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Author Topic: Current consumption  (Read 1346 times)
Ray

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« on: May 30, 2007, 06:38:27 AM »

I'm purchasing a B80195 loco, a B80198 loco, a Silverado set and carriage kits for my proposed layout.
My son is designing me a custom controller to run at least 4 locomotives plus other things.
Can you tell me what actual voltage the locomotives run at and what their stall current is.
Smoke generator current has to be taken into account as well as carriage lighting.
This all adds up and must be allowed for.
Your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2007, 11:30:38 AM »

The required voltage, measured at the motor terminals, is in the range of 0 to 12 volts with the actual voltage within that range depending on the speed of the train and other factors.  The voltage typically applied to the rails is in the range of 0 to 18 volts, with the extra voltage being lost to track resistance, rail-to-wheel resistance, wheel-to-power pickup resistance, etc.  Some other brands of trains use even higher maximum voltages, as high as 22 to 24 volts.

As far as current goes, the amount drawn by a particular train is the sum of all the current draws of the locomotive, lighted cars, and any other accessories.  The current draw of the locomotive depends on its speed, load, and accessories (lights, smoke, sound etc.)  The motor current normally never reaches the motor's stall (locked rotor) current as the locomotives wheels are designed to slip before the motor stalls at full voltage.  For a ten wheeler as in the Silverado set, a design current of 2 amps is adequate.  I was not able to find the other locomotive numbers using the Bachmann product search.  But a design current of 10 amps should be adequate to operate "at least 4 locomotives plus other things" in most cases.  Even though some of the locomotives may be multiple motor units, it would be unusual for all the trains to be drawing maximum current all at the same time.

Wanting to run "at least 4 locomotives plus other things" implies that you might like to run even more.  There are commercial power controllers available for up to 25 amps but at that level, you may find you weld the wheels to the rails in case of a derailment.  Click on the link below to see some of the supplies and controllers by Bridgewerks.

http://www.bridgewerks.com/index.html 
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Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
japasha

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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2007, 12:46:10 PM »

In addition to Jim Banner's comments I will add that the sum current at 12 volts is the gating factor fr runnning four trains at once. If you have a single DC source that can provide all current and voltage, then individual controllers can be used. Fuse or use circuit breakers on each controller leg to protect the equipment from damage if there is a short. I recall a friend who used a car battery to power his railroad and had the motor short in the locomotive from overload. It did weld the locomotive to a section of track.  He did not use fuses.
I also recommend using a simple volt and amp meter on each leg so you can see what is being drawn by each train. This is a handy tool for operation, real electrci locomotives have them and the engineers use them to keep things under control.

Use good power distribution practices and make sure your power supply is not out in the elements
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