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I have a ZW Postwar Celebration Controller #6-22982 that I bought new in 1999.

While the outer handles never really operated smoothly, I never had a problem with them powering up. 

This morning, I went to move the AU (right outermost) handle to the fully "ON" position, when I heard and felt some crackling noises as the handle being moved and it felt like it had become partially disconnected internally. Using my Cab 1 to power up the ZWC, at first my meter showed a max of 10 volts. After another couple cycles of the handle, it now shows -0- volts when attempting to power up "AU", while "DU" works fine and will power up to 18 volts.

I know that this has been addressed in the past and that there are sets of metal gears or brackets to replace the plastic parts in the unit that are prone to breaking.

Is there a step by step instruction available of how to do this and which parts to order from Lionel?

Thanks so much for your help!

Stan

Last edited by stangtrain
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There might be, but the metal base is not the only problem  The upper bracket can also crack that mounts to the new metal base.  Using an over sized washer you might get a better hold down so the gears do not slip.  But I leave mine up or only move it slowly to prevent skipping.  When you take cover off it won't be to hard to see how it works and what you need to do.  G

Last edited by GGG

Stan,

I had purchased the same unit in 1999 as well.

I believe that the attached image shows the metal replacement bracket. The originals are plastic and prone to cracking.

I had a repair guy replace mine about 10 years ago and they had been fine since then. 

The experts here on the forum can verify if these are the right parts.

 

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Graz nailed it.  I have fixed many of those with the broken plastic part.  The metal replacement bracket is still available at Lionel .  I keep a few on hand as the transformer with the broken plastic parts can usually be had for short money.

Good pictures Jesse.  Although some people are not big fans of this transformer, I like it stacked out with 4 180 bricks.  The old ZW can not come close to this guy.

Last edited by Marty Fitzhenry

Right, but see the vertical plastic bracket that the two gear pots attach to in the first picture?  The black wire runs across it.  Now look down at the 2 Philip screws that attach that bracket to your new metal plate.  You can see them in that first picture.  THAT IS the plastic bracket that broke on my PWC ZW, not the plastic bracket that they made a replacement for.   If it breaks, you need to be inventive in repairing it, as it was not replacement part when I had checked years ago.  G

GGG posted:

Right, but see the vertical plastic bracket that the two gear pots attach to in the first picture?  The black wire runs across it.  Now look down at the 2 Philip screws that attach that bracket to your new metal plate.  You can see them in that first picture.  THAT IS the plastic bracket that broke on my PWC ZW, not the plastic bracket that they made a replacement for.   If it breaks, you need to be inventive in repairing it, as it was not replacement part when I had checked years ago.  G

yes  In the parts link above 14, 15 pot assembly is not available, 16 function lever assy left is, 18 function lever assy RIGHT or A/U is not.

PROBLEM SOLVED!

I opened up the controller and found that the nut was loose that attaches the AU pot shaft to the bracket. I was able to snug it up with a needle nose pliers.

I re-connected a brick to the unit and now get full voltage with the AU handle extended. In fact, the handle moves very smoothly now. LOL, the nut must have been loose all along!

I re-installed the controller back on my power control area, tested and all is well again!

Before:

:image

After:

image

 

 

 

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Last edited by stangtrain

Moonman:

Already closed up and re-installed. I did have an updated chip installed by Lionel long ago when an issue arose when I purchased my Legacy controller. It was quite interesting, because I received a call from a gentleman named Mike Reagan at Lionel before it was commonly known that Mike had gone to work for Lionel - after Train America Studios. I may have been (one of) the first to break the news, right here on our forum!

Last edited by stangtrain
stangtrain posted:

Moonman:

Already closed up and re-installed. I did have an updated chip installed by Lionel long ago when an issue arose when I purchased my Legacy controller. It was quite interesting, because I received a call from a gentleman named Mike Reagan at Lionel before it was commonly known that Mike had gone to work for Lionel - after Train America Studios. I may have been (one of) the first to break the news, right here on our forum!

Good story. Well, you are ready for many more years of life. Now you know which parts to find for perhaps future repairs. I, too, run one of these with four bricks. Very stable.

stangtrain posted:

Moonman:

Already closed up and re-installed. I did have an updated chip installed by Lionel long ago when an issue arose when I purchased my Legacy controller. It was quite interesting, because I received a call from a gentleman named Mike Reagan at Lionel before it was commonly known that Mike had gone to work for Lionel - after Train America Studios. I may have been (one of) the first to break the news, right here on our forum!

