Welcome to the forum   
Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

2 Pages12>
Share
Options
View
Go to last post in this topic Go to first unread post in this topic
Offline cookee_nz  
#1 Posted : 20 February 2013 10:01:15(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
This thread takes over from this previous one on a similar topic....

https://www.marklin-users.net/forum/yaf_postst21152_Removing-housing-on-278-A-transformer.aspx

Hi all,

This has been discussed previously but my experience today and the several attached photos further below will hopefully serve as a reminder.

Some weeks ago I made a purchase of some old 50/60's vintage Marklin which had been packed away in the early 60's and basically untouched for the next 50 years.

All the Loco's were in excellent condition, but totally seized from dried lubricant. A few minutes on each to free up the drive-train, re-lubricate and they were running as good as new.

Included in the purchase were 6 blue metal-case Transformers 280A, most of you will have seen them and many of you will have some in your own equipment.

They were mostly in tidy external condition, but the previous owner had cut the cords quite short and fitted custom plugs. This did not concern me because I intended to replace the cords anyway prior to passing them on for redistribution through the club. I have been replacing cords on older Trafo's for some years now because of the known danger from the old perished rubber inside the mains cord.

Every one of these six had cords which were badly perished - the worst I've seen actually and it gave me an opportunity to take some photos.

The first photo shows the internal power cord where it connects to the thermal overload/cutout switch. This is exactly as I found it after removing the cover and removing the transformer core out of the way. You can see the Black and White rubber-sheathed inner wires are completely exposed where the rubber insulation has simply crumbled away and lying on the base. This crumbling in the first photo was just as a result of opening it up - I had not actually touched either the Black or White wires as this stage, but as soon as I did they turned to dust.

It was exactly the same at the other end where wired into the plug. Within the cable between the plug and the Trafo although it cannot be seen, there will be internal perishing also.

Externally however, everything looked just fine. The outer sheathing showed no deterioration at all and this is where the real danger lies because there is nothing visual to warn you. If the internal wires short-circuit because they come into contact, you may experience intermittent blowing fuses or circuit breakers, and every time you move the cord it will break down inside just a little more.

Had I attempted to plug any of these units into the mains supply as-is, I have no doubt I would have a high risk of some form of combustion along with dangerous toxic smoke, and exposure to the resulting bare wires, before (if I was lucky) the home circuit-breaker would kill the supply.

I was almost tempted to set up the Video camera and just put it to the test to prove a point but I thought that to be a little extreme, not to mention my insurer taking a dim view should the house happen to burn down in the process. You'll have to take my word for the potential just waiting to happen.

But, apart from the perished mains cord, the rest of the Transformers were in almost as-new condition on the inside as the photos show. The internal wiring uses plastic insulation and this shows no deterioration whatsoever. The plastic is still very pliable and serviceable and all internal components, mounts etc are as new so I'm happy to extend their life.

I use normal PC power cords of which I have a good supply, they are the correct current rating, very flexible and being PVC, should last the next 20, 30 50?? years.

Fortunately the 280A in particular is very easy to replace the cord on (once opened up), I just cut the IEC connector off, strip sufficient outer sheathing off, tin the wires ready to be soldered back onto the circuit breaker and reassemble. 15 minutes max.

DISCLAIMER

NOTE: I do NOT encourage anyone who is not sufficiently experienced (or Licensed) to attempt this. My recommendation is that you should have it done by an Electrician or Appliance Repair Technician, particularly if there is any chance of children using them. Should not take more than half hour even for the tricky ones.

The main purpose of this topic is to show WHY you absolutely MUST ensure that any Transformer with a Metal case has the mains-cord checked and replaced if found to be at risk.

If you are discarding an old Trafo, or have one with a suspect cord that you do not intend to repair or use any longer, my strongest advice is that you cut the cord off completely, flush where it enters the Trafo housing. Oh, and if it is not obvious to anyone, it might also be a good idea to make sure it's not plugged in before said cord amputation. Yep, somewhere will be a 'Jackass' idiot who actually needs telling that!!


Safe removal of power cord on old Transformer

Removing the cord ensures that no one can possibly connect it in error or out of curiosity without first replacing the cord.

You do not need to try to open the Trafo to check; you can easily determine the state of the cord from the plug end. Open the plug and simply take a look. If it is a molded plug (unlikely because that technology was not in use in the 50's or most of the 60's) then you should cut it off and replace it with a wired plug - this will enable you to check the condition of the internal insulation. I believe PVC insulation started being used in the 70's and usually this will be ok but while you are at it, be sure to inspect the full length of the mains-cord for any nicks or damage.

To be perfectly honest, with anything smaller than the 280A (30VA) it may not be worth it but these are a good grunty Trafo, and perfect for Analogue, or even just for accessories and lighting. All of these six gave a measured reverse pulse of around 26VAC which is 'healthy' for mechanical reverse units, but not so kind on many newer Decoders and the general advice is to NOT use any Blue trafo's at all for Digital.

I hope this is helpful.

Regards

Steve

Edited by moderator 05 January 2015 21:01:27(UTC)  | Reason: Topic made Sticky

cookee_nz attached the following image(s):
280-1.jpg
280-2.jpg
280-4.jpg
280-5.jpg
280-6.jpg
280-7.jpg
280-8.jpg
280-9.jpg
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
thanks 13 users liked this useful post by cookee_nz
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#2 Posted : 20 February 2013 10:06:25(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 16,440
Location: New Zealand
Good post Cookee! ThumpUp I'd better check my 1970's 6166 30va transformer.


Originally Posted by: cookee_nz Go to Quoted Post
Some weeks ago I made a purchase of some old 50/60's vintage Marklin which had been packed away in the early 60's and basically untouched for the next 50 years.

All the Loco's were in excellent condition, but totally seized from dried lubricant. A few minutes on each to free up the drive-train, re-lubricate and they were running as good as new.


I think I've scored a couple of those - the 3005 and the 3048.

Originally Posted by: cookee_nz Go to Quoted Post
.....and the general advice is to NOT use any Blue trafo's at all for Digital.


Unless you are using them for powering a digital controller, e.g MS1/2. They should be OK for that. But don't drive a digital loco directly with them.
Offline cookee_nz  
#3 Posted : 20 February 2013 10:20:47(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
Good post Cookee! ThumpUp


Originally Posted by: cookee_nz Go to Quoted Post
Some weeks ago I made a purchase of some old 50/60's vintage Marklin which had been packed away in the early 60's and basically untouched for the next 50 years.

All the Loco's were in excellent condition, but totally seized from dried lubricant. A few minutes on each to free up the drive-train, re-lubricate and they were running as good as new.


