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Author Topic: Transformer the comes with a set  (Read 2184 times)

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« on: December 22, 2010, 12:15:29 PM »

I just bought the Pennsylvanian and it comes with 20 pieces of track & a transformer.  I'd like to expand the number but don't know if the transformer will be able to handle the increased size.  Is there a maximum number of tracks I can use with the transformer from the set?  What are other alternatives/transformers available?

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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2010, 08:09:09 PM »


Yes, I suppose you could connect enough track that you'd have a bad drop-off in track current but it's unlikely unless you are planning a truly big operation to run on a simple train set power source.  That said, I still suggest running some medium size wire under your layout so you can feed the track from a buss wire every 10-12 feet.  Copper has much lower resistance than the track so you won't see much of a drop-off even up to 25' runs.  You can use #14 or #16 wire, with stranded wire having a little more ampacity than solid conductor wire.  So...try #14 solid house wire or a 16-gauge extension cord.  The extension cord will be easier to work with since it is much more flexible, and it will probably be cheaper, too.  Remove the plug ends so you are NEVER tempted to connect it directly to wall current.  That could be very dangerous to your railroad and, more important, to you.

Be sure that you keep your polarity consistent, that is, one side of your buss wire to the outside rail in a loop and the other to the inside rail, or always to the same side rail if you aren't making a loop.  You can use much smaller wire, even #20 or #22 for the very short feeders which connect your large buss wire to the tracks.  You'll need more feeders, probably twice as many, if you are planning on DCC.  It's easiest to install them now while everything is under construction but you can add them later if you won't be using DCC right away.

Good luck with your model railroad and welcome to this board.  Keep us apprised of your progress and don't hesitate to seek more information here.  Most folks are quite knowledgeable and those who aren't tend to be quickly corrected.
                                                                                                                                               -- D
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2010, 09:24:25 PM »

I ran an L shape design when i had a small set up. I think there were about 20-25 pieces of track.

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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2010, 10:04:15 PM »

I have a moderate sized layout with probably 60+ feet of mainline trackage.  During testing, I sometimes ran the whole layout - Big Hauler plus up to ten cars on the single transformer that came with my original Bachmann set.  Feeder lines and stronger transformers are a big plus, but not absolutely essential, at least until you get into much larger layouts.

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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2010, 11:44:14 PM »

Thanks for the information.  Not sure yet what I will try but perhaps the smaller layout (and number of cars) until I can get some organization under my belt.
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