Date   
Re: Computer Power Supply and Turnout Problems

Blair & Rasa
 

Wayne,
When I wanted +/- 12 for tortoises (up to 60 of them), I simply bought two 12V, 3A power supplies on the surplus market (link to a similar product follows).  Tie the + of one to the - of the other, and you're away to the races.

Computer supplies are not really set up to provide lots of current on the 12V outputs without any demand on the 5V rail, if my memory serves at all.  Besides, it's overkill, probably needs a fan, and in general is using a sledgehammer to swat a fly - the fly is gone, but so is the window! 
Blair

https://www.bgmicro.com/PWR1470.aspx
 

On 2019-10-07 17:01, Wayne Swearingen wrote:

I have a 350w computer power supply that I am using for turnout motor control. I bought one of those adapters that plug into the motherboard pigtail and break-out 12v +/- 5v and 3v

There are currently about 18 stall motors connected to it, not Tortoise, the plain black stall motors. With everything hooked up the negative side of the power supply drops down to about 9v which causes problems with points since we have around 1k ohm resistors soldered in place on each motor. 
I've read up on the majority of the stall motors and the consensus seems to be 20 mA as the rule of thumb per motor. I did confirm and saw that the negative side of the power supply is only putting out .8 AMPS while the positive side puts out considerably more. By my math 20 mA x 18 motors doesn't put me in danger on the negative side but something is pulling the volts down.

I really hate to have to un-wire one side of each motor to narrow down where the problem is coming from. Does anyone have any experience with the computer power supplies for turnout control? Maybe its a bad adapter board? It was only $9 on amazon so I don't have a whole lot of faith in it. We used to have this archaic variable positive/negative power supply which worked fine. I removed it after we upgraded the layout to DCC, this thing had to be a fire hazard with all of its components mounted to plywood and big heat fins. It's quite a sight. 
Does anyone have any recommendations for a reliable +/- power supply? One that doesn't need an adapter possibly? I've read up on converting the computer power supplies without the adapter board, I was just hoping for a nice clean look with the adapter. 

Wayne


Re: Computer Power Supply and Turnout Problems

emrldsky
 

Hi Wayne,

There several ways to check it out. However, which is "better" depends n just how it has been implemented. Is it all in a nice case with just two wires for the output, or is it sort of strung around here and there? The quickest way might be to look in whatever outside box it is in and see if it is the usual PC power supply case with a bunch of wires coming out. If it is, then look for a physically large resistor hooked between a couple of the wires, and try to read any markings on it. Then if the marks show the value, do a quick V/R calculation. Without seeing the unit, or a part number, or a schematic, I would hesitate to say anything else. Maybe if you had an AC ammeter, measure the input and see if it is pulling about 250mA,on the AC input.

The easier way, if you are not into all of that is get a 1 amp wall wart for 12 volts and use that. The torti do not require precision voltage. Their speed will vary with the volts, but they get there. If you are not switching a bunch at once, all should be fine. Otherwise, spring for a 12 volt, 3 amp supply.


Peace,

Mike G.


On 10/7/2019 4:56 PM, Wayne Swearingen wrote:
Mike, 
I had read on that which is why I went the route of a pre-made device. With the home-built custom job computer power supplies I had seen where they say to put a phantom load. I assumed I was getting away from that with a pre-made device, How do you suppose one would go about testing that? 


Wayne

Re: Computer Power Supply and Turnout Problems

Puckdropper
 

Do you have a spare computer drive anywhere? For this test, you can even borrow one from a working system--you just need it for a few minutes. Just plug a drive in to one of the power cables and see if it helps.

Puckdropper

On Mon, Oct 7, 2019 at 06:56 PM, Wayne Swearingen wrote:


Mike,
I had read on that which is why I went the route of a pre-made device. With
the home-built custom job computer power supplies I had seen where they say to
put a phantom load. I assumed I was getting away from that with a pre-made
device, How do you suppose one would go about testing that?

Wayne

Re: Computer Power Supply and Turnout Problems

Wayne Swearingen
 

Puckdropper, 

Great idea.. I have hundreds around my shop here. I'll grab one and test it. 


Wayne

Re: Computer Power Supply and Turnout Problems

Wayne Swearingen
 

Puckdropper, 

So the hard drive helped, the load caused the negative 12v to go from 9v to 11.3v. 

If I recall right in some of the homemade power supply conversions they wire in a couple 10w ceramic resistors. That would be easy enough to wire onto the 5v terminals and call it a day. 

