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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone explain why the ZW transformers seems to fetch three times the money as the KW transformers? I know that it's a larger transformer, but 190W vs 275W seems like it would fetch a premium of maybe up to 2x, but certainly not the differential I see. Is there some hidden attribute that I don't see?
 

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Four throttles instead of two?

If I was Captain Kirk,I would be on the fringe of the universe when transformers are discussed. Mostly I have opinions of operation.
I do have a KW that I am using for the AF trestle. It does supply the umph I need. But the AF doesn't fly. It did many years ago .After thinking about how it runs I wonder if I should check the rollers.
 

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IMHO, the KW is the bargain transformer. As I have said before, I bought 3 recently for about $35 ea. I put power cords on all of them, replaced the rollers on 1, replaced the copper oxide rectifiers with silicon diodes, soldered up a few loose connections, replaced some terminals on one, lubricated them, and they are running fine. ZWs demand a premium because they are ZWs. However, 2 KWs is more than one ZW. 380 watts v. 275 watts. 4 whistle controllers v. 2 whistle controllers. 4 train controllers v. 4 train controllers. 4 directional controls v. 2 directional controls I think the ZW looks better than the KWs, and the ZW is one piece v. two KWs, but these are the only things going for it. I plan to stick with KWs. You could also consider 4 1033s as opposed to a ZW. 4 1033s have 4 train controls, 4 whistle controls, 4 directional controls, and 36 watts. You should be able to buy a 1033 that needs a power cord for less than $10. The last one I bought I paid $5. It does not look new at all, but it works just fine.

Transformers are going for about $0.25/watt these days. This is down from $1 a watt a few years ago.

Bruce Baker
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have a KW on the way, but I paid 56 including shipping for it. I picked up a couple of 1033's, and those were about 25/ea a few weeks ago. I have a couple more old 1033's coming, and I'll give them the replacement rectifier treatment as well and that should keep me going in transformers.

I never could get the ZW, if you don't have directional controllers or horn buttons, how do you figure they're a true 4 train control? :)

I just wanted to see if I was missing something really basic, but I'll stick with what I have. My only issue with the 1033's is the maximum voltage is a bit lower than other transformers, but that's not a major issue.
 

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If the KW is in good shape and does not need any repairs, $56 is not a bad price. The 1033s are a little high, IMHO, as they are not in great demand.

About the rectifiers, they will essentially live forever UNLESS you turn the copper disc. That ruins the disc almost immediately. If the copper oxide rectifiers are working OK, I wouldn't bother replacing them.

BB
 

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While you have it open, you might want to lube the controls. It will work so much easier, particularly the whistle control.
BB
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Question.

I have the KW working well with one small issue. Whenever I use the "A" control, it also moves the "B" controller. I'm assuming I should lube that stack of washers with the springs, just wanted to make sure that's all I need to do. :)
 

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I think this problem is endemic to the species. The ZWs do it also. The plate between the two handles is supposed to keep this from happening, but it doesn't work perfectly.
Bruce Baker
 

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FWIW, I have lubed my KWs, and they work better when they are lubed, particularly the whistle controller. It is kinda stiff without lube.

Bruce Baker
 

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My KW transformer died. I replaced it witha Lionel 1033. I got the train working by using posts U and A. Does anyone know where I should hook the 022 switch voltage pins to? They do not work hooked up to posts B or C.
 
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