Great new cheap power supply

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)

NYC_George

Active Member
#1
Last year when a lighting strike damaged a few things in the house my $130.00 DCC power supply of 15 years was one of them. Having to buy a new dishwasher etc. I bought a NEC 5 amp 15 volt for $43.00 to replace it only to find out it didn't have enough power to run 3 LokSound decoders in a consist. I thought it was some other problem but found out after buying a Circuit Specialists 6-8 amp for $38.00 the NCE just wasn't up to the task. The Circuit Specialists wasn't only cheap but runs the whole layout without any problems. I did have to pay a $14.00 shipping charge. It does weight 9 pounds. If any one is thinking about buying one I would add a 5 amp breaker to protect the 5 amp command station.

circuit_speciallists_12_4_17.jpg

George
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#2
George,

"... I bought a NEC 5 amp 15 volt for $43.00 to replace it only to find out it didn't have enough power to run 3 LokSound decoders in a consist..."

That surprises me a great deal. I was using a standard NCE Power Cab to power around 150 of N Scale track and could run 3 engines on it without an issue. I can't help thinking that there was a problem with something, be it a power issue to the track from the NCE 5 amp or your particular NCE 5 amp itself.

Not suggesting what you did eventually buy isn't good and capable and at 6 - 8 amps it darn well should be. I just think it isn't a case of an NCE 5 amp power supply (general) not being up to the task, rather the NCE 5 amp 15 volt power supply you have/had not being up to the task for some reason.

Anyway, good that you got the problem resolved.
 

NYC_George

Active Member
#3
I did every possible test Tony. Two LokSound or TCS sound units ran fine. Every time I added a 3rd they would start causing the command station to act like there was a short some where when there wasn't. I finally decided to try a new power supply and after changing it every thing worked fine. So it had to be the power supply which was not even a year old. If that didn't work I would of had to replace the command station. That's would have been $262.00 for a new Power Pro so I'm glad I only had to spend $38.00.

George
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#4
George,

Just out of curiosity, how many amps does each LokSound and TCS Decoder draw?

Spending $38 is a damn sight better than $260, I'll give you that.
 
#5
I bought a NEC 5 amp 15 volt for $43.00 to replace it only to find out it didn't have enough power to run 3 LokSound decoders in a consist.
I agree with Tony, that seems odd, but I guess I've never consisted 3 LokSounds either.

I thought it was some other problem but found out after buying a Circuit Specialists 6-8 amp for $38.00
I'll have to check that out. Eventually I'll need about 10 of them. I love that price.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#6
George:

None of my many sound decoders pull over .3 amps and in fact some a lot less. I have a small to medium size layout and use a Digitrax DB150 with a 15 voltage and a 5 amp power transformer.

I have a lot of both sound and non-sound locomotives just parked on the layout and it hardly affects my power use. If I run three trains, the amp draw stays under 1.5 amps.

I once had a "short" where a piece of .32 solder was laying across the rails after some rail joiner work. Took close to two nights to find the critter. Usually a short is something simply like crossed wires, a short across the tracks or another minor, over looked problem. Shorts should open the circuit breaker.

Greg
 

NYC_George

Active Member
#7
There wasn't any problem with the layout until I bought a 3rd LokSound and TCS sound decoder. I ran the 3 LokSound decorders in a consist and the problems started. So I thought it was the LokSound decoders. Then I ran the 3 TCS sound decoders in a consist while taking the LokSound decoders off the layout and still had the problem. If I ran any 2 together no problems. Now I'm thinking maybe when the lighting did in my 10 amp power supply maybe it also caused some damage to command station. So I figure it's either the NCE 5 amp power supply I bought to replace my 10 amp or the command station. I bought the $38.00 CiricutSpecalist first because it was the cheapest of the two, hooked it up and everything worked. No more problems. So I don't know. Maybe the NEC 5 amp was bad from the factory. Maybe someone else will have this problem then we'll know.

George
 
#8
Perhaps a stupid question (but perhaps not, since i have to ask to learn); would one of these be sufficient to power a smaller nonDCC layout? I assume most can do so anyway, at least until you start putting a few locos on the tracks.
 
#10
Yes, BUT. While the power supply has the capacity to run multiple locomotives on a DC layout, it lacks any method of speed control.
At least independent control of separate locomotives. You could, of course, break up the yard into short blocks where you could park individual locomotives, using on-off toggle switches, while you run another in a powered block. Although I have a few DCC locos and a continuous dogbone loop main line, I can run the yards on either DCC or DC. The main problem is being a lone operator, is like trying to walk and chew gum at the same time!
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#11
George,

Maybe the NEC 5 amp was bad from the factory. Maybe someone else will have this problem then we'll know.

I am starting to think that may have been your problem. From what I have read, no TCS or ESU decoder draws more than 1 amp per decoder, and that would be very high. Most say they only draw between .35 and .5 amp per decoder. That being the case, you should be able to run up to 10 engines (theoretically) with a 5 amp system. Even the Power Cab Starter System claims you can run up to 4 or 5 engines; although, they don't state with or without sound.

Do you have anything other than your track wired to your main bus wire? If so, is it possible there is something else drawing more power that has resulted in the need to increase your power supply from 5 amp to 6 - 8 amp which seems to have rectified the problem?

It would be interesting to know if trying another 5 amp system caused the same problem. If it did, it probably isn't the system/power supply that is faulty, but more likely 5 amps isn't enough juice to run your layout.

Just a thought ...
 

NYC_George

Active Member
#12
Tony I have the ability to isolate the lower from the upper deck and isolate the two from the test track . My helix can also be isolated being it's independent from both decks. I'll use the NEC 5 amp for something else. I'm not changing anything now that every things working perfectly. I did find a good cheap power supply in the process though.

on_off_switches_3.jpg

George
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#13
George,

At the end of the day, everything works and that's all that really matters. Finding a cheaper system/power supply is a bonus.
 



ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com