The CW-80, unlike postwar transformers, only has two accessory posts. To adjust the Lionel CW-80 fixed voltage, the posts are programmable. If you lost your manual, here’s how to do it.
The accessory voltage was set to 12 volts at the factory, which is usually a good setting, but sometimes they get adjusted, or sometimes you need something different. Here’s how to set it to what you want, in five steps.
1. Turn the throttle all the way down.
2. Press and hold down the DIRECTION, WHISTLE/HORN, and BELL buttons on the top of the unit, near the Lionel logo. The green light will flash and track power will turn off.
3. With all three buttons held down, raise the throttle slowly until you reach your desired accessory voltage. You can approximate the voltage by counting the number of lines visible on the throttle.
4. Release the buttons once you reach the desired voltage. The accessory turns off, and the green light will go solid, indicating you have set the accessory voltage.
5. Bring the throttle all the way back to turn off the power. After a few moments, increasing the throttle again will control track power.
And that’s all there is to it. The ability to adjust the Lionel CW-80 fixed voltage to precisely what you want makes it a good accessory transformer, even though there are vintage transformers that make a better choice for running the trains themselves.
David Farquhar is a computer security professional, entrepreneur, and author. He started out in desktop support in 1994, worked his way up to system administrator, and now specializes in vulnerability management. He invests in real estate on the side and his hobbies include O gauge trains, baseball cards, and retro computers and video games. A University of Missouri graduate, he holds CISSP and Security+ certifications. He lives in St. Louis with his family.