I believe you mentioned a rule of thumb for power requirements, i.e., additional power for each 6' of running track. But I'm not sure what power devices to use. This thread seems to favor transformers? Do you do a wire drop from the added power device to the main buss? Power maximum going into main buss at 5 DCV?Personally, I would buy new. You just never know to what sort of abuse a used one might have been subjected to.
New ones aren't that expensive. Their Tech 4 was the go-to model for a long time; those are only about $50-60.
Their newer Railpower 1370 costs about the same, and the now-superceded 1300 less than that if you can find one.
Or you can buy one with more features, for correspondingly more money.
Geno;How about more info guys. I agree on MRC, but which ones do you recommend. Are old used ones an ok buy? Or put up the money for a new one? thanks.
I'm more confused now than when I started. I understand what the power packs do, but no one answered my question re the packs - are these used for powering/controlling individual tracks and locos or for just adding extra power to large layouts? I'm getting the impression that the power packs are for only controlling locos? My MRC is capable of controlling multiple locos on all the tracks.rvnmedic Yes the two look alike. It's just that a power pack converts 110v AC in wall socket to 13v DC for DC motored HO trains. A transformer basically just transforms 110v AC down to 12=15v AC for AC motored trains such as O scale 3 rail, Lionel.
I must disagree with TF. Find a nice newer black plastic MRC Tech II or IV. The throttle is smoother than the older copper boxes.
I think your problem is that you're confusing a lot of things. Part of the reason for that is that there are several parallel topics running here. I'll try to lay it out straight; please forgive me if I seem to be talking down to you -- that's not my intention.I will be using Peco Code 83 for all the track and TOs. What's confusing is that the power packs look like transformers as they have the power control and directional control. Do you just set the pack at the highest power level and ignore the direction? I have an MRC
MRC 1414 Prodigy Advance2 "Squared" DCC System for the layout. The layout will be 4' x 16'.
rvnmedic;I'm more confused now than when I started. I understand what the power packs do, but no one answered my question re the packs - are these used for powering/controlling individual tracks and locos or for just adding extra power to large layouts? I'm getting the impression that the power packs are for only controlling locos? My MRC is capable of controlling multiple locos on all the tracks.
Vette Kid mentioned running his large layout with just the single point MRC. Unless I go manual on the TOs, which I don't want to do, I would still need a power buss for the wire drops to it for the electric switches and other accessories. Right?
From what I saw on a youtube vid, same subject, he used 14 gauge for the larger bus and 22 gauge for the feeder wires. (Ron's Trains and Things channel) Thanks.Also, for your planned layout size of 4'x 16', you may want to run your DCC system output to a pair of larger gauge bus wires under your layout, and connect that with half a dozen (or so, depending on how much actual track you have) smaller gauge feeders to the track.