Thanks! 
Wayne

Re: Computer Power Supply and Turnout Problems

Aaron Carrick
 

Wayne,

 

Try watching this video by Joe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkP3rgciy3M

 

It’s rather informative, he has a whole series on layout construction so there could be other video’s that may help too

 

Cheers

 

Aaron

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Wayne Swearingen
Sent: Friday, 11 October 2019 1:12 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Computer Power Supply and Turnout Problems

 

Puckdropper, 

So the hard drive helped, the load caused the negative 12v to go from 9v to 11.3v. 

If I recall right in some of the homemade power supply conversions they wire in a couple 10w ceramic resistors. That would be easy enough to wire onto the 5v terminals and call it a day. 

Thanks! 
Wayne

Re: Computer Power Supply and Turnout Problems

Wayne Swearingen
 

Aaron, 

I actually did watch that video back when I was looking at computer power supplies. I think I did the classic assume move and made the assumption that a pre-built header wouldn't need or would come with the means to avoid needing to add a phantom load. Although to my credit it does seem most write-ups said that the resistor load was more a function of turning the unit on not to excite it enough to provide full power. Though maybe I mis-understood. 

Thanks! 

Wayne

Protecting bus to feeder connections

Greg Smith
 
Edited

I am new to DCC, although I have been accumulating 'stuff' for 20 years - HO scale, so I have lots of questions, most pretty basic.  Since the bus to feeder connection is a 'T' and precludes the use of shrink tubing, is liquid electrical tape appropriate for this use?  Do most of you use some form of protection for this solder junction?

I am using solid 14 AWG for the main power bus and solid 18 AWG for the feeders.  I am using the 14 solid wire from Romex because I have several hundred feet left over from when I wired my equipment building/shop.  

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

vincent marino
 

I have a small layout with about 100 feeders and 6 power districts.  I'm not accomplished at soldering. No way I could solder that many feeders working overhead under the table. I used suitcase connections and haven't had any regrets. The only advice I would give at this time is to use a proven track and turnout system. I used EZ track and regret that decision. Good luck. 


On Sun, Oct 20, 2019, 4:35 PM Greg Smith <gcscls@...> wrote:
I am new to DCC, although I have been accumulating 'stuff' for 20 years - HO scale, so I have lots of questions, most pretty basic.  Since the bus to feeder connection is a 'T' and precludes the use of shrink tubing, is liquid electrical tape appropriate for this use?  Do most of you use some form of protection for this solder junction?

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

Carl
 

Hi Greg:

An other option are "suit case" connectors, no stripping, already insulated, $0.05 each.

If you want to use shrink tubing, instead of a butt joint, strip all three wires, twist, solder, and slip the tubing over the end.

Then there are PVC terminal strips for insulation displacement screws:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Insulation-Displacement-Screw-Terminals/

I use them on my friend's layout and they worked great.

Carl.

On 10/20/2019 4:35 PM, Greg Smith wrote:
I am new to DCC, although I have been accumulating 'stuff' for 20 years - HO scale, so I have lots of questions, most pretty basic.  Since the bus to feeder connection is a 'T' and precludes the use of shrink tubing, is liquid electrical tape appropriate for this use?  Do most of you use some form of protection for this solder junction?

Virus-free. www.avast.com

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

Larry Moray
 

Bachman EZ-Track?  What r ur regrets?  Thx

Larry J Moray, DDS, MS
President, The Happy Tooth Dental Group
‘Changing People’s Lives
through Affordable, Accessible Smiles’
Dr.LarryMoray@HappyToothNC.com
919.259.2280

On Oct 20, 2019, at 5:09 PM, vincent marino <vmarino2009@...> wrote:


I have a small layout with about 100 feeders and 6 power districts.  I'm not accomplished at soldering. No way I could solder that many feeders working overhead under the table. I used suitcase connections and haven't had any regrets. The only advice I would give at this time is to use a proven track and turnout system. I used EZ track and regret that decision. Good luck. 

On Sun, Oct 20, 2019, 4:35 PM Greg Smith <gcscls@...> wrote:
I am new to DCC, although I have been accumulating 'stuff' for 20 years - HO scale, so I have lots of questions, most pretty basic.  Since the bus to feeder connection is a 'T' and precludes the use of shrink tubing, is liquid electrical tape appropriate for this use?  Do most of you use some form of protection for this solder junction?

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

Paul O
 

Greg, I simply offset the solder connections to the bus by a couple of inches to prevent shorts. Since it’s under the table there hasn’t been a problem.

Paul O._,_._,_

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

Al Silverstein
 

Greg,
 
There are several methods used to connect feeders to bus wires: the two that seem most common is the soldering of the feeder to the bus and the other is using a “Tee” connector to connect the feeder to the bus. You need to be careful in both cases to insure a good connection. Poor solder connections can cause trouble while improper “Tee” connector can cause a poor connection. Good tools are required in both cases to insure a good connection.
 
