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Power Boosters/Power Districts


Newbie2020
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Hi All,

 

As I embark on the re development of Lyneworth and Millhampton I'm wondering about whether I need to use boosters due to the larger size of  the layout. I'm using a Digitrax DCS 210+ Command station, OO Gauge with streamline Code 100 track. Ive estimated that overall there is about 35m of actual track (I'm sure @Harlequin will correct me if I'm far out on this!). Will the single DCS 210+ be enough for this or should I look at putting boosters in. I am looking at setting up several power districts so adding a booster wouldn't be a huge problem if it is necessary.

 

Thoughts?

 

Clive

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I don't think the length of track matters that much.  It is more a question of what is the current output of the DCS 210+ is and how many locomotives and accessories are drawing power.  If you have lots of locomotives with older motors (which draw a higher current), use DCC Sound, all of your rakes of coaches draw power from the DCC bus (because they are lit) and accessories draw their power from the track power bus, then a booster is more likely to be required than if you have a small amount of rolling stock with just lots of track to run trains on.  Powering accessories from an external source would reduce the likelihood of needing a booster.

Edited by Dungrange
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Thanks guys, Most locos are DCC Sound and I can't envisage operating more than 4 locos at any one time. Although there may be another couple standing. I'll have to see what current they are drawing and do some sums!

 

Cheers

 

Clive

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If it's a large layout, then it's definitely worth dividing it up into power districts, otherwise a short anywhere on the layout stops everything.   Also it makes it a lot easier to locate the problem if you  can localise your search to a smaller area.

If it's an existing DC layout with switches you can use to isolate sections of track, it's worth keeping those for the same reason - turn everything off then switch them back on one at a time till you find the problem.  

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I have about 150 yards of track, about 40 locos (of which about half are sound fitted) plus coaches with lighting. I run the track off a Roco Z21 (3 amps) with no problems. I do find the DCC Concepts Alpha Meter very helpful and reassuring. I have 62 sets of points plus a TT which I run off an accessories bus via a Roco 3 amp booster. I don’t think you will have a problem but fitting power districts is always a good idea.

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8 hours ago, Michael Hodgson said:

If it's a large layout, then it's definitely worth dividing it up into power districts, otherwise a short anywhere on the layout stops everything.   Also it makes it a lot easier to locate the problem if you  can localise your search to a smaller area.

If it's an existing DC layout with switches you can use to isolate sections of track, it's worth keeping those for the same reason - turn everything off then switch them back on one at a time till you find the problem.  

Indeed. Multiple power districts each with its own circuit breaker are a minimum. Then inserting boosters at a later stage - if needed, which is unlikely - is easy.  Districts should be by function, rather than geographically, e.g. a yard, MPD or the down main, rather than a particular area of baseboard.  BTW my venerable DCS100 handles several sound locos with ease. 

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