Bachmann Message Board

Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: ggreens on October 18, 2008, 09:06:45 AM

Title: dcc ez command power
Post by: ggreens on October 18, 2008, 09:06:45 AM
2 questions.  How do you split power coming out of the control box.  Do you splice wires or is there a distribution port you can buy?

Is there any cheaper way to boost power to my track?  The 5 amp booster is out of my budget

Title: Re: dcc ez command power
Post by: Jim Banner on October 18, 2008, 10:36:02 AM
Splicing wires is quick and easy and requires no special fittings.  Soldering the splices will make them last forever.

Unfortunately, boosting the power with a booster is the only way you can maintain the integrity of the DCC signal. 

Title: Re: dcc ez command power
Post by: taz-of-boyds on October 18, 2008, 06:00:44 PM
If you are so inclined and adventuresome, you may want to build your own:
Have fun carefully,

Title: Re: dcc ez command power
Post by: Jim Banner on October 18, 2008, 08:01:16 PM
Building your own can be a good option but be sure to price out all of the components and hardware needed, including the dc power supply needed to operate the booster, before you start.  You might not be saving as much as you thought.

Previous experience in building electronic circuits would be a real asset.  Failing that, a friend with the needed experience would help.  The LMD18200 is a relatively low cost integrated circuit and has most of the protection a DCC booster needs built right in.  But that does not mean that it is fully protected from misadventure during assembly of the complete circuit.  The other ICs have no such protection but if you blow some because of wiring mistakes, you won't blow your wallet along with them.

You probably already own all the tools you need to built such a booster - small needle nose pliers, small diagonal cutters, 25-35 watt soldering iron, rosin core solder, an electric drill and some bits, and a volt-ohm-milliammeter.  The latter is needed for checking operation when finished.  If you run into serious difficulties with non-operation of the finished product (it sometimes happens) you may need access to an oscilloscope.  Failing that, you could probably talk one of the electronics types who hang around here into trouble shooting the circuit for you.

I am not sure if Charles has actually built one of these but I would be very interested to hear about his experience with it if he has.  Or to hear from anyone else who has.  I looked into building some a year or so ago and came to the conclusion that it is a well designed circuit, but the proof of the pudding would be in actually running trains with it.

Title: Re: dcc ez command power
Post by: taz-of-boyds on October 19, 2008, 01:32:24 PM

Alas, I have not got that far in my model railroading.  Thanks for adding more caution to my post, though I did indicate adventuresome for many of the things you detailed.  Another point I end up considering in these kind of things is, when there is savings, is it worth the additional work, or if there is not that much savings (if any), is it worth the additional fun.  Bigger projects do end up purchases for me, the small projects are more on the fun side for the commitment of energy required.

I fiddled with designing an auto reverse circuit some time ago as I was investigating DCC never quite finished since I don't need it yet but it was educational, and I noticed some similarities with the drive circuitry for the booster.

Proceed with as much adventure as you are ready to handle,

Title: Re: dcc ez command power
Post by: Yampa Bob on October 25, 2008, 12:53:16 PM
These terminal strips are great for hookup or distribution, will accomodate 30 to 12 AWG wire. Unlike the usual panel strips, there are no exposed screws.

Your local Radio Shack has similar strips. I always twist and tin single or multiple wires before inserting into the connectors.

I haven't seen any reviews or comments about the Zonemaster boosters from CVP products.