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I am about to build my first model train set in n scale, on a 4' x 8' plywood board. I was thinking of getting the Kato M1 and V2 and connecting them together, the reason being I want the incline in the tracks so I can build hills around it. I also like the idea of a bridge with tracks going under it :D Kato's site recommends 2 power packs with the M1 and V2 combo. The M1 comes with one power pack but how do I attach the second power pack and where? This is all one single track. If I use just the M1’s power pack alone will the tracks not be powered all the way through? Also, I have just learned about flex tracks but I have no clue about wiring, hooking it up, what parts to buy, etc. :dunno: Any suggestions? Thanks!
 

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Do they recommend two power packs, or two power drops? Those are two different things. I could understand needing two power drops, which would require you to have another power feed section as well as a splitter to divide the power from your power pack to the two power points. This helps distribute the power better on a bigger track. Two power packs for a single loop, I don't quite understand.
 

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Starwolf, here are three threads on this forum that ought to help you a lot. They are all for beginners.

http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=155594

http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=489

http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=9716

Also, search through the various sections on the main page and you will find a wealth of knowledge from the members here.

For what it's worth, I and many members highly recommend flex track for layouts, but it is very difficult, if not impossible, to connect it to track that has the roadbed molded on. For a 4x8 layout, you could save $$ by using flex track instead of Kato Unitrack.

Good luck! :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Do they recommend two power packs, or two power drops? Those are two different things. I could understand needing two power drops, which would require you to have another power feed section as well as a splitter to divide the power from your power pack to the two power points. This helps distribute the power better on a bigger track. Two power packs for a single loop, I don't quite understand.

Ok I just checked. They put up diagrams of possible layouts you can use with all their kits and the one I was looking at was actually a double track so maybe that was why they said 2 packs needed. I will be doing one similar to that diagram but it is one single track. So I guess my single loop should be okay on one power pack then? If the train isn't able to make it all around would that mean I'd have to do some wiring?
 

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I have a 4x8 layout (of sorts) and power it with just one set of leads from my power supply. I notice no slowing down or light dimming at all. Some people recommend power drops every 4-6 feet, but I've seen success on my board with just the one set of leads. If you're doing a loop like I think you will, you might add another power drop about halfway around the loop, just to ensure adequate supply. I'd bet that'd be plenty.
 

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Some info that might help you

I am about to build my first model train set in n scale, on a 4' x 8' plywood board. I was thinking of getting the Kato M1 and V2 and connecting them together, the reason being I want the incline in the tracks so I can build hills around it. I also like the idea of a bridge with tracks going under it :D Kato's site recommends 2 power packs with the M1 and V2 combo. The M1 comes with one power pack but how do I attach the second power pack and where? This is all one single track. If I use just the M1’s power pack alone will the tracks not be powered all the way through? Also, I have just learned about flex tracks but I have no clue about wiring, hooking it up, what parts to buy, etc. :dunno: Any suggestions? Thanks!
Starwolf;

The attached files might help you a lot As for hooking up two power packs, the idea is to be able to run two trains with independent control. I don't know whats in the M1 and V2 sets. (To me those are both WWII weapons. An American rifle, and a German rocket. :laugh:)
I'm assuming these sets are DC (Direct Current) controlled. I don't think Kato sells sets equipped with DCC (Digital Command Control).

To control two trains independently with DC, the track would have to be divided into electrically insulated blocks, you would need to build a control panel for them, and the toggle switches you would need to install in that panel, and wire, would control which of the two power packs would be connected to which track block. This rather ungainly system is called "Dual Cab Control". It is explained a bit in the "Where Do I Start" article, and mentioned in the "Model Railroad Terminology" article.

Since you are so new, and since the track is all one continuous route, I think you should pass on the whole Dual Cab Control idea, at least for now. Just run one train with one power pack for the present. The one pack will be able to power the full length of the track. After you have learned more, and if you want to expand the track enough to accommodate two trains, then you could consider doing all that. However, there is a better, and much simpler, way. That would be using DCC control. Again read "Where do I Start" to get an explanation of how it works.
If you have not bought the sets yet, I would suggest not to, but rather to buy some flex track, and a DCC equipped locomotive and controller for DCC. (The NCE "Power Pro" is one piece, and easy to connect, and program. This requires only two wires to the track. No toggle switches, no control panel except to run accessories, or operate turnouts (Track Switches.)
Another highly recommended purchase is a "How To" book. "Introduction to Model Railroading" by Jeff Wilson is very good, and easy to understand. If you can't find that title, Jeff Wilson has another similar book. I think the title is "Getting Started in Model Railroading" You can order a copy from https://kalmbachhobbystore.com/products/books

View attachment Where do I start (revised version).pdf

View attachment MODEL RAILROADING ON A BUDGET.pdf

View attachment Model Railroad Terminology 2.1.pdf

Good luck;

Traction Fan
 

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Your main problem will be trying to join the two continuous runs together. The best way would be to use a track planning program that includes Kato track sections, I don’t have any knowledge of these so maybe some else could suggest one. You’ll only need one power pack. I’d also incorporate a few spurs to have a bit of operational interest unless you’re happy just watching the train go round and round. Kato track is good but expensive so I would price up your intended track plan before pushing the button.

You’ll need some wood bracing on that 8x4 otherwise it will flex. Good luck.
 

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Ok I just checked. They put up diagrams of possible layouts you can use with all their kits and the one I was looking at was actually a double track so maybe that was why they said 2 packs needed. I will be doing one similar to that diagram but it is one single track. So I guess my single loop should be okay on one power pack then? If the train isn't able to make it all around would that mean I'd have to do some wiring?
As long as the track is all interconnected, one powerpack should handle that amount of track just fine. You can also put in a second set of feeders (you can wire them to a terminal strip) about 180 degrees off from the first, on a different loop. More feeders will give you even better performance. You only need a second power pack for an independent loop.

There is also nothing magic about the V2 expansion for an elevation change. You can do that with any track. Just remember to keep your slopes manageable, certainly no more than 3%, and less than that is better.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you everyone very much for the great info! It is much appreciated. Thank you all for the links. I am learning a lot!:D
 

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Starwolf, when, and if you want to run two separate main lines, then you will ned two power packs. Interconnecting these two track sets will require only one power pack. When the time comes that you need two power packs, I have two new Kato units that I am not using. I would make them available for a good price.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Starwolf, when, and if you want to run two separate main lines, then you will ned two power packs. Interconnecting these two track sets will require only one power pack. When the time comes that you need two power packs, I have two new Kato units that I am not using. I would make them available for a good price.
thanks for the offer but I'm going to go with the M1, which comes with one so I'm going to try that for now. I'm going to keep it simple and only want one csx for now:D
 
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