Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders


Hello Mark:

I've converted Lionel three rail locomotives and the 12 volt limit is a problem. Lionel and MTH locomotives are wired for 18 volts and some barely move at 12 volt. I'm not quite willing to change to 12 volt motors.


On 2/18/2019 1:18 PM, Mark Gurries wrote:
With respect to the USA

Z scale track voltage and Z scale decoder voltage ratings are not directly related.  The voltage rating of the DCC electronics are typically the same as N and HO.  30V is common standard of electronic parts used.  The voltage rating of the power devices used to drive the motor does not define the physical size of the parts.  

The NMRA does not define specific voltage for specific scales.  They have one standard for all scales: 12V.  Does not change with DCC.

The purpose of having a specific track voltage as a standard is for reliability purposes for both the motor and lamps.

DCC track voltage typically is a bit higher than the DC track voltage because of voltage losses inside the DCC decoder.  The goal is to get 12V at the motor terminals, the same motor operating condition under DC without a decoder.



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