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DCC command station amps

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  • Member since
    December 2009
  • 146 posts
DCC command station amps
Posted by mkepler954 on Monday, March 6, 2023 8:12 PM

I currently have a NCE Power Pro DCC Command Station with a 5A power supply.  I'm expanding my layout to accomadate 8 engines, up from 4.  Will I need more amps to all 8 at the same time?  

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Morristown, NJ
  • 756 posts
Posted by nealknows on Monday, March 6, 2023 9:37 PM

Definitely not. I have the same system and can easily run 8 engines and some have sound. On my lower level, I have another 5 Amp Booster and have approximately 20+ engines sitting on staging tracks. Out of those, 6 have sound (though no sound while in staging) and have no issues.


  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 23,389 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 3:47 AM

I also have the 5 amp NCE PH-Pro system. I do have a second 5 amp booster that I did not need for additional amps, but I bought it anyway to spread the load that I have on my relatively large layout with 7 power districts including 4 auto-reversing sections.

A typical locomotive will draw about 0.25 amps and a sound equipped locomotive will draw about 0.50 amps. So, even if all 8 of your locomotives were sound equipped and running, you would be drawings around 4 amps. So, a 5 amp booster should be sufficient.

That said, let me make a recommendation to you that can add to the fun and, at the same time, provide an important diagnostic tool to your layout. For just under $70, you can buy a DCC Specialties RRampMeter that will permit you to constantly monitor the amps being drawn across your entire layout. The RRampMeter can be wired in-line or it can be used manually which would permit you to move it around the layout to test voltage, taking the guess work out of voltage drops.

A good source for the RRampMeter is Tony's Trains and their customer service is top notch.


Alton Junction

  • Member since
    March 2011
  • From: Westford MA
  • 366 posts
Posted by Tophias on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 8:00 AM

+1 what Neal said.  In fact, I have a 8 track under layout staging yard, most with 2 engine consists, 15 total sound engines at all times.  Though the DCC system is Digitrax (as opposed to NCE) the staging yard is powered with a 5 amp booster.  I think you'll fine.

  • Member since
    September 2014
  • From: 10,430’ (3,179 m)
  • 2,055 posts
Posted by jjdamnit on Thursday, March 9, 2023 2:10 PM

Hello All,

Well, it depends...

...It depends on how much power (Amperage) each loco and/or consist draws.

I too have an NCE Power Pro DCC system with 5 Amps.

The 5 Amps is divided into five (5) power districts with one district being a wye with an auto reverser.

Each district is protected by an NCE EB1 and the wye by an AR 10.

I also installed a DCC Concepts Alpha Meter which monitors both Amperage and track Voltage in real-time.

This allows me to measure the Amperage draw of individual locos as well as consists, along with track voltage.

As an example:

If the four (4) locomotives on your current pike draw a total of 2-amps (0.5 Amps each) and you add four (4) more- -older motored locos- -that draw one (1) Amp each, that's a total of six (6) Amps total, which will exceed the Amperage of your single booster.

If each loco draws 0.5 Amps, eight (8) locos only draw four (4) Amps total. Plenty of power for a 5 Amp booster.

Don't forget to factor in any other rolling stock or DCC-driven accessories that draw power from the booster.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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