Author Topic: question on track voltage  (Read 232 times)

nortoneye

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question on track voltage
« on: April 14, 2019, 07:02:54 AM »
Just wondering on what ideal track voltage is for RP...at our club layout I have significantly more issues with dead spots and stalls than my Digitraxx colleagues.  HC-1 indicates track voltage under that dips under 13v.  This is with clean track, truck wheels, etc.  Not sure if our layout requires a booster or if KAs would solve the issue.  I appreciate your input....hoping RE comes up with a KA of their own design.  I do have a single K-4 that I have not installed yet, wanted you all to comment.

As always, thanks for the help

Jim

G8B4Life

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Re: question on track voltage
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2019, 09:19:55 AM »
14v is the nominal voltage for RailPro. The power supply for the PWR-56 is 14.2v but a little gets lost in the circuitry.

A KA will help of course but the 13v your HC is reporting sounds low for a DCC system, one would have to check the DigiTrax manuals on what the output is supposed to be (not me, sleep beckons right now). The club may need a booster and to make their power districts smaller. If the output voltage from the DigiTrax system is supposed to be higher there could be too much running on the power district for the size of the bus wires they used. This is all speculative of course, I've never measured what voltage the HC reports on any DCC systems track output.

- Tim

nortoneye

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Re: question on track voltage
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2019, 10:39:02 AM »
Thanks Tim,

Researching Digitraxx information, track voltage for HO is to be 15v, I will check the voltage at the club each rail to ground to see how close it is to that.  The voltage can be adjusted it says.   A bit higher than the 14v recommended for RP.  Any risk of running at 15v?  If this has been answered before, I apologize.

Jim

nodcc4me

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Re: question on track voltage
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2019, 11:03:15 AM »
The maximum voltage allowed for an LM-3s is 18v. The club I used to frequent had a DCC voltage that was never stable. It varied between 9.5 and 15v. Used to drive me crazy but the DCC guys rarely complained. I doubt if Digitrax is designed to vary like that but they couldn't stabilize it. Now and then it worked very well and the voltage was fairly stable. I suppose there could be several reasons for the erratic behavior, but RP wasn't very happy about it.  ::)
Al

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TwinStar

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Re: question on track voltage
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2019, 12:13:41 PM »
You're going to grow old and frustrated if you're waiting on Tim Ring to deliver anything in a timely manner. We've been told of a 'coming' Ring KA for a long, long time. And I'm still waiting on a decent 567 sound file. My suggestion is to install a KA in the manner proven and enjoy running the trains now. The $20 you'll drop is more than worth a year (or more) or reliable operation and you can look at upgrading when, and if, something better from Ring comes our way.
Jacob Damron
Modeling late 1950's Dallas Union Terminal in Hi-Rail modules

Texas Railway Modeling and Historical Society trmhs.org
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KPack

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Re: question on track voltage
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2019, 02:19:02 PM »
The frequent "low voltage" warnings you are seeing are not from the track voltage being at 13V, they are from frequent small power drops that you may not notice but definitely affect the Railpro module.  You can run Railpro on voltage lower than that and you won't get low voltage warnings.  I've run mine on less than 11V without a warning.

In my experience Railpro is much more suspectible to power drops than DCC decoders.  I'm not sure why that is, but I suspect that Railpro modules draw more power than DCC decoders (due to the RF transponder?).  Also, most DCC sound decoders have larger capacitors built in to get over dead spots.  Railpro has some internal power storage, but it is very minimal. 

Do as Jacob says and install some keep alives right now and never fret about dead spots again.  I'm going back and installing them in all my locomotives.  When Ring releases his solution I might transition to that, but in the meantime I'm happy with using TCS's keep alives.

-Kevin

nodcc4me

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Re: question on track voltage
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2019, 02:31:56 PM »

Kevin, you're right about the dead spots. I have also run on low voltage with the RP power supply and old locomotives that draw huge amounts of current. It's the switch frogs that sometimes cause stalls.  I say sometimes because the stalls don't occur every time the same loco runs over the same switch. Haven't figured out why that it's intermittent.


I wonder if Tim will try to incorporate KA's into the modules or make standalones?
Al

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nortoneye

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Re: question on track voltage
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2019, 05:25:37 PM »
Checked track voltage and it's a little over 15v.  Will start the process of installing KAs as stated and forget about it.