Author Topic: Other Power Supplies for Rail Pro  (Read 5089 times)

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Other Power Supplies for Rail Pro
« on: October 09, 2015, 05:37:15 PM »
Originally posted by Shawn Hogan on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jul 24, 2015

Hello Group,

Is anyone using a power supply other than what is supplied with a starter kit?

If I have a filtered DC power supply set to the correct voltage, would that be OK?

Battery power?? I'm looking at running a layout in a building that's "off the grid"(no connection to commercial power).

Thank you, Shawn

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Re: Other Power Supplies for Rail Pro
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2015, 05:37:26 PM »
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jul 24, 2015

Battery or a filtered DC power supply will be fine as long at it provides the correct voltage.
The only issue is that you will lack the short circuit protection that the RP power supply offers.

- Bill


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Re: Other Power Supplies for Rail Pro
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2015, 05:37:37 PM »
Originally posted by TS on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jul 24, 2015

ot to put a dampener on Bills reply, but you really want a regulated
(not just filtered) supply, otherwise with a lot of loading your track
voltage might drop too far to be usable. Other than that any DC supply
that outputs in the acceptable range would be fine.

You may or may not loose short circuit protection (a lot of supplies
do haver them built in) but you will loose the repeater function as
your supply won't have one, and loose the ability to turn the track
power on and off with the controller.

As for battery power, yes this does work too but I'm not aware of
anyone who has actually done it with Railpro yet. Generally the size of
the batteries and the pain of recharging them is probably the biggest
stumbling block.

Cheers,

Tim

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Re: Other Power Supplies for Rail Pro
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2015, 05:37:48 PM »
Originally posted by LK&O on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jul 24, 2015

I am using a generic 15V 7A switching power supply. Works fine. For short circuit protection I built electronic circuit breakers for each power district. Details here: http://www.lkorailroad.com/circuit-breaker-and-block-detector-final-units/



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Re: Other Power Supplies for Rail Pro
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2015, 05:37:59 PM »
Originally posted by Shawn Hogan on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jul 28, 2015

Thank you all for your help! My apologies for not saying so sooner! I've been rather busy at work and home the last couple days.

I guess my question stemmed from the fact that I have a power supply that I used with an amateur radio station a few years ago. It works perfectly and I was thinking I might be able to put it to good use again.

At what voltage and amperage does the Rail Pro system operate?

Any information as to how many feet of track can be be powered with one PWR-56 power supply?

Do you need feeders every so often like with a DCC system?

Thank you, Shawn


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Re: Other Power Supplies for Rail Pro
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2015, 05:38:15 PM »
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jul 28, 2015

Shawn,

    I have feeders to every piece of track on the layout.
    I only run 4 to 6 locomotives at one time.
    I have 304ft of Mainline Run and 207ft of sidings
    My PWR-56 is located at the 1/3 and 2/3's point between the ends of my point to point layout.
    The longest theoretical distance away from the power supply is 56 feet.
    Short protection has been tested at the far ends and it passes (This is important)

Let me explain the location of my PWR-56. My trackplan overlaps at a certain point that allows me to effectively locate my power supply where the length of run is split evenly 3 ways.

In this diagram, the bus runs are shown in different colours for clarity. They interconnect at the Power Supply and are joined at the end of the orange and purple lines, so the power has multiple routes to all of the locations.

http://www.pdc.ca/personal/Blog%20Images/2015-07-28%20BNML%20Trackplan%20power%20distribution.jpg


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Re: Other Power Supplies for Rail Pro
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2015, 05:38:33 PM »
Originally posted by TS on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jul 28, 2015

Hi Shawn,

Well I thought I'd get the first answer in but Bill beat me to it, but
his message does give an important hint on where to place your
power supply.

Ring's documentation states a maximum of 18 volts. The minimum who
knows; it's not stated anywhere I can find. The Amps, well that could
be as little as will run one locomotive or enough to power everything
in your house; your trains will only draw the power they need but
when a short happens a lot of Amps at your disposal will cause a lot
of damage very quickly without a short protection system than can
react even quicker than you can blink an eye. I'd recommend no more
than 3 amps.

