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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

(T-Man ... you said you hate transformer questions. At the risk of stirring a hornet's nest ...)

So, I've dusted off this old (1958) Lionel set for the first time in 40 years. I've been fixing up the #249 loco, and am now staring (with some fear) at the AC transformer. I plugged it in, and it works (via multimeter output check), but ...

It's a Lionel Type 1015 transformer, AC output, 45 Watts.

The power cord is dangerously flaking off its brittle rubber coating, over essentially the full length of the cord, right up to the casing.

I'd replace the cord, if I could, but the transformer appears to be a sealed unit, with no apparent means of access to the inside of the box to get to the "root" of the chord. The main body of the transformer is black plastic, and it has a metal "floating" base with 4 rivets (?) holding it in place.

Q -- Is there some secret-handshake way to get inside the case?

One of the threaded-stud power terminals is broken off near its root, so that would require a little repair/replacement, too.

Q -- Am I nuts to think about tackling all of this? I'd imagine that the value is near nothing, and that I could pick up a suitable (safe!) AC transformer on eBay or the like. But ...

Q -- As far as I know, this is the original transformer to the full train set, and the nostalgic guy in me is thinking I should give it the old college-try to fix it and keep it with the set, before I hurl the thing in the trash can. What do you think?

So ... Fix or chuck???

Thanks!
TJ
 

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Look very carefully at the control lever: if you get a screwdriver and pry it up, will it reveal a locknut holding the whole thing together? I've never dealt with one of those, but it's a suggestion. If not, chuck it. I'm as nostalgic as they come, but you're looking at a 45 watt, AC transformer. That's about enough wattage to run a Slinky. It's not really enough wattage to grow your railroad.

I don't follow Lionel, but you can find a lot of AC, American Flyer transformers on Ebay for a minimal price. Look here for info on the ones you are considering---it will tell you the age and wattage: http://www.americanflyerexpress.com...-flyer-products-directory-transformers-02.htm

Best of luck!
 

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Yard Master & Research
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The first rule is throw away nothing. Except old frayed wires.The 1015 is good for testing. For now let me research and play with mine. I never changed my cord either. With the metal lever I am not sure how to remove it.I need my manual and some time. May I suggest a 1030 on ebay it's 95 watts. You will notice a difference. You can always go bigger.
My projects are piling up. The 224 e unit works and I started rewiring. My boiler shell got primed today. I used epoxy for the fixes. I may have had better luck with acid core solder, but I was impatient.
 

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The first rule is throw away nothing. Except old frayed wires.The 1015 is good for testing. For now let me research and play with mine. I never changed my cord either. With the metal lever I am not sure how to remove it.I need my manual and some time. May I suggest a 1030 on ebay it's 95 watts. You will notice a difference. You can always go bigger.
My projects are piling up. The 224 e unit works and I started rewiring. My boiler shell got primed today. I used epoxy for the fixes. I may have had better luck with acid core solder, but I was impatient.
I agree with T.

Even if you get a new one you could power accessories with that one.
That way you could use all the power of a bigger one for the trains.

Even if you get a 95 watt when you add a bunch of lights and accessories it takes power away from the trains.

If you plan on throwing anything away just send it to T man or me.
T man first........he has (I think) more time to fool with them. I have a whole box of different transformers in a big box..............somewhere.:laugh:

Throw it away!!!! How dare you say that nasty word here!!!

Don't listen to reckers, He runs S gauge:laugh:

I think he's like the only one who collects S.:D


By the way wheres the picture?:confused:
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Quick post

I cut the front off.The two terminals are on top. Notice the plastic tongue is to the right. It is 1 1/4 down from the top and 1 from the right will get you where the hole is. I used a screwdriver and twisted it to force the two jaws down from the tongue.If you flip it over it is in the same position. You do not want to drill in the metal at the bottom . That is the piece thet needs to be pushed down. That is the least destructive way to get inside.Drill then widen the hole.

A cleaner way is to use a dremel cutting wheel to clip the prongs.The plastic will smoke too!!! I went outside.That way it would fall out. With epoxy you make four posts to screw it back on.
This transformer is not in the normal service manual.

BTW The posts or the handles do NOT come off. The handle is peened on.


 

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Railroad Tycoon
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I cut the front off.The two terminals are on top. Notice the plastic tongue is to the right. It is 1 1/4 down from the top and 1 from the right will get you where the hole is. I used a screwdriver and twisted it to force the two jaws down from the tongue.If you flip it over it is in the same position. You do not want to drill in the metal at the bottom . That is the piece thet needs to be pushed down. That is the least destructive way to get inside.Drill then widen the hole.

