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Reading the directions from the Lionel Uncoupler there is a warning NOT to connect it to the CW-80 accessory terminals and also a warning about setting your throttle to 10-12V.    I'm using a Z1000 and was planing on connecting to the accessory terminal which is 14V.  My engines are both Lionchief.  Am I missing something here and going to end up with a burned up device?

I know it's a fault but I usually read the directions.

Last edited by Jack B
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@Jack B  The Uncoupler will work on 14VAC from the Z-1000 accessory output, but there is an increased risk of the electromagnetic coil in the uncoupler melting the track housing.  The higher voltage will decrease the time the uncoupler can be activated without overheating.  Also the control buttons that come with the uncouplers are notorious for sticking in the on position.

Here's a pic from another thread:

0920Magnet20being20pulled20through20top2027button2720Large29

Many people opt to replace the stock control with an aftermarket momentary push button rated for 5 Amps.  Another small variable output AC transformer set to 10-12 volts would also be a good idea .

If you want to take the protection another step further, you could install a PTC resettable fuse in line with the uncoupling coil.  This one is what's recommended:  Bourns MF-R050  if interested, I can post a picture showing the installation.

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  • 0920Magnet20being20pulled20through20top2027button2720Large29
@SteveH posted:

@Jack B  The Uncoupler will work on 14VAC from the Z-1000 accessory output, but there is an increased risk of the electromagnetic coil in the uncoupler melting the track housing.  The higher voltage will decrease the time the uncoupler can be activated without overheating.  Also the control buttons that come with the uncouplers are notorious for sticking in the on position.

Here's a pic from another thread:

0920Magnet20being20pulled20through20top2027button2720Large29

Many people opt to replace the stock control with an aftermarket momentary push button rated for 5 Amps.  Another small variable output AC transformer set to 10-12 volts would also be a good idea .

If you want to take the protection another step further, you could install a PTC resettable fuse in line with the uncoupling coil.  This one is what's recommended:  Bourns MF-R050  if interested, I can post a picture showing the installation.

Yes, I am very much interested.  I'm going to have two uncoupling sections, one on each siding.  For the price of these and the age of the future engineers I like the all three of your suggestions.  Looks like they definitely could be the cheapest route.  Would a voltage drop resistor wired in the switch circuit be an option or no?

Last edited by Jack B
@Jack B posted:

Reading the directions from the Lionel Uncoupler there is a warning NOT to connect it to the CW-80 accessory terminals and also a warning about setting your throttle to 10-12V.    I'm using a Z1000 and was planing on connecting to the accessory terminal which is 14V.  My engines are both Lionchief.  Am I missing something here and going to end up with a burned up device?

I know it's a fault but I usually read the directions.

If you are afraid of melting down the track, you can use the postwar version with adapter tracks fast track to tubular. Works great and rock solid.

Here are a few options, all of which will insert the PTC in-line (series) with the Hot power connection feeding into the coil:

1) In this example, the enamel coil wire would be de-soldered from the switch return wire terminal and one of the PTC leads wired in its place.  The other leg of the PTC would be soldered to the freed coil wire and shrink wrapped.

Uncoupler with Track Power and Ground-w-PTC alt

2) alternatively, the PTC could be wired as below into the switch send OR return wire



Uncoupler with Track Power and Ground-wPTC

A 3rd option, not shown, would be if using a terminal strip to distribute power to the Uncoupler, the PTC could be wired from there in series with the Hot wire going to the Uncoupler.

Also note that the above pictures show the locations for the Activation button connections when using Track power.  If providing Aux power and Aux ground to the Uncoupler, the connections would be as follows (PTC not shown).

Uncoupler with Aux Power and Ground-rotated

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Images (3)
  • Uncoupler with Track Power and Ground-w-PTC alt
  • Uncoupler with Track Power and Ground-wPTC
  • Uncoupler with Aux Power and Ground-rotated
@ThatGuy posted:

If you are afraid of melting down the track, you can use the postwar version with adapter tracks fast track to tubular. Works great and rock solid.

Yes that's true about the older UCS, they were made to last.  It would be great if Lionel would make the Fastrack versions as reliable as the UCS.

For those who prefer Fastrack, at least there are some work-arounds.

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