I have a Santa Fe 4193 Trainsounds Tender with a strange operation issue. A fellow brought it over to be checked. It worked fine with a ZW at the train show where he bought it. When he brought it home the whistle would not with his ZW. What I found was that the rectifier disc in his ZW were not working so I replaced them with IN119OAR Solid State Diodes. I tested them out using a 6466W whistle tender and it worked fine after the upgrade but will not work the whistle on the Trainsounds tender. The Trainsounds tender works with a CW80 and a Z-4000 transformer. This was with the tender only on the track. Out of curiosity I tried the tender with the ZW with a Lionel 2036 engine on the track and running and the Tender whistle  worked. So my question is; is the solid state diode that I used somehow not compatible? Should I be using another Diode. I  did reverse polarity when testing. There was no engine on the track at the train show when they tested it there. Thank you. Forest.

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As you discovered, generally, one needs a load other than the tender itself to fully develop the DC offset that triggers the whistle/horn & bell. This can be an operating locomotive, an illuminated car, an illuminated lock on or bumper or anything else that draws a sufficient current.

You can double check your diode install against this tutorial:


I presume you replaced both the A & D sides? Have you tried using the swapping the A & D to power the track to the tender in question? I'm wondering if maybe it is a physical switch issue. Are you also aware of the 1/2 way pickup point of the ZW whistle switch? Sometimes the modern electronics only work on the pickup (1/2 whistle) and not the retaining (full whistle) position...

The article was the one I read several years ago when I first started doing these upgrades. Yes I replaced both. I tested both sides with a postwar tender and it gave a strong whistle on the full on position. I never had one not work properly after doing the upgrade with this Diode. It just doesn't want to work with the Trainsounds tender. I would be really curious as to whether the ZW at Allentown had diodes or rectifier disc? My friend has another ZW with bad disc's in it. I think I will but a new disc in one side and see if the tender works with it. 

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