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ok, i bought some s/o scale crossing gates from life-like. they are rated at
16v.
1. can i hook these up to my stock athearn power pack? I have

6 lights
8 switches

connected now.

2. when i switch to dcc - which will be soon - can i have all these accessories hooked up to my stock power pack while running the trains on dcc? ( i asked this before, sorry, i just want to make double sure).

I need this explained in simple terms please, thanks for any help, it is greatly appreciated.

jason
 

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First question is "How do they operate?" If you are manually turning them on, there should be no difference. What tells them to turn on and off?
 

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Okay, let me describe it to you and you tell me if I have it right. You have a pair of wires coming out of your transformer. They run to your lights and when the transformer is turned on, they light up, flash, and so on. Is that correct?

If I have that part right, here's the next question: do they stay on all the time, or do they only come on when the train approaches? You see, if they stay on all the time, you have a simple circuit that can be completely separate from your DCC. It's like running a fan at the same time you watch tv: they're both working at the same time, but the wiring for each is separate and getting a new tv set or changing the tv channel doesn't affect the fan.

On the other hand, if your lights come on and the gates drop down when the train approaches, then the train and the lights are sort of talking to each other: the train is switching the lights on and off. If that's the case, it's more complicated.
 

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Yes Swig, you should be OK...just make sure the only thing your track power runs is the DCC commands. Everything else can run off of the power pack...keep the two separate.
 
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