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Power Loss On Layout

Hans writes:

“Please help! My model-train layout spreads over 20m2. I have the transformer on one end. I noticed that when the locomotive is on the opposite side, approx. 6mtrs distance, the power supply weakens. So, I added another transformer to the opposite side and it worked for a while, but now the transformer is burned-out. What recommendation do you give me to have a constant power-supply across the entire network? Thank you for your help.”

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7 Responses to Power Loss On Layout

  • Ralph Furth says:

    I use a few NCE BD20 block detectors.

  • J E Wilson says:

    When my 9 ft. X 11 ft. layout was 12 v DC I had drop wires for my transformer from the track every 6 to 8 ft apart linked by a single pair and had no problem. I switched in the 70’s to a very early (Hornby Zero One) DCC system and ran drops every 5 to 6 ft for my power and it was fine. Then recently I have again switched to NCE DCC System and it recommends drops from track every 3 to 4 ft and all my track joints have been soldered and as well with all the rail drop lines. The power to the tracks need to be at more than 1 place to distribute it evenly, even when rail connections are soldered. Hope this helps, and you can contact me in email if you want. You should also get more ideas here, J

  • william howard says:

    Possibly power pick ups installed every 15 feet or so might help. Install right into the tracks using pre-wired track connectors. Good luck.

  • robert says:

    I can only assume that if a controller has burned out it was being forced to run in reverse by your main one. You will need to run a pair of bus wires underneath your layout with feeder wires every metre or so to your track. This will provide a near-constant voltage around your layout. The same principle applies to DC as well as AC operation.

  • Dale Arends says:

    Two other points to consider: 1) use a larger gauge wire for the power bus, 14 gauge minimum, 12 is better and 2) move the transformer from the end of the line to somewhere in the middle. There will be less power drop-off if the power supply is 10 meters from each end than if it is 20 meters from the far end. This is especially true if you are using smaller gauge wire for the power line.

  • David Stokes says:

    I use stripped house wire fo my bus lines and EVERY piece of track has droppers to both rails, all joints are soldered. This is for s DG layout filling a 5m x 6m space (14 x 20 feet). Delivery yo the locos is not my problem. Dirty wheels and other gremlins come and play though.

  • don kadunc says:

    House wire is too stiff. Buy an extension cord at a big box store. 12 to 16 gauge The longer the run the thicker the wire.. strip the cover and you have individual flexible wires.

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