The transformer makes the difference!

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by Renovo PPR, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    The only thing I can say is the right transformer makes all the difference with trains. I went ahead and ordered the MTH Z-1000 for my MTH Aerotrain. I not only get the railsounds but the over all performance is much improved. I did not expect that jumping from an 80 watt to a 100-watt transformer. It just outperforms the CW 80 hands down.

    The excitement doesn’t stop there though. I used the Z-1000 to operate my daughters Lionel PE set. Again the performance was very pronounced with a dramatic increase of both speed and smoke.

    However the biggest improvement was with my Lionel PRR Mikado locomotive, I now cannot run at full throttle and the smoke is just outstanding.

    I ran all three sets at different times for a long length of time and I am happy to report all train functions from the MTH Pro 2 to Lionel’s railsounds 5.0 operate perfect with this transformer.

    The poor little Lionel CW 80 just can’t match the MTH 1000 in performance. Yes I know there is a difference in watts, 80 compared to 100, but Lionel really doesn’t offer another choice in this area. And as Spanky pointed out in another thread the CW –80 cannot operate the MTH Pro2 railsounds. The MTH appears to have no issues with either MTH or Lionel. This one small investment of $80 dollars solved a ton of the little issues that were bugging my trains.

    [FONT=&quot]Ok I have an extra Lionel CW 80 for sell make me an offer.[/FONT]
  2. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Dang.... Now you're making me want one. :D
    I noticed it's cheaper than the CW-80 as well.
    Just might have to get me one at tax time. (Along with a few other things. :D )

    I noticed on that it is listed for "medium sized layouts" Is there a certain standard that determines small, medium, and large layouts? I'm planning a 10x10x4 L shaped layout in my basement would that be considered "large?"
  3. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    I'd call a layout that size "medium." I read somewhere (I really wish I'd saved it) that MTH did market research and found the majority of hobbyists it surveyed had layouts of 8x8 or smaller. So if 8x8 is average, you're slightly above average, but personally I think you'd have to have over 128 square feet of layout to consider it large.
  4. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Sounds fair enough.
    I'll have to see how my CW80 does with it then and decide if I want to upgrade after that.
    I'm not even sure at this point that my layout will be that large but it's the biggest I've toyed with.
  5. Geno

    Geno Member

    You'll find that the more you spend on wattage to power your train the cheaper it is per watt. Admittedly $300+ is alot to spend for a transformer, but then again at that point you never have to worry about power (until you need a transformer for your second level).

  6. Elcoholic

    Elcoholic New Member

    I seem to have this "thing" about owning an old (looking) transformer that operates everything well. Since I hate the modern look of the MTH Z series and nothing is commercially available that will do the job, I'm making one.

    I've gutted two MTH Z-1000's and am building the innards into the case of a post-war Lionel Type R transformer (formerly 80 watts). The result should be a "restored R" with 200 watts that will operate two trains at 100 watts each and work the horns and whistles of anything I run. When finished, I'll post photos.

    Also, you can plug an MTH Z-750 power mod into a lionel BW-80. The result? It still sucks! The Lionel controller still won't completely turn off the power. How long can a company survive on past reputation alone? If they tried to market the same junk under a different name, they'd go belly-up in the first six months. You can depend on Lionel....they'll ALWAYS disappoint you.

    Disclaimer: The statements contained herein reflect the opinion of the author and are in no way meant to infer that Lionel has so much as a clue about what they're doing.
  7. Geno

    Geno Member

    I bought the Z4000 back in 1999 because there was no other available power supply with its rating (180w x 2). If I were to make a choice now I probably would go with the new Lionel ZW, since you can add 2 more 180w powerhouses to it for a total of 720w.

    The new ZW still lacks voltage and amperage meters, an omission that's a major deisign flaw for me. I know Lionel offered an add-on display screen, but that only destroys the classic looks of the ZW- if they had done a better job with that, I probably would have a ZW for power now.

  8. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Sounds like quite the project. I'd only end up electrocuting myself or blowing up my trains.

    We really shouldn't be bashing Lionel but that's sign1
  9. Elcoholic

    Elcoholic New Member

    "Bashing" Lionel may be the only wake-up call they can hear. As of this writing, they're asleep at the wheel of a car going nowhere.
  10. Geno

    Geno Member

    The unspoken knowledge Lionel has about its longtime customer base is that they know we'll buy it, high price, problems and all. It's similar to a drug dealer selling cocaine or heroin- he knows his customers will keep coming back, even if it kills them.

    And you can tell how well Lionel listens to it's customers by how their product turns out- the new Husky Stack is a perfect case in point. This was supposed to be for the scale Lionel buyer, and despite all of the buzz about it on all of the O gauge model train forms the model still came out 1/2" short. Did this anger many potential buyers? Yes, but it didn't stop the item from being a sellout in it's first run.

    Unfortunately for us, Lionel knows its' customers too well are keeps cranking out whatever it sees fit to sell- too bad they can'y get that last 10% right.


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