A cleaner way is to use a dremel cutting wheel to clip the prongs.The plastic will smoke too!!! I went outside.That way it would fall out. With epoxy you make four posts to screw it back on.
This transformer is not in the normal service manual.

BTW The posts or the handles do NOT come off. The handle is peened on.


Thanks T I have never been inside of one yet.

You wonder why they didn't include them in the manual?
You can't pry up the handle to get it off?

I knew your epoxy would be in the fix.:laugh:
 

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Chuck it. *L* Chuck it at T-Man! You'll put more labor and parts into it than it's worth. Get you a nice S scale transformer that can be opened and repaired. Ed's not taking his medication again and is hallucinating.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
T-Man, Reckers, big ed,

Wow ... I can't begin to thank you all enough for giving my little "situation" such serious thought ... much appreciated!

At first, I thought Reckers had the right idea about prying off the handle. But when I tugged / pried on mine, it didn't budge, and I didn't want to risk cracking the plastic (bakelite?).

So, I was about to shelf the thing, and prop myself in front of eBay to do a little transformer shopping, when ...

Dr. T-Man get called into surgery with scalpel and extractors in tow. Boy, do I feel GUILTY ... I didn't think that my inquisitive questioning would prompt someone somewhere to actively disect one of their very own, living, breathing goodies! Ouch!

Now you've got me staring at my 1015 transformer ... I've stuck some blue tape on the side, marked a big "X" at the aforementioned coordinates, am about to ask Nurse Cynthia for the Dremel ... but before I do ...

Let's say that I perform a little open-heart, as mentioned above. If I cut away the front and back tabs that hold the metal flanges to the plastic casing, WILL I BE ABLE TO THEN SLIDE OUT (DOWN) THE METAL BASE WITH THE TRANSFORMER GUTS IN TOW ... OR IS THE FACT THAT THE HANDLE IS PRESSED ON GOING TO MEAN THAT I STILL WON'T BE ABLE TO PULL OUT THE BASE / GUTS?

And then, there's this ...

I'm sitting here thinking how crazy it is that I'm "talking" to people I've never met about some dusty/cracked gizmo that's been sitting in my basement for years ... a gizmo that has a value of about $0.99 ... and that these same people are actually interested in stuff like this, and that their basements are likely filled with dozens and dozens of dusty/cracked gizmos each worth their own $0.99 ... and that all of us WOULDN'T give away any of these beloved treasures for all the tea in China! Crazy, huh?

So, at the risk of testing your patience one more time ... if I sterile-up and operate, will I be able to retrack the dohickey from the watchamacallit?

Thank you all VERY much!

PS -- whatever happens with ol' 1015, I'm thinking I gotta go on eBay and buy an 85 watt transformer ... a bit more juice, etc. That said, most of my "eggs" are in my HO basket (with DC transformer), and I'm thinking that this O Lionel venture is simply going to get the old trains (themselves) running around that small oval. No accessories, etc.

Famous last words, my friends ... famous last words!

TJ
 

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TJ,
You're gonna find that both T-Man and Big Ed are all heart---they go the distance for everybody. Even if you don't manage to raise the dead, you'll learn about your transformer, and knowledge is valuable. You also made some good friends, and that's worth far more than 99 cents. Now, if you can just learn to recognize the obvious superiority of S Scale......
 

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**********************************
quote TJ

I'm sitting here thinking how crazy it is that I'm "talking" to people I've never met about some dusty/cracked gizmo that's been sitting in my basement for years ... a gizmo that has a value of about $0.99 ... and that these same people are actually interested in stuff like this, and that their basements are likely filled with dozens and dozens of dusty/cracked gizmos each worth their own $0.99 ... and that all of us WOULDN'T give away any of these beloved treasures for all the tea in China! Crazy, huh?

***************************************************

Now I didn't say all mine were dusty and cracked. A lot came with lots I won on e bay. I will have to look in the box to see what I got.

Don't worry about T he lives for the moment to take apart something and do experiments with.
I never fooled with many transformers. I would think that there would be a way to replace something as common as a handle but I guess not. I guess when you get the case off it pulls away from the handle?

I got 2 new Lionel 80 watts and recently got a nice ZW 275 watts.
I have a bunch of smaller newer ones too.
And a bunch of old ones that probably need repair at least new cords.
I keep them because to me they are a piece of history.:D

Don't worry about T dissecting his stuff and breaking it as I am sure he will figure a way to fix it. And when he does it will be better then new.:D

And if all fails he keeps a couple of 55 gallon drums of epoxy around that will fix it.:laugh:
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Taking the Mystery Out

As you can see the transformer falls right out. It is held by pressure from the bottom piece. The handle is on with no way to remove it.

