Garden railroad power pack?

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  • Member since
    July, 2018
  • 22 posts
Garden railroad power pack?
Posted by Model Trains and Railfanning on Sunday, May 05, 2019 9:13 PM

I am starting a garden railroad (g scale) in the summer and have been planing all winter and now I’m starting to think about what transformer/power pack to get. I have a Lionel transformer that came with a Thomas the tank train set I got when I was a kid and a few old bachmann transformers, which will obviously not be enough power. My railroad is rather small, at about 75 feet. I am not running DCC, mainly because of the combined cost of the DCC controller and the engines. Although I have of course fantasied about a fancy DCC setup which of course is way out of my price range. I am planning to extend the railroad in the future. Will probably double the length it is now. Thanks. 

-Model Trains And Railfanning 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ9BLPXTEpi785ppPX7yLuQ

  • Member since
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  • From: Ormond Beach, FL
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Posted by chocho willy on Monday, May 06, 2019 9:35 AM

Dear MT&R, here is a link to make your own with easly available parts, Eric Muller who post on here quite often just built one, believe most of the railroaders in the Atlanta area also use it, very inexpensive and reliable, Bill

http://www.trainelectronics.com/PowerController/index.htm

Tags: power pack
  • Member since
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  • 468 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, May 07, 2019 2:01 AM

MT&R:

Bill is right.  He put me in contact with one of the Atlanta folks who sent me his plans.   Greg Elmassian, who also has a strong presence here, and a few others coached me through some purchases (and returns!) until I had two 24V / 5A controllers for about $60/$70 each, including shipping for the voltage regulator, power supplies, and DPDT switch.  A trip to the autoparts store for some trailer light connectors and some crimp on horseshoe connectors (I hate soldering; this let me screw almost everything in place.) was all that was left.  The wiring came from an old ceiling fan, I think.  The first controller took about 2 hours to put togehter; the second somewhat less.  The Triple O runs much better, my "heavies" no longer stall, and it is actually easier to wire things up for operations, which means we run trains more.

 

Electricity mystifies me, and I pulled this off.  If I had the cash, yes, I might have splurged for a controller with a nice case, handle, momentum control, etc.  Cash was lacking, the ka'a ahi iki (little fire coaches) were calling, and this was an easy, cost effective fix.  Oh, and I learned something!

 

Eric

 

 

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Posted by Model Trains and Railfanning on Monday, May 27, 2019 7:59 PM

Thank you. I will look in to that.

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  • 468 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 2:59 AM

MT&R:

I think I posted this photo elsewher, but here is the finished project:

 

Note the fuse.  I've blown a couple, so clearly it has a purpose!  I couldn't find a resettable breaker / fuse locally, but this "blade" style one works as advertised.  So far, it has only blown when trains cross from one loops to the other while power is "flowing" in opposite directions in the two loops.

 

Eric

  • Member since
    April, 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
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Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Thursday, July 18, 2019 3:40 PM

Eric,

It is interesting to see your photo. I've been waiting until the issue was printed to say something, but the Fall issue will have a similar project in it, written by Kevin Strong! (If you're a Facebook follower, look for a peek on our page on Friday July 19.)

Rene Schweitzer

Garden Railways and Classic Toy Trains

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    February, 2013
  • 468 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, July 18, 2019 10:28 PM
Thank you, Rene! I know my solution is a bit inelegant, but it has really worked. The trays that came with the new toolbox now serve to hold spare fuses, screw drivers, test leads, and the other bric-a-brac that help keep the trains rolling on an average afternoon!
  • Member since
    April, 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,624 posts
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Friday, July 19, 2019 9:00 AM

PVT Kanaka
Thank you, Rene! I know my solution is a bit inelegant, but it has really worked. The trays that came with the new toolbox now serve to hold spare fuses, screw drivers, test leads, and the other bric-a-brac that help keep the trains rolling on an average afternoon!
 

While it isn't beautiful, it is inexpensive and effective, and something that a hobbyist of nearly any skill level can put together. If I can figure it out, just about anybody can! Wink

Rene Schweitzer

Garden Railways and Classic Toy Trains

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