I think I've scored a couple of those - the 3005 and the 3048.

Originally Posted by: cookee_nz Go to Quoted Post
.....and the general advice is to NOT use any Blue trafo's at all for Digital.


Unless you are using them for powering a digital controller, e.g MS1/2. They should be OK for that. But don't drive a digital loco directly with them.


Hi Dave, you've got to be pleased with the two Loco's they were in most-pleasing condition. I would have liked to keep them, but it was the trains, or the coveted motor-bike I've been hanging out for.

Still, I managed to score a very nice 3011 and 3018 with 4020 coaches, and I still have all the catenary so I can't complain Love

My 'underwriter' (Nadine) is good to me Cool
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#4 Posted : 20 February 2013 10:25:24(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 16,440
Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: cookee_nz Go to Quoted Post
Still, I managed to score a very nice 3011 and 3018 with 4020 coaches, and I still have all the catenary so I can't complain Love



And that Faller station kit!
Offline kweekalot  
#5 Posted : 20 February 2013 10:36:46(UTC)
kweekalot

Netherlands   
Joined: 27/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 3,189
Location: Holland
Hi Steve,

Thanks for this great thread !!ThumpUp

280A is the best looking transformer I have ever seen, I love her.
We use our 280A from 1949 daily, also for our (few) digital loco's, until now without any problem.

Marco
Offline cookee_nz  
#6 Posted : 20 February 2013 10:50:18(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: kweekalot Go to Quoted Post
Hi Steve,

Thanks for this great thread !!ThumpUp

280A is the best looking transformer I have ever seen, I love her.
We use our 280A from 1949 daily, also for our (few) digital loco's, until now without any problem.

Marco


Well Marco, we love having you here, and we've seen the pictures of your boys taking a keen interest so please, if you have not done so already, take the time to have your trafo's checked just to be on the safe side.

All old Marklin trafo's came from the same factory and same materials so you can be sure if there is perished rubber insulation on the ones in NZ, it'll be the same in the Netherlands, South Africa, United Kingdom, India, in fact anywhere and everywhere.

What more can I say?

Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
Offline cookee_nz  
#7 Posted : 20 February 2013 10:58:54(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: cookee_nz Go to Quoted Post
Still, I managed to score a very nice 3011 and 3018 with 4020 coaches, and I still have all the catenary so I can't complain Love


And that Faller station kit!


Ha ha, indeed. And the scatter material that Woody could not believe the club bought. And I still kept some of that for myself.

What is it with old Faller that whispers in my head "keep me, keep me"???

I really had a hard time letting go the original plastic tunnel faces with real wood bracing but needs must!!!

A serious cull of the Auto Motor Sport might be next, I just have too much. I mean SIX B-176 automatic level crossings with track?, that's getting close to how many they have in Melbourne and I know first-hand the havoc they cause. Well, okay, maybe I need another 170 to get close but still.......

Very cool item though....

https://www.marklin-users.net/cookee_nz/ams/iteminfo/b176_4722/b176-railwaycrossing.htm

Should be a new thread for that!!
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
Offline kweekalot  
#8 Posted : 20 February 2013 11:09:14(UTC)
kweekalot

Netherlands   
Joined: 27/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 3,189
Location: Holland
Hi Steve,

Thanks for your concerns, I appreciate that a lot !

I bought the transformer in June 2012 with a vintage looking, but modern rubber insulated cable.
But one of these days I open her and do an extra check.

At some German MRR forums it is totally forbidden (under penalty of excommunication and legal action) to post pictures of opened transformers of any brand.

But now I can refer my German forumfriends to this topic !! Laugh

Marco
Offline cookee_nz  
#9 Posted : 20 February 2013 11:50:20(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: kweekalot Go to Quoted Post
Hi Steve,

Thanks for your concerns, I appreciate that a lot !

I bought the transformer in June 2012 with a vintage looking, but modern rubber insulated cable.
But one of these days I open her and do an extra check.

At some German MRR forums it is totally forbidden (under penalty of excommunication and legal action) to post pictures of opened transformers of any brand.

But now I can refer my German forumfriends to this topic !! Laugh

Marco


Hi Marco, yes and I can understand their caution, in fact we've had similar discussion here about whether we should show this kind of repair. But at the end of the day, some people will try anyway no matter how much you warn them against it so by showing what are the risks, and the warnings, hopefully the danger is reduced.

On the other hand, we do live in a world too politically correct and gone totally mad. Somewhere will be a Marklin enthusiast who does have half a brain, and is careful, and quite capable of replacing the cord on his old Trafo completely safely because he is cautious, takes his time, has the right tools and double-checks his work afterward. He might not be a qualified electrician but he could still be safer than someone who is. Because he is careful, and does not want to make a mistake, his work will be neat and tidy.

For those people who may not have access to an electrician or repair person, information like this can be very helpful. Or even for a repair person who has never seen one before and thinks it is too hard to replace the cord, this information can reassure them that it can be done and quickly.

Next time I have one to do, I will take more photo's and document the entire cord replacement from start to finish, and make it an article on my own page, then the forum can't be blamed. Only Juhan can be blamed because he gave me the space :-) ThumpUp ThumpUp

Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by cookee_nz
Offline river6109  
#10 Posted : 20 February 2013 12:30:58(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,345
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Cookee,

Yes I was one of the writers who opposed such indications or suggestions of repair or using this particular transformer.
As we fiddle around with various things, most the time secondary voltage (16-20 volt) isn't harmful but when we talk about main voltage the matter becomes serious.
Your post just opens up the danger involved to some of our younger members who may not have any experience with mainpower and treat a transformer as a toy.
Your photo also indicated the state of a main power cable and clearly shows the danger a train enthusiast can experience: death by electrocution.
So I hope these photos and warnings will be taken on board seriously.

I still feel very strongly about not to show your work (even on your homepage), you may take on to repair this main power cable as it is a matter for an electricain to carry out such work.
I would get an opinion from a solicitor if your attempt is legal and doesn't lead to a criminal offence or a compensation payout
although we may feel very strong about the things we can do and achieve, interpretation of explanations and to follow steps may can be falsely interpretatet and the danger still exists regardless if the cable has been renewed.

I wouldn't like to have it on my concience if someone die from my repair instructions, a life is more important than a home repaired transformer

regards.,

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by river6109
Offline river6109  
#11 Posted : 20 February 2013 12:58:49(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,345
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Quote:
Bigdaddynz wrote:

Good post Cookee! ThumpUp I'd better check my 1970's 6166 30va transformer.


