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Temporary power?

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  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Temporary power?
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, January 19, 2002 11:09 PM
Hi!
I've got an HO layout almost finished, but the only power pack I have is a Christmas tree O scale power pack of 3 amps. If I am only going to power the mainline for now is it OK to use the 3 amp pack for test running until I can afford a more suitable power set-up or will my locomotive burn out from overload? I am new at all of this (especially wiring) and I can't afford another $100 locomotive! Thanks a million for the advice!
Frantzy
  • Member since
    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, January 20, 2002 12:44 AM
Frantzy,

DO NOT USE A LIONEL or any other O-scale power pack for an HO set. Lionel is AC and HO scale is DC unless you are running Marklain(sp?), the German stuff. It would be alright to use D-cell batteries if you just want to see it run, but you will probably use them up fast. Somewhere between 9-12 volts should get it to run. Incidently, I recommend getting a power pack from MRC (Model Rectifier Corp) for about $60. It may sound expensive but I love mine.

Good Luck - Ed
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    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, January 20, 2002 10:52 AM
Ed is absoultly right! Don't use an AC power supply! Since AC is alternating current the train will try to change directions 60 times a second and the resulting heat will burn up the motor!!!

If the output of your 3amp supply is DC then you could use it to test your layout. Doubt that you would have much control over the train's speed as the starting voltage of such power packs is somewhere around 6 volts. For modeling railroading purposes the output of a power supply is generally measured in AMPS for DC current and WATTS for AC current. Keep in mind that a DC motor will only draw as much current ( absent of a short circuit or overload) as it needs to operate under a given load. Consequently a 1/2 amp motor will not burn out if connected to a 3AMP DC supply provided there is no short circuit or overload. You might want to consider getting one of the books on basic wiring for model railroads as all of this and more is covered in them. It will save a lot of headaches "down the line"!! Also invest in the best powerpack you can afford! Hope this helped....Vic
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, January 21, 2002 10:53 PM
Thanks Ed! Thanks Vic!
I appreciate the info! I ran the engine around the track with 5 D cells I had laying around (it took two to get it rolling). I didn't have any complications in my trackwork which really suprised me. It's not everyday you get it right the first time!
Frantzy
  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: US
  • 506 posts
Posted by snowey on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 12:49 AM
welcome to the hobby! If you have any more questions (and yo will-we all do-even those of us who have been in the hobby for years) don't hesitate to ask.
"I have a message...Lt. Col....Henry Blakes plane...was shot down...over the Sea Of Japan...it spun in...there were no survivors".
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: US
  • 59 posts
Posted by CHESSIEMIKE on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 1:31 PM
If you are in a pinch you can use a car battery and the dash light rehostat to run for a longer period of time and still have speed control. MR did an article about someone that used car batteries as the only power supply. must have been a while ago because the photo was glass case batteries!!
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: Guelph, Ont.
  • 1,476 posts
Posted by BR60103 on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 9:12 PM
I would watch out on the car batteries - this is a place where the excess amps could really do you in if you had a short circuit or a derailment.

David

--David

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