How do you hook up a lionel train transformer


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I don't know how to connect it but I remember that the gentlemen who sold me my original MTH transformer told me that I had to connect it correctly or risk "frying" the electronics. So, the has four terminals, I'm guessing two for each control one for speed the other for direction and the whistle. If anyone can provide guidance I'd greatly appreciate it. Member since July, posts.

Posted by Leon Silverman on Friday, October 07, 2: You might want to post this question under the "Classic Toy Trains" magazine column. Those people would be more familiar with the Lionel Transformers. Member since December, From: St Paul, MN 6, posts. It's a good thing you asked, because your assumption is quite flawed. The whistle and direction handle on the has nothing to do with the terminals on the back of the unit.

What you want to do is to connect the terminal marked U to the center rail, and the one marked A to the outside rail. The other combinations yield different voltages which should be marked on the back of the unit. The direction control works by dropping the voltage on the rails to 0 which causes the reversing unit in the engine to cycle.

The whistle control adds a small DC voltage to the AC track voltage, and triggers the whistle or horn in any units so equipt. If this is the only transformer you are using to power the track, you should have no trouble. If you are adding this transformer to another, there are precautions that need to be taken.

My boyhood Marx train had a "Lockon" so I'm familiar with it but I was not sure Lionel used the same component. I am expecting to use the original track too but I understand that contemporary Lionel "Fastrack" will work with my Alco too. Like Reply 0 Likes. Instruction Sheet for Lionel Transformer. Like Reply 1 Like. Here are some pics that might help. Mock up of the connections.

Membership Required We're sorry. You must be signed in to continue. Sign In or Register. The engine was cleaned and refurbished professionally. We would like to use it this Christmas but do not know how to wire the transformer.

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It has a lever contol for the volts, a black whistle button and red direction button. The back of the transformer has 5 posts. U to the center rail.

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A, B, or C to the outside rails. Using A will give you volts, B volts, C volts. If you have a lockon the thing that clips to the track , terminal 1 is the center rail, 2 is the outside rails; but you can probably see that. If all you intend to do is hook your Type RW up to the track to run one train and nothing else, it is pretty straightforward:. I wouled start with the first option. Some pre-war locomotives required a higher voltage than more modern ones. If yours is one of them and you don't get enough power, try the second optionl.

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See expecially the chart on p. We disagree on which rail to connect the U terminal to. It actually doesn't matter if all you are doing is running a prewar train with no accessories. If you were to connect up any accessories that have a return common with the track, U to the center rail is proper for this transformer. In this case, D is likely the terminal you would use to power the accessory.

Lionel inexplicably made their single-control and multi-control transformers different in this respect. As you say, either way will work in this straight-forward application. You are correct in that early on Lionel established a cockamamie hook-up "convention" that used different designations for "common" depending on whether a transformer was designed to have just one or two-or-more throttles. What they accomplished was a confusing albeit versatile wiring convention that has bewildered virtually everyone concerned, from the customers to their own employees, virtually until this day.

I am speaking, of course, about the early "pre-revision" CW80's. Which end of the "Lionel horse" are you citing? Before we confuse this member further, I think we can agree that U-B will provide the low range to the throttle; whereas U-A will provide the higher range. As you say, it really doesn't matter which goes to center rail and which goes to outside rail in this simple application.

I woudn't have posted at all except for the fact that I was busy writing mine when yours popped up. I tried to emphasize simplicity and provide a reference, which I had to look up. I can't get away with posting ex cathedra, as you can. Of course, "my" source supports your scheme at least equally to mine; and better if you add accessories. Given the precise nature of the original question at least as I read it and the fact that its was the questioner's third try, I deliberately chose to eliminate all consideration of adding fixed-voltage accessories.

In the end, your choice of options is more versatile. AU high; BU low. It's amazing how many folks never see this; or, if they do, don't understand what it means. It is a feature common to many old Lionel transformers. Related questions are what do see as the normal house voltage at your wall sockets; and what is the max no-load voltage you can get out of your Type Z?

I actually use two Zs and a T for the elevated track. I just took some measurements, with my best high-precision Radio Shack meter, and got: The RW was specified for volts; so I would expect only about a volt increase from running it at , 2 volts at Regarding the hookups to the old transformers, I purchased from Ebay a Model 90 watts which is what we used with my train when it was purchased in The transformer was in almost new condition but the wires cracked when I took it out of the box from being wrapped around the transformer for years.

I replaced the cord and I'm using the lockon clip which was with the setup but it didn't seem to have enough juice to push it all the way around the track so I added another set of wires to the same posts and another lockon further around the track and it seems to work.

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However now the whistle won't work and it won't reverse. Also I used 16 gauge wire on my new connections, the old wire was about 22 gauge one wire type like is used on some of my accessories like lights and waiting platform. I ordered some flat 4 wire for my switches but I don't have it yet so they are not in the layout.