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Hi,

I have a Lionel "NPR LEGACY Light 2-8-2 #587" 6-84532. i recently bought a z4000 transformer. I found online that 99% of people say that transformer should be compatible with everything. I even had the lionel service/dealer that i bought the transformer from show me it running a legacy engine in conventional.

BUT

when i try to run this steam engine in conventional with the z4000 two things happen. 1: if i try to start the engine from a crawl to simulate real startup behavior the engine stalls and the cab light starts flashing continuously. (it doesn't stop at a particular number of flashes to indicate problem code). the only way to run it is to start out at 11-12 volts. 8-9 volts and it stalls. 2: the smoke unit doesnt function properly. i can see a feint puff from time to time but that's it.

so i hooked up a cw80 and everything works perfect. bellowing smoke, no trouble with startup.

i cannot find a lionel compatibility chart anywhere, does this mean i managed to find an engine that is not compatible with the z4000 but is with the cw80 of all things?

thanks,

matt

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The continuously blinking cab light is actually a 1 blink diagnostic code AKA stalled motor. obviously if it works fine otherwise there is most likely nothing stalling the motor you are simply lacking power in conventional mode. This also applies with the smoke unit, with the Z-4000 being a true sine wave transformer the locomotive is just not getting the voltage it needs to correctly operate. With the low voltage the start current of the motor is over the trip current of the control board. The smoke is basically the same issue there is just not enough voltage to create enough heat for a good smoke output.

When you go to the CW-80 that has a modified sine wave that actually allows the board to get a initial 18V for part of the cycle and that allows the board to have enough voltage for the motor to run and power the smoke unit well.

The most reliable way to start my Legacy engines (New York Central S2 Electric motor, Ten-Wheeler steam engines, LIRR Camelback) conventionally with a Z-4000 is to apply 13 volts, wait a few seconds, then a short press of the direction button. That gets the engines moving every time - with sounds, and it is normal operating procedure on my railroad. I don't get reliable starts by retarding the throttle to exit from neutral and move forward.

MELGAR

@MELGAR posted:

The most reliable way to start my Legacy engines (New York Central S2 Electric motor, Ten-Wheeler steam engines, LIRR Camelback) conventionally with a Z-4000 is to apply 13 volts, wait a few seconds, then a short press of the direction button. That gets the engines moving every time - with sounds, and it is normal operating procedure on my railroad. I don't get reliable starts by retarding the throttle to exit from neutral and move forward.

MELGAR

Bingo!!….

Pat

@zhubl posted:

The continuously blinking cab light is actually a 1 blink diagnostic code AKA stalled motor. obviously if it works fine otherwise there is most likely nothing stalling the motor you are simply lacking power in conventional mode. This also applies with the smoke unit, with the Z-4000 being a true sine wave transformer the locomotive is just not getting the voltage it needs to correctly operate. With the low voltage the start current of the motor is over the trip current of the control board. The smoke is basically the same issue there is just not enough voltage to create enough heat for a good smoke output.

When you go to the CW-80 that has a modified sine wave that actually allows the board to get a initial 18V for part of the cycle and that allows the board to have enough voltage for the motor to run and power the smoke unit well.

thanks for the reply!

so is it just a question of operating in conventional? if i were to used the legacy system instead and set the z4000 to a certain voltage would that work? if so what voltage, my understanding is lionel legacy engines cant exceed 18v.

or will this engine simply never work with the z4000 properly?

That is correct it’s just a matter of running the locomotive conventionally if you had TMCC or LEGACY you probably wouldn’t see much of a difference (personally I’ve never cared for the Z-4000 something just always seamed off) the Z-4000 is a solid transformer though and should handle it just fine you are also correct the Z-4000 is capable of putting out more than 19VAC so be sure to never power a Lionel locomotive over that

I would expect a Postwar ZW to do the same thing this Z-4000 did although I could be wrong. I would imagine if the smoke was shut off there probably wouldn’t be much problem with a slow start. The other fix is simply use LEGACY or TMCC to control the locomotive but then again that’s a whole other topic trying to get ahold of a command  system

Last edited by zhubl
@zhubl posted:

I would expect a Postwar ZW to do the same thing this Z-4000 did although I could be wrong. I would imagine if the smoke was shut off there probably wouldn’t be much problem with a slow start. The other fix is simply use LEGACY or TMCC to control the locomotive but then again that’s a whole other topic trying to get ahold of a command  system

thank you for the info! gotta get that legacy system at some point, hopefully that solves the issue when i do.

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