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Don / Pete:

I have pasted in the instructions provided by our club's "Train Doctor Ted" who added the pot meters to our kid's layout CW80 transformers.  I've also attached a photo of the pot and wiring.  If you have questions, I will be happy to pass them along to him.

Curt

Procedure for installing an electronic 'governor' to the throttle on a CW-80 transformer.

Purchase a 100K potentiometer at 1/2 watt; same approx. physical size as the transformer's throttle pot.  The pots's shaft should be approx. 3/8".

Remove the shell of the CW-80.

Unsolder the 'RED' wire off the transformer's throttle pot.

Solder a 6 inch wire to the throttle post that you just removed the 'RED' wire from.

      New Pot

 

On the 'new' 100K pot, short the middle post to one of the end post and connect the 6" (Blue) wire to these 2 posts.

On the 100K pot, connect the 'RED' wire to the other end post of the 100K. (You will need to extend the length of the 'RED' wire.)

Install the 100K pot in the back of the transformer shell to the right of the transformer's power outputs.  Make sure that the position of the pot does not interfere with reinstalling the shell and the wire connections of the pot does not touch any internal transformer parts.

 

 

Attachments

Images (1)
  • Pot meter for CW80 transformers on Kid's Layout

I like the C80 mod, will use that for another application.  Think will go with the Variac, talked with David Riddle, and that will work out great.  He is relatively close to me as well, will probably be able to will call.

As far as the types of transformers......  the display will consist of 6 G-Scale using MRC xformers, 3 O-Scale using various Lionel older xfrormers, (LW, KW, 1031), and 3 HO/HO-3 tracks.  (not sure of those.)

THANKS so much for ALL yours guys help!  Hopefully someday I will know enough to pass it on.  Really appreciate this forum!

Instead of using transformer throttles, why not use push button controls mounted on the side of the layout?  Wire them to an insulated track section on each independent loop,  with each loop wired to dedicated power supply/transformer(s) that you can set to the desired the voltage behind the scenes to control the speed.  The locomotives would start and stop on the insulated track section when kids (and adults) push the buttons; it just temporarily energizes the isolated track section to get the lomotive started until it hits the dedicated power on the loop it's running on.  Train goes a full loop around the track and then stops again on the insulated track section until the button is pressed again, or will keep running if power is kept on the isolated track section by keeping the button pressed.


Pretty simple, basically simple on/off control and easy to keep wiring hidden.  You could also wire up separate sound activation buttons for whistle/horn for each loop as well that feature is desired.

I think the kids (and adults) will get a much larger charge of actually using the transformer controls to run the train and modulate the speed, etc.  Have ing a push button to run a canned sequence gets pretty boring very quickly.  You're also creating a lot more work wiring horn and bell buttons for twelve tracks!

IMO, the KISS principle is in play here, a couple of hidden variacs to limit the maximum voltage, and the controls on the transformers function as designed, job done.

BANDOB posted:

Pardon my electrical ignorance: the variac puts less than 120 v. into the transformer, so the output becomes less than say the 20 v max.(if a ZW) ? So you have to experiment to find the voltage to adjust on the variac to get the desired output from the ZW?

 

Bill,

It's all proportional.  If you have a train transformer set to put 16 volts on the track with it plugged into the usual 120V outlet, when you turn the outlet voltage to 90V (using a variac) the track gets only 12 volts.  The variac reduced the input to 75%, so the track gets 75% of what it would get at full power in.

Ed

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I think the kids (and adults) will get a much larger charge of actually using the transformer controls to run the train and modulate the speed, etc.  Have ing a push button to run a canned sequence gets pretty boring very quickly.  You're also creating a lot more work wiring horn and bell buttons for twelve tracks!

IMO, the KISS principle is in play here, a couple of hidden variacs to limit the maximum voltage, and the controls on the transformers function as designed, job done.

 

I kind of figured that pushbuttons would also have the added advantage of being easier and less expensive to replace from overly rambunctious use that kids (or even adults) could bring into the equation with the controls.  It's a little more costly to replace transformers that end up getting their handles broken.    

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