I tried a Lionel ZW transformer with two 180 watt power packs. The
indicator switch on the first power pack is dead. But it does provide
power, as does the other one on which the power indicator works correctly.
Applying the throttle lights up all lighted cars - The Polar Express cars,
the radioactive waste car blinks, the I-12 Chessie caboose lights up and
Irritatingly, the ZW was delivered when I have no train to run. The Polar
Express Bershire is in the shop getting it's smoke system working better (I
was told it's an issue known to Lionel.) My Chessie SD-40-2 (conventional)
loco hasn't arrived yet (you didn't think I was going to haul radioactive
waste with the Polar Express, did you?)
So I placed the Bershire's tender on the tracks and tried the whistle
switch. I could hear the motor in the tender spinning up, but it couldn't
seem to get going fast enough to whistle.
So I swapped the power leads back to the CW-80 transformer, and everything
worked perfectly, including the whistle button. I swapped the power leads
back and forth a couple of times to make sure I was getting a good
connection (always power to power and ground to ground, of course.) No go.
The ZW's whistle switch doesn't blow the whistle.
The connections are good. The track was freshly cleaned, etc. But no joy.
The vendor (WholesaleTrains.com) is replacing the ZW - I should get it
tomorrow. Fast service and no extra shipping charges to me, so I'm happy.
But a little worried.
Aside from the bad indicator light on the one power pack, is the ZW whistle
switch actually broken, or is there something about the ZW that makes it
unable to blow the whistle on this tender? Does anyone using a ZW with O-27
entry level locos know of any problem or incompatibility with the ZW? As
far as I had read, the ZW is conventional equipment (though like any other
conventional transformer, it can be set up to be controlled via TMCC, and
will be in the future.)
Admittedly, the ZW is overkill for a carpet layout. But I want to play with
the concept of insulating track sections and powering two trains via
separate throttles. I plan to test a lot of concepts on the carpet while
designing a permanent layout. It would seem to provide for much less
cussing when I do start building a permanent layout...
15 years ago