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Digitrax DCC power issues

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Another quick question!!00 

I have a  11x8 foot  00 gauge DCC layout powered by a Digitrax DS51 controller and 402 wireless throttle. I have about 20 sound locomotives on the layout mostly in the fiddle yard and sidings.

The DS51 provides 3amps DCC power with voltage at 11v. Am wondering if this is a bit low.

Locos have seemed to slow down  a bit but could this be to power draw from the locos? Point motors are 25 Cobalt IPs which don't draw much current. 

My question is whether power supply would improve by adding a Digitrax 5/ 8amp booster  ( as in Empire Chief) to the layout or do I need to create power districts? The booster could be connected by loco net and the DS51 plugged in to use as a throttle. 

All suggestions gratefully received.

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Posted (edited)

First of all, the track voltage at 11v which does seems rather low.

I thought the Zephyr track output was supposed to be something like 13v ?

The NMRA nominal value for N is 12v and for 00/H0 15v although decoders should be able to work down to an absolute minimum of 7v (minimum track output allowed is 8.5v).

Sorting that out might improve the slowing down, however there may be other factors at play, such as the layout wiring being sufficiently up to scratch, or an electrical problem with the wiring.

Has the Zephyr been tripping out?


As for adding more power, or rather a better and more reliable track power supply, installing an additional booster is your choice.

If you do go for the extra booster, 5 amps should be more than sufficient to supply the whole layout on its own, but as to how you arrange the track supply may depend on several factors (e.g. track geography, ratio of active locos stationary or idling in the fiddle yard to those running out on the track etc,).


Just one suggestion.

Are the point motors fed from a separate accessory bus?

If so, an accessory bus could be powered directly from the Zephyrs' track output, with the 5 amp booster supplying the track bus and running the trains.

The 5 amps would be plenty to run a single power district, which could be divided into a number of sub-districts, each protected by circuit breakers.





Edited by Ron Ron Ron

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Hi Rob

I'm wondering how are you measuring the 11 volts?  and hope not with a simple multi meter because the value will be incorrect.


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