Have a layout I built in 2004. Want to rebuild it with Fastrack. Been running MTH locos in conventional mode using a Z1000 transformer on this layout. Have a separate small layout for Lionel. My question is will MTH locos run satisfactory with the Lionel GW-180 WATT TRANSFORMER?
Yes. In fact, many folks running DCS power their layouts with Lionel’s 180-watt brick that comes with the GW controller. The 180-watt brick is an excellent power source.
What determines the wave form - the brick or the controller?
The GW-180 is a chopped waveform controller and will indeed create the sawtooth output if it's not at full throttle. Other than the MTH Z-4000, I can't think of a train transformer with electronic voltage control that doesn't generate the chopped waveform.
Question for Gunrunner,
If running DCS & Legacy, on a fair size layout (14'x25' with 2 interconnected loops & one reversing loop) what would be your top 3 power sources? If money wasn't an issue or a moderate concern. The layout is a little more complicated than that, it also has a few sidings & a yard. Of course feedback from members welcome.
I am an electronics DUMBBELL, and every time I hear "chopped sine wave vrs smooth sine wave", my head spins! I'm not interested in why, just what will be the most harmonious environment for my trains, & I have no doubt there will be a compromise somewhere. I do not run conventional. If it makes it easier just the ideal choice, but why.
My choice would be the Lionel PowerHouse 180 bricks. Excellent fast electronic circuit breaker and very reasonably priced per watt of power. Any claimed advantages for smoke production to chopped wave transformers evaporates when they're set to full power, and pure sine wave is least likely to generate any electrical noise that may affect your trains, or even other electronics close by. For pure command operation, the PH180 is hard to beat. You might want a variable transformer for accessories, many of them are picky about the voltage range they run in.
Sounds good. I've been running an MTH Z4000 for close to 15 years & very satisfied. About a year ago the voltage would drop on one of the throttles, I was told the potentiometer needs replacing. I'd love to get it repaired. Its just a 30 lb door stop now. I switched to a MRC Dual 270 Watt Transformer & so far the trains are running fine. I have 2 180 bricks that came with a Lionel ZW-C just sitting in the wings.