G scale DCC system

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  • Member since
    March, 2011
  • 152 posts
G scale DCC system
Posted by WardR on Friday, August 11, 2017 1:02 PM

Hello all,


I was thinking about setting up a small G scale layout around my outside deck area, just for fun. I have an Ho system currently, this would just be an outside thing, nothing big maybe a dogbone and one rain running. I have an older MRC wireless system and also the 8 amp booster that I don’t use for my HO layout, do you think that would work on a G scale system? I really don’t know the requirements on g scale. I was thinking just running one train at a time and of course it would have sound. Any info on this would be great.




  • Member since
    February, 2004
  • From: North, San Diego Co., CA
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Posted by ttrigg on Friday, August 11, 2017 1:36 PM

As an analog dinosaur I will not attempt to answer this, but would suggest a visit to Greg's website for some pros an cons. (www.elmassian.com)

Tom Trigg

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: North Coastal San Diego
  • 882 posts
Posted by Greg Elmassian on Sunday, August 13, 2017 4:00 PM

Depending on the type of locos, you need between 18 to 24 volts on the rails.

You may have enough amps, but not enough voltage.



Visit my site: http://www.elmassian.com - lots of tips on locos, rolling stock and more.

 Click here for Greg's web site


  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Centennial, CO
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Posted by kstrong on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 1:32 PM

Run your trains at the speed you want to run them, then measure the voltage going to the rails. Add a volt or two for wiggle room. That's how much voltage you "need" going to the rails for a DCC system. More voltage gets you more speed. If you don't need the speed, you don't need the voltage.

I run primarily battery power. For the trains I run (narrrow gauge prototypes), I have yet to need more than a 14.8 volt battery, and even there I rarely run the locos at more than 75% on the throttle. It's actually the control electronics that have historically required at least 12 volts, hence 14.8 volt batteries. That's changing with newer technology, so I've been buying 11.1 volt batteries lately as well.


The MRC system will be fine if you don't run your trains at "mainline" speeds. There's no point in buying new stuff if you don't need to. (I also use the MRC Prodigy system for programming decoders and testing installations.) If you run your trains at higher speeds than 15 volts will allow you to go, then--yes--you'll need a system capable of allowing higher speeds to the rails.


Or not....


If you're only looking at running one loco at a time, consider something like the Tam Valley Depot booster. This is what's often called a "dumb" booster. It takes the DCC output of an existing DCC command station, isolates the DCC signal component, then re-combines it with a separate power supply. This will allow you to use your existing MRC command station to control  your trains, but you can powre them with a power supply that provides more voltage to the rails. (Look up "Meanwell" power supplies. They are highly regarded as inexpensive but reliable power supplies for model trains.) Between the booster and the external power supply, you're looking at maybe $100. The catch with this specific set-up is that the TVD booster is limited to 3 amps continuous, 5 amps peak. That's likely going to be just fine for running one train, though, unless "one train" is multiple locos pulling a whole lot of cars.


Just food for thought.





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