Although I agree cookees post is informative and shows the danger such transformers can pose, we are still talking about main power and therefore this topic should not be an example
as how you can fix it but an example of the danger that lies behind it and I think this is what cookee tried to do.
at least the writer, cookee should make it clear not to copy such repairs by anyone member.
Like Sir Edmund Hillary once said: He never invisiged his climb up Mt Everest region would one day become a rubbish tip and so many people die because they were unprepared for the task.
I may have postet a few crappy jokes but at least I haven't put any lifes in a possible unintended disaster.

Edited by moderator 05 January 2018 05:17:41(UTC)  | Reason: Fix quotes tag

https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline cookee_nz  
#12 Posted : 20 February 2013 20:07:07(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
Cookee,

Yes I was one of the writers who opposed such indications or suggestions of repair or using this particular transformer.
As we fiddle around with various things, most the time secondary voltage (16-20 volt) isn't harmful but when we talk about main voltage the matter becomes serious.
Your post just opens up the danger involved to some of our younger members who may not have any experience with mainpower and treat a transformer as a toy.
Your photo also indicated the state of a main power cable and clearly shows the danger a train enthusiast can experience: death by electrocution.
So I hope these photos and warnings will be taken on board seriously.

I still feel very strongly about not to show your work (even on your homepage), you may take on to repair this main power cable as it is a matter for an electricain to carry out such work.
I would get an opinion from a solicitor if your attempt is legal and doesn't lead to a criminal offence or a compensation payout
although we may feel very strong about the things we can do and achieve, interpretation of explanations and to follow steps may can be falsely interpretatet and the danger still exists regardless if the cable has been renewed.

I wouldn't like to have it on my concience if someone die from my repair instructions, a life is more important than a home repaired transformer

regards.,

John


Hi John, While I understand your concern, we have to draw a line somewhere.

You will note that I have not actually shown anywhere HOW to open the Trafo, and perhaps heeding your concern I will 'overlook' Wink adding that step in any article that may result. ThumpUp But... if anyone is determined enough they will get in without my help.

I believe in most countries it is already legal for homeowners to replace the plugs on appliance cords, yet you will only have to speak to any number of electricians or repair people who will tell you horror-stories about idiots who somehow tried to match the plug markings L-N-E with the coloured wires in the cord, R-B-G, or B-W, or B-B-YG without even remotely understanding what they meant and ending up with an earth wire in the Phase connector. Simply replacing the plug incorrectly can spell disaster.

I once worked with a guy who told me the story (no shit, this is true), about his wife who somehow broke or cut through the power or extension cord for the vacuum-cleaner. When he arrived home she told him it was not working any more even though she had 'fixed it'. He was dumbfounded when he saw the cord and found she had actually joined the two severed ends with a knot!! Not wrapping each of the conductors together, nooo - she just tied the whole cord in a knot. I kid you knot.

People will attempt their own electrical repairs regardless. I belong to several other forums including IBM Selectric Typewriters, Wurlitzer Jukeboxes Hamilton-Beach Milkshake mixers, Pinball machines, NCR Tills etc. Every one of these devices are mains-powered, and many of them are a heck of a lot easier to get into than a Marklin trafo.

From time to time I watch 'Jackass' on telly, how they survive some of those mindless 'stunts' is beyond me. And most every day now we get another story in the news about teenagers who got into a car with an unlicenced / drunk / stoned / inexperienced / disqualified driver and now one or several of them are dead. My own Son has been dead now 5 years because he made the poor choice to get into a vehicle with a careless driver who had been drinking for some time, instead of staying put where they were and doing what they intended.

It's hard to think that my careful and repeated warnings about this aspect of our hobby are going to directly result in something that may not have happened anyway? - indeed, I hope to prevent any incidents.

But you are absolutely right to repeat your concerns which I'm sure some other members will agree with.
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by cookee_nz
Offline cookee_nz  
#13 Posted : 20 February 2013 20:47:38(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
Good post Cookee! ThumpUp I'd better check my 1970's 6166 30va transformer.


Originally Posted by: cookee_nz Go to Quoted Post
Some weeks ago I made a purchase of some old 50/60's vintage Marklin which had been packed away in the early 60's and basically untouched for the next 50 years.

All the Loco's were in excellent condition, but totally seized from dried lubricant. A few minutes on each to free up the drive-train, re-lubricate and they were running as good as new.


I think I've scored a couple of those - the 3005 and the 3048.

Originally Posted by: cookee_nz Go to Quoted Post
.....and the general advice is to NOT use any Blue trafo's at all for Digital.


Unless you are using them for powering a digital controller, e.g MS1/2. They should be OK for that. But don't drive a digital loco directly with them.


Funny you should mention your 6166. It's not often I have to write-off a Trafo but I happen to have a 6166 ex the club GFS from some years back which needed exactly that for a different reason.

The cord on this one was PVC so it was fine, visually it looks ok (apart from a colour mismatch between the top and the base which was the first "what's wrong with this picture?" alert ) and it actually worked but I could hear rattling inside which needed investigation and the Red indicator light did not appear to work.

The Transformer core is wound around clear plastic which had started to fall apart. At this stage, the only obvious affect was that the indicator lamp was no longer mounted correctly and therefore not shining through the lens. You can also see from the pictures below that a couple of coils of the secondary winding have become free at that end.

In this instance, I suspect that the Trafo may have overheated, or the clear plastic has simply deteriorated prematurely? As it turns out, I also have a very similar 6177 Trafo, never before opened, it came with the factory display layout I purchased in Sydney so it would date from early 70's also. So out of curiosity I've just inspected it this morning to compare.

I note the plastic used is a different composition with no signs of becoming brittle, and nothing that needs to be done to this Trafo other than reassemble and keep using.

The 6166 with the broken plastic is not actually a danger, the windings which are loose are in the secondary coil so they only carry low voltage. As I said, this unit still works so the main reason I wrote it off was the loose indicator lamp - too fiddly to try to secure that, plus the loose windings are simply not a good look. While it may still appear to be electrically and functionally safe, the internal integrity has been compromised and therefore I would have been irresponsible in issuing it with a safety certificate.

So I guess that's another tip I can give to ALL our members. Simply give your Trafo's a bit of a shake - if something rattles, it may need checking, particularly if it sounds like bits of plastic rolling around inside.

And should you be unfortunate to drop a Transformer (hopefully not on your foot), you would be wise to have it checked as a precaution. All that copper wire and the metal plates make the internal core quite heavy - inertia alone from a fall could fracture internal mountings and create a risk. Any dents around the base may also indicate a fall at some time in the past.

Actually, perhaps this whole Trafo safety should be a sticky somewhere, particularly for new members who inherit items without giving this aspect a thought??

Have I opened a can of worms......

