I have a Lionel 180 va brick plugged into the VAR1 input. No matter what voltage I set on the remote control, the output voltage is half of that setting.  Not sure what’s causing this.

Original Post

TIU variable channels are based on 0-22 volts. Using only 18 volts, as from a PH-180, will always give a lower reading on the remote. If you have Barry's book he explains it much better than I can. I have only used a variable channel one time, and it was quite a while ago.

rtr12 posted:

TIU variable channels are based on 0-22 volts. Using only 18 volts, as from a PH-180, will always give a lower reading on the remote. If you have Barry's book he explains it much better than I can. I have only used a variable channel one time, and it was quite a while ago.

I guess that I wasn't clear enough.  The brick is plugged into the VAR1 input . Using the remote, I set the VAR1 output voltage to 15 volts. I first had wires running to the track from VAR1 outputs and was getting a low reading . So I disconnected the wires and measured the voltage at the outputs. The multimeter read 7.5 volts on the VAR1 output jacks.

What started this is that I am having issues with a lionel PRR S2 built in 1991. So I cleared the tracks of all engines and cars and switched power to the VAR1 input and output to run it in conventional mode. Have not tried running it yet.

I thought bricks like PH-180 are always a fixed output ?

If so, then why would you want to connect them to the VAR channels ?

Obviously, I don’t know what I’m doing. I am under the impression that I can regulate the output by using the remote. I have a Z-1000 that I can connect to it instead of using the brick.

MR_P posted:

I thought bricks like PH-180 are always a fixed output ?

If so, then why would you want to connect them to the VAR channels ?

So you can run a conventional engine.  With a fixed voltage of say 18 to the TIU VAR input, you can use your remote thumbwheel (or WIFI) to adjust the voltage that goes to the track.

Bob

Lehigh74 posted:
MR_P posted:

I thought bricks like PH-180 are always a fixed output ?

If so, then why would you want to connect them to the VAR channels ?

So you can run a conventional engine.  With a fixed voltage of say 18 to the TIU VAR input, you can use your remote thumbwheel (or WIFI) to adjust the voltage that goes to the track.

That’s what I thought. But the voltage that I dial up on the remote is twice what I read on the TIU VAR output.

George Mason posted:
rtr12 posted:

TIU variable channels are based on 0-22 volts. Using only 18 volts, as from a PH-180, will always give a lower reading on the remote. If you have Barry's book he explains it much better than I can. I have only used a variable channel one time, and it was quite a while ago.

I guess that I wasn't clear enough.  The brick is plugged into the VAR1 input . Using the remote, I set the VAR1 output voltage to 15 volts. I first had wires running to the track from VAR1 outputs and was getting a low reading . So I disconnected the wires and measured the voltage at the outputs. The multimeter read 7.5 volts on the VAR1 output jacks.

I was trying to say this sounds like normal behavior for a TIU's variable channel output. The TIU bases it's variable channel output on 22 volts input. The PH-180 only provides the TIU with 18 volts. Your actual voltage output will always be lower than the setting on the remote. 

Also, you probably need a true RMS volt meter to accurately read the variable channel outputs.

rtr12 posted:
George Mason posted:
rtr12 posted:

TIU variable channels are based on 0-22 volts. Using only 18 volts, as from a PH-180, will always give a lower reading on the remote. If you have Barry's book he explains it much better than I can. I have only used a variable channel one time, and it was quite a while ago.

I guess that I wasn't clear enough.  The brick is plugged into the VAR1 input . Using the remote, I set the VAR1 output voltage to 15 volts. I first had wires running to the track from VAR1 outputs and was getting a low reading . So I disconnected the wires and measured the voltage at the outputs. The multimeter read 7.5 volts on the VAR1 output jacks.

I was trying to say this sounds like normal behavior for a TIU's variable channel output. The TIU bases it's variable channel output on 22 volts input. The PH-180 only provides the TIU with 18 volts. Your actual voltage output will always be lower than the setting on the remote. 

Also, you probably need a true RMS volt meter to accurately read the variable channel outputs.

Should I use my Z-1000 as input to the VAR1 port or just bypass the TIU?

The Z1000 brick by itself can be used with the TIU variable channel, but you will get the same results as with the PH-180. If you use the Z1000 brick with it's Z-Controller then that should not be run through the TIU. It should be connected to the track separately.

I think I would also disconnect the TIU outputs to the track while using the Z1000 with it's Z-Controller. Not certain about this one, but if it was my setup I would do it just to be safe and protect the TIU.

I haven't tried doing anything like this before, no personal experience. My layout is all command control all the time, I don't have any conventional only items to even try it with. That's my main reason for trying to be careful with the TIU here and I wouldn't want you damaging yours either.

rtr12 posted:

The Z1000 brick by itself can be used with the TIU variable channel, but you will get the same results as with the PH-180. If you use the Z1000 brick with it's Z-Controller then that should not be run through the TIU. It should be connected to the track separately.

I think I would also disconnect the TIU outputs to the track while using the Z1000 with it's Z-Controller. Not certain about this one, but if it was my setup I would do it just to be safe and protect the TIU.

I haven't tried doing anything like this before, no personal experience. My layout is all command control all the time, I don't have any conventional only items to even try it with. That's my main reason for trying to be careful with the TIU here and I wouldn't want you damaging yours either.

Thank you for the input. I agree that the TIU needs to be divorced from the layout. I am just trying to test a conventional engine that is giving me fits. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Using a Z-1000 and Z controller to vary voltage through a TIU channel probably wouldn’t be a problem (except on FIXED1 if you are using that channel to power the TIU).  I use postwar ZWs set at 18-20 volts to provide power to the TIU inputs.  I mostly run DCS locos and have my VAR channels set at Fixed.  When I run a conventional loco, I use the ZW throttles.

 Its never caused a problem with the TIU, but in a few cases (a Williams and an RMT Beep), the loco wasn’t happy.  For the Williams, I installed a jumper around the TIU channel.  For the RMT, I found that running it with a lighted car made the loco happy.

Bob

Lessons learned:

1) the scheme of wiring the reverse unit inside the S2 cab is a poor idea at best. My fat fingers could barely get the plug inserted correctly into the left hand socket. The socket is at an angle behind the bulkhead and barely visible.

2) after connecting my Z-1000 directly to the track, I was able to reliably reverse the direction of the engine. yea!

3) something about that Lionel display stand - I cannot get the engine to reverse direction.

4) I may have live with these issues or convert it to DCS so I can run it with the rest of my engines.

Thats all!

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