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Author Topic: Thinking of switching to DCC  (Read 2346 times)

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« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2020, 10:48:59 PM »

Awesome! Thatís a little bit more money that I can put towards something else!

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« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2020, 06:44:37 PM »

Sorry, but i am going to have to contradict Trainman here.

If they recommend that you use a circuit protection module, which i assume acts like a circuit breaker then you should do it. Here's why:

I am not sure what the current rating for your powercab is, but bear in mind this isn't DC we're talking about. With DCC the full output voltage is on the rails at all times. If you accidentally short something out, you run the risk of doing serious damage due to the high amperage going through the short, until the internal circuit breaker kicks in. I have heard reports of wheels actually welded to the track on a 5 amp system. Your powercab is going to be less than that . but still.....

adding an additional layer of protection for an expensive control system cannot hurt you. It can only help you. Will you ever need its protection? Hopefully not. But it's like having a surge protector for your computer. Would you rather replace the surge protector? or the computer?

Trust me, it's easy to make mistakes in wiring, or have a derailment that shorts the rails at a switch. On the old DC power packs, the amount of current flowing through such a short was limited by the rheostat used as a speed control knob. It controlled voltage, and therefore indirectly the current. And if the circuit breaker on the pack (if it had one) failed then this is what would burn out first, thus shutting off the track power.

I've said it before: DCC systems have the full track voltage on the rails at all times. The speed control does not change this. In case of a short you are relying on the internal circuit breaker to protect the powercab before anything internal burns out. I would assume the circuit protection module would be set to trip at a slightly lower amperage than the internal circuit breaker, thus providing that crucial extra layer of protection.

Could you get by with out it? Probably. But I wouldn't want to take that chance.


Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
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