I worked with JonZ when the issue arose to help troubleshoot the issue.  I suspect it was around the same time.  It manifested itself as soon as my Legacy was connected.  I imagine we were probably both in the loop on that one.  Jon sent me an update chip when they figured out what was happening.

New issue last night:

I powered up my transformers and the PWC ZW controller had a green light, accepted Legacy signals (indicated by blinking light), but power to all four channels was -0-. It was as if the "halt" button had been hit, but it wasn't.

I tried powering down and on again, but same result.

I did have the chip upgrade done many years ago after I bought the Legacy system.

I removed the controller from my layout and took it to my workbench.

I connected a powerhouse to channel A and checked the voltage and it registered 0 to 18 as it should. I connected a second powerhouse to channel B and it worked normally as well as did the other channels.

A variable may be that I have the PWC ZW voltmeter attached, so I removed it and re-installed the controller to my layout. All four channels then worked normally again.

I removed the unit again and re-installed the volt meter and re-installed in my layout.

The controller is once again working normally.

While I am glad all is well now, it would have been nice to have found a reason.

My only guess is that the motherboard could be going bad. I suppose there is no test for that, so it's just wait and see.

Has anyone else experienced this sequence of events?

 

 

I have the ZW-C with the Lionel add on meters, and running with 2 bricks currently.  I've also had it with 1 and 4 bricks.  Number of bricks didn't change anything, but there were times when I turn the power on, and the channels didn't go to power like they should of.  It does it almost all the time now.  I just address the handle and use the big red knob to turn the voltage up.  I just wish there was a go to full power command like there is to go to no power command, and I'm not talking about using Halt to go to no power.

My ZW has been this way ever since I got it.  It has the new metal brackets and the right handle was very loose and the pot would skip teeth.  I fixed it myself with a 3D printed part I designed and a u shaped bearing to take the slop out of the handles.  It works like a charm now.  What I found is I had to make the new bracket a little shorter to ensure good gear engagement.  My suspicion is that right side of the molded base is somehow a little off and the gears just don't mesh right.  I have never had any issue with the left handle.

I made a video on what I did. https://youtu.be/Jl6v_zffsGQ

@stangtrain posted:

New issue last night:

I powered up my transformers and the PWC ZW controller had a green light, accepted Legacy signals (indicated by blinking light), but power to all four channels was -0-. It was as if the "halt" button had been hit, but it wasn't.



Has anyone else experienced this sequence of events?





FWIW, after a long dormant period I took my ZW-C out and is using for accessories and lights.  It does have the updated chip for Legacy but I've had about 3 or 4 incidents where it has inexplicably shut down like the "Halt" button was pushed.  Similar to the before new chip ZW-C.  Since I don't have trains on it I am less concerned but found it odd after working flawlessly before I put it away last time and now having a few hiccups.

Last edited by MartyE

I've been using my ZW-C for years without issue, but as of late it has been acting weird, randomly cutting all power to the track.  Last time I ran I even had a locomotive "removed" from a consist mid run (Lets say the Lionel DD35A is a beast, it was pulling 12 Lionel excursion cars while pushing a dead VL BB.  The VL BB was what removed itself from the consist while it was running!).  The only thing that has changed is that they've recently added new street lamps in the neighborhood with radio antennas on them.  Don't know if it's city wide wifi or new 5G for cell phones.  I hope this doesn't ruin my Legacy command enjoyment.

But back on topic, can a ZW-C that didn't have the Legacy compatibility issue at first develop it over time?  I do not know if it has the updated chip in it as I never looked since it always worked before.  It was the one that came with 180W bricks, so the later release as they originally were released with 135W bricks.

@graz posted:

Could one of the last Legacy updates be causing the problem?

Or a common LCS module that you both might have installed?

It's possible.  The last update was 1.6 to the base and 1.61 to the Cab2.  Not sure I've used the ZW-C since I update until this winter.  Might be worth adding a @Dave Olson to see if he has a thought.  Mine is very random now though but years ago before I replaced the chip it was rather a common occurrence.

Last edited by MartyE
@jimmysb posted:

My ZW has been this way ever since I got it.  It has the new metal brackets and the right handle was very loose and the pot would skip teeth.  I fixed it myself with a 3D printed part I designed and a u shaped bearing to take the slop out of the handles.  It works like a charm now.  What I found is I had to make the new bracket a little shorter to ensure good gear engagement.  My suspicion is that right side of the molded base is somehow a little off and the gears just don't mesh right.  I have never had any issue with the left handle.

I made a video on what I did. https://youtu.be/Jl6v_zffsGQ

Someone, Finally addressed this issue - what type of 3d printing material did you use. Would yo u be willing to share the file or make a few pieces?

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