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Author Topic: Electrical  (Read 1039 times)
Packertrain

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« on: November 24, 2011, 01:03:13 AM »

New N scaler here. Started layout. Can I run only one train per power pack or can I run several?  Also how many feet of track can one power pack power? Thanks and please email me (dwc1958@yahoo.com) if you wish. Happy thanksgiving, David
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richg
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2011, 09:30:28 AM »

You should put this in the N scale forum since you have N scale.

Are you asking about DC or DCC? One power pack, maybe two or three. DCC more but you need a throttle for independent control of each.

Never put your email address in the body of the message. Spammers and hackers can see your email address quite readily.
All someone who is registered with these forums has to do is click on your name and they will see your email address and can then email you.
If you ever get strange emails or it sounds to good to be true, don't click on them. Delete them.
Spammers and hackers know there are many clueless using PC's and get them.

Rich
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 09:33:56 AM by richg » Logged
Doneldon

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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2011, 12:16:33 AM »

Packer-

The length of track has very little to do with your power supply or the number of locomotives you can run. It only matters if your track is so far from a feeder point that its resistance reduces the power available for your trains.

A single, basic, DC power pack probably has the power for one or two older locomotives or one locomotive with sound. The same pack can probably run two or three newer locomotives with higher tech can motors. More advanced power packs generally have more power, even several amps. Remember that all locomotives which are controlled by a power pack will get the same amount of electricity (they are essentially connected in parallel) and will travel in the same direction. Note that by "locomotive" I mean each separate unit. Thus, two locomotives connected and pulling the same train are still two locomotives, not one. Model railroaders get around the same power / same direction limitation by breaking their trackage into electrically separated sections called blocks. They can then use more than one power pack and have separate control of their locomotives. However, under NO circumstances should you EVER connect two power packs to the same track section at the same time.

DCC does not use a power pack, per se, though it does use low voltage current. The number of trains a given DCC system can operate depends on the output of the system, which can be anything from one to three amps or even more, especially with the help of something called a booster. A one amp DCC system, like the Bachmann EZ Command system, can operate about the same number of trains as a basic one amp power pack. As with DC, more advanced DCC systems have greater output and can operate more locomotives. As with DC, locomotive headlights, passenger car lights which use track power and operating rolling stock, if any, will reduce the number of locomotives a given power pack or DCC system can operate.

The nice thing about DCC is that it allows the railroader to operate more than one locomotive in different directions and at different speeds without the need for electrical blocks and the usually more complicated wiring which goes along with them. Which raises an important point: DCC instruction manuals will frequently say or imply that you can make one connection to your track and everything will be hunky-dorry. Not true. DCC will not fix an otherwise shaky layout, and you'll generally need a number of electrical feeders because rails and rail joiners leave something to be desired in the conductivity department.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          -- D
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