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.
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.
Wish that were all there was to it. The gentleman took everything home and text me it will not work with his engine pulling it. I will post what that engine was after I see him tonight.
He ran both a Lionel 2055 and MPC 8600 Hudson and it will not work with them when running. Being it worked at the Allentown show with a ZW is what has me scratching my head on this.
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.
I wonder if the ZW at the train show was a newer ZW and not a postwar one? Did your friend try reversing the wires from the transformer to the track?
Says he did. He tried it since my last post. He doesn't know exactly what he did but now it is working.
Thank you all for helping. Forest.