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DC Power Output

Douglas has this question:

“How long a track can a single HO DC controller work on?”

4 Responses to DC Power Output

  • Francis Cavessays:

    As long as you like. Make sure the rails are bonded together otherwise if you have poor electrical joints between sections of track you will get voltage drop. You can’t have as many locos as you want, though!

  • MarkPsays:

    You can run any length you want. But with longer runs, you will see a power drop the further you are away from a single power source. To prevent power loss, run 14 gauge under the table and every 3′ to 6′, or every other section of 36″ flex track, solder feed wires to the rails or the rail joiners and then use suitcase connectors to attach the feed wires to the leads. This will stabilize your power no matter the length of the run.

  • Frank Bsays:

    A little more detail:
    For sizeable layouts, run a track power bus underneath the layout baseboard, with riser wires to the track ar regular intervals (because railroad track and joiners are not really excellent at conducting electric current).
    With this bus taking power to all parts of the track, there is no real limit to the length of your track.

  • Kevinsays:

    Some years ago I had HO DC layout that was over 100 meters long and I ran a heavy buss under the board and had dropper wires every meter so that i did not have to rely on the rail joiners as they are ok when first put in but after awhile they seem to become loose and don’t make good contact. I used house wiring 7/036 and this stopped a lot of voltage drop, my controller put out 4 amps at 12 volts.

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