Lionel 180 Watt Power Brick ... to TIU ?????????????

David Minarik posted:

Cut the cord.

Cut the cord!  I bought my 180W Powerhouse(s) for about $80.  The adapter adds 20% to the price and provides no additional benefits.

I DID save the end I cut off in case I ever need to use the PH with something that needs that connector.


Home of the Union Eastern, Thomaston & Williamstown Railroad

If you make your own from readily available parts, the adapter costs about $2.  Since I still have the ZW-C controller on the shelf, I'd like to be able to use the PH180 with it if I like.

I have one on the shelf that I bought for a layout I've built for a grandson, but didn't use.  Looks like a good replacement for, and much better than, a postwar ZW if one is feeding a TIU or powering accessories.  Same ampacity, better breaker, smaller size, and cheaper than a rebuilt ZW.

RJR posted:

Why are the powerhouses so scarce?  Problem with Asian supplier?

Lionel changed suppliers, and there was some issue in using the old design, I'm not sure what part of it was a problem.  They're working to get the new design UL approved so they can get them moving again.  They haven't been manufactured for at least a couple of years.

Thanks for the warning, John.  I won't buy any more for a few years, to give the new supplier a chance to get properly Oriented on the manufacturing process and let Lionel get it debugged.  I have no desire to be a gamma tester.


I have seen the Lionel PowerHouse in the on line catalog to ship in 2016. Did anyone hear when they will available to the LHS?



A proud member of the Brotherhood of Carpet Layouts.  Permanent layout scheduled for early Fall 2018. New Home of Phoenix Train Works (Name of Layout)


I didn't have access to a 3-pole molex, and found that a 4-pole would work.

With its 10-amp capacity, the 180 powerhouse is same wattage/amerage as a postwar ZW, so I use it to drive 2 TIU circuits.  I use a terminal block to make the split.  Be sure to first phase the output with your other transformers; it's a simple matter to switch the output leads if need be when the PH180 is connected to a terminal block.

I made up a molex to plug into the end of the cable that came with the PH180.

But if you really want to save money, just cut the cable that came with it, strip the ends, and connect them to your terminal block or directly to your TIU posts wrapped around the posts, taking care to phase it with your other transformers. (On mine, I had to reverse the wires to phase with my Z4000 & other transformers.  I use crimp connectors for wires going to TIU).  I use my PH180 to drive 2 TIU circuits (yards), on which rarely would there more be two locos working in the aggregate.  Replaced a PW ZW, at much less space.

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