I use stranded 14 awg wire for my main bus. It works for me as none of my bus runs are more than 20’ from a booster or the command station.
 
I use solid 22 awg wire for my feeders. Keep in mind I am a N scale model railroader.
 
I purchased a tool the opens and spreads the insulation on the wire bus. I use a wire stripper to strip the feeder. I remove enough insulation so that I can wrap the feeder wire around the bus at least twice. I then carefully solder the connection using a temperature controlled soldering iron. When the connection cools I use red or black finger nail polish to seal the connection.
 
The above works for me.
 
Al Silverstein

From: Greg Smith
Sent: Sunday, October 20, 2019 4:35 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] Protecting bus to feeder connections
 
I am new to DCC, although I have been accumulating 'stuff' for 20 years - HO scale, so I have lots of questions, most pretty basic.  Since the bus to feeder connection is a 'T' and precludes the use of shrink tubing, is liquid electrical tape appropriate for this use?  Do most of you use some form of protection for this solder junction?
 

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

David Klemm
 

Paul O’s method is the same I use. Off setting the connections is sufficient. Not like the buss wires will move!  :)

David Klemm
11 PRO Max


From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> on behalf of Paul O <pomilian@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 20, 2019 7:53:56 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Protecting bus to feeder connections
 
Greg, I simply offset the solder connections to the bus by a couple of inches to prevent shorts. Since it’s under the table there hasn’t been a problem.

Paul O._,_._,_

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

thomasmclae
 

Our club is 3000 square feet.
The only soldering we do is in control panels. switchmaster turnout motors, and track drops with solid wire.
Every other connection is with either spade lugs or molex connectors (Crimp connectors).
track drops are about 6 inches to a terminal block.
I have several good photos of how we did these if you are interested.

BTW, we have been using this wiring since 1990, with no issues.
Thomas
DeSoto, TX

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

Joseph A. Correro, Jr.
 

I would like to see your pics.

Thank you,

Joseph Correro
Cleveland, Mississippi



"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!"


On Mon, Oct 21, 2019 at 9:35 AM thomasmclae via Groups.Io <mclae5-lists=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Our club is 3000 square feet.
The only soldering we do is in control panels. switchmaster turnout motors, and track drops with solid wire.
Every other connection is with either spade lugs or molex connectors (Crimp connectors).
track drops are about 6 inches to a terminal block.
I have several good photos of how we did these if you are interested.

BTW, we have been using this wiring since 1990, with no issues.
Thomas
DeSoto, TX

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

Puckdropper
 

There's a spring-style stripper you can get that will strip the wire and push it aside just far enough to solder a feeder to. The one I use has multiple holes for the various gauges of wire. I've tried the "automatic" styles and have been disappointed with them. The insulation will actually be compressed with this tool, so after you make the connection it may creep back up tight. That will help protect your connection, but it's not a big deal if it doesn't. A 3" or so offset has been all I've needed to keep bus wires from shorting.

If you can't avoid having some connections close to each other, liquid electrical tape or even just normal tape can protect them. A wrap of electrical tape on either side of the T'd wire should be good enough to protect things for a long time.

If you're soldering, remember a good physical connection turns into a good soldered connection. I usually use solid wire and wrap my feeders around it so that they're tight, then flux and solder.

Puckdropper

Book on DCC wiring

monty cunningham
 

Sort of new to DCC.  Older and retired and building for the first time a larger layout in spare bedroom.  Have benchwork half done.  Maybe I should think about wiring.  My only experience with DCC is a 5' X 4' layout using NCE with simple wiring. 
My question being what is a good book on wiring for someone with limited experience.
Thanks
Monty

Re: Book on DCC wiring

Rex
 

Monty,

I am in a similar situation. I will comment on two books I purchased for self education, both from Model Railroader -

Basic DCC Wiring for Your Model Railroad and DCC Projects & Applications, both by Mike Polsgrove. Both informative and neither left me feeling comfortable.

I also downloaded installation and instruction manuals from several different manufacturer, also helpful but not completely useful.

Asking local model railroaders in groups started more "warm discussion" between the individuals than helpful answers.

If you find a good book, post the info.

Thanks, Rex

On November 3, 2019 at 9:04 AM monty cunningham <lamont7777@...> wrote:

Sort of new to DCC.  Older and retired and building for the first time a larger layout in spare bedroom.  Have benchwork half done.  Maybe I should think about wiring.  My only experience with DCC is a 5' X 4' layout using NCE with simple wiring. 
My question being what is a good book on wiring for someone with limited experience.
Thanks
Monty


 


 


Thanks,
Rex

Re: Book on DCC wiring

Richard Sutcliffe
 

Our list owner has an excellent website.
http://www.WiringForDCC.com