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Question About 16V AC or DC Power Supply

George who is new to model railroading has this question:

“I am very new to the model train world and I’m hoping you can help me out. I recently purchased the HO Bachmann Echo Valley Express with Digital Sound (HO Scale). I now purchased 22 radius track to add a second oval. I also purchased a left and right #6 Remote Crossover Turnout. There is a note on the instructions for it that says: All analog turnouts (non-DCC) require 16V AC or DC accessory power supply for operation. Where do I buy this additional power source? Do I need more than one? And how do I set them all up? Any help would be very appreciative. Thanks!”

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5 Responses to Question About 16V AC or DC Power Supply

  • Robert says:

    Most power packs have 12-15V DC as well as a 12-16Volt AC outlet to power point motors etc.

  • David Stokes says:

    I think that this is a nod to a problem with electrical shorting across the frog and points in a “switch” and is suggesting that the “frog” be isolated and to get its own power supply. Do you need a special piece of equipment – yes and no. I have heard of a product called the Juicer which helps do this, and DCC Concepts also has frog polarity changing/powering gizmos. But if you purchase Peco Electrofrog points and wire them in the recommended manner, no other equipment is necessary. DCC is very picky when it comes to detecting electrical shorts, where as DC or Analogue doesn’t seem quite so quick to shut down.

  • Craig Ingham says:

    Typical ‘boxed’ set power supplies are higher than 12 volts. The issue of concern is what happens as you load the power supply. Typically, the supply will have a voltage drop if the load exceeds the current limit. Something to remember is the basic formula E (voltage) = I (current) times (resistance or load). Typical power supplies are current limited. As you ‘load’ the sstem, it reduces the output. This result is not linear.

    I always suggest a seperate power supply for features such as turnouts (swiches). They will yypically perform well and not be influenced by how many engines or lighted cars are running. If one is intending on a major layout with many trains operating, I suggest looking at constant voltage power supplies.

    Consider a typical 4 x 8 layout. Use a dual output power supply. One output for track power and the other for amenities.

  • Don Jennings says:

    George HI It is best if you have a power supply for train running and a power supply for accessories. The reason I mention this is because if only one power supply the train will jerk when the accessory is operated. That does not look great when it happens and you are running a train. The second power supply can and should be used for lighted track signals or interior building lights or control panel lighting.
    I hope this answers your question. Good luck and MODEL RAILROADING IS FUN

  • Frank B says:

    The motor (solenoid) that operates turnouts requires a slightly large pulse of current to operate it.

    Therefore another power unit is needed (if the supplied controller/transformer does not have an accessory output). One power unit will be adequate for all your turnouts. This is a standard accessory you can get from a model shop. (Or get a combined power / control unit with both track and accessory outputs.)

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