Delayed Power

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Play-Doh, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Its not too much a bother...but I just want to reassure myself that nothing is wrong. Heres the situation.

    I am running an IHC 2-10-2 steamer on nickel silver flextrack. (HO). I have a cheap RailPower transformer with some heavy gauge wire soldered to my 4x8 Oval. What concerns me is I have to turn the dial atl at least 1/4 of the way to full throttle before the engine even moves. However it really cooks after it gets moving...plenty of speed.I realize that its a bigger engine and may just need that extra power to get moving. Also, at times I will turn the dial and nothing will happen. I then have to power off the pack, turn down the trhrottle and start again...but its works fine then....this is a cheapo power pack..all my wheels and track are pretty clean.

    Any thoughts?
  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    My first thought is that you need to get a cheapo meter to put across your cheapo power pack. You engine is going to take a certain amount of power to move. If your power pack is set for some low voltage, the motor is going to try to pull more current and your pack won't be able to deliver it. By raising the voltage, your power pack is going to have to provide less current. When your power pack seems to not deliver anything, it might be that it kicked out on thermal overload because of too high a current load.

    This is just a theory since I'm not there to see what's going on. But if you put a meter on the voltage setting and you will see what the power pack is doing. Try it without the engine on the tracks first and move the dial to different settings and see what the voltage output is. Put the engine on the tracks and do it again. I'll bet there is going to be a big difference in voltage output. BTW, on a cheap power pack, you may need to load it with a lamp or something since it is unregulated and may give you a steady high reading at any setting.
  3. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    I think you have answered your own question. Most El Cheapo power packs are that way. Top of the line locos will not creep with one of them. Most MRC packs will help you out.

  4. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Thanks for the help...will do. Now im back to the grand old I upgrade my powerpack or just go DCC......oh..that decision is gonna have to wait! sign1

    Thanks again for the help

  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    That's easy to answer, what can you afford? You're not going to get by with a cheapo power pack regardless. A good MRC Tech4 will cost you around $50, a fraction of what DCC is going to set you back. Some might dispute that, and there are arguments for both sides, but it all comes down to how you want to operate and what you feel you want to spend.
  6. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Interesting you say that. To tell you the layout is freelanced, and ive always envisioned it as a one loco least only one at a time. Ive been told I could do all I want in accessories on I think im gonna stay in DC for the long not against spending the moeny for a great transformer...just not right now on my college budget sign1 . Maybe years from now...but its a very good chance im gonna stay in DC for life.
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    While a better quality power pack will improve the situation, part of your problem may also lie with the locomotive itself. My IHC 2-6-0 Mogul, while a decent runner, requires more "throttle" to get it moving. This is mainly due to the low-quality motor that this loco comes with, which, I suspect, would probably be similar to the one in your 2-10-2. When I doublehead this loco with my other Mogul (a remotored brass import), the brass loco drags the dead IHC unit until track voltage is high enough to start it, usually not that smoothly. Within a certain speed range, the two locos run well together. Starting, and to a lesser extent, stopping, are not all that smooth, although the effect is lessened if the loco doubleheading with the IHC is a heavier one than that little brass one.
    My power is from an MRC Control Master 20, usually in conjunction with the handheld throttle provided. However, I also, on occasion, use an SCR throttle powered off the AC terminals of the MRC unit, and have found that it gives much improved performance from the IHC motor with regards to starting and stopping. The main disadvantage of these controllers is their limited power throughput: When I wish to run short, light trains, the SCR is definitely the way to go, with very low starting speeds and very precise speed control. However, heavier trains and especially heavy doubleheaded trains tax the capacity of these throttles, and such a train on a stiff grade simply dies, with not even enough power to spin the drivers. The MRC throttle will run all of my locos at once, although with not nearly the same precision of control.

    Mogul 37, from IHC

    Mogul 34, from PFM

  8. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    IMHO if your going to stay at a one loco level for some time then DCC would be a waste of money for you.a good MRC power pack is your best bet.
  9. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I agree with Jim. One or two trains with blocking and DC will be all you need. My layout couldn't support more than that anyway, and I never intend to run operational sessions so I'm satified with DC. With a Tech4 you can get slow starts, and braking, set your max throttle speed and a few other features worth having. And there's both AC and DC constant outputs for accessories. I've got two Tech4/305's plus a plug-in walk-around, I don't need anything else to do what I want to do.
  10. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I certainly agree with both Jim and Don about DC being adequate for your layout. My layout occupies a 560 sq. ft. room, with a little more than half of the layout doubledecked. I am usually the sole operator, although when the trackage is complete, I may divided the layout int 2 or 3 blocks, to allow for a second operator. Control, as noted, is DC.
    While DCC allows multiple train operation, it's generally best to have an "engineer" for each train, unless you're fascinated by trains moving without purpose. DCC also offers sound, constant lighting, and a few other gadgets that many modellers like, all things that I prefer to not have.

  11. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Great advice everyone! Im gonna upgrade to a Tech 4 as soon as budget allows!

  12. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    A used MRC Tech 2 or Tech 3 will also provide good performance and cost less. Nice Tech 2's (the 2500 was top of the line) go for about $25 on eBay.

    my thoughts, your choices

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