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| | |-+  The new Lionel ZWL Transformers
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Author Topic: The new Lionel ZWL Transformers  (Read 5029 times)
coolwaldo

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« on: August 13, 2013, 10:04:28 AM »

Has anyone used the new ZWL transformers? And  have you had any problems with WBB locomotives using them? Just wondering. I don't want to fry out any electrical components. Thanks for any and all replies. Coolwaldo
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Be happy. Play with your trains.
wmwalker


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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 11:49:45 AM »

coolwaldo
What I have read on other forums from people who have the new ZW-L and run Williams engines say that it work really nice. I use my Z4000 MTH (pure sine wave) and they run outstanding, I also have two 180 bricks connected to two TPC 3000 and Legacy (chopped sine wave) and they run very good as well so I think you would not have any issues either way. I hope this helps. Keep them rolling down the track and have fun.
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Thanks
Wyatt
phillyreading

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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2013, 09:07:32 AM »

From what I have read on another forum about the new ZW-L, it has a minor quirk with power or speed control at higher speeds, but no problems with affecting the circuit boards or other electronic components.
However the price tag keeps me away from it! Almost $800.00 for a transformer.
I will buy a re-conditioned post war 275 watt ZW before spending that kind of money.

Lee F.
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wmwalker


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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2013, 09:45:08 AM »

I agree with Lee on the ZW-L price tag and the power issue. I can buy 3 MTH 4000 used for the ZW-L price tag and the MTH Z4000 works outstanding for all my Williams engines.
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Thanks
Wyatt
GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2013, 08:06:09 PM »

Note: My Lionel transformers still have rectifier disks, and do not operate the modern horns. The old ones give a 5v boost to compensate for the whistle motor, new ones don't, and newer electronics don't need it. My modern transformers (not ZWs) do not operate any of my post war air whistles. The rectifier disks on the old transformers, can be replaced with large modern diodes to operate the modern ones, and from what I hear, operate the old ones well also. Refurbished post war ZWs often have diodes added already, but doing one yourself isn't too hard, and you should always open and check the graphite rollers on a used transformer anyhow. It will work with bad rollers, but slowly saw at the windings, limiting amperage capability and eventually ruining it.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 03:32:38 PM by GG1onFordsDTandI » Logged
phillyreading

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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013, 10:49:32 AM »

To; GG1onFordsDTandI,

You probally know that there is a difference between the post war Z and ZW transformers? The Z is just a power unit with four knobs for power control, and without whistle or direction buttons. Don't know much else about the Z transformer, like if it has internal circuit breaker or not.
The post war ZW, 250 watt and 275 watt, both have whistle and direction buttons on them. The post war VW is a 150 watt transformer similar in style to the ZW except that it is lower wattage rated, I don't have the VW, so I can not say if it has similar features of the ZW but should have them except for power rating. The post war ZW has a 15 amp breaker across the common side of the transformer.

The down side to the post war transformer being used with modern engines is that the post war ZW doesn't have proper circuit protection for the newer engines with electronics in them. So you need to add circuit breakers to the output side of the older ZW's, around 8 amps at 50 volts. You can buy the circuit breakers from an electronics store pretty reasonable. Also highly recommended is a TVS or transient voltage supressor, very inexpensive if ordered from an internet electronic store. If I had the part number I would list it.

Lee F.
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lucy 1

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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2013, 02:20:48 PM »

Here are two web sites you might want to check out on diodes:

JWTrains.com

Tranz-4mr.com

Hope these help.
Lucy 1
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phillyreading

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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2013, 10:16:53 PM »

A better option than diodes is the 36 volt A.C. bi-directional TVS, Mouser Electronics has these for sale. Price used to be around $2.00 or less a piece.
I have the box they were shipped in, so I may have the parts number as well, but have to look for them.

Lee F.
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GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2013, 04:05:07 PM »

To; GG1onFordsDTandI,

You probally know that there is a difference between the post war Z and ZW transformers? The Z is just a power unit with four knobs for power control, and without whistle or direction buttons. Don't know much else about the Z transformer, like if it has internal circuit breaker or not.
Lee F.
I might know the difference. Wink This is 40% of my transformer power.
 
Good call Lee, I tend to lump the old ones but considering the whistle I changed Zs toZWs. Thanks
Mine has a ZW breaker, and the extras. I think some might not have had it, then they did, mine did and has the "red" bubble warning lamp, but the ZW got an even better one, I didn't add the ZW breaker it was there, but looked like it was added at a later date. I think your right the VW had lower wattage, and ZW more and laminates, the KW replaced the VW. (Above from left, pre war Z 250w, runs four blocks one loop, post war KW 180w runs 2 of 3 block in a loop[4th is shared, #D on the Z], and a 1033 90w in a Christmas tin just for lights. The red lamp is from a WRRSCO crossing gate.)

PS the Z "bubbles" were added originally had red/green painted bulbs.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 04:07:47 PM by GG1onFordsDTandI » Logged
phillyreading

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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2013, 11:55:47 AM »

Thanks for the explanation on the Z transformer, as I had no knowledge if it had a circuit breaker or not, but now I know.
Is there two versions of the KW? The label on my KW has 190 watts. I know it has a circuit breaker and whistle control and accessory voltage outputs.
The ZW don't have accessory outputs but can be set with a multimeter to use it as such with handles B & C.

I bought both my ZW & KW used and had to do some minor repairs to both to get all the power or features from them. The ZW had a wire off, so I put a spade connector on it and hooked up to the outside termal screw, also cut a small notch for the wire not to get crimped. The KW was missing one or two handles and terminal screws, bought the parts and it works great too.

Lee Fritz
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GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2013, 05:32:04 AM »


Is there two versions of the KW? The label on my KW has 190 watts. I know it has a circuit breaker and whistle control and accessory voltage outputs.
The ZW don't have accessory outputs but can be set with a multimeter to use it as such with handles B & C.
Lee Fritz
Yes the Kw has two ratings, so does the ZW. I believe the wattage was increased the same year. I also owned a rare early KW as a kid, it had a gear set inside on one shaft, like a Z, and two separate coils. Off was both handles to you, both away to increase speeds. Normal KWs, both handles right(counter clockwise) is off. And they use a single coil. Early one had Red plastic direction buttons, not metal, and a green bubble lens for power on the left. I could see my handles when running in a dark room. It burned out one coil in 1983 and was taken in 84, with the sale of Gramps collection. Despite being warned not to take certain items "this is not in the deal", his oldest pal was left alone here and ripped off my Grandma. Whole showcases of trains not in the deal, and refused to bring back, call off deal, or even sell one General or GG1 back. He even stole the cabinets. My Aunt said she did key his 20 year old Cadillac while he sat in it, first "telling all" publically, shaming him out of the local VFW post. Anyhow.. Green #90 buttons came with that set too, but the plastic got brittle in the late 70s and they died, red replacements fixed them. To this day I occasionally swing my right KW throttle the wrong way.
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