how to make 6466WX whistle go

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by DanMc, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. DanMc

    DanMc New Member


    I have a mix of some older (not sure how old but one item is a lionel 6466WX tender for example) along with some late 1970's era lionel trains of the same scale. Unfortunately none of my transformers (mostly those came with the 1970's era set) have a whistle button. My understanding is that those buttons just put a bit of DC onto the track in addition to the AC. Anyone know how much DC that is and at what current level?

    I'm probably going to need to hack something together out of other stuff since I have a 7 year old who would love to hear a whistle out of the train before we head home from grandpa;s house (which is where the trains still live). Longer term I can probably look for a transformer with the whistle button.

    Anyone have schematics for an older transformer with whistle button? I'm not sure where to even start looking without any sort of a model number.

    Despite having played with this same train set myself 30 years ago I'm still "new" to them.

  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Dan: I think the newer Lionel transformers are compatible with the old whistles. (Maybe not the command control ones).
    I think the old transformers not only rectified the current but boosted it a bit.
  3. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Go to Olsen's Toy Trains (Lionel Toy Train Parts - Original & Repro - from OTTP: Olsen's Toy Train Parts) and enter the library - there are schematics and other drawings for old Lionel transformers.

    That said, be aware that LTI and newer ('80s and newer with bell and whistle) added bell sounds to many non-command locomotives. The bell uses the opposite polarity DC superimposed as the whistle does. An old transformer's whistle button/lever only produces one polarity.

    Lionel makes an add-on whistle and bell controller. There are also circuits to make your own with diodes. In both cases, there is a drop in maximum voltage to the track - the diode voltage drop is used to create the DC signal. Lionel's old transformers with whistles had a small boost coil to prevent that drop. In fact, on my old transformers, if the whistle or horn does not load the circuit, the train will increase speed when the button is pushed.

    hope this helps

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