Re: Track Voltage for N Scale Sound Decoders ?

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>

Mark, et al.,


I am also in N Scale, new to DCC, and coming at it from the other end.  I am building a roughly 8’ x 18’ irregular shaped mountain layout Code 55 Peco track and Electrofrog turnouts, multiple reverse loops, wyes and hidden staging.  Besides giving me LOTS of opportunities to learn from my mistakes, the track has consumed most of my budget, so I have been something of a cheapskate on everything else.


I have a single Digitrax DCS 100 Command module with no other boosters.  Set on N-Scale, it delivers 11.5 – 11.7 volts anywhere on the layout.  I have a couple of Bachman Berkshires and a Consolidation with sound, a Ten-wheeler with no sound, and an old analog GP7 that I use primarily for testing.  I can run them all at once without any power limitations (just frantic throttle control to keep the GP7 from crashing into things on the reverse loops.)


I have a lot of yard switches that prove everyone tells us to start with – don’t rely on the point rails to transmit power to the frogs.  Blue Points have built in switches, but ground throws need something else.  I like Frog Juicers, which work great but cost a lot.  So I drop a single wire from the jumper on each frog, and leave it dangling until I get annoyed enough to do something more.


I’ll probably keep putting most of my money into track for a while, unless I find an N-Scale Allegheney 2-6-6-6…


From: <> On Behalf Of Mark Cartwright via Groups.Io
Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2019 11:15 AM
Subject: [w4dccqa] Track Voltage for N Scale Sound Decoders ?


Hello all, 

Not sure I am gong to ask this question in the most appropriate way...
After I purchased my first DCC Controller, an MRC PA -2, I was soon advised to purchase some sort of booster.
As my very first DCC Controlled Locomotive was the Walther's Heritage Y6b (2-8-8-2) with SOUND.
(The previous owner had all sorts of issues and sent his model back three times to Walther's.)
So there went another $100 for the matching MRC Booster.
And ?
Yes, all my DCC locomotives seem to run better, especially with Sound.
>>> I began a Chase towards long steam N Scale Locomotives with Sound.
Especially, after the purchase of a Hallmark (Brass) ATSF Texas Steam Locomotive, equipped with a LokSound Sound Decoder....
Yes, I was smitten and fell in love with Model Railroading all over again. 
What a man will do for love....
All sorts of my parameters began to change such as soldering, size of turnouts and even the width of radius/curves and further even into which type (90 Degree vs Parabolic).
I eventually began to standardize with LokSound Sound Decoders.
(Though, I probably own at least one of every other type and brand.)
As night follows the day.....
Eventually, I Forrest Gumped my way into the ownership of an ESU ECoS....
And this too was like a full tier movement upwards in the overall performance of my layout.
Top Drawer so to speak.
>>> Power supply output voltage adjustable from 15V to 21V / 7A (150VA) <<<
Somehow I got around to measuring it once and it showed 15.4 volts to the track.
No, I did not mess with it...that was what it was set up as out of the box.
Though I can speak and read some German....I basically leave the ECoS alone and let it do it's thing.
I tend to simply down load a sound program to the decoder and for the most part ....
Let the ECoS recognize the locomotive and stay away from manipulating CV's.
So here is my un-question...
I am fairly happy with my choice of LokSound Sound Decoders as a standard as well as my ECoS as my standard DCC Controller 

All at 15.4 Volts to the track.

How's the lesser voltages of 13-14.5 volts working out for you?
I have not yet purchased the ESU ECoS booster...but I plan to do so; as my layout is stretched out over the space of 25 x 30 feet between two rooms.
No, I am not even sure it will be needed....
:)) Mark

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