The two outside throttles on my ZW C transformer were loose ,the gears were not meshing and the throttles / cab 1 would not bringing the voltage up to 18 volts.

 I followed Jim Barrett’s instructional video procedures on how to correct this problem by tightening the nut on each outside throttle. The voltage on both throttles still remains below 18 volts. I tried calibrating the throttles as shown in the video. The voltage remained below 18 volts. See attached picture. Using a meter the voltage on each track reads the same as the corresponding voltage shown on the ZW C  meters.

The low voltage affects the smoke unit out put on my engines. When running on our club layout using an MTH Z 4000 Transformer my engine’s smoke units perform flawlessly.

What do I need to do to get my ZW C voltage back up to 18 volts.?

Thanks,

Richard Gonzales

EB9B71CA-D75A-4302-A41D-3AEC9FE02A0D

TCA 86 23495

Casey Jones Chapter TCA

Casey Jones HI Railers

 

Visit www.memphismodelrailroaders.com for information about all the train clubs and their activities  in the Memphis and Mid South area

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Hi,

Depends on which engines that you are running - MTH or Lionel?

Also, that meter is only a visual reference - you should check you voltage at the track with a meter that measures in RMS voltages.

What is the load on the track when you took the photo? What needs 3 amps? Also, that amperage is the total of the tracks measured on the return or the U - not just one output - the late Dale Manquen documented this some time ago.

Those voltages on a non-RMS meter are most likely 18 volts coming from the bricks (PH-180)

Carl

Arctic Railroad

Carl, Marty 

What is an RMS Meter? I tested the voltage at the transformer terminals with a digital multi meter. There is a string of 5 lighted baggage cars on the track that is on the A throttle where the 3 amps are displayed on the ZWC  meter

i tested the 180 W bricks on the  multi meter. They read 35 volts.? W0W???

The B and C terminals read 18  volts on the transformer meters and the multi meter.

I run both Lionel TMCC  /  Legacy steam engines and MTH  DCS  steam engines.

 

0C6E2BAB-A97E-410C-9F68-6B60DB9804C1

Thanks

Richard 

TCA 86 23495

Casey Jones Chapter TCA

Casey Jones HI Railers

 

Visit www.memphismodelrailroaders.com for information about all the train clubs and their activities  in the Memphis and Mid South area

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Richard Gonzales posted:

Carl, Marty 

What is an RMS Meter? I tested the voltage at the transformer terminals with a digital multi meter. There is a string of 5 lighted baggage cars on the track that is on the A throttle where the 3 amps are displayed on the ZWC  meter

i tested the 180 W bricks on the  multi meter. They read 35 volts.? W0W???

The B and C terminals read 18  volts on the transformer meters and the multi meter.

I run both Lionel TMCC  /  Legacy steam engines and MTH  DCS  steam engines.

 

0C6E2BAB-A97E-410C-9F68-6B60DB9804C1

Thanks

Richard 

I don't know how you got a 35 volt reading on your multi-meter. Did you have it set to AC volts? I have tested mine, and they came up at 19 volts. I think my house power is a little higher than spec, so my bricks put out a little more. I don't think the brick is capable of 35 volts without blowing. 

On your ZW, if the handles got loose, it is possible the handle jumped a gear or two. You would need to open it up and reset the gear pot and handle to off. Once put back together, you would do a calibration. I had this happen to an old one I had. There is also a mounting bracket inside that breaks as it ages. Some were upgraded to metal brackets. This can be fixed, but I'm not sure whether the metal brackets are available still. If not, it is possible to make one out of tin. There are older forum posts on that topic.

George

Richard,   I have two  ZWC transformers and the pot mounting brackets inside one did break.  It was on the first issued model and aluminum brackets were available to correct this.  I changed them out and after recalibration have had no issues.  Either way, to pull the top off and check/reset the gear alignment, as Richard stated, is a good thing to do.  And it is not difficult to perform.  Have you tried a recalibration as outlined in the manual it came with?  I have done this more than once with the second model of the ZWC.  Well worth doing, and with  the use of all 180 bricks, great power for my layout.

Jesse   TCA

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Richard Gonzales posted:

Carl, Marty 

What is an RMS Meter? I tested the voltage at the transformer terminals with a digital multi meter. There is a string of 5 lighted baggage cars on the track that is on the A throttle where the 3 amps are displayed on the ZWC  meter

RMS -  click this for detail

i tested the 180 W bricks on the  multi meter. They read 35 volts.? W0W??? 

Did you unplug the bricks and measure each one separately at the output plug?  Are the plugs cut off?