PS - the bottom two images are of the 6177 which is ok, all the others are the 6166 write-off.
cookee_nz attached the following image(s):
6166-0.jpg
6166-1.jpg
6166-2.jpg
6166-3.jpg
6166-4.jpg
6177-1.jpg
6177-2.jpg
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by cookee_nz
Offline franciscohg  
#14 Posted : 20 February 2013 21:06:06(UTC)
franciscohg

Chile   
Joined: 10/07/2002(UTC)
Posts: 3,119
Location: Patagonia
Well, i came home to check my old early sixties blue trafo, i use it ocasionaly with no problems so far, i did not open the case but check the cord on the pulg side, it certainly does not look like the pictures posted above and i have bend the cables and the insulation shows no cracks or anything.....
franciscohg attached the following image(s):
cord.jpg
UserPostedImage German trains era I-II and selected III, era depends on the mood, mostly Maerklin but i can be heretic if needed XD, heresy is no longer an issue.. LOL
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by franciscohg
Offline kweekalot  
#15 Posted : 20 February 2013 21:18:00(UTC)
kweekalot

Netherlands   
Joined: 27/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 3,189
Location: Holland
Hi Steve,

I have previously read about the accident of your son, and also tonight.
Very impressive, I have great respect for you how you handle Stevens loss.

About this metal trafo thread, you don't encouraged people to repair or open up the transformers and I also noticed the disclaimer. So I think no worries about that.

This afternoon I spoke with one of the mods of a German MRR forum where open transformers photos are prohibited.
Summarized, that forum wants to avoid lawsuits and claims in case of accidents. They are particularly concerned about children who may visit the forum, and can get the wrong idea about opening and repairing a transformer.
Personally I think it is a bit exaggerated, but maybe the German law is very strict.

Marco
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by kweekalot
Offline cookee_nz  
#16 Posted : 20 February 2013 21:52:36(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: franciscohg Go to Quoted Post
Well, i came home to check my old early sixties blue trafo, i use it ocasionaly with no problems so far, i did not open the case but check the cord on the pulg side, it certainly does not look like the pictures posted above and i have bend the cables and the insulation shows no cracks or anything.....


That's really interesting, yours shows exactly the same type of cord that I found to be perished and I'm surprised that it is not crumbling apart but real impressed that at least you took the time to check ThumpUp

If the internal rubber is still soft and flexible then yours may be ok but I would have expected all from the same era to be in the same state as mine.

Perhaps regional temperatures and storage has a big influence?, or perhaps Marklin have used several suppliers for the Trafo's / Cords and only certain materials are affected??

Somewhere, I read that Trafo's were not actually made by Marklin but from a major supplier like Siemens perhaps??

Markus might have some input here??

It will be interesting to see what other users find when they check theirs.

Edited by user 21 February 2013 07:01:00(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by cookee_nz
Offline cookee_nz  
#17 Posted : 20 February 2013 21:58:50(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
I think, amidst this doom and gloom and dire warnings of impending death, we need some DIVERSIONS (link) BigGrin BigGrin

Enjoy.

Edited by user 31 March 2013 08:16:20(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by cookee_nz
Offline river6109  
#18 Posted : 21 February 2013 03:36:57(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,345
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Quote:
Cookee wrote:

Hi John, While I understand your concern, we have to draw a line somewhere.

You will note that I have not actually shown anywhere HOW to open the Trafo, and perhaps heeding your concern I will 'overlook' Wink adding that step in any article that may result. ThumpUp But... if anyone is determined enough they will get in without my help.
I believe in most countries it is already legal for homeowners to replace the plugs on appliance cords, yet you will only have to speak to any number of electricians or repair people who will tell you horror-stories about idiots who somehow tried to match the plug markings L-N-E with the coloured wires in the cord, R-B-G, or B-W, or B-B-YG without even remotely understanding what they meant and ending up with an earth wire in the Phase connector. Simply replacing the plug incorrectly can spell disaster.

I once worked with a guy who told me the story (no shit, this is true), about his wife who somehow broke or cut through the power or extension cord for the vacuum-cleaner. When he arrived home she told him it was not working any more even though she had 'fixed it'. He was dumbfounded when he saw the cord and found she had actually joined the two severed ends with a knot!! Not wrapping each of the conductors together, nooo - she just tied the whole cord in a knot. I kid you knot.


No disrespect to beginners or new members or train enthusiasts who ar not techynically minded but we have had our share of questions on this forum regarding how to connect wires and I had my share of questions fromm other people regarding transformers and their purpose.
In your own story there are people out there who do the impossible and most of them should be old enough to know better but there are still young ones out there who think they have to proof something and start fiddling with the issue you have raised.
I personally think your topic is excellent and you've opened up some of the doubts from other members, "there is nothing wrong with my transformer" and your photos show exactly what could or has happened.
and you know the saying: It will never happen to me.
Here in Perth and most probably in other city's there are young students out there and they do the most stupid things and the result is death, e.g. a 16 year old tried to jump from one balcony to another and fell to his death (drunk). A young girl went to a music festival and was approached by police officers searching for drugs instead of handing them over she swallowed them and died.

John


.

Edited by moderator 15 October 2017 11:12:17(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline Hoffmann  
#19 Posted : 21 February 2013 04:58:00(UTC)
Hoffmann

Canada   
Joined: 25/11/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,106
Location: Guelph, Ontario
Hello John,

Please lets not ruin a good Post by Cookee with worries about what stupid People could or will do. Common Sense should always be used . According to you one should call a Electrician to change
a Light bulb ( some Nutcase may put the Finger in the Socket with Power on ).
I am old past 70 and do not know how I survived that long just think growing up with no Seat belts / Airbags/ Bike-helmet etc. etc. The American System where one can sue anyone for anything
has gone way out of Control and is now being taken over by other Countries ( just to keep the Lawyers happy ).

Remember the old Plugs (Controlbox etc.) from Marklin have been replaced by a new design so kids could not be shocked from the 18-24 Volts but no one said they could not but their Fingers or tongues on the Track.

I must say ( as a former Transformer Technician )` that the the old Marklin Transformers are well build .

Martin
marklin-eh
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by Hoffmann
Offline river6109  
#20 Posted : 21 February 2013 06:22:27(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,345
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Originally Posted by: Hoffmann Go to Quoted Post
Hello John,

Please lets not ruin a good Post by Cookee with worries about what stupid People could or will do. Common Sense should always be used . According to you one should call a Electrician to change
a Light bulb ( some Nutcase may put the Finger in the Socket with Power on ).
I am old past 70 and do not know how I survived that long just think growing up with no Seat belts / Airbags/ Bike-helmet etc. etc. The American System where one can sue anyone for anything
has gone way out of Control and is now being taken over by other Countries ( just to keep the Lawyers happy ).

