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If he wants to burn himself and his reputation to the ground, zap a few kids who thought this was a neat project or otherwise malign the toy train community with his solution in search of a problem, that's just fine. It's right in the name - waste and ruin.

I certainly didn't enjoy having to hit a red seal industrial electrician with a 2x4 to get him to let go of the 2.5kv used to power an electric submersible pump.

But then again, some people ENJOY getting shocked.

Ah, finally, here's the answer everyone needs to hear!

https://realprop.org/store/p15...s_Stand_Alone.html#/

https://realprop.org/store/p16...-_Stand_Alone.html#/

https://realprop.org/store/p16...r_Stand_Alone.html#/

Hale and Farewell... until we meet again... and We Will!

Actually, what I wanted to hear is you had at least did some reflection on the common sense points that were presented by many posters who have the best interests of not only the readers at heart, but your business as well.

Really?

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Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

Heck, why not? Let's just buy a genuine Lionel ZW-L main transformer 660VA!!!!

Why pay $357 for only 158 Watts, or $490 for 450 Watts, when I can have an insane 600+ Watts for less money?

https://www.lionelsupport.com/...660-VA-120V-50-60-Hz

Screen Shot 2024-01-30 at 10.44.52 AM

Red and black wires are input, yellow and black pairs are 2each 18V outputs. Get some good breakers, a housing, a power switch, maybe a couple of Legacy 360 Watt powermasters if you need variable.

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Ok all I’m going to say is that there are regulations on stuff for a reason. I deal with them everyday for HVAC/R

besides that there’s a part of me that finds it interesting but in no way practical or safe. Going back through it looks like the reason for this project was due to a lack of power from the PostWar ZW that is rated with input wattage. You can get better performance out of a GW180. From there you have a Williams big boy pulling 6A that seams ridiculous. Here’s a video of a vision big boy pulling a 34 car train up a 3.125% grade. With all smoke units on I’m still lucky to pull 3-4A. If it was just the motor it’d probably be 1.5A



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...And does anyone know of some good circuit protection?...

if you're going to continue you really need to gather some information and understanding to protect yourself and -sigh- your possible customer(s) READ - LEARN - TEST, not  - fire, ready, aim

Recommended Protection for (Post War KW/ZW) Transformers

the above thread - and many others here on OGR - have plentiful sound advice for protecting trains, and transformer outputs. the breakers they describe seem to be legendary among the o-gauge folks

The attached pic shows some fast acting DIN rail mounted breakers I have on my layout - to protect trains AND (in your case, while testing) your electronics. I think the ones discussed in the threads here have a slightly faster spec. These were simply available spares from a testing panel I built years ago. Also- a note. I have the 180W Lionel bricks and their built-in breakers have popped before the 10amp units in the picture - and truth I don't think they've ever popped. The Lionel 180W brick breakers do seem to be a leader in train transformer circuit protection.

Also, it would be very smart to calculate the potential draw from your "test-kit" and insert appropriate fuse/breaker protection for the input.

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Last edited by woodsyT

Thanks to One and All for their Comments!  As you have correctly surmised, I am no "Expert"!  I am only concerned if the Transformer "works"!  And "How Well" is another question that needs to be answered...

Last week (after I posted), my wife and I went out of town to meet a fellow I met in Syracuse in November.  He was kind enough to bring me into his cellar to see his layout and "workshop" and to view his O-Gauge Collection - after 30 Years he has a "massive" one - not to mention all the stuff he has in his garage to "sell"!  The number of ZW and KW Transformers sitting in there... Whoa!

Gunrunnerjohn actually showed us above the exact 2 transformers that my guy has on his layout - the ZW 275 and the  "Z" 250 Watt - my guy told me that the "Z" was actually more powerful because it had to do less!

I left him 8 engines to check out - and when I picked them up last Friday, the MTH O&W FA was the only one that was "kaput" - that board had shorted out at the Syracuse Train Show - and I even know when that happened - it wasn't from running at too high a Voltage, it was a derail - and the fuse blew in the Variac I was using for it.  The other FA I have can be seen running on the same Variac at

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/UVOqVP_nbDM

So, of course, everyone "knows" I am "not of right mind" for trying this stuff,  but... it is a "Free Country"!  And of course I will continue "trying", and if anyone over the Age of 21 would like to try it themselves, they are free to...

