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Discussion Starter #1
I have an opportunity to buy a used locomotive, but since I'm just getting my layout started I'm not set up to run anything yet. Can I test the loco motor by touching the pickups with leads from a 12 volt car battery? If not, how about something like the transformer that runs my 12-volt Malibu landscape lights? Just long enough to make sure the motor and lights work. Thanks!
 

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A car battery without a fuse or circiut breaker is a very dangerous tool!!!!
It will run a largescale loco just fine if it is configured for DC. Some DCC locos have DC shut off. A malibu transformer is AC power but a diode bridge can be used to convert it to DC but the DC will have waves unless a capacitor is installed to filter the pulses.
 

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Dunno about "run a large scale loco just fine".... a 3 axle Aristo diesel will be going really slow... also a geared loco (shay, etc.) will be going slow.


But he asked about testing, and 12 to test is "just fine" for sure, except some smoke units may be pretty weak for testing at that voltage.
 

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I saved the controller from my Bachmann Big Hauler starter set to do just that. Even if it has trouble running my large Spectrum locos at a modest speed it is still good for things like cleaning wheels.
 

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I found the 2 amp LGB panel mount speed control and use a 19 volt Dell laptop supply. Works great at my newest test bench. My other bench still has the 7va LGB controler.
 

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I saved the controller from my Bachmann Big Hauler starter set to do just that. Even if it has trouble running my large Spectrum locos at a modest speed it is still good for things like cleaning wheels.
I bought an old Tyco power pack for my workbench. Cost me $4 - shipping was more!
 

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Yep, but this thread is recommending power supplies to the OP, so that is why I responded for the OP's benefit, that your suggestion is not necessarily a good idea if he wants to test smoke units.


Greg
 

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I'd like to chime in here and suggest something .I own 2 Lionel 4060 transformers. While I've upgraded to a more powerful Bridgewerks 3 amp power supply, the Lionel's are still very useful for testing stationary locomotives.
Lionel 4060 has terminals for DC power to run small G Scale locomotives like my Lionel D&RG 0-6-0,and Hartland 4-4-0's.
They also have separate AC terminals for running lights, and other accessories that require AC power.
Even though I've "retired" them, I still find them useful for various trains things including testing my Large Scale locomotives,LED's,running my H.O., and On30 scale trains.

The Lionel 4060 is often available on Ebay at decent prices, and my 15 years of experience using them has proven that ,while they are not adequate to run many Large Scale locomotives with lighted passenger cars, they are very durable, and long lasting.

The 2 that I own are some 33 years old as of this posting, and are working just fine.
Just a suggestion as you'll have to find what works best for your particular needs.
 

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My 5 amp DC lionel HO supply is over 50 years old. Only issue is the transformer buzzes as the plates are loose. It has both ac and dc outputs.
 

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That's cool,Dan.
Lionel sure made some rugged, long lasting trains ,and equipment for them, back in the day.

I'm afraid that we can't say the same thing about the trains made by the manufacturers of today.

Sad, but since they're all mostly made in China, the quality is far inferior as compared to what it used to be.
 

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There are some great power supplies out there. My meanwell 20 amp, 30 volt has no fan. Of course it was a lot of $$, but well worth it. I also have the 8 amp version, both are over 3 years old and I use them all the time for my trains. Even my Aristocraft Ultima (over 20 years of usage and I got it used!!) serves me well, but I did have the rectifier go bad aqnd I replaced it with half a diode bridge.
 
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