" used with a modern breaker, and all supplies benefit from a transient voltage suppressor(tvs) to help protect the more modern engine electronics during derails and other shorts. A tvs is very cheap insurance (looks like a diode)

Is there a thread or video that shows how to connect a TVS to a track? I imagine something like a "TVS box" that sits between the transformer and your track. Wire connect from the transformer, with a new set of wires going out to the track. Something like this possible?

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

Ackleplem posted:
Adriatic posted:

What; no pictures? 

We love pictures  You aren't the only "fanboy" around  Modded or plain, we want to see um

  (and welcome! )

  Time to try out the blue paperclip....an attachment tool appears at the bottom of the text box when you start typing

You don't mention the model of the conventional train, but that, and expanding your roster and track someday would be considerations in choosing the size of transformer you may want to buy.

  Besides "which trains", the power supply is likely the biggest decision you'll make. 80w would be the very smallest I'd consider for two trains. Note the cw40 and cw80 look much alike, always read the labeling; even the old ZWs have watt variance depending on year.

    Note that few folks, if any, ever complained that  they "bought too large of a transformer". New or old alike will work. Old ones would be "safer" used with a modern breaker, and all supplies benefit from a transient voltage suppressor(tvs) to help protect the more modern engine electronics during derails and other shorts. A tvs is very cheap insurance (looks like a diode)

The electrical aspect of this is one of my bigger points of ignorance at this stage.  My intention, for now, is to have one set of fastrack that can operate either a lion chief or a non lion chief train, but not at the same time.  In other words, run my batman train with the remote.  Pull it off the track, unplug the batman power cord,  put a non lion chief train, plug in the conventional transformer and run it.  At some point, I will work out a multi track layout.  Whether or not I combine them will depend on space and what I can learn about the electrical part of this hobby.  How does a TVS work and where does it get installed?  This and many things I need to learn.  Is there a post that shows the basics of this?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

John

John,

I'm doing something similar but instead I have a CW80 transformer that when the LC train is running, is pushed up to about 80%. I have a short siding (two would work best) that has power turned off by a SPST switch (connected via a 1 3/8" FasTrack section - part number 6-12073). When the LC is running, I have the switch on so the siding has power, and then run the LC train into the siding. Flip the switch and the siding is now powered off (and so is the train). Then you can turn down the transformer, throw your conventional train on and run it via the transformer. If you had a second siding, you could have the conventional train on it, and when the LC siding is turned off, you could turn down the power on the transformer, flip the conventional siding on, and the conventional train would then run. No need to switch power sources or take trains on and off.

Honestly, the first thing I did was get on eBay and find myself a CW80 transformer for cheap (under $50). The wall-wart that comes with your LC won't power much anyways, so I simply set it off to the side when I opened our Pennsy Flyer RtR set.

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

Deuce posted:
Ackleplem posted:
Adriatic posted:

What; no pictures? 

We love pictures  You aren't the only "fanboy" around  Modded or plain, we want to see um

  (and welcome! )

  Time to try out the blue paperclip....an attachment tool appears at the bottom of the text box when you start typing

You don't mention the model of the conventional train, but that, and expanding your roster and track someday would be considerations in choosing the size of transformer you may want to buy.

  Besides "which trains", the power supply is likely the biggest decision you'll make. 80w would be the very smallest I'd consider for two trains. Note the cw40 and cw80 look much alike, always read the labeling; even the old ZWs have watt variance depending on year.

    Note that few folks, if any, ever complained that  they "bought too large of a transformer". New or old alike will work. Old ones would be "safer" used with a modern breaker, and all supplies benefit from a transient voltage suppressor(tvs) to help protect the more modern engine electronics during derails and other shorts. A tvs is very cheap insurance (looks like a diode)

The electrical aspect of this is one of my bigger points of ignorance at this stage.  My intention, for now, is to have one set of fastrack that can operate either a lion chief or a non lion chief train, but not at the same time.  In other words, run my batman train with the remote.  Pull it off the track, unplug the batman power cord,  put a non lion chief train, plug in the conventional transformer and run it.  At some point, I will work out a multi track layout.  Whether or not I combine them will depend on space and what I can learn about the electrical part of this hobby.  How does a TVS work and where does it get installed?  This and many things I need to learn.  Is there a post that shows the basics of this?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

