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Old 09-15-2019, 08:16 PM   #1
Joe Davis
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I Need More Power Captain

I may have asked this earlier this year but I cannot find the post if I did. My HO Scale layout is currently 4x16 and I am using a Digitrax DCS 50 DCC system. I am very new to all this. I am replacing my Bachman EZ Track with Atlas Code 83 track. Anyway, I know I need more power than what is coming from the DCC box. How do I do that? With a booster or amplifier? I have seen these on the website below:

https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/digi...-power-supply/

Thank you
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:14 PM   #2
wvgca
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you could try running a number of feeders first ....
track power is not so much determined by size, but the number of concurrent running locos ..
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:00 PM   #3
Fire21
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Joe, if you haven't already done so, run a power bus on your layout. It's very simple...run some pretty heavy wires down the length on your layout, and hook them to the track terminals on your power supply. Make sure to use 2 different colors of wire. Then from those wires, hook smaller feeder wires that go to the track, placing them maybe every 3-6 feet. Be sure to connect one color feeders to the outside rail, snd the other to the inside. That way power will flow the easiest route to your trains with the least loss in the rails.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:50 AM   #4
Joe Davis
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So, my DCC has adequate power to run a dozen or so feeder wires? What are the booster and amplifiers that I am reading about? For the accessories? Lights, turnouts, etc?

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:02 AM   #5
wvgca
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i -think- the dcs50 has a rating of 2.5 amp
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Old 09-16-2019, 01:12 PM   #6
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You could just use one connection to the track, but then the resistance of the rail and joiners would significantly reduce the voltage such that at points far away from the track connection would have too much resistance and hence unable to maintain the necessary voltage and current to the locomotives. By using heaver gauge wire 16 or lower for a bus around the track to which you attach short feeders of 18 or 20 gauge wire to your rails you will be able to supply the entire track with the the 2.5 amps your DCC system puts out. A feeder every 6 to 10 feet of track will improve you operations! Unless you run a lot (more than 5) of locomotives simultaneously, you have no need for a booster.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:28 PM   #7
DonR
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Joe

Unless you are running 5 or 6 locos at the same
time or a number of sound locos, the DCC system
you have is sufficient. You do not need a
booster.

The type or amount of track on your layout or the
number of track drops is not a factor. They do not
use power, only locos and lighted cars do.

Just install track drops to a bus from your controller
every 6 feet or so and you'll be fine.

Don
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:42 PM   #8
CTValleyRR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Davis View Post
So, my DCC has adequate power to run a dozen or so feeder wires? What are the booster and amplifiers that I am reading about? For the accessories? Lights, turnouts, etc?

Thanks for the replies.
The "adequate power" comes from the load on the system, not the length or number of connections (overlooking the small loss in very small wires). 2.5 amps will run 5-6 locos with lights and everything.

The accessory terminals, if present, are powered separately. They have their own power output limit and don't reduce power available to the track terminals to run trains.

Add the bus and feeders as described above (although I have found one set of feeders every 8-10 feet to be more than adequate) before you worry about power boosters.
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:45 PM   #9
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West Boosters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Davis View Post
So, my DCC has adequate power to run a dozen or so feeder wires? What are the booster and amplifiers that I am reading about? For the accessories? Lights, turnouts, etc?

Thanks for the replies.
Joe;

DCC boosters are used to power large club sized layouts, or layouts that operate lots of locomotives at the same time. For most home sized layouts, boosters are not necessary. Boosters are not used for accessories or turnout motors. Those things need their own old fashioned DC power supply, separate from the DCC system, which is only used to run trains, whether you have a booster or not.
The prior responses regarding bus wires and feeder wires every six feet or so, concern lowering the electrical RESISTANCE of your track. Lower resistance means less power is needed. Each locomotive, sound generating DCC decoder, and lighted car on the rails has some resistance. It's better if the track they all ride on presents as little resistance as possible. That's where bus wires come in. Using 14 Gage wires that run parallel to each rail, lowers the resistance substantially. With a feeder wire every six feet, your locomotives will never be very far from a low resistance source of adequate power. The rail joiners along the line can corrode and become resistance sources themselves. The bus and feeder wire network bypasses all rail joiners as electrical conductors and lets them do only what they do best, keeping the rail ends joined mechanically.
So, I add my recommendation to the others. Before going out and buying a very expensive booster, that you probably don't even need, wire your layout with big bus wires under the table, and smaller feeder wires between each bus wire and its mating rail every six feet. I think you will find that you don't need more power captain.

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