Basically I'm moving stuff we only use occasionally (Christmas, Halloween, or in the case of the trains, stuff we haven't used in years) to a U-haul shed that we rent by the month. However, it means that I can't get to the stuff immediately, but instead have to drive 10 minutes to the shed, and do it during their working hours.
I was dropping more stuff off yesterday, and I had about 3 minutes to snap some pictures before they closed for the day. I only saw the transformer for the Lionel (I suspect I used them interchangeably when I had the trains up). The transformer is faded with age, and the pictures aren't that good.
The 4 terminals are labeled as:
- Terminal 1 to 2, 6 volts
- Terminal 1 to 3, 12 volts
- Terminal 3 to 4, 5 to 10 volts in 1 volt steps
- Terminal 2 to 4, 11 to 16 volts in 1 volt steps
- Terminal 1 to 4, 17 to 22 volts in 1 volt steps
Then underneath it says type W transformer, 75 watts, 115 volts, 60 cycles A.C. Made in the USA, Lionel Corporation, New York. Since the Lionel train was my fathers, and he was born in 1931, I would guess it was made pre-World War II, so maybe late 1930's or 1940-1941.
The trains have sat for about 20 years in our house, and so I need to get them looked at first. I'll be taking the two engines to a local train specialist for an assessment. As I was putting one of the trains away in the box, one wire came off. But with 20 years of neglect, it probably needs other things than just resoldering the wire.
Ultimately, I would like have them running by fall. When I was growing up, we had the trains around the Christmas tree, and since we are driving to my father's for Christmas, I thought I would like to set them for the family. Even if I don't have the Arduino running the train, I might want to have it do some other electronics.
If I could run it via the Arduino, I would put the boards, etc. on my never ending to buy lists. I'm not sure I need a full motor driver shield, just something to produce 1-16 volts of DC current under program control with the appropriate wattage (75). I didn't see anything for the amps.
Yep, the set I have was made when it was owned by A. C. Gilbert. According to my father, it had been used the year before by a department store for their window display, and the window dresser sang in the church choir my father was the minister at, and when the store did another display the next year, gave the set to my father for me.
I think it was O-27 gauge, but it may have been O gauge.
Can you get more information:
DC or AC ? If it is DC, is reverse voltage used to drive backward ?
I had assumed it was DC, but perhaps it was AC. More things to check.
The Lionel transformer did not have an option for going backwards. I didn't notice the American Flyer transformer. I don't have a multimeter yet, so I haven't measured the voltage that the transformer produces if any. I suspect I will probably need to replace them.
Is is regulated DC, or unregulated DC.
Given the age of the gear, I would guess that it is not regulated.
Can you measure the actual current of a train?
As I said, I'm not sure the trains are functional at this point. So, I need to test both the train and the transformer, and fix or replace as needed. It will be awhile yet, but I was hoping somebody else had already done it, and knew the voltages, etc.
Does a train use a few amps ? That's a lot.
The Adafruit Motor Shield is for 0.6A (1.2A peak). That's probably not enough for you.
I think that both trains use AC motors. Sometimes an extra DC voltage is used for whistles and so. If a DC voltage for whistles is not used, both engines will run without problem on DC (either regulated or unregulated).
I still don't understand how the direction is changed. Is that changed with a switch on the transformer ? What does that switch do ?
I'm not sure back in the day we had the trains running in reverse, but I would suspect that if I had a newer transformer, it probably would work.
Many thanks for the links. Yes, I want to keep the motors as close to original as possible, but the transformers I can see replacing with more modern stuff.