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Well my daughter cannot thank you all enough.  My grandson was one happy little boy on Christmas morning.   He loves it as well as the accessories and add-ons people got for it.    And with office supply clamps they can stand it up against the wall in their city apartment.

I did have one question.  I downloaded the instruction sheet  for the 0-8-0 LionChief RTR Set with Bluetooth and the front of it said

TRANSFORMER RATINGS   OUTPUT:  18v DC. 

When did Lionel switch to DC motors?  That means he can't bring his loco to my house to run them on my Post War setup.

What else does he need to expand and what will not work with these setups?  I assume the 3-rail fasTrack setup is only using two rails.  Where does he go from here as he gets older?

John

@Craftech posted:

Well my daughter cannot thank you all enough.  My grandson was one happy little boy on Christmas morning.   He loves it as well as the accessories and add-ons people got for it.    And with office supply clamps they can stand it up against the wall in their city apartment.

I did have one question.  I downloaded the instruction sheet  for the 0-8-0 LionChief RTR Set with Bluetooth and the front of it said

TRANSFORMER RATINGS   OUTPUT:  18v DC.

When did Lionel switch to DC motors?  That means he can't bring his loco to my house to run them on my Post War setup.

What else does he need to expand and what will not work with these setups?  I assume the 3-rail fasTrack setup is only using two rails.  Where does he go from here as he gets older?

John

Okay, I totally understand your confusion and concerns,  but worry not.  Lionel has been using dc motors for years.   The electronics can accept ac or dc input.  If he brings it to your set, all you need do is crank up the voltage to 16 volts or so,  and it will work just fine with the remote it came with.   

Also fasttrack is using all three rails. 

Most conventional transformers will work just fine lionchief/lionchief plus electronics.   In the future he can use a larger transformer that will run any other o gauge train, just have to turn up the output voltage before using the remote.   

A word of caution: early mth transformers topped out at 21 volts.  Running lionchief electronics over 18 volts will result in fried control boards!

@Craftech posted:

Well my daughter cannot thank you all enough.  My grandson was one happy little boy on Christmas morning.   He loves it as well as the accessories and add-ons people got for it.    And with office supply clamps they can stand it up against the wall in their city apartment.

I did have one question.  I downloaded the instruction sheet  for the 0-8-0 LionChief RTR Set with Bluetooth and the front of it said

TRANSFORMER RATINGS   OUTPUT:  18v DC.

When did Lionel switch to DC motors?  That means he can't bring his loco to my house to run them on my Post War setup.

What else does he need to expand and what will not work with these setups?  I assume the 3-rail fasTrack setup is only using two rails.  Where does he go from here as he gets older?

John

That was AWESOME! Let me know if you signed your grandson up for the TCA Kids Club as a bonus! If not, email me his info at nikhilcj2012@gmail.com. I'll be happy to sign him up :-)

Last edited by NIKHIL
@NIKHIL posted:

That was AWESOME! Let me know if you signed your grandson up for the TCA Kids Club as a bonus! If not, email me his info at nikhilcj2012@gmail.com. I'll be happy to sign him up :-)

I think they want to wait until a (hopefully) better late spring with Covid and all so they can make the trip to that wonderful museum.  It is not very far from NYC where they live.  But I'll mention it to her anyway.

Thanks,

John

Last edited by Craftech
@jhz563 posted:
...............Most conventional transformers will work just fine lionchief/lionchief plus electronics.   In the future he can use a larger transformer that will run any other o gauge train, just have to turn up the output voltage before using the remote...............................  

I assume I should apply a fixed voltage to the track from the accessories terminals of my KW or does it have to be the variable output, adjusted to the proper voltage?

John

I think the way to address the small available space would be to build a "door" sized layout on casters so the train set can be easily stored, and rolled out by the child then put away. Hollow doors are light enough, spray foam cuts the noise, OR glue green or tan low-pile carpet to the base - even mix colors to simulate grass and dirt, or roads (black).   

Kids tend to play with something for a time, put it away, then want it back out over and over.

Add a manual turnout and siding.  Manual = "play value" (JL Cohen term).  Screwing the track to the base adds to reliability.  And if/when more space is available, then the door layout is a start.  Accessories especially electrically-operated ones cost a lot of money.  A Plug and Play Yard tower is $65.  A Gateman is close to $100.  A Lion Chief Diesel (to add a second loco) starts at  $120, to add to a set that was in the mid-$200s.

And don't forget the limitations of the power pack from a set- it might be 50 or so watts, more electrical accessories = more draw, and eventually: a $100 or more transformer with no place to put it. (Lionel also has a 70-something wall pack available.)

Regarding door layouts: the starter set might be O36 curves;  a circle of track w/ O36 will not fit an actual door; O31, yes.  When I did this for a grandson, I had to scrap the O36 from the PA Flyer LC set and replace w/ O31, and also to buy a different bedframe (about $100) to get the height underneath.

That basic roll-around layout sets up the addition of accessories limited only by the imagination:

- A "mountain" (remember the height limit under a bed!)  You could even create a mountain that is light (foam) and could be lifted and moved around to different corners of the layout.

-  some crossings w/ lights (use Lemax battery-operated ones- inexpensive, simple)  The imagination adds the "distant" highways.

- a town on one end/ side of the layout.  Build the structures with the child = (grand)parent/child joint activity.  Plasticville buildings are inexpensive and simple enough. After the child goes to bed do the gluing if desired.  But re-assembling them over and over is fun in itself.  Remember the height limitation under a bed- no six-story buildings!

- An industry and/or various buildings as later gifts  that could removed, then rotated on and off: including a beverage plant (soda only!), an auto plant (add car carriers and such for his model cars), a small power plant (but remember that he cannot likely relate to coal), etc.  Ditto on the after hours gluing .

And above all: don't ruin the play value of the train by turning off the sound and smoke!  A model train that goes in circles might be a necessity for a limited space.  But a train going in circles WITH a whistle, crew talk, and smoke is three times as much fun.

Last edited by Mike Wyatt

Thanks Mike.  Those are great ideas.  One thing we had gotten for him to add on was the Figure 8 pack.  That is what he is running now.  He sits in the middle of each loop crouching down at eye level.

He also got the grade crossing to drive his vehicles over and the bridge section.   I recently purchased the FasTrack to O-Tubular transition pieces from Menards and I have lots of Menards track so the possibilities are endless.  They are both looking to move to a different apartment in the Spring because there is no place to park on that street and she is freaked out about laundromats (with Covid and all).    So they might wait on building anything that isn't modular right now.  But the idea is great and they have room under their bed. 

Regards,

John

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