Author Topic: Digitrax booster  (Read 1019 times)

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trainforfun

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Digitrax booster
« on: February 27, 2014, 08:37:48 AM »
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Hi , is there another way ( cheaper ) of adding a booster to my system .  I allready have a DS100 and a DB150 as a booster but I have to add another booster to power 2 staging yard by keeping it separate from the rest of the layout .
I run several trains of many units ( 3 or 4 ) at the same times . Some of them are long illuminated Kato passengers trains also .   
The cheapest DB150 I found on e bay are $ 100 and they are used .
Thanks ,
Louis



babbo_enzo

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Re: Digitrax booster
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2014, 09:17:22 AM »
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If you don't need the autoreverser function on DB150, I can suggest the Tam Valley 5 amp Booster:
http://www.tamvalleydepot.com/products/dccpowerfrogjuicers.html



trainforfun

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Re: Digitrax booster
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2014, 09:56:04 AM »
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Wow ! , I did not know this product .
In my case I don't need it as a reverser unit , it's exactly what I was looking for . very good price and it's new !
Thanks a lot !
Thanks ,
Louis



John

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Re: Digitrax booster
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2014, 08:10:22 PM »
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Hi , is there another way ( cheaper ) of adding a booster to my system .  I allready have a DS100 and a DB150 as a booster but I have to add another booster to power 2 staging yard by keeping it separate from the rest of the layout .


Just curious why you think you need to do that?

bdennis

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Re: Digitrax booster
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2014, 11:02:54 PM »
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Im with John..
Why?

How many loco's
Or is it that you are wanting to create separate power districts so that if there is a short in 1 section and you don't want it to effect the others..?
There are many cheap ways to do this..!
I use DCC Specialties OG-CB (onGuard Circuit breakers) for this.
I have a large layout with many loco's and 1 x DCS100!
Brendan Dennis
N scale - Delaware & Hudson Champlain Division

babbo_enzo

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Re: Digitrax booster
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2014, 03:59:57 AM »
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Im with John..
Why?

How many loco's
Or is it that you are wanting to create separate power districts so that if there is a short in 1 section and you don't want it to effect the others..?
There are many cheap ways to do this..!
I use DCC Specialties OG-CB (onGuard Circuit breakers) for this.
I have a large layout with many loco's and 1 x DCS100!
Yes , me too ( i've not consider this first time I answer ):
I've a P2P layout with more or less 18-20mt ( 60-65') of main line - two big yards and 2 staging .... and I drive all with a single 5 amp NCE Power station, but have 5 districts isolated by 5 PSX-1 cards and all work well.

trainforfun

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Re: Digitrax booster
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2014, 04:39:27 PM »
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Simple : power shortage !!!
It is to the limit all the time , so by separating the layout in sections , it will lower the draw .
Right now my DCS100 ( 5 amp. ) is running most of the layout . It also provide power to many turnouts via 4 modules DS64 ( 16 turnouts total ) with routing for the staging yard . It also provide power to a Walthers DCC TT , not running all the time but when it runs it draw current .
Most of my siding have a switch to shut power , so at least when a long KATO illuminated passenger train is park in there it does not draw anything .
I usually run 3 or 4 trains at the same time at low speed , each using 3, 4 or 5 locos . If you throw a passenger train in there , you can hear the DCS100 huming loud ! If you ask for a routing entering in a yard the system have to throw 8 turnouts in sequence one after the other , a short occurs .

I am pretty shure that if I can remove the demand for the accesories ( turnouts , TT ) and # 2 staging yard I will be OK . Right now my DB150 ( 5 amps ) is taking care of my # 1 staging yard .
Thanks ,
Louis



John

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Re: Digitrax booster
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2014, 06:58:24 PM »
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Simple : power shortage !!!
It is to the limit all the time , so by separating the layout in sections , it will lower the draw .
Right now my DCS100 ( 5 amp. ) is running most of the layout . It also provide power to many turnouts via 4 modules DS64 ( 16 turnouts total ) with routing for the staging yard . It also provide power to a Walthers DCC TT , not running all the time but when it runs it draw current .
Most of my siding have a switch to shut power , so at least when a long KATO illuminated passenger train is park in there it does not draw anything .
I usually run 3 or 4 trains at the same time at low speed , each using 3, 4 or 5 locos . If you throw a passenger train in there , you can hear the DCS100 huming loud ! If you ask for a routing entering in a yard the system have to throw 8 turnouts in sequence one after the other , a short occurs .