That may seem like an outlandish premise for now... but our hope is that perhaps there will be  other Companies that will use this kind of technology to eventually release "new products" that are a less expensive than the Transformers that are available out there... and that someone will begin to sell Engines that have their own circuit protection and even ones that are rated for 25+ Volts!

"Dreaming" is the order of the day in this neck of the woods... and "To The Mountains by 3-Rail"  is the "action" we will be promoting!

A Last Note - the O&W Historical Society is now located OnLine at

https://ontarioexpress.org/

We have elected a New President and now are available for

On-Line Membership and Donations!

Last edited by Waste & Ruin TrainHaus

Just to get things more confused...

We tried looking at all those "Breaker Breaker" solutions in the links up yonder... looks good, wethinks, but we are El Cheapo and when we see those prices - "Arrrrrrrggghhhh!"

Kind of HAPPY that since no one reads this anymore, no one heard that!

But we at the Waste & Ruin TrainHaus will not quit - although you may want us to by now!

So, to provide "Electrical Blowout Protection"

We Now Introduce:

The "Pygmalion" Fused Outlet Kit!

https://realprop.org/store/p16...ed_Outlet_Kit.html#/

And wouldn't you know we put up a couple of (ugly) YouTube Videos to check this sweet baby out!

https://youtu.be/QCyUlO-55AA

https://youtu.be/LwrPBn8H2CY

And There is Much More Action to Come!

IMO, using a standard 120V outlet for anything but 120 volts in a fully enclosed and NEA approved enclosure is a really bad idea.  Don't let me get started on the fuse dangling from the wire wraps in the back!

@rplst8 posted:

Aye yi yi

That sums it up!

And There is Much More Action to Come!

The mind boggles!

Fused Outlet Box Assembled

Well... "they" did not say it would be easy!

But, we are thankful that with diligence and hard work, the world can become more than it already was... and that this fact will always be the Case!

This is Our World, after all.  And in "Our World" we try to make things "work".  And if they don't, it is "back to the drawing board".

The "Proteus" Transformer Kit has now been assembled and is being tested with the "Pygmalion" Fused Outlet - and the only question we want an Answer to is this one:  "Does it 'Work'?"

If it "Blows Up" or "Catches Fire", it DOES NOT WORK.

Words are tools we humans use to "illuminate" and then also "obfuscate".

Feel free to use them - but please - and know this - if we never try "new things" there will never be any "new things".  We will continue using the "tried and true" until that day where we may "Ascend" or "Descend" to a place beyond  "Our World"!

But we here at the Waste and Ruin TrainHaus have chosen to live in this world, and then to "expand" the limits of O Gauge Model Railroading - to go to the "Mountains by 3 Rail"!

To do this we have had to "create" things that do not yet exist - and so we have!

So Feel Free  (very Free!)  to "say" "it can't be done"!  Or even "it shouldn't be done"!

But here is a Video of the Lionel 685 (1953) testing the "Proteus" and the "Pygmalion", and going up to the "Mountains by 3 Rail"!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM0A0A_-yDo

Yes, dear reader, You can "Do It Yourself"!

https://realprop.org/store/p16...ansformer_Kit.html#/

https://realprop.org/store/p16...ed_Outlet_Kit.html#/

Happy O-Gauge Model Railroading

from the Waste and Ruin TrainHaus!

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  • "Proteus" Transformer Kit Assembled: "Proteus" Transformer Kit Assembled
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Ah, those were the days!  Back on 1/2/2024 we began this "Power" thread...

"It is Rude and Crude - but will be improved!"

Here is the Setup today:

Proteus Setup

Red Chinese Variac 500 VA (CV)

The Black "Proteus" (PROTY) Transformer Kit, Assembled - on top its power cable and the"Pygmalion" (PYGY) Fused Outlet.

On its Right:  the "VaVaVaVoom" Kit Assembled (VAVA)  Ammeter/Voltmeter.

Right Front:  the "Pythagorean" (PYTHY) Fused Switch.

And lastly - the Cable Connectors (CCON).

Is there a Method to the Waste and Ruin TrainHaus' "Electrical Madness"?

