Recently we were fortunate to purchase over 300 transformers, and are in the process, of checking, refurbishing, and in some cases modifying to make them more appropriate to modern times.
This sale is for a Lionel model 110 rw model which is we believe the most powerful single train transformer Lionel ever made. . So…….Why would you want this old timer instead of a new modern version? Simple answer. The heart of any 3 rail transformer, is the method of controlling the speed of the engines. For almost 80 years, Lionel (and some other companies) would install a heavy duty internal transformer whose output coils were made of heavy pure copper wire. The way they worked, was to install a contact arm that would travel across these coils which would adjust the output voltage to the tracks. This method was incredibly innovative considering how new electricity was to folks back then. Not only was it ingenious, but has proven to preform magnificently for all these years. Since then, the new modern approach is to build circuits inside the transformers to control the output voltage. How is that done? With solid state electronics. In some cases they used a glorified light dimmer circuit. So what’s the problem? All of these new innovations require an internal converter from the normal AC to DC to make the electronics work. DC powered stuff does not like AC in any way shape or form. The failure rate on these in some cases is horrible. Ssos why did they not just keep with the tried and true system? Simple answer, It is way to expensive to build these heavy duty Copper transformers today. The parts cost plus the labor because, that the old style were all hand built.
As usual we were not totally satisfied with the original design so here is what we did.
- Change the Original Circuit breaker. The original breaker was designed to protect only the transformer itself, not anything after the outputs. They were very heavy duty and very slow to kick in. We replace these with a modern breaker that reacts much quicker, and will protect your rolling stock.
- This transformer has a metal case, so instead of the original 2 prong cord, we changed it to a 3 prong cord which we internally ground out all the exposed metal parts.
- Modify how the outputs worked. The original design did give you accessory outputs, but did not work using outside rail grounds. Back when having a common ground was not important. So you could not use with for example switches, rcs tracks etc. We fix that.
- Clean the internal copper coils and adjust the contacts.
- replace the red short circuit light bulb with an LED and added a green power on LED.
- We thoroughly check the outputs, not just for voltage, but under 2 different resistive loads. We provide our “transformer report sheet with the actual test results.
- install a sticker on the side which outlines how to wire to your layout after our modifications. see px, This sticker is to be used instead of the factory original directions
Want to know more? just google tinman3rail and there we are click on transformers Lots of cool info there
Currently most of the manufactured equipment is from China, well guess what they have never even seen an O gauge layout.
As with all of our transformers they come with a no BS 2 year warranty.