Which power supply to use on new layout???

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Duane Becker, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. Duane Becker

    Duane Becker New Member

    Could I get some recommedndations on what size of power pack to use on a new HO layout. I plan on DC with cab control. I have been building small 4x10 type layouts for awhile and now I plan to model a prototype railroad in my area. Most of it will be a single mainline with some sidings and small towns with 2 or 3 at the most turnouts in the towns. I plan to have the main line travel around the walls in my train room with the main line running 60 to 70 feet around the walls. My question is what type and size of power pack should I use? I have been using the MRC packs in the past and like them. I do have an MRC Control Master 20. Would this work ok-or would the regular MRC like the tech series work ok. I plan on running two main feed wires from the pack under the layout with track feeders every 4 or 5 feet. Thanks Duane Becker
  2. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    The nice thing about cab control is the size of power pack needed for a throttle depends only on the current draw of the train being run, not the size of the layout. Each cab get its own power pack. I can highly recommend any of the Tech 2 to Tech 4 series or the CM 20. I believe the CM 20 has a walk-around throttle available for it, which would probably be a fun way to operate an around-the-walls shelf layout. You will have to install extra jacks for the walk-around to plug into.

    Switch machines and signals and structure lights should be powered from a separate transformer/power pack on medium size and bigger layouts. This way train power is not affected.

    my thoughts, your choices
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You didn't mention if you were going to want to run more than one train or if it is just one train running on a relatively large layout. If you are only going to run one train, you don't need to divide the layout into blocks, just run enough jumpers to minimise voltage drop.
  4. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    :wave: welcome to the gauge Duane :wave the MRC will be fine.
  5. Duane Becker

    Duane Becker New Member

    Yes I will be running more then one train and plan on blocks, what ever power pac I use, I will use two power pacs. Thanks Duane Becker
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    If your layout is going to be an around-the-walls type, then I would suggest any of the MRCs that offer a walkaround controller. If you already have a CM20, then you're halfway there. I don't think that it's necessary to have both power packs the same, as long as each has the capacity to run the trains which you intend to run. My layout is an around-the-walls type in an approximately 550 square foot room, and the CM20 will run any train that I choose to make up. I installed 6 throttle jacks on the layout facia, spaced around the room, then replaced the MRC-supplied cord for the handheld throttle with a 30 footer. If I'm just running trains by myself, it allows me to reach anywhere in the room from any jack. If I'm operating, I generally unplug and follow the train around the room.


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