I am pretty shure that if I can remove the demand for the accesories ( turnouts , TT ) and # 2 staging yard I will be OK . Right now my DB150 ( 5 amps ) is taking care of my # 1 staging yard .


I don't know how big your layout is .  but mine is fairly large, double deck, and similarly set up.  I run it all on 2 boosters, and can accomodate sound loco's without problems.  I also have 4 SE8s, 6 DS64s,  and complete detection ..

what size buss wires do you have? how is it wired? your description points to a wiring issue more than lack of power


peteski

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Re: Digitrax booster
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2014, 08:44:37 PM »
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I would also recommend installing an ammeter to know the exact current draw of the layout.  That way, ther will be no guessing. The sound you hear from the booster might be perfectly normal under load (but not overload) condition.

As far as the meters go, there is no need for any special (and expensive) meters for measuring DCC current. You can get a cheap analog ammeter and install it on the DC power input side of the booster. The meter will indicate the current consumption of the DCC plus whatever current us used by the booster itself (which it negligible).

Here is a $12 meter perfectly suited for this application: http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/PMD-10A/10A-DC-PANEL-METER/1.html
--- Peteski de Snarkski
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trainforfun

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Re: Digitrax booster
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2014, 11:13:03 AM »
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I don't know how big your layout is .  but mine is fairly large, double deck, and similarly set up.  I run it all on 2 boosters, and can accomodate sound loco's without problems.  I also have 4 SE8s, 6 DS64s,  and complete detection ..

what size buss wires do you have? how is it wired? your description points to a wiring issue more than lack of power

John if my layout would be more balance in term of power distribution I am sure that with my 2 Digitrax units ( DCS100 and DB150 ) it would be ok , but I cannot separate it in close to 2 . There is too much demands on the DCS100 ( 75% ) and a lot less on the DB150 ( 25% ) ,so by removing the staging yards and the power needed for the turnouts it will be a lot better .
The new booster I ordered from Tam Valley is around $ 50 and will fill the bill more than enough by taking care of the second staging yards and turnouts . I know I could have separate the layouts in 5 and use fancy breakers that would have cost probably the same $ 50 without bringing any more power . Physically it was difficult to do so , the layout is in a room of 16' x 16' , double decks at 75% .
On the layout there is more than 650 freight cars , over 120 passengers cars and about 150 locos , all DCC locos , most of the locos are on siding that are shut off using toggle switches . There are always locos that are live but only the headlights are drawing current ( when I forget to shut them off .. )
My bus wires are skinned # 12 wires going all the way under the layout , I have also added more feeders directly from the Digitrax units . The connection from tracks to the bus wire are # 18 and they are not long , no more than 12"-18"  .

I am still thinking this third unit will settle the problem .
Thanks ,
Louis



trainforfun

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Re: Digitrax booster
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2014, 11:24:02 AM »
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I would also recommend installing an ammeter to know the exact current draw of the layout.  That way, ther will be no guessing. The sound you hear from the booster might be perfectly normal under load (but not overload) condition.

As far as the meters go, there is no need for any special (and expensive) meters for measuring DCC current. You can get a cheap analog ammeter and install it on the DC power input side of the booster. The meter will indicate the current consumption of the DCC plus whatever current us used by the booster itself (which it negligible).

Here is a $12 meter perfectly suited for this application: http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/PMD-10A/10A-DC-PANEL-METER/1.html

My power pack is a Lambda from a "surplus sale" ( huge and very heavy like an old Bogen sound amplifier ) I got from an electrical/electronic lab , I can adjust the voltage and amp. as I wish using 2 very acurate knobs with a demultiplier on the fascia  . There is meters for volts and amp. reading .
It's before the Digitrax units like you suggest , so it measure everything .
Like I said my problem comes more from an imbalance draw to my 2 units , by removing some amps from the DCS100 it will be a lot better . 
Thanks ,
Louis



John

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Re: Digitrax booster
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2014, 11:25:44 AM »
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Louis . if the new booster doesn't solve the problem .. then we can revisit the wiring ..

trainforfun

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Re: Digitrax booster
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2014, 02:20:06 PM »
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Louis . if the new booster doesn't solve the problem .. then we can revisit the wiring ..

Yes , I am with you on this .
Thanks ,
Louis