Lionel Vs MRC Transformers

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RkyGriz

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13 Feb 2019
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Silver Springs, Nevada
Hi, all! I'm looking to purchase a new power supply for my trains that will not cost me an arm and a leg. I'm considering the Lionel CW-80 80 watt transformer. It is simple, and I found several at a price range that I can easily afford as I have a large credit on Ebay that I'll receive on July 3rd. Here is the link to the Lionel website: CW-80 80-Watt Transformer
I'm also considering an MRC 1310 9900 throttlepack unit. It also claims 80VA,and has momentum, and brake controls, but will run a lot more money,since it is not on Ebay and I will not be able to use my credit to purchase it. This link will take you to the MRC website: 0001310 THROTTLEPACK 9900 POWER PACK
I'm buying a new transformer primarily for my Piko and LGB Mogul locomotives. I did talk to Jonathan at Piko,and he wasn't to sanguine about MRC power supplies.
Your thoughts on this transformer will be greatly appreciated , gentlemen!
Thank you!
Andrew
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
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OK John, what are you saying with your 'picture worth a thousand words'?

My comments would be:
18V might be a little low for 'big' loco speeds?
The output is AC (Alternating Current) NOT DC (for analogue power).
80VA is approximately 4 Amps. - Will this be enough for the number of loco's you want to run at any one time?
 
John S

John S

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In a nutshell Phil, yes to all................especially the AC part!
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
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Not a dig.. Just wasn't sure the OP would 'get it'. :think:
:)
 
John S

John S

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Phil, be assured not taken as a dig, although I did wonder had the OP actually read and understood what he was going to purchase....
 
Madman

Madman

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Andrew, what Phil said. Lionel transformers put out AC not DC, which our large scale trains feed on. I've been there as far as power supplies for my track powered empire, when it was track powered. My advice to you is to bite the bullet and look for an LGB 50110/50111 power supply/throttle combo.

Or come over to the dark side and convert to battery power. You won't look back.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

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Why are you looking to replace your existing power supply ? As to buying on Ebay I assume you are buying "New in Box" not 2nd hand. One sage piece of advice I was given from the outset was, "Never buy a 2nd hand transformer/controller, it's not worth the risk". While you have a budget you want to keep to (don't we all ;)) do not let that be your overriding criteria for choice of product. Asses your needs for not just now but well into the future. Max
 
R

RkyGriz

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Silver Springs, Nevada
I know the difference between alternating current and direct current. I am just uncertain which one these G Scale trains run on. It's never been an issue before,and I was unaware until recently that Lionel trains are AC ,and not DC.
Until very recently, I thought that a toy train transformer was exactly that-a toy train transformer meant for most,if not all scales. I wasn't aware there was a difference between Lionel transformers for their O Scale trains and G Scale trains.
Now I know.
Thanks for the info!
Andrew
 
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R

RkyGriz

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13 Feb 2019
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Silver Springs, Nevada
I did find a couple of interesting transformer/power supplies on Ebay. The Bridgewerks is new, while the Aristocraft is used.
Both are DC.
Can anybody please tell me how an 10 amp power supply like the Aristocraft works, and what else that I would need to buy to make to compatible with my indoor layout.
UPDATE: I just talked to Jonathan at Piko. He highly recommended the Bridgewerks unit. He said that the Aristocraft is junk and to avoid it.
 

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Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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The Aristo is an unregulated power supply with a worthless meter... a tranformer and a bridge rectifier, rugged but not super good. That identical chassis was sold as a battery charger by Sears some time ago.

The Bridgewerks is an expensive, high quality system, but it has it's quirks too.

Don't use either if you have decoder-equipped locos... (the latest model bridgewerks are ok for DCC equipped locos, but you have to know how to distinguish between the new and the old)

Greg
 
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RkyGriz

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Silver Springs, Nevada
Hi,Greg. I talked to Jonathan about the Bridgewerks mini mag 3-s this afternoon. He knew about this unit, and he did recommend it for the Piko locomotives.Especially since none of my locos (Piko, and otherwise) are equipped with DCC decoders. I already bid on it based upon his recommendation.
Thank you Greg!
 
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Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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Yeah, for DC locos, it provides a very well filtered DC, and the construction is high quality.

Be careful of full voltage though, it can go high enough to burn out 18v incandescent bulbs, just don't run flat out.

Greg
 
Gavin Sowry

Gavin Sowry

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Another thing to watch is frequency. Lionel, I'm told, has all its bells and whistles etc set up to work on 60Hz, the rest of the world uses 50Hz. So, a lot of Lionel features need 60Hz to work.
 
R

RkyGriz

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Silver Springs, Nevada
Thanks,Greg! That's is the one thing that Jonathan warned me about. I just went back to the auction ,and read the paper work excerpt that the seller posted. The Mini-Mag has a built in speed governor that I can set to keep the locos running at a safe speed, and thusly decease the voltage.
I've had a couple of posters on another site trying to get me to build/buy a more powerful transformer. One guy insists that I should build my own using a 24 volt power supply. Jonathan got a good laugh when I told him that! LOL!
 
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Zerogee

Zerogee

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Thanks,Greg! That's is the one thing that Jonathan warned me about. I just went back to the auction ,and read the paper work excerpt that the seller posted. The Mini-Mag has a built in speed governor that I can set to keep the locos running at a safe speed, and thusly decease the voltage.
........
Looking at the pic you posted, I'm assuming that's the adjustable black metal plate next to the throttle slider knob - an entirely mechanical device that looks like it provides a moveable "end stop" for the slider control, so that you can set it to a maximum value that can't be exceeded by an over-enthusiastic operator (eg: a small relative)?

Jon.
 
R

RkyGriz

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13 Feb 2019
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Silver Springs, Nevada
That's exactly what it's meant for, as it is the speed governor that I mentioned in my previous post.
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127504_479eac43621eaeabcc6a067176a4657e.jpg
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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Correct, but since this is not a regulated, adjustable power supple, but just adjustable, the output voltage is dependent on load.

For example, under the load of a loco, the max voltage might be set to 18 volts, but under a very light load (like a decoder at idle) the Bridgewerks have been shown to have 35 even 40 volts... and have blown DCC decoders.

So, this is the crux of the warning.

Under DC, you always have the motor load (at least usually) so that load will keep these gross voltage excursions under control.


This was first noticed using these supplies with DCC and a lot of damaged electronics... The owner of the business was very upset with me personally for stating this situation, but later acknowledged it and posted a warning on the site. (since it was true!!)

Since then, I believe his son has take over the business and limited this condition, so the newer ones apparently don't have this problem, but it's difficult to tell if you have the new style.

Greg
 
R

RkyGriz

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Silver Springs, Nevada
Hi,Greg. I just got off the phone with the good people at Bridgewerks, and everything is cool. He confirmed everything you say. He said it should be fine for my uses, even if I leave the passenger cars on the track without the locomotive,which is all good. I use 24 volt LED's in my lighted cars. And,best of all,in the unlikely hood of something going wrong with the unit, they will honor the 5 year warranty,since it's listed as new.
No matter what, I will still be very careful with it.
Thanks,Greg!
Andrew
 
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R

RkyGriz

Registered
13 Feb 2019
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Silver Springs, Nevada
By the way, Greg, can you tell me what this item is,besides being a type of electronic filter, that is:
Soundtraxx PF220 Passive Filter | eBay
I found it a couple of days ago. Just kind of curious what it may be used for.
Thanks again!
Andrew