Model Train Transformer

The model train transformer is without doubt the most important component of your model railroading empire, because without it your trains will not run.  If you have an impressive layout, this is certainly not the part that will catch the observers eye unless they are a dyed in the wool, true blue, model train enthusiast, because these are the only people who understand the true value of a model train transformer.

For those of you who do not know how a transformer functions, or what an important role a transformer plays in the smooth operation of a model railroad, the following explanation may be of some assistance:  This is the accessory that literally allows your locomotive to travel from one destination to another on a model train layout.

It accomplishes this by converting the standard 220 volt current that is produced by most electrical sockets to a lower voltage that is around fifteen to twenty volts.

The current which the transformer creates runs through your layouts train tracks, and produces an electrical current that makes it possible for your railcars to move at whatever rate of speed you select.

This current is safe, and it is even possible to touch your train tracks without being concerned about being shocked unnecessarily.

The model train transformer is a work of simplicity, because it’s operation is as uncomplicated as the turn of a knob, and in fact that is exactly what you do to cause your train to run faster, slower, forwards or backwards. You adjust the knob in one direction or the opposite to control the rate of speed of your train or trains.

Frankly, most transformers are so dependable that the only time you really give them much thought is when they fail to operate.  There are a few tips that you may find helpful to get your transformer up and running again in the event that it fails in some way and they are as follows:

1. There are a few tools which you’ll need and you should be able to find them right around the house. They include things like tweezers, soldering gun and solder, a pair of pliers, and some type of oxidation remover.

2.  An easy repair solution involves turning on your transformer, and if you hear sound coming from it, rather than your train, it is very likely that the contacts on the track require a good cleaning.  If you’re lucky this will solve your transformer problems!

3.  If the previous suggestion doesn’t help, you may want to take your transformer apart, and when you do this make sure you’ve unplugged it first.  If you happen to see grayed wires or corrosion anywhere this is probably the source of your trouble.  This is especially typical of older transformers that may have been stored away for some period of time.

If you observe oxidation simply dip the oxidized wires into your oxidation solution until it dissolves. You may have to remove these wires, and this can be done by using your soldering gun to remove them, and of course the gun will come into play again to re-attach them after the corrosion or oxidation is dissolved.

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