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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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6 Responses to Track Voltage Loss

  • Dale says:

    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.

  • Peter says:

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

  • Frank B says:

    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 Stokes says:

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

  • Jim Kennedy says:

    Your enemy is electrical transmission in the wiring. the further away from the electrical source the less electricity is transmitted to where you want it, Smaller wiring is the primary guilty culprit here. A heavier gauge wire will lose less electricity and should solve your problem for the most part. the other suggestions will help as well.

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