John

John,

I'm doing something similar but instead I have a CW80 transformer that when the LC train is running, is pushed up to about 80%. I have a short siding (two would work best) that has power turned off by a SPST switch (connected via a 1 3/8" FasTrack section - part number 6-12073). When the LC is running, I have the switch on so the siding has power, and then run the LC train into the siding. Flip the switch and the siding is now powered off (and so is the train). Then you can turn down the transformer, throw your conventional train on and run it via the transformer. If you had a second siding, you could have the conventional train on it, and when the LC siding is turned off, you could turn down the power on the transformer, flip the conventional siding on, and the conventional train would then run. No need to switch power sources or take trains on and off.

Honestly, the first thing I did was get on eBay and find myself a CW80 transformer for cheap (under $50). The wall-wart that comes with your LC won't power much anyways, so I simply set it off to the side when I opened our Pennsy Flyer RtR set.

I believe  what you mean by the short siding is a small section of track that can lead into the main track.  What is a SPST switch?  Is it the manual or remote control switch that allows you to make the train go one way or the other or is it something else?

Ackleplem

 

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

Single-pole, single-throw. Can find them at Home Depot for around $5. Cut the wire underneath the 1 3/8" FasTrack and connect to the toggle switch. Now you can control the power to your siding and turn your locomotives on and off without having to take them off your track. 

I'll probably get mine set up this week, so I'll be sure to take video/pictures.

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

Gotcha.  Thank you.   That makes a lot more sense.  I would love to see how you do it.  Do you splice the wire or solder it; or does it matter?  I'm beginning to see why people have a section off to the side with the controllers, transformers, and switches.

I will be using a floor layout for the foreseeable future, but I can still utilize a lot of what I'm learning.

Ackleplem

 

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

TVS on each would be fine, especially if your running a loco away from home. As close to the source as possible is ideal, derailments and supply power are most likely sources of voltage spikes. Used right on the track lock-on clips or under piece of FT, or at the transformer is sufficient and easily accessed. The replacement of couplers and bars isnt very hard or expensive. Drilling or cutting out a rivit, then set another, or use a nut and bolt, etc. I've even used heavy brass button head craft/paper brads, they have held just fine for many years. Resoring and customising common tin to run is a blast.... this thread has me dreaning* I would wait before doing it though. If you found an engine it often has its own tender already. I would use it as an "auxillary tender", 2-tenders; AND I could use it to creat a " transition car": a car with a different coupler on each end, allowing the use of a different era or brand of car to be pulled in a train.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





  Some scrap foam, glue, and $2 for 2 bottles of flat craft acrylic and a Batcave might be born

IMG_20170912_175331 [1)IMG_20171011_122317 foam

Rocks from the garden, foam, a hacksaw blade, and cheap paint is hard to mess up, even with "no measuring allowed" and "speed painting" with a 1" house painting brush it looks like "something"..Heck the grey brick was mostly snapped to length vs cut.mine3.JPG_optimized

  There are a few alien / sci-fi threads that may prove interesting too; the Phantom makes appearances. If you must own all things Batman there is an M7 subway engine & Joker/ Harley cars; Justice League, and at least two Batman cars to go. I'm surprised I haven't seen an official Bat signal spotlight car. That seems as no brainered obvious as the Marvin the Martian Earth Disintegrator Rocket Launching car was.

  A clear Phantom shell or cut into a "gondola/flat car thingy" and a Batmobile load? A mech like an old tin auto unloader (Marx or American Flyer?...automaticaly twists the flat bed near 90°, the bed tilts, and the car rolls off it. Very cool, especially when you consider it's age.

  I wanted one to pull a Looney Tunes space train but I never really found one. At least not a reasonably priced one, so I made something. Which works too, but the Phantom is just cool.

