That would be the new Lionel ZW with two 180 watt power supplies. I can't get an MTH 20-2125-1 C&O F3 AA set to function reliably with this transformer. I tried the Lionel CW-80 transformer also and that's a bust. If I fiddle furiously with the throttle I can sometimes get it running, but then the horn blows continuously.
I took the train to the hobby shop and the tech put it on a layout powered with an old Lionel ZW (275 watts). The train ran perfectly. I even tried it myself a couple of times and had no problem. Then I get home with my new ZW and it's a bust.
I read something on the web about "shark fin waveforms" vs "pure sine waveforms" in power supplies. Apparently the older MTH PS1 units will lockout if powered with a transformer that has a "shark fin waveform" current. I'm no electrician so I'm clueless as to what this means. The article said that MTH did that on purpose since the "shark fin waveform" current could cause bizarre behavior with the sound system (like maybe the horn blowing continuously?)
Does anyone know if the new Lionel ZW's have this "shark fin waveform" current? The MTH Z-4000, according to the specs, has pure sine waveform current. I'm wondering if I should trade in the ZW for a Z-4000.
Dump the ZW in favor of the Z-4000? Or, since MTH fixed the problem in later revisions of the PS1 board, would it better/cheaper to replace the board with a later revision (if I can still get one.)
All pro-Lionel and pro-MTH opinions are welcome. The only qualification is I want this particular train to run. I love Chessie stuff, and I already purchased the powered B unit (which runs great all on it's own.) And I have some Chessie aluminum Madison cars that would look great with the loco (same color scheme.)
I'm a ways off from TMCC or DCS, so I don't know if I will go with Lionel or MTH. But the MTH transformer should still work with Lionel's TMCC, should it? (Provided the voltage is preset.)
Any good size layout can always use more than one transformer anyway, right? I mean if you want to run several trains at once.