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hi everyone. for the past few months, i have been trying to figure out how i can safely run my new electronic trains with an old 275 watt ZW and a KW. i tried TVS, but it shorted and the diode broke in half, i tried 8 amp breakers but they are to slow, and i read that the TMCC lockon with fast acting breaker only works with command control! I dont want a new transformer because i just got my ZW restored. thanks

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@gunrunnerjohn do i have to buy 3? one for each track? I have a doubletrack mainline and a yard.

You are protecting transformer feeds, so one for each separate transformer output.

@TomSuperO posted:

ok $0.68 vs $50.  i'm completely lost here. Sorry.

The two work in conjunction, so you need both for the best protection for each transformer output.

Has anyone gone stone crazy enough to measure the reaction times (to a short) of the PSX1-AC versus the breaker already on the PH180 transformer? Or a fuse? Or a modern circuit breaker? The money IS an issue. I have 8 blocks. This thing PSX1-AC is selling for $60 shipped per unit. So I would be at $480 to protect my layout. OTOH, $480 could be the repair bill on one loco, right? Sigh....I ordered one to test it.

Don Merz

Well, the PSX-AC is solid state switching, so in theory it could interrupt power in microseconds.  The PH180 has electronic sensing, but a relay is actually used to interrupt the power, so it's reaction time is probably a few milliseconds.

I don't really know if the difference is all that significant as far as failure rates of locomotives is concerned.  I personally consider the protection of the PH180 circuit breakers sufficient for my use.

Well, the PSX-AC is solid state switching, so in theory it could interrupt power in microseconds.  The PH180 has electronic sensing, but a relay is actually used to interrupt the power, so it's reaction time is probably a few milliseconds.

I don't really know if the difference is all that significant as far as failure rates of locomotives is concerned.  I personally consider the protection of the PH180 circuit breakers sufficient for my use.

I've never had an issue with the circuit breakers on my PH180s letting anything die. I also don't see the need to add a PSX-AC in front of them.

To be honest most failed modern circuit boards I've seen have been caused by the combo of Postwar ZW and no other circuit protection.

hi everyone. for the past few months, i have been trying to figure out how i can safely run my new electronic trains with an old 275 watt ZW and a KW. i tried TVS, but it shorted and the diode broke in half, i tried 8 amp breakers but they are to slow, and i read that the TMCC lockon with fast acting breaker only works with command control! I dont want a new transformer because i just got my ZW restored. thanks

Not sure where you read that the TMCC Lockon only works with command control. It can be used just fine with a ZW, with a Power Adapter Cable. See the Lionel Lockon instructions as shown below. Personally, I'd just use a Lockon with the Power Adaptor Cable and be done with it. The Lockons work great - I've used one for years.

"You also have the option to use a Power Adapter Cable (6-12893) that allows you to use any transformer, such as a CW-80 or a Post-War ZW, with your TMCC Direct Lock-on instead of a PowerHouse Power Supply. Follow these steps to connect the cable and refer to figure 2 on page 5. (Etc. - instructions go on from there)

Lionel 6-12893 Power Adapter Cable

Lionel 6-12893 Power Adapter Cable
  • Manufacture: Lionel Trains
  • Category: Power Supplies & Transformers
  • Number: 6-12893
  • Scale: O
  • Price: $16.99
The Power Adapter Cable connects your transformer to a PowerMaster (6-24130) for operating TMCC and non-TMCC equipped locomotives.
@breezinup posted:

Not sure where you read that the TMCC Lockon only works with command control. It can be used just fine with a ZW, with a Power Adapter Cable. See the Lionel Lockon instructions as shown below. Personally, I'd just use a Lockon with the Power Adaptor Cable and be done with it. The Lockons work great - I've used one for years.

He probably read it because I posted it!  Below about 12 volts the TMCC Lockon no longer functions.  It really is intended for command operation, hence the name TMCC Direct Lockon!

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