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My layout includes 2 main lines controlled by the MTH Z-4000 transformer. I've been told that it's a pure sine wave transformer that is ideal for running MTH Proto 1, 2 and 3 locomotives.

My layout has 8 sidings powered by a Lionel Postwar ZW transformer using O Scale Atlas Connectors (to turn power on and off on each siding). I've been told that the ZW is a clipped sine wave transformer, which is more prone to voltage spikes than the MTH Z-4000.

My transformers are properly phased, and I have been running my MTH engines from my main lines onto the sidings, and from my sidings onto the main lines. When I do that, I try to keep the power on the main line and siding at the same voltage.

I have a medium sized layout (36 feet long and 3 and a half to 4 feet wide), with Postwar Lionel O Gauge tubular track and 16 turnouts (022 switches), with tight 031 curves. I run my trains conventionally, except for my 3 LionChief Plus (LC+) locomotives that I run using the remote device or the LC+ App

Over the past 20 plus years, I have damaged circuit boards in several of my MTH trains.

In order to protect the MTH circuit boards, I recently installed the specific TVS diodes recomended by  Gunrunnerjohn (one of our top train repair experts on this Forum), to minimize potential damage to the circuit boards in MTH trains from voltage spikes. 

I am very interested in what you folks think about the above. In particular, am I still risking damaging MTH circuit boards by running MTH locomotives on my sidings powered by the ZW, and by running the locomotives from the main lines powered by the Z-4000 onto the sidings powered by the ZW, and vice-a-versa?

Arnold

 

 

 

Original Post
@AGHRMatt posted:

You can use a ZW, but you need to put fast-blow fuses on the transformer outputs so you won't fry the electronics if there's a problem. The ZW used a thermal breaker which isn't fast enough to prevent damage to equipment with modern electronics.

There is no breaker on any transformer or power supply fast enough to prevent damage to equipment with modern electronics as the breaker only protects against over-current, the damage occurs from over-voltage.


In order to protect the MTH circuit boards, I recently installed the specific TVS diodes recomended by  Gunrunnerjohn (one of our top train repair experts on this Forum), to minimize potential damage to the circuit boards in MTH trains from voltage spikes.

 You are good to go with the TVS usage.

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