power pack

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by bndrinkin, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. bndrinkin

    bndrinkin New Member

    any good suggestions on a DC one?
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    MRC. Pick one with the features/power output that you need. All are excellent powerpacks, and light-years beyond the "train set transformer".

  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I will second the comment for MRC. If your layout is really large, you may want to think about a walk around throttle or DCC.

  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Tell us more about what you want to do, and we can be more specific... ;)

    E.g. - how many, what brand, age, etc of engines? How many will be running at once? How big is the layout? How big do you think it will get? Do you want walk-around capability? Wireless? Do you want to be able to "troubleshoot" with it (i.e. need built-in multi-meter)?

    Lots of things to consider, so please provide more info!

  5. bndrinkin

    bndrinkin New Member

    right now the layout is 4x10 and will be adding anothe section to it i have a tech ii 2800 power pack it is 15+ years old. i would like to run 2 trains at on time. athearn ho engines will be what i will be running
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    OK, so now there are other things to consider...

    Is the layout wired into at least 4 blocks? This is the minimum required to operate two locomotives (or lash-ups of multiple units) independently. One block for each loco to operate in, and one block ready to receive each loco.

    There is nothing wrong with an older Tech2. It is capable of running several avaerage engines at once. But if you are going to operate them independently, each loco will require its own power pack (sometimes called a "cab").

    My old powerpack is a Tech 2 (I'm not sure which model), and it works well. It's probably at least 10 years old.

    If you need to rewire your layout into blocks to operate two or more engines, you might want to consider going to DCC.

  7. bndrinkin

    bndrinkin New Member

    15 yrs ago when i ran it i could run 2 trains at once

    when u say 4 blocks are you referring to junction boxes?
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    No, I don't mean junction boxes.

    Do you want to run two engines independently (i.e. in different places on the layout at different speeds and/or directions)?

    If yes, you need to divide the power supply to your layout into separate sections (called "blocks") through a series of electrical switches that allow you to control a given section of track.

    If you control all the track with one powerpack, all the trains will move at the same speed in the same direction, according to the powerpack. This is really only useful if you want to simulate "lash-ups" (m.u.) when multiple engines pull one train.

    Otherwise, you need to be able to electrically isolate different sections of the layout in order to control these "blocks" (and the engine in them) with separate powerpacks.

    Your other option, as I stated above" is DCC - Digital Command Control. A "computer chip" in each engine allows it to move independently without having to wire the layout into electrically isolated blocks.

  9. bndrinkin

    bndrinkin New Member

    yes it has blocks. i can allocate one set of the layout to train a and the other to train b. also my current powerpack has an a side for train a and a b side for train b
  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Well, it sounds like you are all set then.

    Do you want to replace the powerpack for some reason? Since the set-up you describe will run two trains independently, I am not sure why you need a new powerpack? :confused:

    The powerpack you have is basically "two-in-one" so another is not required.

  11. bndrinkin

    bndrinkin New Member

    attached is what the layout looks like

    i would like to add to it so if anyone has any suggestions that would be great

    Attached Files:

  12. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Just to clarify...Are your two sections (blocks) of track ELECTRICALLY isolated from each other..??

    If not...Some smoke might be visible for miles....:mrgreen:
  13. bndrinkin

    bndrinkin New Member

    anyone have any suggestions on how to expand this track or improve it
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't think you can really expand on the track or improve it on the table it is on. Do you have space to ad to the table? How much space do you have available? Can you clean up the walls of the room to allow you to build an around the walls layout on shelves where you operate the layout from inside instead of outside the table? When you use a 4 x 8 table, you can get a mainline run of about 23-24 feet maximum in an oval around the perimeter. A figur 8 with either a cross over or a crossing track will get you a few more feet. To operate that 4 x 8 table, you will need at least 2-3 feet of clearance on each of the four sides, which translates to a room of at least 8 x 12 feet or 10 x 14 feet. If we look at an around the walls shelf in that 8 x 12 foot room, you have the capability of getting single oval mainline run of 40 feet! If you want to have the layout at a height of 40 inches above the floor, you could build shelve below the layout all the way around the room except at door ways, to clear the walls for the layout. Put a draw bridge, swing bridge, or lift out bridge at any doorways to allow access to the room.
  15. bndrinkin

    bndrinkin New Member

    yes i have space. space isnt an issue. i can add to the table. that was what i was planning on doing

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