Yes.

And here is our Logic:

All AC "Toy" Transformers Produce Voltage and Amperage.  There are two wires for any AC setup.

+/- or Letters  A-D and "Common" on a ZW - but we like to call them "Hot" and "Common".

Any modern USA Outlet rated at 15 Amps and 120 Volts can handle the juice "Toy" Transformers produce.  The "Common" is the larger hole on the ordinary Duplex Outlet.  We use a "polarised" Plug which can only fit that socket one way - because the "Common" blade is bigger than the "Hot".

We have rigged our Test Layout up with them - along with simple On/Off Light "Switches" (which are also rated at 15 Amps and 120 Volts) for isolating blocks  and for turning current to the track on and off.

We also use either of these on the PROTY, VAVA, PYGY and PYTHY, configuring the outlets (as needed) with an "Input" and an "Output" by isolating one side from the other (all you have to do is break a tab off with a pair of needle nose pliers).

The fact that the PROTY provides 36 Volts Max Power has dismayed many - but we are running engines on it at even as high as 28 Volts (a 25 car Heavy train) and the Fuse does not blow - but it does blow when there is a short from a derail, though!

We know that "Circuit Breakers"  are the (almost) unanimous choice for protection, but we prefer "fuses".   Why?

  1. We can change the fuse size as needed - 5, 7.5 10, 12.5  etc., for whatever we need it to be.  We use a 5 Amp fuse in the PYGY to feed the PROTY Power cable.   If we need more or less protection,  we can change the fuse.  It might take a minute.
  2. We can also use a PYGY-back on the Track for easy back-up protection when we get lazy.
  3. We tried a product that cost us $34 (with shipping) - a push-button assemblage with lights        that actually did not work when we tested it - the darned circuit button would not blow even when we shorted out the track with a screwdriver!  It ran the trains fine - and never blew!  And the same thing occurred when we tried the 4.5 Amp Push-Button breakers we bought... they never blew!  Chalk that up to "live and learn"  The fuses - they are sure thing!  They Blow!
  4. We like "working on the model railroad", and fuses require more work to change - and thus we are more apt to fix what needs fixing track-wise.  Or hit the Kill Switch faster on a derail!


All in all, we're very happy with how our Setup works -  because we get that boost of power when needed to get us up to "The Mountains by 3-Rail".

We know it is not for everyone - but will anyone else ever use it?  Only Time will Tell!

All we know is this: It Works!

Thanks to All of You who have put us "on the track" to a more "perfect" system with your comments and thoughtful criticism!



Happy O-Gauge Model Railroading

from the Waste and Ruin TrainHaus!

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The fact that the PROTY provides 36 Volts Max Power has dismayed many - but we are running engines on it at even as high as 28 Volts (a 25 car Heavy train) and the Fuse does not blow - but it does blow when there is a short from a derail, though!

If you apply 28 volts to many (most) O-scale electronic boards, especially any of the Lionel or MTH boards, you'll be buying new boards.  Lionel specifies a maximum of 19 volts, MTH tolerates up to 24 volts.  The fuse may not blow, but a couple hundred dollars worth of electronics likely will.

@RickO posted:

Why stop at 28v? Why not go for 50 or 100v?

The mind boggles.

Since the boards use 35V filter capacitors behind a full wave bridge rectifier as the first component, putting 30 VAC on them results in about 42.5 VDC across the capacitors, well in excess of their ratings.  Yes, they will do that, probably for a few hours.  However, it's certainly a recipe for a very short component life.  Actually running at the rated voltage vs 80% of the rated voltage is estimated to cut the life expectancy of an electrolytic cap by 70%.  Obviously, running at 20% above the rated voltage can only exacerbate that situation.

However, enough of this lunacy, I'm checking out of this thread, I'll let others fight the good fight against misinformation.   I've wasted more than enough time here, let the people that believe this drivel learn the hard way.

@rplst8 posted:

Is that seriously a male to male NEMA 1-15P cordset?

I really hope some child doesn't find that and try to plug it in somewhere.

One of the things I enjoy about toy and model trains is that a mistake might be expensive but nobody will get killed.  Unfortunately, in this instance, someone could literally be killed by the equipment that is being presented.  The male-to-male cord has a nickname - a "suicide cord".  This topic is dangerous!

