We at TinMan recognize that the original design is still the best way to control engine speeds. Our objective is simple. Keep the original design and make improvements in other areas and upgrade the original design. Specifically, here is what we do when we recondition these units.
- Change the rollers (unless they are like new) with an improved copper impregned design
- Replace the original slow acting circuit breaker with a modern fast acting model.
- Eliminate the original rectifier and replace with a modern bridge unit that will enable the transformer to operate the bell circuits found in newer engines.
- Change the power cord with a 3-prong plug, to make phasing easier, and ground the exposed metal plate on the base. Why? Because the internal transformer is resting on 2 metal plates that are bolted to the outside metal base. While we have never had an issue with a problem with the internal transformer, it is possible and as a result send high voltage to the exposed metal plate. Grounding this plate will stop this very remote possibility, and also makes phasing with other transformers a breeze.
- Clean the exposed copper windings.
- convert the back panel 14 volt output to operate with the U terminals. (this was originally designed to operate 14 v for use with light bulbs) This new feature makes it usable to control accessories that may not like 20v
- Add switches to the front of the transformer to select the whistle control to operate both whistles and bells.
- Perform a final check of all operations, including documenting all features and capacities of the outputs on a “transformer report card” which is included with the transformer
Now to our latest innovation. The circuit breakers originally installed in these transformers were designed to do one thing, and that was to protect the transformer from burning up in case of a short from derailments or other things. The internal transformer is very heavy duty so a short circuit will not hurt anything for quite some time. In some cases, we have seen times of up to 15 seconds before the circuit breaker opens. Therefore what we do is change the original breaker to a modern design that works much faster than the original Lionel designs. This is what other modern transformers have done also.
Like all our transformers this unit comes with a 2 year warranty,