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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 4'5" X 8' layout. It consits of 6 independent tracks of which at the moment 2 tracks (loops) can cross over. In the future 2 other tracks (loops) will merge with the 2 that are currently crossing over. So, basically 4 tracks (loops) will be all connected in the future and 2 will be independent. I am running everything with DC, so that means I am running 6 power packs (one for each track).
To keep my question simple let's work with the 4 tracks
My questions are:

1. Will I still need all 4 powerpacks to power all 4 tracks (loop) if I move to DCC or can I take one power pack and add power from it to 2 tracks, so I will only need 2 powerpacks?

2. If I run a 5th or 6th train (1 train per track (loop), would i need an additional Power pack for each independent train I add?

Thanks!

Jeff
 

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With DCC you should be able to run all of the trains off of a single powerpack. I know the NCE system I have (not using yet, but I have it) is capable of running up to 6 independent trains. I would think it has more than enough power to run a 4.5'x8' layout.

I'm currently planning a 14'x24' layout with 3 levels and will be running it all off of one DCC system (NCE Procab)
 

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Jeff,
The answer would be a sort of No. One power supply does it all. But don't confuse power packs for DC, to power supplies for DCC. Some of the systems do use the power packs as there DCC power supply but most do not.
If you have the small power packs that come with train sets then they will most likely be too small for a proper DCC power supply.
What DCC system are you thinking about?
Digitrax is my systems of choice, But NCE and MRC have come out with some good ones too!
I would caution you to avoid Backman EZ DCC it's sort of a DCC system but not really a full system!
I like Digitrax is my choice because you can start with the smallest system and expand off of that with out scraping any parts down the line.
Sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
power pack

I have been looking at the entry level Digitrax (Digitrax ZEPHYR XTRA Complete DCC Starter System with 3.0 Amp Power Supply)
- seems like it is very capable at what I need ( even a lot more of what I don't need) and my basic understanding of DCC. I am currently using MRC Tech 4 280 Dual Power with 16VA and was going to buy a second one to replace some older models I have. I have one really old Tyco, one Atherns power pack from HO set, One life-like, and 2 Bachman controllers. I was going out today to replace the two child like bachmans with another MRC Dual. I also think I have at home a power converter from AC to DC... not sure on the volts until I get home, but would this work? http://www.ehow.com/how_5335576_wire-ac-dc-converter.html this is basically what I have.

Thanks for your feedback.
 

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If you get the Digitrax Zephyr Xtra you won't need anything else it comes with the power supply.
You can add in additional boosters later then use your other power supply's to run them.
 

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The Bachmann Dynamis set will also serve your needs very nicely in my opinion. It has full cv programming, 2.5 amp power supply, everything the zepher has. To awnser your question you will only need the one power pack that comes with the Dynamis and will need to run dcc feeder wires to the different tracks. The Dynamis is also a wireless system which if I remember correctly the zepher is not a wireless syem and you have to buy another interface for that.
 
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