All:

The knowledge on this site never ceases to amaze me. I don't particular have *power* issues, but these topics are interesting to me, so I click on and read about them. Always something to learn. The banter is fun too!.

So thanks to the many that force me to stop and look up new terms, words, devices and gadgets. Why, an hour ago, I thought a Toroid was something you get from tight footwear!!!!

Bob

@Mallard4468 posted:

One of the things I enjoy about toy and model trains is that a mistake might be expensive but nobody will get killed.  Unfortunately, in this instance, someone could literally be killed by the equipment that is being presented.  The male-to-male cord has a nickname - a "suicide cord".  This topic is dangerous!

Waste and Ruin TrainHaus will have to point out a few things -

1) We are not recommending anyone use a "suicide cord" for anything but as a "patch cable" -  because  we have some "electrical knowledge" we know better than to plug it into any 120 Volt live outlet.  Which is why we will not sell any "Power" to anyone under 21 Years of age.  And if you O-Gaugers want to try it, put a lock on your Train Room, OK?

2) We found this after searching for "Suicide Cord" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-4mvK2FW78

And in the comments:

Hmmm. This almost gave me PSTD! When I was six, I saw a two-prong wire lying around with its other end stripped and copper exposed. Curiously, I plugged it in both sides of an outlet and got the shock of my life! In a split second, suddenly there was a VERY LOUD SCARY SPARK, soot, and blister burns on my hands. Also it blew a fuse. Apparently there was a lamp with a bad plug that it was gonna be spliced to. I was nicknamed "Livewire" for a long time after that! Subsequently, I took electronics in vocational school and had jobs dealing with electricity for years!
i did something similar, except i was the one that stripped the wires, plugged the cord in and shorted the 2 wires with a screw driver. it blew the screw driver out of my hand with a flash, 'welded' the wires to the screw driver and blew a breaker....was a little ruckus with the parents but no consequence, luckily. funny .... i am an electrician today


Hmmm - "it blew a fuse" and "blew a breaker" - gosh, folks, how about that!  And they both still use electricity today!

Fear-Mongering is a great way to feel Self-Satisfaction,  but fuses and circuit breakers will help in the "survival of the fittest".

And Please - don't drink that Clorox which may be around the house!  Or climb into a lit oven!  Should I go on?  Knowledge is key!

The only way this "topic" could be dangerous is for to those who do not know what they are doing - so please share the knowledge with One and All, OK?

Or just ban everything, including free speech!

@RickO posted:

Why stop at 28v? Why not go for 50 or 100v?

By Golly "RickO", we do not want to be "Captain Obvious" but that would defeat the purpose of our "theoretical inquiry" - TAB sold us 36 Volts for a reason...

Now that we have given a somewhat sufficient answer, can you post a picture of your layout and your "power" here?  We are now very curious about who might ask such a question and what they are doing with their "O-Gauge" !

What have you, "RickO", What?

This topic just needs to go. PERIOD.

Yessir, Vernon Barry - it is still going - at 28 Volts and up into the Mountains!  But Please - feel free to ignore it - if you can!  And share your Wisdom instead!

As this Gentleman has!

The mind boggles.

Since the boards use 35V filter capacitors behind a full wave bridge rectifier as the first component, putting 30 VAC on them results in about 42.5 VDC across the capacitors, well in excess of their ratings.  Yes, they will do that, probably for a few hours.  However, it's certainly a recipe for a very short component life.  Actually running at the rated voltage vs 80% of the rated voltage is estimated to cut the life expectancy of an electrolytic cap by 70%.  Obviously, running at 20% above the rated voltage can only exacerbate that situation.

However, enough of this lunacy, I'm checking out of this thread, I'll let others fight the good fight against misinformation.   I've wasted more than enough time here, let the people that believe this drivel learn the hard way.

But gunrunnerjohn, do those "guns" you "run" come with a safety notice and serial numbers?  Or are they just a figment of your prolific imagination?  Your theories are all well and good, but we at Waste and Ruin TrainHaus want to know what really happens in the "real" world!

