control advice

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Relic, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Relic

    Relic Member

    G'day,as i've said before,all my stuff is "previously owned"and obtained from train shows.I now have to admit that my five dollar,train set controllers are not up to the task.They work ok with one engine at a time,or even two old Bachman F's,but two Athearns on a hill{and I have a couple of serious hills"barely move{this is with seven cars}.
    My question is,what would be a good controller with enough power to run a double header with no more than ten cars?
    I was also thinking that with a better controller,meby I wouldn't need that other unit{two units on a train that short looks bad to me
    Thanks for listening
  2. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

  3. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    The problem might be lack of power from the power packs. They generally put out just enough to run one locomotive at a time. Look for a power pack rated at 1.5 amp or greater, or 18VA.

    OTOH, insufficient wiring could be causing a voltage drop at key points.

    One way to determine which is the cause: measure the voltage across the rails with the train running. Measure at different places (places where the train goes faster and places where it slows and stalls) while the train is at the same point on the layout (same load). If the voltage varies from place to place, the problem is wiring. If the voltage is the same everywhere with the same load, the problem is the power pack. A variation of this check is the train performance on hills with similar grades. If you get the same result on several hills with the same grade, then it's likely a power pack issue and not a feeder problem.

    Another check - the power pack transformer and rectifiers should be getting pretty warm if it is being run continuously at its output limit.

    Hope this helps.
  4. Relic

    Relic Member

    Thanks guys,there's a show comming up in a coupl of weeks,I'm pretty sure it's lack of power,we'er talking about eighty feet of track,not counting sidings,but then they'er on their own wires.
    Thanks again.
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    MRC makes very good throttles for dc use, but the tech 2's, 3's, or 4's are not good enough to use with many dcc systems because dcc needs a filtered dc output. With the number of modelers who have switched to dcc, you may be able to find some good reasonably priced used MRC throttles at the train show. Just make sure the seller either has a test track to test the throttle or that there is some way to perform a test on it at the show before you leave with the throttle. Some shows have test tracks set up for testing locomotives, you might want to take a couple of locomotives with you and see if the show's administrators will allow you to hook up one of the used throttles you might find to the test track to see if it works with your locomotives.

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