Transformers

Right now using a Lionel ZW 275 watt transformer. I just rebuilt it with a new ac cord new circuit breaker, led lamps, all 4 carbon roller are the copper ones, diode whistle installed. I have a chance to get a hold of a MTH Z-4000 off a fellow worker, who getting out of trains. He is the original owner of the transformer bought it new, comes with the box and manual. Price is fair. I thinking of getting it for a spare or main unit, sell the ZW and keep the Z-400 don't know yet. I like the lionel one I have, works great, the mod for diode whistle makes it respond instant.  Would you get the MTH or stick with the lionel?  Anyone have a Z 4000 are you happy with it? Is it as reliable as the ZW? All my engines are TMCC no MTH engines. I do use the 990 command center also.

Original Post

If you're just using the ZW as power for the Legacy system I would just keep it, as long as it meets your needs. My ZW will handle an ABBA set of F3s (dual Pullmor motors) and 6 aluminum passenger cars on one track and an ABBA set of F3s (dual Pullmor motors) with 9 scale refrigerator cars and a caboose on the other track no problem. The case gets a bit warm after about an hour to an hour and a half of running but that's it. 

Put some inline fuses or breakers between the track and the ZW and you're good to go. 

Santa Fe, All the Way

I did exactly what Lenny recommends. 

I have had the MTH Z 4000 for many years.  It has been very reliable and trouble free. I have been using it to power my 2 independently blocked main lines.

I have 2 ZWs that power my 8 independently blocked sidings, my accessories and 022 switch tracks.

I even have a 3rd ZW on the shelf as a spare.

I would definitely get the Z 4000 for your main lines and keep the ZW for other power needs or to have as a spare. Arnold

 

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

GTP posted:

Well I may get it. It's real temping. My wife is all ready getting steamed up! Asking how many transformers do I need. 

 

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How many transformers do you need?  That's a lot like asking how many locomotives do you need.

The correct answer, of course, being "at least one of every make & model produced."

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high anyway.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

GTP posted:

Well I may get it. It's real temping. My wife is all ready getting steamed up! Asking how many transformers do I need. 

 

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Use the same logic on her that the women use on us when they buy their shoes & pocketbooks.... "but the price was so good how could I not buy it".

Thats why I stay single. I can by as much train stuff as my bank account will allow. delivered right to my front door mind you. no hiding it or bringing it in through the backdoor. my goal is to get everything I need before my retirement so I can build my big layout. this way if the marriage bug does get me and the supposed right one comes along the trains and me are a package deal. 😁

Roger g.

Lionelzwl2012 posted:

Thats why I stay single. I can by as much train stuff as my bank account will allow. delivered right to my front door mind you. no hiding it or bringing it in through the backdoor. my goal is to get everything I need before my retirement so I can build my big layout. this way if the marriage bug does get me and the supposed right one comes along the trains and me are a package deal. 😁

Roger, your a man with a plan. Good luck with it.

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

I own 5 ZWs and wouldn't part with them. Probably 2 of them will be used to power lights and switches on my layout, but for running trains, in the last 6 months I've bought 2 brand-new Z4000s to power the trains, and am very happy with them. I think what I like best about them is the steady power when I hit the whistle button; unlike older transformers, there's no power surge that makes the train lurch forward. 

For me, to buy a used Z4000 or anything with electronics, the price would have to be a small fraction of the cost of a new one since there would be no warranty. 

John

Image result for train collectors association emblem

  TCA 90-30847

  NJ HiRailers Associate Member

I'm not sure, but the 5v ZW whistle boost could just maybe be side stepped internally.  A diode and new button on the outside would for sure. The original for when you do need it, the add-on for when you don't. ( making a bell button for newer trains, you just reverse the diode)

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





I have one bank of ZWs for the entire 10-trains-and-1-trolley layout, utilizing one ZW for every two closed-loops, plus a rotary beacon on one of the short handles.ZW bank

The only time one of the ZWs punked-out on me was when I tried to operate two rather long passenger trains on the same track, which also included several lighted switches in that loop. The ZW blinked-out in short order. My solution? No more doubling-up of passenger trains on the same loop = separate tracks for each passenger train did the trick. We are all living happily ever after.

FrankM

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge has limits.     Dr. W.Dyer

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Hi Folks,  Glad to see this xformer post on the forum.  I do need the benefit of your opinions on which unit would best serve my needs.  I am trying to determine the unit I need run all of my track accessories, lighted building, operating motorized layout accessories, street lights, billboards, and all other items that require aux. power.   This xformer will not be used for track power, DCS TIU Aux power input, or RCS switch motor power.  Thanks and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Tommy

thebeeman posted:

Hi Folks,  Glad to see this xformer post on the forum.  I do need the benefit of your opinions on which unit would best serve my needs.  I am trying to determine the unit I need run all of my track accessories, lighted building, operating motorized layout accessories, street lights, billboards, and all other items that require aux. power.   This xformer will not be used for track power, DCS TIU Aux power input, or RCS switch motor power.  Thanks and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Tommy

1 or 2 ZWs get my vote for your stated needs.

For track power, I would use MTH Z4000 or latest most modern and powerful Lionel.

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Thanks to all Good replies. Decided to keep my ZW after all I rebuilt it to new, and its works fanatic. Really wanted the Z 4000. My wife won the transformer battle. Got the Lionel Lionmaster Challenger off him instead, small victory,under $200  got to have a scene of humor, my wife gets more boxes from Zully, than I do train items. Just a little fun my wife is the best don't bust my chops that much. He all ready sold the transfomer, for $300. Now I am looking for motor brushes to restore some Santa fe F3 diesel engines, off ebay found them. Also looking to get some right & left hand 072 switches.  Enjoy your holiday. Thanks again.

                                                                                                                                   Dave

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