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Track Voltage Loss

Neil models HO and asks:

“My loco drops 2 volts and slows the further away it gets from my power terminal track. Do I need 2 power terminal tracks positioned at opposite ends of my 9 foot track? Can someone clarify please?”

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5 Responses to Track Voltage Loss

  • Dalesays:

    Assuming you are working in HO or N scale, 9 feet is a long way from the power source. It is generally recommended to have feeders to the rails about every 3-4 feet. And if it isn’t there already, I would make the connection to the power bus somewhere near the center of the power bus, rather than at the end, so no spot is more than 4.5 feet from the power connection. I’d still add feeders as necessary.

    • Mikesays:

      I agree. I add feeders about every 4 ft. Also, Soldering the outside of the rail joints helps immensely too.
      The best to ya.

  • Petersays:

    Yeah I place feeders every 3 feet for my layouts to maintain consistency.

  • Frank Bsays:

    What you are experiencing is normal. Rails and fishplates are not the best conductors of electricity, so it is best to have extra controller wires feeding to the track every couple of feet at least.

    So yes, you will benefit from (at least one) additional power connection to the far side of the loop.

    Be careful to maintain correct polarity.

  • David Stokessays:

    Solder dropper wires to ever individual length of track and then run a heavier wire from your power source to each dropper.

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