Remember the old Plugs (Controlbox etc.) from Marklin have been replaced by a new design so kids could not be shocked from the 18-24 Volts but no one said they could not but their Fingers or tongues on the Track.

I must say ( as a former Transformer Technician )` that the the old Marklin Transformers are well build .

Martin


Martin,

your comments take this topic outside its boundaries and it has nothing to do with Cookees demonstration and explanations he has displayed above.
nothing has been mentioned by me about light bulbs and at no stage did I make any references to nutcases.
All I've expressed is a precautinory matter he may add to his topic

this says it all from my previous post:

I personally think your topic is excellent and you've opened up some of the doubts from other members, "there is nothing wrong with my transformer" and your photos show exactly what could or has happened.

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline H0  
#21 Posted : 21 February 2013 08:07:00(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,396
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: Hoffmann Go to Quoted Post
Remember the old Plugs (Controlbox etc.) from Marklin have been replaced by a new design so kids could not be shocked from the 18-24 Volts but no one said they could not but their Fingers or tongues on the Track.
No, the plugs were replaced to prevent them from touching 230 V.

Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
Offline Iamnotthecrazyone  
#22 Posted : 21 February 2013 09:05:23(UTC)
Iamnotthecrazyone

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,041
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Hoffmann Go to Quoted Post
Remember the old Plugs (Controlbox etc.) from Marklin have been replaced by a new design so kids could not be shocked from the 18-24 Volts but no one said they could not but their Fingers or tongues on the Track.
No, the plugs were replaced to prevent them from touching 230 V.



Then should we assume Brawa doesn't care? LOL

Good design to reduce risks is always welcome but kids can find more effective ways to have a feel of 230V. Here is another survivor made prior to the "blame someone else" & "bubblewrap" society.

Disclaimer: Bubble wrap is quite acceptable for wrapping and posting trains
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Iamnotthecrazyone
Offline H0  
#23 Posted : 21 February 2013 11:13:44(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,396
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: Iamnotthecrazyone Go to Quoted Post
Then should we assume Brawa doesn't care? LOL
Märklin want to comply to toy guidelines, Brawa target adults only.
Now Märklin use special plugs for the My World starter sets - if they would have introduced those a few years earlier, they could have kept the old 2.6 mm plugs for adults (like Brawa do).

Back to topic: a toy transformer where uncertified personnel replaced the power cord is no longer a toy transformer (legally).
When you know what you're doing, it should still be safe to use.
But if you do a bad job, it could be dangerous. Your heirs might sell it (on eBay) without knowing the risk, someone else might buy it and it may end up in the hands of children. And if the cord is not properly fixed and can be pulled out of transformer there could be a blank end with 230 V - or a blue metal case with 230 V.

You can kill yourself when changing a light bulb improperly. But you might kill someone else changing a transformer power cord incorrectly.

I find it interesting to see the inside of the transformers. But there cannot be too many warnings when you show such pictures.
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by H0
Offline Iamnotthecrazyone  
#24 Posted : 21 February 2013 13:05:59(UTC)
Iamnotthecrazyone

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,041
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Iamnotthecrazyone Go to Quoted Post

Back to topic: a toy transformer where uncertified personnel replaced the power cord is no longer a toy transformer (legally).


Actually, in a lot of countries it would void the authorization to be connected to the power grid. It can be a grey area which is not commonly enforced, in second hand shops in Australia -among other places- it has become mandatory to have lighting artifacts checked and tagged every year but in places like the UK I believe you are supposed to cut plugs of (used) electrical appliances you intend to sell unless they have been inspected by someone authorized to do so, which is probably a very similar thing. Which means you should not be selling them on ebay despite of everybody doing itRollEyes

I understand where you are comming from and I don't disagree but these subjects and regulations can be very obscure and tricky from several points of view.
Ironicaly, things properly built would be illegal to sell unless you have paid for a fat approval fee. An example but there are others: Marklin transformers included with starter sets in Australia have to be replaced by the dealers very often by things that IMHO do not match the Marklin trafo quality of built but are approved. Most dealers comply despite the extra cost and waste of a good trafo as it is a requirement by law, if they don't they risk problems.
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by Iamnotthecrazyone
Offline TGB  
#25 Posted : 11 April 2013 01:20:19(UTC)
TGB

United States   
Joined: 21/01/2013(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: Liberty Lake, WA
Cookie -- I have also run into the issue of the power supply cord to a vintage 280 transformer being totally deteriorated. It looked exactly like the pictures you posted. I have replaced it with another cord that I removed from a burned out hair dryer. I'm including a picture to show where I soldered the wires to the transformer. The problem is that now nothing works. I checked for continuity from the solder joints to the plug and that checks out good. But there is apprently no power getting through to the transformer. Any suggestions? What is the devise called that the power cord attaces to? It looks to be some sort of circuit breaker that trips when their is a short on track layout. Is the picture clear enough to determine if there is a problem with this circuit breaker? To me, it looks to be exactly like your photos.

Tolar

[img=null]c:/data/Marklin trains/Marklin Transformer inside-small.jpg[/img]
TGB attached the following image(s):
Marklin Transformer inside-small.jpg
Offline river6109  
#26 Posted : 11 April 2013 02:40:00(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,345
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Originally Posted by: TGB Go to Quoted Post
Cookie -- I have also run into the issue of the power supply cord to a vintage 280 transformer being totally deteriorated. It looked exactly like the pictures you posted. I have replaced it with another cord that I removed from a burned out hair dryer. I'm including a picture to show where I soldered the wires to the transformer. The problem is that now nothing works. I checked for continuity from the solder joints to the plug and that checks out good. But there is apprently no power getting through to the transformer. Any suggestions? What is the devise called that the power cord attaces to? It looks to be some sort of circuit breaker that trips when their is a short on track layout. Is the picture clear enough to determine if there is a problem with this circuit breaker? To me, it looks to be exactly like your photos.

Tolar

[img=null]c:/data/Marklin trains/Marklin Transformer inside-small.jpg[/img]


Tolar,

thanks for posting your picture about your old transformer.
My understanding what Cookee tried to explain was the danger involving old blue transformers and to avoid having copy-cats trying to fix them, it wasn't Cookee's aim (in my opinion) to explain how to fix them but merely pointing out the dangers lurking within an old transformer and it looks like you haven't read his disclaimer.

I'm surprised you are using an electrical cord from a burnt out hairdryer, the cord inside could also have burnt out marks making it very risky to use it.
secondly you must understand this is a model train forum and not an electrician information business. to ask questions on a model train forum how can I get my transformer fixed, I hope no one will try to answer as this involves 110 volt main power (it can kill).