The B and C terminals read 18  volts on the transformer meters and the multi meter.

I run both Lionel TMCC  /  Legacy steam engines and MTH  DCS  steam engines.

The MTH steamers like a pure sine wave better than the Lionel chopped wave output which would make only the MTH smoke performance suffer slightly. The Lionel smokers should not be an issue.

Something is going on with the A & D channels. Can you disconnect the transformer from the track and test. I would guess there's a wiring issue on the A or D. It is like the two channels are bridged or out of phase  to get 35 volts

 

Thanks

Richard 

 

Carl

Arctic Railroad

Moonman,

Yes, I unplugged the 180W bricks from the ZW C and tested them with the digital multimeter I also though the reading was strange.

The 180 W bricks have polarized plugs so I think it’s impossible for them to be out of phase.

Yes I tested the A and D terminal with and without the tracks connected to the transformer terminals.

Thanks for the information about the RMS meter.

Richard

PS: An MTH steam engine smokes better than any Lionel steam engine no matter what kind of transformer you use😃!

 

TCA 86 23495

Casey Jones Chapter TCA

Casey Jones HI Railers

 

Visit www.memphismodelrailroaders.com for information about all the train clubs and their activities  in the Memphis and Mid South area

Are you running in TMCC/Legacy command?  The ZW-C will output about 1 volt less in command then it does in conventional.  With command base off mine will read 17-18 volts.  With the base on I get 16-17 volts.  Also it's been pointed out int eh past that the meters aren't all that great.  Good for ballpark figures, but if you really want to know exactly whats going to the track you should use isolated meters.  The Lionel meters sense amperage from the common ground.  Dale's (RIP) blog had some good write ups on the meters.

Richard Gonzales posted:

Moonman,

Yes, I unplugged the 180W bricks from the ZW C and tested them with the digital multimeter I also though the reading was strange.

The 180 W bricks have polarized plugs so I think it’s impossible for them to be out of phase.

I didn't know if you had cut the Molex connectors from the output ends - that is where the reversal would occur - the smooth wire is the hot

Yes I tested the A and D terminal with and without the tracks connected to the transformer terminals.

So, what voltage did get directly from the bricks?

Thanks for the information about the RMS meter.

There are some now that are less expensive than a Fluke meter 

Richard

PS: An MTH steam engine smokes better than any Lionel steam engine no matter what kind of transformer you use😃!

Yes they do, but a Lionel chopped wave transformer can certainly reduce the output.

 

 

Carl

Arctic Railroad

Another thing to consider, I was told by Mike Reagan, that the 180W bricks would drop more voltage than a 135W under load.  I have proven this at a friends layout using both bricks.  He went with the 135W because it dropped less voltage with a load.  The 180 was dropping down to 15V the 135 only to 17V.

Your mileage may vary.

Marty

 

Below the Signature...

" Number One, make it "O"!"

 

MartyE posted:

Another thing to consider, I was told by Mike Reagan, that the 180W bricks would drop more voltage than a 135W under load.  I have proven this at a friends layout using both bricks.  He went with the 135W because it dropped less voltage with a load.  The 180 was dropping down to 15V the 135 only to 17V.

Your mileage may vary.

Hmmn - interesting Marty... how much of load - like the 3 amps of incandescent lighted cars Richard had on the track or more?

Carl

Arctic Railroad

Moonman posted:
MartyE posted:

Another thing to consider, I was told by Mike Reagan, that the 180W bricks would drop more voltage than a 135W under load.  I have proven this at a friends layout using both bricks.  He went with the 135W because it dropped less voltage with a load.  The 180 was dropping down to 15V the 135 only to 17V.

Your mileage may vary.

Hmmn - interesting Marty... how much of load - like the 3 amps of incandescent lighted cars Richard had on the track or more?

He was running a VL Big Boy with the 3 smoke units and sound cars.

Marty

 

Below the Signature...

" Number One, make it "O"!"

 

MartyE posted:
Moonman posted:
MartyE posted:

Another thing to consider, I was told by Mike Reagan, that the 180W bricks would drop more voltage than a 135W under load.  I have proven this at a friends layout using both bricks.  He went with the 135W because it dropped less voltage with a load.  The 180 was dropping down to 15V the 135 only to 17V.

Your mileage may vary.

Hmmn - interesting Marty... how much of load - like the 3 amps of incandescent lighted cars Richard had on the track or more?

He was running a VL Big Boy with the 3 smoke units and sound cars.

Definitely more than three amps - still, thanks for insight - I had never measured or observed the state during train operation.

Carl

Arctic Railroad

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