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Author Topic: Limits of a Transformer  (Read 3973 times)
SteveWard3928

DT&I Railroad lives on in memory


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« on: January 16, 2013, 05:05:34 PM »

1st off...I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and having a Great New Year so far!!!

I do not have a problem or an issue just an information question.  I have finally replaced my 2 amp transformer with a 10 amp transformer.  My question is this:

1)  Is there a limit as to how long I can keep my train running without giving the transformer and/or my 4-6-0 a break?
2)  We live in Ohio and we were wondering if the cold or heat can ruin or weaken the transformer?


I now have 10 guage wire going to the track since my transformer sits about 15 feet away. Also, I am replacing my track joiners with rail clamps at about 10 new clamps every 2 weeks (since they are more expensive).  Both of these things should help keeping the current at a good level.  Thanks for any information or help.  S&S


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S&S

Gonna get blamed for it...you might as well do it!!
Chuck N

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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2013, 06:41:08 PM »

Steve

That will be problem free with one or two engines.  Even with smoke sound and lights.  Do not leave the power supply out when not in use.  Heat and cold is not a problem, but wet IS.

Chuck

PS I like the way you have made a loop, rather than a reversing loop. 
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Larry S.


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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 08:12:18 PM »

We use a transformer like that at our annual train show. I run a 4-6-0 on a 60' oval all day with no problem. On an outside layout, good connections and clean track are vital. Service the engine on a regular basis. As said earlier, rain and moisture are the enemies of transformers.
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Larry S.
SteveWard3928

DT&I Railroad lives on in memory


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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2013, 03:33:49 PM »

Steve

That will be problem free with one or two engines.  Even with smoke sound and lights.  Do not leave the power supply out when not in use.  Heat and cold is not a problem, but wet IS.

Chuck

PS I like the way you have made a loop, rather than a reversing loop. 


Well thank you Chuck. I figured the more fancy you make things the more that can go wrong down the road. That is the main reason why I made a loop instead of a reversing loop. I occasionally run smoke but rarely if ever do I run with sound.  The darn connector at the end of the wire of the tender keeps coming loose and then just comes off.   I knew water is an enemy of the transformer but was unsure about heat and cold.  As a little extra precaution or to give me an extra minute or two, the stand for the transformer is cemented under the overhang of the house in case I am in the front yard when it starts to rain.  If someone out there wants to become rich... develop a transformer that is water proof. I know I would buy it.
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S&S

Gonna get blamed for it...you might as well do it!!
SteveWard3928

DT&I Railroad lives on in memory


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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 03:42:26 PM »

We use a transformer like that at our annual train show. I run a 4-6-0 on a 60' oval all day with no problem. On an outside layout, good connections and clean track are vital. Service the engine on a regular basis. As said earlier, rain and moisture are the enemies of transformers.

Larry I just restocked my oils and grease in November. My connections are pretty good, but the track runs under 4 different rose bushes throughout the layout.  I am NOT allowed to touch the rose bushes per the engineer of the house (Sherry). Shocked  So I bought a sander with a pole which makes quick work of it. I do not have to bend down either that way.  I usually am cleaning that area of the track a couple of times a week. On the first point you made I have to watch because I tend to over lubricate the locomotive, which is a bad thing (not sure why).
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S&S

Gonna get blamed for it...you might as well do it!!
Chuck N

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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 05:04:45 PM »

Steve:

I cover my power supply with a plastic tub when rain is possible.

Chuck
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mickeykelley

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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 11:26:59 PM »

So if you keep a transformer in a place where it gets no rain (covered porch), but there is the ever present humidity of central Texas, does that create issues?  The transformer I have is a large heavy 20 amp as I recall and moving it in and out will be a pain.
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Larry S.


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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2013, 01:10:05 AM »

Too much lube can be bad as it can attract dust and grit. Just wipe off excess after servicing.
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Larry S.
Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2013, 11:39:06 AM »

To all who use a transformer outside, please be sure you have it plugged into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt outlet for safety purposes. A transformer in high humidity and where temperatures vary a lot can get wet from condensation even if covered, an possiblely end up shorted and even electrocuting a person touching it. A GFCI outlet is a must. If you are not sure your outlet is a GFCI outlet, it is best to buy one and install it or have it installed in the outlet you will be plugging your transformer into.

Bill
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
tac

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« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2013, 07:39:24 PM »

To all who use a transformer outside, please be sure you have it plugged into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt outlet for safety purposes. A transformer in high humidity and where temperatures vary a lot can get wet from condensation even if covered, an possiblely end up shorted and even electrocuting a person touching it. A GFCI outlet is a must. If you are not sure your outlet is a GFCI outlet, it is best to buy one and install it or have it installed in the outlet you will be plugging your transformer into.

Bill

100% agree.  A GFCI outlet is a whole lot cheaper than a funeral.

tac
Ottawa Valley GRS
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mickeykelley

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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2013, 12:30:54 AM »

Actually, you can get a no frill cremation fairly cheap.......just don't use a GFCI. Roll Eyes
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Larry S.


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« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2013, 10:19:47 PM »

You can get portable GFCI outlets. Looks like a short extension cord with an outlet box on the end.

Larry S.
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Larry S.
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