American Flyer Transformer 15B Parts List & Diagram
Attached is the American Flyer Train Transformer installation and wiring instructions for the Gilbert Transformer 15B.
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If the Transformer has B in the name (ie. 1.5B vs. 1.5) it means the transformer came with a Circuit Breaker. If you wanted you could also use a Catalog #13 which was connected between the transformer and between the track and you could add a circuit breaker to prevent a fire from a short or transformer problem.
Buy a compatible Transformer
The transformers were available in a rangep of power ratings to accommodate every application from a simple circle of track and a small train to large complex layouts with several accessories and track switches. Rating the transformers by wattage is a seemingly straightforward indication of the power available but this is only directly applicable to powering light bulbs.
The locomotives, and vibrating and motorized accessories operate on units called Voltamps or VA. In a steady state the two units are about the same but the VA for a motor will vary greatly with load so a long train will require more VA than a short lightweight train. Gilbert American Flyer engineering had to rate the transformers in a way to provide the purchaser with enough information to enable the purchase of a transformer with sufficient power for the planned layout but not requiring a complex electrical lesson.
The units of watts sometimes change from year to year for the seemingly same transformer. This occurred as UL changed the specification for evaluating the power available from a transformer. One of the dealer advance catalogs has the UL symbol blacked out because the designs did not meet the new specifications. They must have been obtained with some late night hours in the engineering department in time for the holiday production as the consumer catalog has the UL logos. UL certification takes several weeks per device so it must have been a struggle to get half a dozen transformer designs through the system.
Many of the early Gilbert American Flyer transformers have rubber coated power cords. Some of these have held up remarkably well since the late 1940’s. Later units used vinyl insulated power cords and many of these have become brittle with the insulation breaking away from the copper conductors.