Skip to main content

I have three loops of fastrack and legacy command.  I will be running conventional and command.  My layout is 8x16.  I have three 180 powerhouses and three power masters.  Each powerhouse has it’s own loop.  Now how do I check the phasing for each?  Does the rule for one common wire for the entire layout apply when three powerhouses and using bus wire?  Do you need to connect each powermaster to the Legacy base.   How to connect each power master to the Legacy base?  If I decide to add an additional powerhouse for an extension can a tmcc direct lock-on be used.

Still learning.

Original Post

Any time you use more than one power supply they must be phased together.  There is a Lionel Corporate video on YouTube "phasing two or more transformers to be used together and why" (or close to that title)

Mike isn't boring and this is a great "101 primer"/refresher for basic electrical theory imo.

Note if they work, they are most likely in phase because of how the new units are designed. Note a few of the modern ones got the wires reversed internally at the factory so checking phase isn't really redundant. (and knowing WHY is useful anyhow)

You can add another power supply via lock-on; but are you considering tjhat you need to set it up as a new block?  (nonsense is courtesy of "spellwreck"; not human error... I fixed what it let me)  .  Stacking power supplies in parallel (increases amp feed) isn't really ideal. Blocks matched to it's own supply is better for most folks. (when you run 7-8 big motors on one lighted train(ABBBA) you might run parallel...just maybe)

You can use one common bus for all supplies. You must add the supplies max amps together and the fat bus ground must carry that total amp load back to say a ground bar, then smaller leads to each supply to the bar.   I.e. the common bus should be as fat as if all the hots got tied together as one fat hot.  (you're looking at a 10g or larger common and maybe 14 hot bus, 16g drops (or similar... check against AWG wire selection charts, all over the net )  Remember oversized wires don't burn as easy; too small is bad 🤔

I have reviewed Mick’s video several time.   I realize that transformers’ need to be phased.   He doesn’t explain how to phase powerhouses.  They aren’t built like a transformer.  So I ask again how are Lionel Powerhouses phased?  Do the powerhouse come from the factory already phased or do you need to some type adapter to phase them?  
The other questions I have are do you use the common wire from each powermasters to connect to the Legacy base?  Also, do you connect both a an u wires from each powermaster to it’s own district or loop?

The other questions I have are do you use the common wire from each powermasters to connect to the Legacy base?  

If you are using only the powermaster to each loop with its A and U, you can connect the 3 U's together and run 1 wire back to the legacy base. You can also connect the outside rails on each loop with a separate feed wire to the otber 2 feed wires and run 1 wire to the legacy base.

Also, do you connect both a an u wires from each powermaster to it’s own district or loop?

Yes, they are independent and each powermaster gets its own unique TR number which is 1 to 9. Reserve the TR 0 (zero) when you want to eliminate a Train you put together using tbe TR function.

I have reviewed Mick’s video several time.   I realize that transformers’ need to be phased.   He doesn’t explain how to phase powerhouses.  They aren’t built like a transformer.  So I ask again how are Lionel Powerhouses phased?  Do the powerhouse come from the factory already phased or do you need to some type adapter to phase them.

Right now I set up a temporary layout on my garage floor with 3 powerhouses and 3 TPCs. I can only plug them into the power strip one way as the plugs are polarized. I know there were some early powerhouses that Lionel had that were out of phased and they had the proper plug to phase those correctly. I am using 2 - 135 watt and 1- 180 watt powerhouses with zero issues. 

Most of these post are referring to Older transformers that did not have polarized plugs that would allow the transformers to have the plugs inserted into a 120v outlet either upside down or rightside up.  Which allowed the various transformers to be out of phase.  Not having a Powerhouse in front of me, I believe those items do have polarized plugs (one blade on the plug wider than the other) that prevents the Powerhouses from being out of phase from one another.  But please check the plugs to see if they are in fact Polarized.  And again, I did not see any reference to using older transformers in your original post.  Again if you are using older transformers with your Powerhouses they would need to make sure that the transformers are phased to the Powerhouses.

Even with polarized plugs, you have to be mindful of polarity.  First off, for both the 135W and 180W Powerhouse models, some were shipped with the polarity wrong.  Lionel even had a "reversal cable" to "fix" the issue.   I took them apart and corrected it inside the transformer.  I believe at least one of the MTH Z-xxxx bricks also had a polarity issue at one point.  Another thing that can bite you is the fact that different outlets in the same room can be wired from opposite legs of the incoming 230V power.  This creates a situation where those outlets have reversed phase from each other.  If you plug those polarized transformers into each of these outlets, they will be out of phase.

Bottom line is it's always good to be aware of transformer phasing and how to verify it.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Even with polarized plugs, you have to be mindful of polarity.  First off, for both the 135W and 180W Powerhouse models, some were shipped with the polarity wrong.  Lionel even had a "reversal cable" to "fix" the issue.   I took them apart and corrected it inside the transformer.  I believe at least one of the MTH Z-xxxx bricks also had a polarity issue at one point.  Another thing that can bite you is the fact that different outlets in the same room can be wired from opposite legs of the incoming 230V power.  This creates a situation where those outlets have reversed phase from each other.  If you plug those polarized transformers into each of these outlets, they will be out of phase.

Bottom line is it's always good to be aware of transformer phasing and how to verify it.

As is normally the case, you have more insight than the "Average Bear" as one of my favorite cartoon characters would say.  Thanks for the clarification.

PS.  If an electrician came to me and said that it is a great idea to burn two circuit breaker positions in my box so that, I can't even imagine Why he would say that.  The only reason I could envision is if the room was huge and had an ungodly number of outlets required to maintain the minimum separation between outlets, then maybe.  Other wise I thing I would be asking the electrician to gather his tools and depart.

Loose-Caboose posted:

PS.  If an electrician came to me and said that it is a great idea to burn two circuit breaker positions in my box so that, I can't even imagine Why he would say that.  The only reason I could envision is if the room was huge and had an ungodly number of outlets required to maintain the minimum separation between outlets, then maybe.  Other wise I thing I would be asking the electrician to gather his tools and depart.

Actually, there's a fairly good reason for having outlets on either side of the 230 feed.  If you put excessive loads all on one side of the 230 feed, the neutral current goes way up.  Not only is this undesirable, but it's also costly, you're throwing away energy.

OK, the last laugh is on me!  After I pushed my post out, I thought you dummie.  In my shop as you stated, I have two 20 amp circuits that go down both sides of my shop to power my floor equipment for exactly the reason you state.  I also switched both legs so when I leave the shop I know all my tools are Off as I turn out the lights and those two switches.  One of these days I will get the best of you.  But, at my age I fear I am running out of time.

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×