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Discussion Starter #1
My DCC controller is the Digitrax DCS 52 which does have a power button to allow the track to be powered or not, but does not have a power button for the controller itself. The other night I realized I'd left it on all night accidentally. Every other time I've unplugged the power cable from the back of the controller to turn it off whenever I was finished working with it.

I'm wondering if there's a reason there is no off switch to the controller? It's possible that leaving it on 24/7 is somehow better I suppose, so I thought I'd ask here and hopefully find out.

Does anyone leave their controller powered up all the time and only cut power to the track when you're away?
 

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I unplug my Digitrax after each use, but i usually go good amounts of time between sessions.
 

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I have a power strip with an on/off switch that I use to switch off all my various components when not running the railroad. I have multiple “wall wart” power supplies that power my lights, stationary audio system, and electronics which would be a pain to individually unplug.
 

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i also have a power bar with a switch ...and the controller is plugged into that ...
most of the time it's off ...it's been running, oh around seven years now ..
 

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I have a surge protector plugged directly into the wall, a decent one, and then a cord to a power bar hung up, vertically, on one leg of the main bench where the yard is currently being planned. That power bar, into which every thing else is plugged, including a soldering iron, has a rocker switch, which is what I use to remove any temptation for the Fates. I HAVE returned to find the rocker on, and the soldering iron very black. My bad. But, my practice is to rock off all power. If an instrument or appliance, no matter how small, even a wall wart (power supply), is left plugged in, it uses power. It's not a green thing to do, it does reduce the life of the items, and it adds up over time in the way of costs to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies! A power strip sounds like an easy solution. I wonder why they didn't put an on/off switch on the front edge or something like that?
 

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As Mark V says : Power strip...If one has 10 engines idling in places around the layout does one want to let that go on 24 hrs a day, every day ? I wouldn't...My last layout's NCE PCab was plugged into a power strip which had a lit red on/off switch and mounted vertically up high on one of the legs of the framework...I switched it off after every session, as I will on my ensuing small L, I call 'shelfie', comin' up, I hope...
 

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A poser switch is just one more thing to wear out. Since my command station has no moving parts of any kind, my guess is that they didn't want to introduce one.

I also use a power strip, screwed to one leg of my layout.
 

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When I finish a session the controller is unplugged. Digital electronics and lightning do not mix.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If one has 10 engines idling in places around the layout does one want to let that go on 24 hrs a day, every day ? I wouldn't.
Not at all, and if that was the only option then yes, it would be obvious to unplug it. But... the controller has a power button for the track, and pushing it cuts power to the engines idling in place. The track loses power, all engines stop making noise, but the lighted display on the controller stays on and probably uses far less energy than the lighted clock on my oven. My original post was asking about cutting power to the controller as well so that even the display goes dark. It was possible that keeping it on kept some programming that I didn't think about and once a track got to a certain level of complexity it would be better to just let the controller stay on.

The lack of a switch on the controller is what made me wonder about it.

But all the replies here seem to agree that power to a controller should be disconnected and so I'll be adding a power strip this weekend, along with a few other alterations. So far I've been pulling the power plug out of the back of the controller when I'm finished for the day but after adding the power strip I'll just flip that switch and be done.

Good luck with the Shelfie! I look forward to seeing pictures of it.
 
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