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My nephew will be getting a lionchief set this Christmas (model #: 1923040). I am wanting to add on an accessory or him, the postwar 364 log loader (with AC motor).  The Lionchief set is powered by a DC wall wart.

1. Could the 364 be powered via the same DC wall wart by adding wires from the underside of the track to the accessory?

2. Can the wall wart power provide the amperage needed to drive the 364?

3. Is 18v DC too much for the 364?

4. If it cannot be added to the wall wart, can I just use a cheap AC transformer (old 40watt) to power it separately?  Does phasing really matter in this case?

5. Can the fastrack uncouple/unloading (6-12054) tracks be powered by DC? or should it be activated by AC?

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If you are going down the accessory and uncoupling track and so forth, you need to ditch DC.

So in a nutshell, no, 18V DC, and trying to power classic oldschool AC accessories is not going to work. Again, the instant you wire and activate that log loader, the DC supply will trip overcurrent from 18V DC trying to sure in that AC motor or coils.

Yes, sure, one could wire up accessory AC power just for activation and uncoupling tracks, but then it's common to the track.

Again, sure, you could just wire the logloader to the accessory AC transformer. Where this gets 2 steps more complicated is throwing in matching activation tracks for loading and unloading/uncoupling. And they too can be wired, but the risk of mixing AC and DC increases, wiring complications and so forth.

Just go ALL AC.

Last edited by Vernon Barry
@JD2035RR posted:

My nephew will be getting a lionchief set this Christmas (model #: 1923040). I am wanting to add on an accessory or him, the postwar 364 log loader (with AC motor).  The Lionchief set is powered by a DC wall wart.

1. Could the 364 be powered via the same DC wall wart by adding wires from the underside of the track to the accessory?

No.  You can not use a DC power supply to operate an AC motor.

2. Can the wall wart power provide the amperage needed to drive the 364?

N/A

3. Is 18v DC too much for the 364?

Again, no DC, and yes 18 volts AC is also too much for the log loader.

4. If it cannot be added to the wall wart, can I just use a cheap AC transformer (old 40watt) to power it separately?  Does phasing really matter in this case?

Yes.  This is a great use for the transformer.  It will also allow you to adjust the voltage so the log loader will operate as intended.  Phasing will not matter.  Just keep the power supplied isolated from each other.  Do not share a common ground, etc.

5. Can the fastrack uncouple/unloading (6-12054) tracks be powered by DC? or should it be activated by AC?

I would use AC, but I am old school.  And it depends on what you are activating.  The operating car may require AC voltage, but if you are just uncoupling (plunger/magnet), then a DC power would work.

Actually, I would use the old AC transformer (with a new quick reset fuse) for the track power and the accessory power and not even use the DC power supply provided.

See comments above.

Your Lionchief train will run on AC, but your log loader will not run on DC, so I would lose the DC wall wart and power the layout with an AC transformer, preferably one with a separate adjustable AC accessory voltage tap.

If I had the money, you might want to consider a new Lionel CW-80 AC transformer that has modern, built-in electronic protection and the adjustable accessory tap that you can wire the log loader to and adjust the accessory output to whatever AC voltage is recommended for the log loader. The main outputs will separately put out 18acv to the track to run the train.

With 80 watts of power you will also have a little more additional power on hand should you ever decide to enlarge the layout.

   

@Richie C. posted:

...your log loader will not run on DC,..

Sure it will.

...Where this gets 2 steps more complicated is throwing in matching activation tracks for loading and unloading/uncoupling. And they too can be wired, but the risk of mixing AC and DC increases, wiring complications and so forth...

The 364 operates completely independent of any track connection, so this is a non-issue.

@JD2035RR posted:
..can I just use a cheap AC transformer (old 40watt) to power it separately?

This is the easiest, best solution if you have one on hand(even 25-30 watts if you have one).  The 364 operates completely independent of any track connection, so phasing is not an issue, or DC on the track vs AC for accessories, and you can fine tune the voltage for satisfactory conveyor speed.

@ADCX Rob I agree with what you said and that all makes sense.

the challenge I’m also learning about is that the operating track sections don’t like DC. There is some disagreement I’ve read of whether or not that’s true.

If that section requires AC, then I might as well go with a transformer that will power track, operating section, and accessories. Rather than mixing DC on the rails, and AC for operating section and accessories.

Any truth to the operating section not being compatible with DC?

@JD2035RR posted:
Any truth to the operating section not being compatible with DC?

It's not an AC/DC issue, they work, but at 5-7 ohms they tend to act like a short circuit to the little 40 watt power supply that comes with most sets(especially with lighted cars and a smoke unit on the track). Using them on DC with an ample power supply will also tend to overheat them if overused, the FasTrack uncouplers are sensitive enough to this even on AC.

Last edited by ADCX Rob

FWIW I agree with others, ditch the dc wall wart and use an AC transformer. It isn't that much harder to use and will allow them to do more going down the road. The log loader should work on DC, far as I know they all use universal motors that can run on either AC/DC. You can probably get a modern transformer used like a z-1000 or CW 80 or the like, or an older one, for not a lot of money.

Last edited by bigkid
@bigkid posted:

FWIW I agree with others, ditch the dc wall wart and use an AC transformer. It isn't that much harder to use and will allow them to do more going down the road. The log loader should work on DC, far as I know they all use universal motors that can run on either AC/DC.

It's not that it cannot work on DC, it's that motor and and, the solenoid to dump the logs would then be running at TOP SPEED and huge surge current on startup @18V DC from a Lionchief setup. Well, it would attempt to- and then the power supply would trip overcurrent and nothing would happen.

Variable DC maybe- given a proper source, but in this discussion no.

Title of the topic: "How do I best add AC accessory (364 log loader) to lionchief set (powered by DC wall wart)?"

Label says 18V and 3 Amps DC, and these have a self resetting overcurrent limit circuit that is relatively sensitive. They cut power, wait a few seconds, and then try again over and over and over.

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Last edited by Vernon Barry
@ADCX Rob posted:

Full speed is fine on this model(the conveyor is geared quite slow), & there is no solenoid.

My fault, was thinking of the other one (a 164), but still, the motor likely will never start, just sit there and pulse- as the Lionchief power supply sits there and trips overcurrent each time the motor attempts to start.

Last edited by Vernon Barry
@DaveGG posted:

Would you use a DC power source for this item on your layout?

If the only advantage is that's what you have, I guess you could.  But going back to the original question, "what is the best?".  Has that question been addressed correctly?

#1 no, generally I have backed away from postwar accessories, just because I've gone more scale, and more recent in my layout design. Most likely, I would use AC, but to potentially quiet down the motor, I would not entirely rule DC out. Truthfully, if I wanted the look of postwar, but the smoothness of modern DC, I would just adapt a modern DC can motor and gearbox.

#2 I said AC is best, YOU said is AC is best. My last couple of explanations is why DC given the KEY factor of a known Lionchief supply as the source shows minimally it's problematic and likely would not even work.

Others generally commented AC is best.

Good discussion everyone.  I am one that appreciates when the topic meanders a bit, because there is always something new to learn on the periphery. 

What I am understanding is that it is possible to run the 364 on DC, however we may be approaching the current limits of the wall wart (with train running, using the uncouple/unload track, etc.).  The DC wall wart is definitely a limiting hurdle moving forward. 

At the end of the day, I wanted to give him something that would add some play value to the starter set and set him up for future expansion.  I am going to give him a larger AC transformer, an operating track, and the 364.  I'll likely go with a 1033 or LW with the customary TVS diodes and external circuit breaker.  The price went up a bit, but it is "a lifetime investment in happiness."

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