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Author Topic: MRC 280 Transformer  (Read 2146 times)
Bill Baker

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« on: November 16, 2010, 06:09:57 PM »

As I mentioned in another thread I'm just beginning in O scale and have a few neophyte questions about this gauge.  The only transformer I have is a MRC280 which I use on my HO layout.  I've connected it to several sections of O scale track and none of my o gauge engines run.  They hum, but no movement.  I've connected this transformer through Cab 1 which is DC. Both Cab 1 and Cab 2 provide 14.5vdc and 8.5va. I don't know how many watts the transformer is rated for.  I have two questions:  One, is the MRC280 transformer insufficient to power an O gauge engine? And secondly, before I connect the AC (accessory) terminals up to the track and risk smoke and fire, should these terminals be used for power?
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Bill
Joe Satnik


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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2010, 07:54:00 PM »

Wrong power pack. 

That's about one-tenth the power you need. 

If you hooked up to the AC accessories terminals, you (more than likely and hopefully) would trip the circuit breaker.

You should have at least 90 watts to run the old universal motor 3 rail trains, such as post-war Lionel.  Newer locos with DC can motors can get by on less, but not on something as small as your HO power pack.  If it had enough power, it would probably sound the horn/whistle continuously because of the DC.. 
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If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
Bill Baker

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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2010, 11:06:37 AM »

Joe,

Thanks for your quick response.  I plan to run an old Lionel Alco with 4 lighted passenger cars and a lionel switch engine periodically.  Not much else will be drawing power.  Would a 90 amp transformer be sufficient?

Bill
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Bill
Len

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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2010, 12:50:34 PM »

The Atlas-O 80 watt transformer, also sold with a "Williams by Bachmann" label on it, works just find with WBB and most PW locos.

It's what I call an "old school" transformer, with common 'U' terminals for the track and accesory power. So you can wire things exactly the way old magazine articles show and not smoke any internal PC boards.

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
Joe Satnik


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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2010, 01:30:59 PM »

Dear Bill,

I have an old 90 Watt Lionel 1033 that works well.  You can find them at train shows, train shops, train clubs or on-line auctions.   

It has a horn/whistle control, and I have added an external heavy-duty bell button to run my Williams TBII (sound board) equipped GP-38.

Check "completed auctions" for current prices plus shipping.

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik
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If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
3rail
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2010, 03:47:14 PM »

Dear Bill,

One word of caution.  Make sure any older transformer is in good condition before using. A reconditioned one with a new power cord would be better.  The 1033/1044 transformers are well built, but the original power cords are usually brittle by now and dangerous to use.  Also, the circuit breakers should be checked for proper operation.

Our 80 watt transformer will do the job with a faster acting circuit breaker, plus it has horn and bell buttons for newer locomotives.

Regards,

3rail
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