Auxiliary Power - What Should I Use for RealTrax Turnout & Op. Track??

The Question:

If I'm replacing my KW, what is the best choice?  Another KW?  Something newer (that has been suggested to me?)  If newer, what?

The Story:

So after powering everything up this weekend, after about 5 minutes or so, my KW started smoking.  Read an old thread about it on here (this one), so I unhooked everything from it and the next day plugged it in with nothing attached, same thing.  This was given to me for free and since one of the handles is broken off (the other just lays there, not secured) along with the whistle handle, I'm not sure its worth attempting to repair.  

What I was using it for?
Running one (channel?) to power 12 Realtrax Switches and the other to power 4 Operation Tracks (Uncouplers only.)

 **Note: My control panel has 2 analog volt meters on them that I was measuring the KW voltage with, so I'd still like to utilize them.

-Mike

Mechanical Designer

Original Post

I use a Z1000 brick for my Atlas switch machines and other accessories. It has both 14 volt and 18 volt outputs and I use them both. Probably not ideal, but it is what I ended up with. To be honest I haven't really found the ideal power source for all the auxiliary stuff. The older transformers like the ZW, KW, etc. are very expensive around here and although some of those would probably be good for the aux equipment, I have stayed away from them due to price. A nice, reconditioned ZW is around $225 at my LHS and the others of any size are not a lot less. We have very few train shows and the ones we do have are mostly HO &N gauge stuff, very little O gauge. I have basically stopped going to them.

As to what is best, I really don't know other than what works for you and what your budget will allow. 

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