The PA-2 power supply included with the PWR-56 outputs 15 volts. It's
about half a volt less on the track output.

If your supply is within acceptable range it will work, though if it's
not regulated it might not work as well as expected with a full load on
it.

I haven't set anything up myself but yes you'll need droppers and I
guess you'll need just as many droppers as with DCC or any other
system; the more the better. I actually tried to get a resistance
measurement of a length of rail the other day (to work out voltage drop
of the rail) and I couldn't even get a stable reading. A decent sized
bus with a good amount of droppers will give you more enjoyment and
supposedly less frustration in the long run anyway.

Cheers,

Tim



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Re: Other Power Supplies for Rail Pro
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2015, 05:38:43 PM »
Originally posted by Shawn Hogan on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jul 28, 2015

Bill,
Each color represents a set (+/-) or pair of wires, correct? What gauge did you use for the bus pair?

Maybe this question doesn't apply here but do you(and anybody else reading this thread) use a feeder wire on every section of rail or if using flex track, then every section of flex. The last layout I built, we soldered every other set of rail joiners. Seemed to work OK.
Shawn


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Re: Other Power Supplies for Rail Pro
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2015, 05:38:52 PM »
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jul 28, 2015

Shawn,

Yes, each colour represents a pair of +/- wires.
I used stranded 18GA wire and stranded 22GA feeders with suitcase connectors.
I would have used 16GA but 18 is what I had.
I have feeders to every piece of flex track.
I only soldered my flextrack together on or at curves.

- Bill


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Re: Other Power Supplies for Rail Pro
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2015, 05:39:03 PM »
Originally posted by LK&O on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jul 28, 2015

Every piece of my track has a feeder including frogs and points. All rail joiners are soldered except at module connections. 12 AWG bus, 24 AWG feeders (12" or less). All connections are soldered, ring terminal soldered, or screw gate barrier blocks. Overall bus length is roughly 120' point to loop arrangement. A 1A resistive damper load is at furthest point from power supply.


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Re: Other Power Supplies for Rail Pro
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2015, 05:39:13 PM »

Originally posted by Shawn Hogan on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jul 28, 2015

Hello Tim,
so you couldn't get a stable reading on a rail section?! Nickle Silver rail?
Shawn


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Re: Other Power Supplies for Rail Pro
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2015, 05:39:22 PM »

Originally posted by Shawn Hogan on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jul 28, 2015

Thanks guys! Good information here; now I know why we had some intermittent current problems. :(

Gonna do the layout bus wiring this time. A friend of mine lives about 2 hours away and how you all are describing the wiring is exactly like he's doing it. I helped solder feeders for him one afternoon. I'm getting a much better picture for how and why.

Back to the Rail Pro power requirements: I'm building a layout in a 9' X 12' spare room. One PWR-56 should get me where I want to go, right? Do I understand correctly that the radio signals go through the air and the rails?
Shawn


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Re: Other Power Supplies for Rail Pro
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2015, 05:39:32 PM »

Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jul 28, 2015

The radio signals go only through the air.
The PWR-65 rebroadcasts (by air) what it gets, thereby increasing the coverage in the room.

- Bill


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Re: Other Power Supplies for Rail Pro
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2015, 05:40:02 PM »
Originally posted by Shawn Hogan on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jul 28, 2015

So the PWR-56 functions as a repeater for the HC-2?


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Re: Other Power Supplies for Rail Pro
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2015, 05:40:13 PM »
Originally posted by picturemaker22 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jul 28, 2015

Shawn, my layout is 12x17 feet with 200 feet of hadlaid track and turnouts, All pieces of track are fed to a 14ga bus with 16ga feeders (that's what I had on hand so I used them, smaller 18 or 22ga wire would have been OK too). My PR-56 is placed approximately centre of the layout and works very well. Track voltage is uniform throughout. I use code 70 and code 83 rail with rail joiners, I do not rely on the rail joiners for electrical continuity, only for track alignment.

mel