Internet pal Rob O’Hara posted a photo of a whatzit antique mall find earlier this week. I knew I’d seen it before, and I knew some of my friends had it, but its identity escaped me. A commenter identified it as a Go-Bots command center. I seem to recall it doubled as a carrying case [...]
The Marx 1590 is the best O27 switch ever made. It’s durable, works well with all makes of trains (just put a track pin in the center rail where the switch pivots so that Lionel trains can pass), and can run off accessory power without modification. The only downside is that it (allegedly) can’t be [...]
If you want a train for under your Christmas tree but don’t have a lot of money to spend, here’s how to find one and what to ask for. Find a store that deals in used Lionel trains, or find a local hobbyist. Search Craigslist or your newspaper classifieds for an ad stating, “I buy [...]
Here’s a good question: Can you use Lionel O or O27 transformers (or, for that matter, American Flyer S transformers) with HO or N scale trains? The answer is, not directly. But you can if you add a $3 bridge rectifier from Radio Shack (part number 276-1146).
Sometimes you want to know how many volts your train transformer is feeding your trains, in order to avoid damaging the motors. And it’s also helpful to know how many amps you’re pulling from your transformer, so you don’t damage the transformer.
Once your train layout outgrows a single 80- or 90-watt transformer, finding room for a larger transformer (or bank of transformers) gets difficult. A TV stand suitable for a CRT television (remember those?) provides a nice solution. I’ve been using my old TV stand for a good 7 years.
I’ve covered phasing transformers before, which allows you to use more than one transformer on a layout. But I read something today that reminded me of an old question: Can you safely use a modern Lionel transformer, such as a CW-80 or new ZW, with postwar transformers? Unfortunately, changes between new and old make it [...]
It’s a common practice in consumer electrical devices to chain multiple batteries together to get more power. So it stands to reason that you could chain multiple small American Flyer/Lionel/Marx transformers together to get more power. It doesn’t work that way–you can’t chain two 90w transformers together to get 180 watts. But there are still [...]
Here are some train-related questions I’ve been seeing from Google searches that I really don’t think I ever answered adequately elsewhere. I don’t know where they’ve been landing before today, but hopefully this will help.
A common question is whether transformers for vintage American Flyer, Lionel, and Marx are interchangeable, and what to do if a transformer won’t work. The simple answer is, yes, a train from one of those makes will run on a transformer from any of the others. They all ran on 0-24 volts AC. There are [...]