Power packs etc

Re: Power packs etc

Postby railtwister » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:43 pm

ozman2009 wrote:Thanks for the advice Bill. There's more to mull over in the analogue/DCC debate than I'd thought of before. As it turns out, MRC do not make power packs/controllers for 240V, so they're out of contention. I suspect other US makers are the same.


I'm pretty sure the Digitrax Zephyr is available with a 220 volt power supply, because it was a joint development with Kato, who markets it in Japan. If not, it uses a tubular plug for power connection and you can get it with no power supply included for a bit less, and source the correct power supply locally.

I forgot to mention the SPROG II, which is primarily an interface for DCC to your computer, and is really great for programming DCC decoders using your computer and a software program called JMRI DecoderPro. It's made in the UK, so there is probably an importer or distributo rdown your way. It does have a low powered booster built-in which is mostly to allow it to be used as a stand-alone (without a DCC system) programmer, and also for testing any programming that you have done, but it can also operate a small layout, as Alex mentioned. At a hundred bucks US, it's reasonably priced and would allow you to get your feet wet in DCC. If you enjoy working with computers, it might be a better way to go starting out. The software is open source and free of charge, so you can check it out on the web at:
< http://jmri.sourceforge.net/help/en/htm ... ndex.shtml >

Bill in FL
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Re: Power packs etc

Postby ozman2009 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:47 am

Thanks Bill....
Gary
Sydney, Australia
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Re: Power packs etc

Postby qrdelo » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:21 pm

Hi Gary,
Sorry to be a tad late entering this discussion but as you live in Sydney I would pay a visit to Hobbyco in the middle of Sydney. The have or did 12 months ago, have a range of DC controllers by Gaugemaster and also a good power supply. Another suitable DC supplier is Morley controllers in WA. They are a local branch of the English company and have a range of controllers. I personally use a Vector controller. This is a heavy duty power supply (around 4amp) and comes with two inbuilt controllers and 2 plug in walkaround controllers with a 2 meter lead on each. The transformer has a built in capacitor discharge supply for solenoid type points. It does not have a 16V AC supply for Tillig under the board type point motors.

I don't use DCC myself but have used it at friends layouts. Their advice is to buy locally as many imported (ie direct ordering especially from China) don't meet Australian standards and may interfere with television etc. Check out the ads in the local model press. When I first went into it I found DCC expensive and considering I can only operate one train at a time excessive for my small operating arena.

regards
Graeme

ps. - If you want a cheap transformer for dc accessories such as lights or LED signals some electrical stores and supermarkets sell variable voltage units quite cheaply. My local Big W has a model rated as 1.5 amp. It has settings to allow the DC output to be 1.5, 3, 4.5, 6,9 and 12 volt and sells for $14. More then enough for the lights and signals on my layout to be.
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Re: Power packs etc

Postby ozman2009 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:47 pm

Thanks Graeme. Not too far from me is Train Trader, which is more oriented towards the European model train scene. I do have two Gaugemaster transformers, each with two 16V AC outlets, which should take care of many of my accessory needs (eg signals and LED lighting).
Gary
Sydney, Australia
"Never let the prototype get in the way of a good layout".
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Re: Power packs etc

Postby railtwister » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:37 am

I agree that it is best to purchase items produced in your country when possible, especially power packs, because they are more likely to conform to local regulations. When choosing something complex, like a DCC system, you should consider whether or not it is available locally (within driving distance if possible), because you may need to get service and/or support from a dealer when you have a problem. For the same reason, you should check with local modelers to see what is popular in your area, especially if you visit any of the local layouts to participate in operating sessions, because they can also be a great source of support.

Bill in FL
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