And that is what we are looking at.  You may certainly call it "drivel".  Too bad sometimes what we try works, eh?  But, of course, now it won't in the future!  And it is "Lunacy" to think anything else!

We are here to "push" the envelope - and we don't expect anyone else to do that -  but they can if they want!  You may have noticed that there is a lot of "Love" for you on this Thread - and Zero "Love" for us!  Not a problem... we are not interested in "Love", but rather the "Truth" - even if that "Truth" may come back and bite us!

Perhaps someone will take notice, and thus there may be an improvement in 35V filter capacitors  and 42.5 VDC across the capacitors - and perhaps more O-Gaugers will be able to build multi-level layouts that need more power to drag their loads!  That is the Dream - to the Mountains by 3 Rail!

We have no interest in guns, by the way, as they are much more apt to result in death than the simple stuff we are doing with O-Gauge Trains... we feel guns are the "True Lunacy" - and with no Circuit Breakers or Fuses! So Please take special care, Gun-Lovers and Gun-Runners!

We realize, gunrunnerjohn,  that you are not returning to this thread,  but we must Beg for one more thing - how about a picture of your layout and Power posted here?  We are very curious, as it must be a sight to see!  But please, No Guns!  They are too dangerous!

Happy O-Gauge Model Railroading from

The Waste and Ruin TrainHaus!

"To the Mountains by 3-Rail"

We made this one with gunrunnerjohn in mind - since we "know" he will not return!

SwitchyWebAll

Shhhh! - we ran out of wire - but please keep the "cow" in the bag!

https://realprop.org/store/p16...rnout_Machine.html#/

And here's the YouTube Video:

https://youtu.be/x1_WzyhpA4E

Again - Shhhh! - mum's the word!

They make this just a few miles away from me.  Hard to get under a screw and the bend radius sucks but voltage drop from my ZW is never a problem! LOL

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@rplst8 posted:

What was their reasoning for limiting the output to 36V?

I can only offer conjecture here - but I believe he was leading me in the direction of running multiple trains on one track - since he sold me and then gave me directions to link them up 2 18-Volt Transformers, and then more directions on hooking them up to a VARIAC he was actually giving me the material and capability for creating at least 5 36 Volt Circuits running on 5 VARIACs, or ten trains at a time!

I went to him with questions about my malfunctioning ZW (already refurbished at Manhattan's Madison Hardware) and he gave me some real "how-to" answers and sold equipment that turned out to be simple and effective! And still works!

The Bronx layout I built in the attic of our house (long since torn down to build a 5 story apartment building) had 2 loops and the "system" could run 2 trains.  Our new layout now also has 2 (much bigger) loops, with a third waiting to be built.

So I believe the 36 Volts were certainly not meant to "blow out" any engines, but were actually intended to not "max" out those transformers.  And they can give an extra "burst" of power when needed...

I did "max out"  that Toroid that started this thread by running it on 5+ Amps with the Williams NYC pulling 30 heavy cars - and that for more than an hour!  But that was to learn!

And learn I did - with the help of those folks who commented!

36 Volts is certainly not for everyone - but, for me, it is a fascinating way to look at this hobby - and I surely want to learn if that fabulous "(Ontario & Western Pacific Lion Chief" can take the "juice"!  So far I am running that Engine 5 times around the "Mountain" loop daily at 30 Volts - but not actually at 30 - that is just what is running into the track - the hand held throttle is on (about) 75%!  And it gives the "burst" of power that is needed for the "Mountain"...

It is pulling 15 Heavy Cars up into and over the "Mountains" at very low Amps - and the only other engine that will do the same is the Williams Reading Camelback - at 3 Amps!  It does not matter how many Volts any of my other engines draw - they all start to "spin" and that is the end of that trip!

Happy Model Railroading from the Waste and Ruin TrainHaus!

They make this just a few miles away from me.  Hard to get under a screw and the bend radius sucks but voltage drop from my ZW is never a problem! LOL

Ha Ha!  We stick to 14 AWG ourselves... the Stamford, CT 2 Rail O-Scale runs 12 AWG on a Variac hooked to a rectifier for DC, they told me on my visit.  140 feet of mainline!

Wonder how many O-Gauge train sets they have on Martha's Vineyard?  They got the Juice!

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