George S posted:George S posted:George S posted:
I just bought a second ZW-C with two PH-180's on eBay for less than the value of the bricks, including shipping. One bell button is missing, which I can fix and parts are available. The seller said he doesn't know if it works. I will test it and find out if there is any issue. It even came with the jumper plugs, which are almost always missing. I have plenty of PH-180's, so I will probably sell two assuming the ones I get work. I have never found a bad PH-180 though.
Got the ZW-C today. The buyer shipped FedEx! Near as I can tell, there is nothing wrong with it except the bell button. I am trying to order the parts on the Lionel website, but it is acting funny. My digital RMS meter tested the full voltage range on each channel. I lit a flashing LED with channel one. I will hook it up to the layout this weekend.
I just hope PCRR/Dave keeps bad mouthing these so we can all get these great deals!
So, it occurred to me that I should open the unit up to see exactly what I was ordering parts for. And... I found the bell button and sleeve inside. The bad news was that the bracket for the bell switch was shattered. Someone really wanted to mash that bell button! That part is not replaceable. However, I was able to work a way to support the bell switch using half the broken bracket and a zip tie. It's not pretty inside, but outside it seems to work just fine. The bell button requires very little pressure to actuate. Now, I just need to get it connected to some track to fully test it.
A little update on repairing this unit... my first attempt was not so successful. I opened it back up and found 3 disconnected or broken wires. I ended up tearing it down and soldering 3 wires in and touching up another contact. I also fabricated a support for the broken contact switch bracket. Everything seemed solid. I tested it today, and everything works!
It seems like the seller tried to upgrade the lever brackets with the upgraded metal brackets and broke a bunch of wires and the contact switch support. He was out of his element at that point, and I got it for free (basically, I paid for the bricks).