Does the throttle power pack go directly to the bus wires?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by joefryfry, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. joefryfry

    joefryfry joefryfry

    I haven't picked out a throttle yet, but does it connect directly to the bus wires? Also, what power pack (volts and amps) do I need to power lights and turn outs? Thanks for the help guys/gals.
  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Welcome to the Gauge. I'm assuming since you said "throttle powe pack" that you mean DC rather than DCC. The DC output would indeed to to the power bus except in cases where you are running blocks. Those are sections of track that are isolated from the rest so that you can run multiple trains, or you can stop one train on a siding or yard and still run another one. You may also have a second power pack on the circuits as well. In these cases, the DC power output goes to the switches and the switches go to the blocks of track.

    The MRC Tech4/250 will run several HO locos. I've got two Tech4/350's only because they were running a nice sale at the time. They also have a steady 12 volt DC output and an AC output to run accessories, lights and turnouts. If you need more accessory power you can always buy a cheap power pack or even use a plug-in pack like you use to charge batteries on a cell phone or CD player. They come in both AC and DC outputs.

    Hope this helped.
  3. joefryfry

    joefryfry joefryfry

    I am wiring my layout as "DCC" ready, i.e., no blocks, common rail (no reverse loops) or whatever. At this point I just want a decent throttle to run one train. I am more into the modeling than the train aspect, but I do want to be able to run a train nicely.

    I am running 14 guage bus wires and probably going with a throttle like the Tech4. Those bus wires go right into the throttle power pack then?

    On the accesory (sp?) power pack, would AC or DC be better? How many amps? I plan on bunch of lights and have 4 turnouts laid out (with above the table switch motor thingys).

    Again, thanks for the help, I like to think I am pretty "bright" but darn if I could ever understand electricity.
  4. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I haven't gotten into DCC, but I don't think you're going to need a throttle like the Tech4 if that's what your going to be doing. Someone tell me if I'm wrong, but I think you just need a steady DC to the rails and the DCC receiver will do the rest. The Tech4 is pulse modulated, meaning it alway puts out the maximum voltage, but when it runs slower, it pulses the DC, the shorter the pulses are the wider apart they become and the "average" DC voltage is lower. I don't think that's compatable with DCC.

    As far as accessories, that's hard to say. Turnouts require AC, lights and some other accessories can run on either. 12 Volts is normal, one or two amps will run a lot of stuff. As I said, adding AC or DC power packs is easy.
  5. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    you can wire a power pack in to your busses just like you would do for DCC as for the size of pack a Tech 2 1200 (or a more up to date equivelent)will handle your needs well. if you only going to run one train at a time DCC will be over kill for your needs.
  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I agree with Jim. If you're going to only run one train, DC is the way to go. I'm like you, I like modeling and doing scenery better than running trains, but I do want to run trains. I've gone the two throttle route with blocks and switches since there are areas that I want to be able to shut down while I'm running another train. I've got too many locos to just put them on the tracks one at a time, I doubt that I'll ever need DCC, but who knows.:rolleyes:
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you are running your train on dc, you must hook up the "variable dc" to the tracks. If you use the steady 15 volt dc terminal, the train will run at full speed anytime it is on the tracks. If you hook a dc locomotive to the ac terminals, you risk damaging your locomotives.
  8. joefryfry

    joefryfry joefryfry

    Thanks for the help guys. I got my layout pretty much wired this weekend. I got a Tech4 220 and have the turnouts hooked up to the AC on that. And I ran a test bus line and that worked well. Now I just have to run more feeders and the bus.

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