I personally think the webmaster should restrict requests like this or point out the dangers involved anybody trying to explain to you what could have gone wrong.

Go and seek a professional electrician and he will be able to fix it for you without a.) you getting killed or any of us giving information that could kill you.

It looks like you don't take main power serious enough to be concerned.

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
thanks 3 users liked this useful post by river6109
Offline cookee_nz  
#27 Posted : 11 April 2013 03:25:15(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: TGB Go to Quoted Post
Cookie -- I have also run into the issue of the power supply cord to a vintage 280 transformer being totally deteriorated. It looked exactly like the pictures you posted. I have replaced it with another cord that I removed from a burned out hair dryer. I'm including a picture to show where I soldered the wires to the transformer. The problem is that now nothing works. I checked for continuity from the solder joints to the plug and that checks out good. But there is apprently no power getting through to the transformer. Any suggestions? What is the devise called that the power cord attaces to? It looks to be some sort of circuit breaker that trips when their is a short on track layout. Is the picture clear enough to determine if there is a problem with this circuit breaker? To me, it looks to be exactly like your photos.

Tolar



Hi Tolar,

At the risk of inciting the wrath of other members who may feel I am encouraging risky activity...., (moderators, if you are concerned, feel free to delete and I will take it off-forum)

BUT, before going any further I absolutely MUST point out the obvious dangers involved here. It is relatively easy (from a practical viewpoint) to replace the mains-lead and your soldering looks to be ok. But I would also have to assume that anyone tackling the replacement of the mains-lead already understood electrical and transformer theory sufficiently well that they were not only confident in replacing the cord itself, but also able to troubleshoot any problems to begin with.

Please believe I intend no disrepect to you or your skills, but the fact you are asking the question just makes me a little nervous about whether you need to be inside your Transformer to begin with because they are not particularly complex - indeed electrically they are more simple than the wiring within some of the Loco's and even the automated analogue control circuits for signals etc.

But, it would be foolish of me to say I have not made absolutely laughable errors in my professional life and overlooked the completely obvious (to everyone else). I'm embarassed to say that on occasion during my tenure with IBM I received the coveted 'butchers-apron' more than once for a repair blunder that I should have known better about.

I am also mindful that on this forum there are some members for whom access to the kind of repair service suggested is simply impractical, and that those same members may well be masters of invention, simply through necessity and have probably undertaken maintenance far more challenging than what we are talking here.

Aside from that, some countries have more or less stringent laws around this area than others. If the region in which you live allows private individuals to undertake maintenance of this nature, then anything which assists that task being done to the highest and safest quality is better than leaving it to the risk of trial and error.

With that caution out the way.....

First question ALWAYS with any trouble-shooting - when was it last working correctly and what has changed?

I hope I can safely assume that this Trafo WAS working prior to replacing the lead and that you have replaced the lead only as a safety precaution? If it was not working prior to replacing the cord then I suggest a qualified repair should be sought.

On the basis it was previously working, and as you have confirmed you are getting continuity from the mains plug up to the solder joints but no further, then I would suggest three options:

Yes the ceramic device is the short-circuit overload cutout - excessive current drain across any of the outputs will quickly cause the wound bi-metal element to heat up and bend away from the contact whereby the circuit will (or should) be interrupted until it cools after a few minutes and resets.

1: One possibility is a so-called 'dry-joint'. This is where the solder appears to be making a good bond but infact there is no connection or very high resistance within the joint - usually this results from movement while the solder is still fluid, or incorrect temperature (not hot enough). Remember when soldering you always heat the wire and/or the contact terminal and then apply your solder to the join, not directly to the soldering-iron tip. If the join is hot enough, the solder will flow easily through it.

2: The next thing I would check is whether the very fine wires which lead from the circuit breaker to the primary winding are still ok? (they are within the rigid plastic sheathing) - I have had them break quite easily during handling and that is definitely a show-stopper.

3: Finally, yes the circuit breaker could be faulty, and you should be able to determine this with a continuity test. If it is faulty, do NOT be tempted to by-pass it, that would be foolish in the extreme. Time for a new Trafo.

Frankly, my suggestion would be to check these things, but check them ONLY with your meter. Even if you do find the problem, please then seek a second opinion BEFORE applying mains-power.

Take the Trafo to a qualified appliance repair person or electrician and have them double-check your work. With any luck they'll commend you not only for a job well-done, but also for your common-sense and foresight in having the repair checked prior to 'going live' as it were. On the other hand, if they find it to be a sloppy attempt and slap you around the face with a wet fish then I would fall to your knees and buy him a beer - he probably just saved your life BigGrin

Once again, I cannot caution you enough.

Check, check and double-check.

Regards

Steve

Edited by user 05 January 2018 05:25:19(UTC)  | Reason: Typos, spelling

Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
thanks 3 users liked this useful post by cookee_nz
Offline cookee_nz  
#28 Posted : 11 April 2013 03:30:32(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: TGB Go to Quoted Post
Cookie -- I have also run into the issue of the power supply cord to a vintage 280 transformer being totally deteriorated. It looked exactly like the pictures you posted. I have replaced it with another cord that I removed from a burned out hair dryer. I'm including a picture to show where I soldered the wires to the transformer. The problem is that now nothing works. I checked for continuity from the solder joints to the plug and that checks out good. But there is apprently no power getting through to the transformer. Any suggestions? What is the devise called that the power cord attaces to? It looks to be some sort of circuit breaker that trips when their is a short on track layout. Is the picture clear enough to determine if there is a problem with this circuit breaker? To me, it looks to be exactly like your photos.

Tolar



Tolar,

thanks for posting your picture about your old transformer.
My understanding what Cookee tried to explain was the danger involving old blue transformers and to avoid having copy-cats trying to fix them, it wasn't Cookee's aim (in my opinion) to explain how to fix them but merely pointing out the dangers lurking within an old transformer and it looks like you haven't read his disclaimer.

I'm surprised you are using an electrical cord from a burnt out hairdryer, the cord inside could also have burnt out marks making it very risky to use it.
secondly you must understand this is a model train forum and not an electrician information business. to ask questions on a model train forum how can I get my transformer fixed, I hope no one will try to answer as this involves 110 volt main power (it can kill).

I personally think the webmaster should restrict requests like this or point out the dangers involved anybody trying to explain to you what could have gone wrong.

Go and seek a professional electrician and he will be able to fix it for you without a.) you getting killed or any of us giving information that could kill you.

It looks like you don't take main power serious enough to be concerned.

John


Ah there you go. While I was typing my reply, John already snuck in with his own very wise caution which I cannot disagree with.

