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Author Topic: DCC power source for G scale  (Read 7249 times)
nymark
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« on: December 01, 2015, 12:49:25 AM »

I've got another question. I use an NCE 2 amp powercab to run my N scale and HO scale layouts. If I buy a 5 amp powerbooster will this be enough to run a Bachmann 3 truck shay in G scale? Does this mean I have a 7 amp system? Thanks for all responses!
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2015, 01:57:10 AM »

You'll want the 5-amp booster (at least) for your large scale railroad. Most folks gravitate towards the 10-amp boosters. You don't need 10 amps if all you're going to be doing is running one loco at a time, but when you start getting into double- and triple-headed locomotives, or trains with lighted passenger cars, then your current consumption increases.

If you get the 5-amp booster, you'll power your track solely through the output of that booster. The original 2-amp power cab will exist only to send the DCC command packets to the booster. The power for the track itself comes from the power supply feeding the booster.

You don't mention anything about how or where you have your railroad set up, but using a 5-amp (or 10-amp) booster specifically for your large scale can be advantageous. If you're running your HO ad N scale railroads off of the 2-amp powercab, then you can leave it hooked up as is to your HO and N scale railroads. Hook the 5 (10) amp booster up to your large scale railroad. When you want to run your large scale, just connect the Powercab to the booster and you're all set. You can even run your HO and N railroads at the same time, provided all of the locos have different addresses. The 2-amp Powercab will provide whatever voltage it's set to provide for the small trains, and the booster will power the big ones.

Later,

K
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2015, 01:25:00 PM »

In looking at the manuals for the NCE PowerCab and 5-amp "booster," it's actually easier than I thought... The SB5 "SmartBooster" is a command station in its own right, so you'd basically take your handheld PowerCab throttle and plug it into the SB5 instead of the PowerCab control panel that's powering your HO and N scale railroads. If I'm reading correctly, you'll use the coiled 4-wire cable to go between the handheld throttle and SB5, and the flat 6-wire cable to go between the throttle and the PowerCab panel.

The only catch is that the SB5 does not have a programming track output, so you'll need to have a way of attaching the output of the PowerCab panel to a short length of large scale track so you can do any service-mode programming you may need to do on your locos. (CV1, etc.)

Contrary to what I wrote above, you wouldn't be able to run the HO, N, and large scale layouts all at the same time, since the handheld throttle can only be plugged into one system at a time.

Later,

K
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nymark
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2015, 12:10:02 AM »

Hey Kevin, I purchased a PB5 NCE booster. Is this a different device than the SB5 you mentioned in your last post? Or maybe the "P" stands for power only and the "S" stands for smart and the device you mentioned is the "brains" of the system? If it works the way you explained, I should be all set. I think with my current hardware, I should be able to get this shay running some way or other. Thanks-Phil
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Hunt
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2015, 12:33:58 AM »

Contact NCE before you use the PB5!

"Do not purchase this [PB5] for use with the Powercab. The Powercab requires the SB5 Smartbooster."
       Quote from NCE
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nymark
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2015, 01:26:56 AM »

Thank you Hunt. Do you think the SB3a would work? I'm looking at a used one on ebay.
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Hunt
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2015, 07:29:20 AM »

Thank you Hunt. Do you think the SB3a would work? I'm looking at a used one on ebay.

Look for NCE SB5 to use with NCE Power Cab (also seen as Powercab).
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nymark
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2015, 10:16:32 AM »

Much appreciated. I think the PB5 would boost the SB5a to a 10 amp system for the 3 truck shay I purchased.
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Hunt
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2015, 02:41:43 PM »

Much appreciated. I think the PB5 would boost the SB5a to a 10 amp system for the 3 truck shay I purchased.

It will not.

 Contact NCE before you use the PB5.
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nymark
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2015, 12:01:07 AM »

I think I need a 10 amp system for this Bachmann Shay. Thanks Hunt.
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nymark
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2015, 11:50:33 PM »

I have the 2 amp NCE powercab for my HO and N scale layouts. It works fine for these. Now that I have The G scale Shay(DCC/sound on board) I purchased a SB5 smart booster. If I attach a PB5 to this I was told by the vendor that this would not make a 10 amp system. He said I could separate the G scale track into two 5 amp power districts but really told me I need to buy the PH-10 NCE system to do it right (plus the 132.00 Brutus power pack). Is there any way to get 10 amps that is less costly? Love this Bachmann Shay but it's getting pricey!
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2015, 02:35:43 AM »

If the Shay is the only loco you're running, you're not going to need 10 amps. 5 amps will be sufficient. Most folks in large scale who do DCC do so because they're looking to run multiple locos at one time, so they need the amperage to handle 3 or more locos at once, hence the need for 10 amps.

Having said that, if the 10-amp system isn't all that much more than the 5-amp system, you may as well spend the money on the 10-amp system. In terms of a power supply, many large scalers use Mean Well power supplies. Here's a 24v, 10A supply. I don't know if it's this specific one that's popular with DCC folks, but at least similar. $50.

http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_2101518_-1

Later,

K
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nymark
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« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2015, 11:30:33 AM »

Thank you Kevin, I'm pretty good at most aspects of this hobby but not so much at understanding how electricity works(2 amps + 5amps=7 amps ?). This Bachmann Shay is pretty impressive and should keep me busy for awhile with my 5 amp setup. I am waiting to get the components to get started- track etc. As I start to expand, I want to get a 10 amp and have been looking at the NCE wireless-very expensive. I'm going to look at the link you provided to see about less costly alternatives. Also. I need to go see some garden layouts and probably subscribe to the magazine. I remember when I really got involved with HO, I had a shop here in town that had people I could talk to but that shop is gone now. This forum is really helpful-Phil Nymark
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Hunt
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« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2015, 01:38:15 PM »

Phil,
2 amps + 5 amps=7 amps  incorrect it = 5 amps. It is not cumulative. Only the amps of power supply of the device connected to the track is available to equipment on the track.

Power Cab (about 2 amps) connected to SB5 smartbooster (5 amps) connected to track = 5 amps available to track  not 7

Also, if you have the Shay with a factory installed sound decoder, it will not run if you place 24 volts on the track. The decoder in the Shay will automatically go into voltage overload shutdown in the range of 18 to 21 volts.
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nymark
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« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2015, 01:45:27 PM »

Hi Mr. Hunt, I need to take Electricity 101 as I'm pretty ignorant about how it works. I think you suggested getting the NCE PH-10 DCC system which is now on my list. The wireless version would be great for a good sized garden railroad. My Bachmann Shay arrived yesterday only two days after I ordered it and I'm anxious to get it going. Thanks-Phil Nymark
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