  Does it have a Bat symbol in the car windows as illustrated pictures have shown? A Dark Knight shot?... I mean dim light shot? And if it isn't trouble, a straight on overhead of the engine, maybe angled 45° for front from above. I just wanted an image to manipulate and the image hunter didn't find my rose..  

 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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TRIM_20180120_130448

It doesnt matter much exactly how you connect wiring, as long as it is a "solid" connection. Folks have thier favorite finger to scratch with too.

  Soldering is very reliable, and really pretty easy for the most part. Teminal strips help keep things tidy and provide for easy changes. Wire nuts and a twist works, crimp on splice tube connectors too (crimped right, those are great).

  In electronics, if you can imagine it should be possible, you might be able to pull it off.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Ackleplem posted:

Gotcha.  Thank you.   That makes a lot more sense.  I would love to see how you do it.  Do you splice the wire or solder it; or does it matter?  I'm beginning to see why people have a section off to the side with the controllers, transformers, and switches.

I will be using a floor layout for the foreseeable future, but I can still utilize a lot of what I'm learning.

No need to solder. Go to Amazon and get .110" disconnects (they only sell .250 at Home Depot and Lowes). They sell them by the gauge wire you will use (I am using 14 and 16 gauge). Then you crimp them on and they slide onto the tabs underneath the FasTrack. On the 1 3/8" FasTrack, you don't really even need to cut the wire. Just slip it off and use a new disconnect and wire that runs through the SPST switch to complete the circuit.

The disconnect looks like this ...

 SmartSelectImage_2018-01-20-19-00-02

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

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Adriatic posted:

  Some scrap foam, glue, and $2 for 2 bottles of flat craft acrylic and a Batcave might be born

IMG_20170912_175331 [1)IMG_20171011_122317 foam

Rocks from the garden, foam, a hacksaw blade, and cheap paint is hard to mess up, even with "no measuring allowed" and "speed painting" with a 1" house painting brush it looks like "something"..Heck the grey brick was mostly snapped to length vs cut.mine3.JPG_optimized

  There are a few alien / sci-fi threads that may prove interesting too; the Phantom makes appearances. If you must own all things Batman there is an M7 subway engine & Joker/ Harley cars; Justice League, and at least two Batman cars to go. I'm surprised I haven't seen an official Bat signal spotlight car. That seems as no brainered obvious as the Marvin the Martian Earth Disintegrator Rocket Launching car was.

  A clear Phantom shell or cut into a "gondola/flat car thingy" and a Batmobile load? A mech like an old tin auto unloader (Marx or American Flyer?...automaticaly twists the flat bed near 90°, the bed tilts, and the car rolls off it. Very cool, especially when you consider it's age.

  I wanted one to pull a Looney Tunes space train but I never really found one. At least not a reasonably priced one, so I made something. Which works too, but the Phantom is just cool.

  Does it have a Bat symbol in the car windows as illustrated pictures have shown? A Dark Knight shot?... I mean dim light shot? And if it isn't trouble, a straight on overhead of the engine, maybe angled 45° for front from above. I just wanted an image to manipulate and the image hunter didn't find my rose..  

 

I've loved the phantom ever since I first laid eyes on the batman version.  I have seen videos of other versions of the phantom and they are equally awesome  The video above and the photos are really cool.  

All of your replies have given me a lot of food for thought.  I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do for my long term layout plans.  Nothing incredibly fancy: three nested tracks, the largest being around 54" by 72", the next being 40" by 60" (the first two being o 36 fastrack), and the inner track being 0 27 tubular track 36" by 48" with manual turnouts  to allow at train or trains to access any of the tracks.  If possible, having three entry points on the outer track.  I don't know if I can do all that in a 5' by 6' space.  That will take time and planning.

Ackleplem

 

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

My apologies if the video stinks. I forgot to mention where I purchased my SPST switch, but you can buy them from Home Depot or Lowe's. I also just crimped everything together ... the female disconnect clips to the 16 gauge wire, and that to the SPST switch.

Here is what it looks like in a "control box" which I will attach to the table later. You can buy these plywood cutouts from Hobby Lobby, six or eight for $2.99.

20180122_153230

 

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

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