My cut was 1/2 inch from the bottom. The wheel need to cut deep. I didn't have enough at the very end and broke it off. I did remove it completely. THe half inch will just cut the prongs I was a liitle lower and got the whole piece.

I am working on gluing up my broken side and still wondering the best way to keep it together. Remember look for a 1033. THis litle guy I originally added a prong to it so some of the original wire remained. I had to solve the mystery on how it was assenbled. A small price to pay.




 

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As you can see the transformer falls right out. It is held by pressure from the bottom piece. The handle is on with no way to remove it.

My cut was 1/2 inch from the bottom. The wheel need to cut deep. I didn't have enough at the very end and broke it off. I did remove it completely. THe half inch will just cut the prongs I was a liitle lower and got the whole piece.

I am working on gluing up my broken side and still wondering the best way to keep it together. Remember look for a 1033. THis litle guy I originally added a prong to it so some of the original wire remained. I had to solve the mystery on how it was assenbled. A small price to pay.



Duck tape.:laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
T-Man, etc.

I'm IN !!! Two small Dremel slices on the front/back sides, just like you described. Piece of cake. Bottom popped off, guts spilled out, all in their glory. Not a pretty sight ...

This old puppy has been heated and reheated more than my grandmother's old Cuisinart toaster! A few burn marks. And crumbling wire coatings. And NO internal circuit breaker. Power it up ... roast a turkey! So ...

I've concluded that this has been a fun and educational exercise, but my old Type 1015 transformer has powered its very last loco. Time to go out to pasture.

I'll do a little eBay hunting to see if I can find a 1030 or similar approx 80 watt servicable Lionel transformer (with circuit breaker) for a reasonable (cheap?) price.

Thanks to everyone for your surgical tips!!!

TJ
 

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The defense rests it's case. *L* CHUCK IT!!!!!!:laugh:

TJ, don't be shy with the amps. More is better in the long run, because you can expand your layout without buying a second transformer. The extra amps won't hurt your set.
 

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Well just to torture everyone the side is fixed and in place. The new cord is on . My innards look good so it's a keeper.

The first notch from the bottom is where the transformer itself rests. Now we know where the wires are you don't need to remove the bottom just a piece of the side near the top on the side where the wire goes in. The heat gun smotths out the epoxy real fast.

 

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Wrap up

This was a challenge. I would of like to use long screws but the room in the case wasnt there. I went external. Four # sheet metal screws drilles through the side with a 7/32 drill. I used the contructuion bracket cut down in strips to press down on the bottom cover and transformer underneath. I used epoxy to anchor the screws on the metal bar. I had no room for nuts.

I did use #4 screws and nuts to attach the lower frame to the bottom. The four holes shown.

In the future to change a cord it is easier to cut an access high above the cord near the top. The two connections are near each other about an inch apart. It works fine. It isn't pretty but that's the breaks.


 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi T-Man, etc.

Again, a HUGE thank you to all for such talented diagnostic / surgical skills ... I really appreciate your enthusiasm and help and in answering my crazy questions about my "old nellie" 1015 transformer.

A few updates on my end ...

I'm following Reckers' advice about "not being shy with amps" in choosing a new transformer. After quite a bit of 'net reading and eBay surfing, I bid on a new Lionel CW-80 over the weekend. It should arrive in a few days. I'm a bit bummed that my original 1015 ("pure" to my old Lionel set) is shelved (for now), but I think it's important that I only use something electrically safe when the kids are around. And, you guys have convinced me that having a bit more juice than 45 watts opens up a few extra doors if (ha ha ha!) I ever add any "extras" to my simple oval layout. I'm no ZW guy (yet!), but the CW-80 should offer enough juice, be safe ... and ... it sure looks COOL! Do any of you have/like a CW-80?

As for my little 1015 transformer ... I'd sure like to get that think going again ... purely for posterity's sake. I think I'll grab the old multimeter and fiddle a bit more. But not when my kids are in grab-sight of the thing!

T-Man ... excellent job with the 4 new bottom-mount screws. I was thinking the very same thing ... As long as the new screws poke though the plastic casing BELOW the base's metal flange, then they act as stops, and the base flange can't come out.

While I was poking around on eBay, I checked out a few listing of old 1063 transformers (75 watt) and sister 1043 (60 watt) transformers ... early 1960's, I think? I like the "classic" look of those. Nice curves? Any thoughts on these ... purely for collector's sake?

I'm also gonna keep my eBay eye out for a 1015 in decent shape ... I'd sure like to "rebuild" my old Lionel set as intact / pure as possible.

Again, MANY thanks to all of you!

TJ
 
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