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Hi. I have a post war 1033 transformer on the layout exclusively powering about 24 light bulbs for buildings and one operating Oil Derick. I have the U for ground and A for the power. I noticed that after about 20 minutes, the top of the 1033 is very warm, especially the B post. Is that normal? Everything seems to be working fine, but I'm just concerned that I may have a short somewhere under the board. I ran a ground wire and a power wire under the entire layout. Do all the bulb wires have to match grounds and power wires? I'm thinking I may have some of the lights grounded to the U post and some to the A post. That has to be the problem.  Duh, Thanks

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The 1033 does have a breaker, and it is kinda adjustable so you should test it. 

Someone may have adjusted it to not trip at all. (It does have a thick heavy threadlock glue originally, so adjusted will have crumbly locktite misaligned,o have been cleaned off well. )

Test it.. make a direct short with a short, heavy wire or caveman style with a screwdriver for 4-12 seconds. (I like seeing tripping at 4-5 seconds)   

These breakers corrode sometimes (no cover)  a breaker with a cover or plastic leaf holder,  no adjustment ,is really for a 1044 .... acceptable.

They do get hot enough under load to wake you right up;resting the hand wrong 😉

The adjustable circuit breaker in the 1033 transformer was not very reliable. After there was a new design, Lionel even put a warning in the Service Manual about the possibility that the 1033 circuit breaker would not open.  I would recommend that you put an external 5 amp modern circuit breaker or fuse in line with everything that is connected to post “A”.  That way you can be sure you are properly protected.  

I still would like to know if the two wires coming from all 20 light bulbs, ground and power, need to be connected to the same terminals of the transformer. In other words, what if 10 bulbs wires went to different terminals then the other 10 bulbs? Is that a problem?  I attached a crude diagram to illiterate my question. 

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@Dontano posted:

I still would like to know if the two wires coming from all 20 light bulbs, ground and power, need to be connected to the same terminals of the transformer. In other words, what if 10 bulbs wires went to different terminals then the other 10 bulbs? Is that a problem?  I attached a crude diagram to illiterate my question. 

There is only one transformer in the case. Splitting the load between two different terminal post will not change the load on the transformer. You should use use the terminal posts that give you the voltage you need.  As Rob said, on the 1033 the A post is the common post.  It would be best to use it that way.  Also the transformer should be in phase with the other transformers you are using so inadvertent contact does not result in an unnecessarily high voltage fault.

The adjustable circuit breaker in the 1033 transformer was not very reliable. After there was a new design, Lionel even put a warning in the Service Manual about the possibility that the 1033 circuit breaker would not open.  I would recommend that you put an external 5 amp modern circuit breaker or fuse in line with everything that is connected to post “A”.  That way you can be sure you are properly protected.  

I have been repairing, reconditioning and restoring postwar transformers for many many years. The circuit breaker used in the 1033 is totally unreliable. To the above post I say AMEN!!

The replacement for the 1033 is the 1044 breaker. Those I don't like because I've seen them melt closed.  If the adjustable one fails, it usually trips sooner; arcs towards open if it warps. The insulation board takes a lot of abuse before it gets crispy enough to fear it; but I also keep a direct eye on things and test my breakers a few times a year; big fat wire ....fuses where it's called for.

  A 5a fuse/or breaker added sure won't hurt when it counts though.

Each bulb base contact, inner tit or screw base can receive either wire , and ac or dc power (bulb, not led).

Both lamps drawn would light as seen, no problem.

(screw base as chassis mount/chassis ground, or tit riveted to mount to chassis ground, reflects on build of accessories, i.e.  bulbs aren't picky!)

The act of "side by side" wiring like that drawn is called parallel wiring. Two bulbs,two legs tied, two loose wires left, is series wiring. With series, 2 6v bulbs don't shine normal until you hit 12v.... "stacked" each bulb uses an equal amount, here it is 6v for normal 6vx2 bulbs=12v  many train items use bulbs in series fyi, but parallel is fine and dandy; and my normal choice.

So two really bright bulbs may be dimmed by wiring in series.

(and for fun, a rough rule , A 12v bulb burns half as bright at 6v, but lasts twice as long as normal. A 12v bulb burns twice as bright at 24v but will burn up twice as fast.  .... just dropping to 10v on a 12v bulb can greatly extend it's life)... and ac can help too as the voltage +/-  changes at 60time per sec. allow some 0v time for cooling and more time at lower voltages overall)

Almost every bulb has an ID number on the glass or base, and or the voltage,watts/amps /m.a. too (look for decimals )    Any two of V,W,A gives the third with chart math. In parallel you just add up bulb amps listed on the bulb# charts to know what amps you draw. (online charts are out there for everything )  In fact there are free electrical calculation sites and apps alike.

B9883B1A-9762-4E67-96FE-34C2ACF3064973B72A51-E8FB-45AE-ADCD-32A5BE0DFC80@ADCX Rob posted:

The "A" is the common on the 1033 for use on common ground layouts.  "U" has the throttle, direction, & whistle/horn controls all for the center rail power, so that should be connected to Lockon Clip 1 for running trains.

You are at or near the 4.5 amp capacity of the 1033, so running warm is normal with that load.

Hi Rob, I am confused by your post. All the diagrams I have of proper connection of transformers shows the U terminal going to the number 2 lock on terminal which connects to the two outside rails. It shows the A or B terminals going to the number 1 lock on terminal which connects to the center rail.  Jim

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Generally speaking with classic transformers, in isolation, those designed to run a single train had the U terminal as the variable post. With transformers with multiple variable taps, the U terminal was the common ground.

Much of Lionel's documentation was focused on the simple layout, especially in their generic instruction sheets and it really didn't matter (inconsistencies can be found).

However, take a look at the advanced sections in this guide, specifically take a look at printed pg 43-45 (pdf pg 45-47) where it discusses common ground wiring. : https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...sories%20%201954.pdf

The chart is expanded upon in the transformer section of the service documents:

http://www.olsenstoy.com/cd/transfmr/ps6.pdf

 

Last edited by bmoran4
@O Gauge Jim posted:

Hi Rob, I am confused by your post. All the diagrams I have of proper connection of transformers shows the U terminal going to the number 2 lock on terminal which connects to the two outside rails. It shows the A or B terminals going to the number 1 lock on terminal which connects to the center rail.  Jim

B9883B1A-9762-4E67-96FE-34C2ACF30649

 

@bmoran4 posted:

Generally speaking with classic transformers, in isolation, those designed to run a single train had the U terminal as the variable post. With transformers with multiple variable taps, the U terminal was the common ground.

Much of Lionel's documentation was focused on the simple layout, especially in their generic instruction sheets and it really didn't matter (inconsistencies can be found).

 Yes, that instruction is a little misleading, but as bmoran points out, this works with a basic set. The problem comes in with common ground layouts, and accessories that use the common ground as a return to the transformer, unlike the lamps illustrated. If you used "U" as common, every time you used the direction switch the accessories would cut out.

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