Power Supplies....Help!

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  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: woodstock, Georgia
  • 17 posts
Power Supplies....Help!
Posted by JoeMascitti on Monday, January 26, 2004 11:55 AM
I am looking for some good advice as I try to determine if my current power supply is big enough. I have approx. 400+ feet of track, currently I am running an Aristo ultima 10 amp which produces 10amps @ 18volts. The power wire runs underneath the entire railroad and connects every 20 feet to the track thru feeder wires. The wire size is 14 gauge. I can run 3 trains without much problem. Would I see improved results if I upgrade to the Aristocraft Elite which produces 22v @ 13 amps or 13.8V @ 20amps? I am not too sure about this Volt/Amp thing.....

Anyone's Advice would be welcome....I'm thinking the more power, the better the performance, especially at slow speeds.....


  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, January 26, 2004 10:45 PM
My name is Ian and I am a qualified Electrical Engineer, however I got my diploma many years ago and have never worked as a professional engineer, but I will see what I can do.

I dio not run Aristo at all I'm into LGB MTS and we reticulate our power which is 20 V AC direct to the the track through the central station and I do not hold with having multiple attachments to your track at all.

The very best conductor of electricity is your two rails, the problem is the joins, I solder mine and make up discreet sections which I put togehter with Hilman clams and really I have no trouble with voltage drop or loss of conductivity at all even though i only have one connection to the rails with 65 M down and another 70 M going down I will still only have one connection. If you are worried about expansion etc Hillmans have a clamp that will do the job for you. I also don't think much of rail clips and even less about the grease they tell you put on them.

As far as power supply, think of electricity as water, the voltage is actually the pressure of the electrcity I think if you think about it as pounds per square inch it will help. The current or amps is the flow of electricity through the conductor, think of it as gallons per minute and you are going along the right track.

No load to full load regulation is important, if you have a big power supply and a small load such as a small loco etc. I wouldn't even think about getting a new power supply unless your present one is overloading regularly or getting stincking hot.

If you wi***o discuss this matter further, my email address is,
my railway is Kawana Island Tropcal Railway it is located as am I on the Sunshine Coast, which is located on the Coral Sea in the Australian state of Queensland.

A surprise for you regards Ian.
  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Coldstream, BC Canada
  • 969 posts
Posted by RhB_HJ on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 2:37 PM

The Elite has more umph, it also has a few new features. It is much along the lines of a standard switchable power supply as used in computer applications, including the proper ventilation and protection.

As far as power requirement is concerned it depends what type of trains you run. Some have low amperage draw, others are hogs!

Do you use the Aristo TE?

If your trains run fine I wouldn't worry, just keep an eye on the amp meter of the Ultima to see how much current is drawn when you run your trains all at once. If you have lighted coaches etc. that will draw a bit more.
Cheers HJ

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