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Current Keepers on DC Layout

Joe asks readers:

“I am old school and running an Nscale DC system on my small layout. Are current keepers compatible with a DC locomotive? Are they small enough to fit N scale? Thank you for your input.”

3 Responses to Current Keepers on DC Layout

  • Billsays:


    They definitely make current keepers for n scale. Your problem will be getting the electricity out of them when needed. In DCC it is the decoder that looks after this but in DC you have nothing to switch from track power to the current keeper when the track power drops off. You might be able to do it with a micro controller, just be sure the polarity is correct or your trains may do a very quick reverse back into the powered section. Better to have good track work and loco pickups along with clean track and wheels.


  • David Stokessays:

    firstly, what do you mean by “current keeper”. It is not an expression with which I am familiar. If what you want to do is keep lights glowing on stopped locos or in carriages, or to make sure those locos fly over dead frogs or dirty track then there are a number of products on the market with names like “stay alive” They are small capacitor discharge units. Most unfortunately too big for N scale locos, but some would fit in a box car, maybe even a tender. As always, check the hobby literature, read the adverts.

  • james whitissays:

    No it won’t work dcc is a power the decoder changes it to DC your track is dc and polarity is changed buy track currant keepers pick up dc off the decoder to charge up the power is feed back into the decoder thru the bridge that keeps the polarity correct the problem is when you go into Rev track power will fight the currant keeper power output so it would be like you don t have a currant keeper

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