Proceed with safety uppermost in your mind.

Steve

Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by cookee_nz
Offline river6109  
#29 Posted : 11 April 2013 06:37:51(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,345
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Steve,

This is exactly what we tried to avoid getting other people or members to follow into someone else's footsteps.
Is this hobby taking away all our money and we have to take drastic actions to mend a transformer with 2nd hand and most probably damaged cords and trying to fix it without any knowledge of how to proceed.
Can't we no longer evaluate the danger involved versus a few dollars and having a piece of mind.
I hope Tolar has got a residual current device in his meter box, just in case.

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by river6109
Offline TGB  
#30 Posted : 11 April 2013 06:45:46(UTC)
TGB

United States   
Joined: 21/01/2013(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: Liberty Lake, WA
I agree with what most everyone has said, but I'm no fool and only a fool would work on the transformer with it plugged into power. There is no danger when it is unplugged because there are no capacitors or other components that can hold a charge. I also know well enough to not plug it in until I have completely reassembled the covering.

In response to Cookie, the continuity is good through the circuit breaker so that's not the issue. And I have also checked the continuity of each lead past the solder joints, so I don't think those are the problem. The transformer was working fine just minutes before I decided that the cord needed to be changed. That decision was based on the flickering of the transformer light when the plug was moved (jiggled) slightly -- further investigation revealed that the whole cord was deteriorated and a hazard that needed to be fixed.

If there is indeed a problem further into the transformer, I will take it to an electrician although I will probabaly have great difficulty in finding anyone who knows anything about these. Here's hoping I can find someone, because relacements are not inexpensive.

Tolar
Offline river6109  
#31 Posted : 11 April 2013 07:26:03(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,345
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Tolar wrote:

I will take it to an electrician although I will probably have great difficulty in finding anyone who knows anything about these,

This is why they call them electricians.

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline TGB  
#32 Posted : 11 April 2013 19:48:05(UTC)
TGB

United States   
Joined: 21/01/2013(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: Liberty Lake, WA
Good news! The problem was apparently the solder joints. I re-did them and it works great. The power cord is now safe. And despite all the paranoia safety warnings, I never even caused a spark or shock. If you know what you're doing and take the appropriate precautions, working with electrical components can be very safe.

Tolar
Offline cookee_nz  
#33 Posted : 11 April 2013 20:38:23(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: TGB Go to Quoted Post
I agree with what most everyone has said, but I'm no fool and only a fool would work on the transformer with it plugged into power. There is no danger when it is unplugged because there are no capacitors or other components that can hold a charge. I also know well enough to not plug it in until I have completely reassembled the covering.

In response to Cookie, the continuity is good through the circuit breaker so that's not the issue. And I have also checked the continuity of each lead past the solder joints, so I don't think those are the problem. The transformer was working fine just minutes before I decided that the cord needed to be changed. That decision was based on the flickering of the transformer light when the plug was moved (jiggled) slightly -- further investigation revealed that the whole cord was deteriorated and a hazard that needed to be fixed.

If there is indeed a problem further into the transformer, I will take it to an electrician although I will probabaly have great difficulty in finding anyone who knows anything about these. Here's hoping I can find someone, because relacements are not inexpensive.

Tolar


Hi Tolar,

I do hope you didn't think I was suggesting you might have worked on it with the power applied, heavens no. I already sensed you were being cautious and respectful of the task at hand.

The point I was trying to make, (perhaps clumsily) was to do your "testing" more in a virtual way - ie with continuity meter etc to be certain all was ok, rather than testing by plugging in and seeing if it works and then as a final assurance to have it checked by a sparky before going 'live' as it were.

I see from your follow-up posting that you have now found the problem, and it certainly sounds like a soldered connection not quite as it should have been. It was hard to imagine it being anything else really other than a break in a wire.

Well done, another one saved from the scrap-heap.

Cheers

Steve
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
Offline river6109  
#34 Posted : 12 April 2013 02:30:52(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,345
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Tolar,

We only try to help and the first shocking announcement how to fix it has now been fixed.

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline evan.v.giles  
#35 Posted : 12 April 2013 10:14:29(UTC)
evan.v.giles


Joined: 15/03/2013(UTC)
Posts: 85
Location: South Brisbane, Queensland
Hi people

I was dumb enough years ago to try and fix an old hornby transformer, although there was a lot of sparks I wasn't killed, however here they can prosecute now for doing any thing like that
yourself now so I don't go anywhere near things like that now.
And I think a transformer of that age could not be fixed here because it wouldn't meet the electrical standard and most technicians would tell you to just buy a new one
However I always wanted to see what the guts of the old ones looked like and that thermal cut out is doozy.
Offline mike c  
#36 Posted : 12 April 2013 23:55:50(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,201
Location: Montreal, QC
This thread contains some shocking information.

:)

MC
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by mike c
Offline cookee_nz  
#37 Posted : 14 April 2013 08:21:05(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: mike c Go to Quoted Post
This thread contains some shocking information.

:)

MC


Ohmigod, I really resisted the urge to respond to such a revolting comment in a serious topic as this!

Surely there are ample opportunities in any of the other current topics to share such flippancy?

Unsure

Cookee
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
Offline H0  
#38 Posted : 14 April 2013 09:39:26(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,396
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: cookee_nz Go to Quoted Post
The point I was trying to make, (perhaps clumsily) was to do your "testing" more in a virtual way - ie with continuity meter etc to be certain all was ok, rather than testing by plugging in and seeing if it works and then as a final assurance to have it checked by a sparky before going 'live' as it were.
Very good point. It has a metal case and full mains voltage goes into that metal box. Plugging it in while the case is open is obviously dangerous. Plugging it in while the box is closed is still dangerous, but less obvious.
And if the wires with the mains voltage are not properly fixed, the danger will be sleeping for years until there is stress on the power cord.

So before closing the box and plugging it in, there should be mechanical stress tests and tests with a continuity meter.
And "No user serviceable parts inside" should be respected by the vast majority of users.
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
Offline mike c  
#39 Posted : 15 April 2013 03:46:28(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,201
Location: Montreal, QC
Originally Posted by: cookee_nz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: mike c Go to Quoted Post
This thread contains some shocking information.

:)

MC


Ohmigod, I really resisted the urge to respond to such a revolting comment in a serious topic as this!

Surely there are ample opportunities in any of the other current topics to share such flippancy?

Unsure

Cookee


Sorry,

it wasn't my intention to be revolting, just to bring a little levity.

Regards

MC

Offline cookee_nz  
#40 Posted : 15 April 2013 03:56:35(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: mike c Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: cookee_nz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: mike c Go to Quoted Post
This thread contains some shocking information.

