New to the HO Scale Trains
Good afternoon, I just ordered two locomotives, a Bachmann HO 61241 and a BACHMANN CSX 11117-B23/B30. Now, I have an old transformer from my O scale days (I'm only 23 so I was about 12 then aka I don't know anything my dad did), so can I use that for my new HO scale locomotives? Also, will these be DC or AC currents? How can I tell? Thanks for all your help!
Last edited by davidmcalpine; 10-12-2012 at 02:29 PM.
While I'm not familiar with more "recent" O-scale power packs, the chances are that your old power pack is AC only. (You might be able to look at the terminals where the wires come from and see if it says the voltage and the type of current output. It may be that the rating is shown on the top of the unit.
Presuming the unit is AC only, you would need a full wave bridge rectifier to convert the current to DC. Otherwise you would burn out the DC motors in HO scale locomotives. I would suggest you purchase a regular DC power pack (if you are running DC motors), or a DCC power pack if your locos are DCC equipped (NOT "DCC ready...which means you have to install a decoder to convert from DC to DCC).
You can use your AC power pack for operating turnout switch machines and street lights, etc.
Thanks a lot! I just wasn't sure and before I hooked everything up I wanted to make sure I didn't mess anything up! I appreciate the quick response my friend!
If they are not DCC locos, might I suggest that you purchase a power pack from Model Rectifier Corp. MRC. Their power packs have been a mainstay of the hobby since the 1950's.
Yes, I would be safe and get a proper DC HO scale-intended power pack. You can get them at garage sales, assuming you can verify their specs, or local hobby shops, or on eBay. They should go from $10 and on up, depending on their type, age, condition, make, etc.
1. No you cannot use the old transformer.
Originally Posted by davidmcalpine
2. They are DC units.
3. I can tell because two things. First is that the only AC HO trains that I know of are Marklin. Second I looked them up on the Bachmann on-line catalog (as below) to make certain they were not DCC. http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-u...Go&WWS=1&FAW=1