:)

MC


Ohmigod, I really resisted the urge to respond to such a revolting comment in a serious topic as this!

Surely there are ample opportunities in any of the other current topics to share such flippancy?

Unsure

Cookee


Sorry,

it wasn't my intention to be revolting, just to bring a little levity.

Regards

MC



Mike, I'm afarad you may have misread my response and that really hertz Crying

PS, I read a book on levitation once, I couldn't put it down.

Cookee

Edited by user 16 April 2013 22:22:23(UTC)  | Reason: Just making sure the obvious puns were spotted

Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
Offline kweekalot  
#41 Posted : 15 June 2013 15:19:17(UTC)
kweekalot

Netherlands   
Joined: 27/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 3,189
Location: Holland
Let's bump this thread up with a horror movie. Scared



Offline cookee_nz  
#42 Posted : 15 June 2013 22:13:58(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: kweekalot Go to Quoted Post
Let's bump this thread up with a horror movie. Scared

(snip)


The question is, how/why did it happen?, did you know it was faulty or did it have a little 'encouragement'???

It looks to be set on AC, but the decimal point seems a little too far to the left - where was the dial set? Must have been a very naughty little meter to incur Daddy's wrath like that.

And just look at the flow-on effect....... LOL



...
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
Offline kweekalot  
#43 Posted : 16 June 2013 09:38:12(UTC)
kweekalot

Netherlands   
Joined: 27/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 3,189
Location: Holland
Hi Steve,

I found the movie on a German website and I think the meter had some 'encouragement' but I'm not sure.
The sparks at 0:06 looks as fireworks, but maybe some electronic components may also ignite in this way. Confused

Marco
Offline evan.v.giles  
#44 Posted : 16 June 2013 10:20:24(UTC)
evan.v.giles


Joined: 15/03/2013(UTC)
Posts: 85
Location: South Brisbane, Queensland

Hi guys,

That fire would be the oil inside which is used to cool the transformer because you can't use water or they don't use water so once it gets hot enough you get a BLEVE
for those who are not firemen it is a Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion and happens with any liquid in a confined space

I was a volunteer firefighter for 8 years
Offline Irish Rail  
#45 Posted : 27 March 2014 18:32:57(UTC)
Irish Rail

Ireland   
Joined: 04/03/2014(UTC)
Posts: 123
Location: West Cork
Thanks for this thread to everyone.
Disclaimer: If you don't know what you are doing, don't even think about it.

Having checked my 6117 (circa 1970) I found pretty much exactly what was described - the external insulation of the mains lead was obviously damaged, the internal insulation of the mains lead was in better condition, but not great. At the point the mains lead passes into the transformer case, there is a collar. Inside this collar, the external insulation on the power cord had almost dissolved - it was gooey, sticky. Obviously the insulation had reacted with either the collar (perfect condition) or maybe some lubricant used to make it easier to assemble.
Inside the transformer, everything looked absolutely perfect. Amazing after 45 years.
Power cord now replaced and it is on test. Red light is working and it is humming. I'd forgotten about the hum.

Next up is an older, smaller blue transformer that came with my original starter set. Not sure it's worthwhile, but I'll have a look.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Irish Rail
Offline Soest  
#46 Posted : 17 January 2015 00:11:13(UTC)
Soest


Joined: 05/09/2009(UTC)
Posts: 178
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
After reading about Marco's experience I checked my two 6170'S. Sure enough one had bare wires showing just outside the casing. The inner insulation had turned to powder. Inside the insulation on the two wires to the overload protector had partially cracked and lay on the paper insulation below. All remaining wires looked fine and it had worked well before I checked it. I have fitted a new power cable and it functions better than before. The other trafo has a kink in the cable right by the harness so it will be disassembled, inspected and, all looking good, will receive a new power cable. I had been aware of the warnings but it took Marco's incident to spur me to a really close inspection. Please don't make such dramatic warnings a habit, Marco. I would very much miss your Faller postings. Thanks for the very sound advice, Cookie.

Mike
Why do grown men play with trains?
Their wives insist they are insane
But their dreams they won't let down the drain
'Cause there ain't no thing so hard to lose as those disappearing railway blues.
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by Soest
Offline Webmaster  
#47 Posted : 22 September 2016 20:51:28(UTC)
Webmaster


Joined: 25/07/2001(UTC)
Posts: 10,782
Terrible to say, but I deposited a 50's 380A and a 60's childhood 6153 at the junk depot last weekend... Cables all rotten out-/inside, so scrap metal value only... Blushing Huh
Juhan - "Webmaster", at your service...
He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes. He who does not ask a question remains a fool forever. [Old Chinese Proverb]
Offline kweekalot  
#48 Posted : 22 September 2016 21:24:49(UTC)
kweekalot

Netherlands   
Joined: 27/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 3,189
Location: Holland
Originally Posted by: Webmaster Go to Quoted Post
Terrible to say, but I deposited a 50's 380A and a 60's childhood 6153 at the junk depot last weekend... Cables all rotten out-/inside, so scrap metal value only... Blushing Huh


I think Juhan means a 280A.
Actually my favorite transformer. BigGrin


UserPostedImage
thanks 4 users liked this useful post by kweekalot
Online Jabez  
#49 Posted : 23 September 2016 00:11:17(UTC)
Jabez

Belgium   
Joined: 30/08/2016(UTC)
Posts: 490
Location: Brussels
I recently asked here (Blue Transformer for accessories, HO threads) if there were any safety issues concerning the much more recent (1980s) 6611 lighting transformer with which I intend to use to power accessories on an otherwise digi layout. Todate there is no response, My assumption is that the 6611 is not subject to the deteriorated insulation dangers of the much earlier trafo models being discussed on this thread.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow. Hank Williams
Offline seatrains  
#50 Posted : 23 September 2016 05:22:12(UTC)
seatrains

United States   
Joined: 22/11/2006(UTC)
Posts: 638
Location: Shoreline, WA
Originally Posted by: Webmaster Go to Quoted Post
Terrible to say, but I deposited a 50's 380A and a 60's childhood 6153 at the junk depot last weekend... Cables all rotten out-/inside, so scrap metal value only... Blushing Huh

Wait, quick fetch it from the trash and get it to Germany to be exchanged for the new digital Marklin products...BigGrin
Thom
European Train Enthusiast - Pacific Northwest Chapter
4th Division, Pacific Northwest Region, National Model Railroaders Association
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by seatrains
Users browsing this topic
OceanSpiders 2.0
2 Pages12>
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

| Powered by YAF.NET | YAF.NET © 2003-2019, Yet Another Forum.NET
This page was generated in 1.543 seconds.