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Old 02-11-2010, 04:51 PM   #1
Mako Kid
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 23
Default Power Requirements...

OK, without opening a big debate about Track Power vs. Battery, let's stick to only track power solutions on this thread if you please...

I have an indoor layout that has probably around one hundred feet of track. I can share the layout with the community a little later (I don't have a picture of it yet). I have my original Christmas Starter Set (LGB 20540) c1990 and I added a chuffing boxcar (LGB 4135S) and I additionally purchased an 0-4-0 loco and powered tender (LGB 2015D) and when I tried running everything on my layout simultaneously, well, the starter set's transformer just couldn't handle it. So, I removed the orignal loco and was running my 2015D loco and tender with the sound boxcar behind it (and a string of 6 more cars), and it too proved to be too much for my pitiful little LGB 5003 starter transformer. As it turns out, I cannot even operate the loco and tender for long periods of time without everything coming to a screeching halt at some point.

Can anyone make a recommendation on where I need to go next to get the power I need to run 3 locos and a sound car without locking up? I don't want to spend a fortune, but It's not real clear how much I need for this type of operation. I do not have MTS yet (it's out of my reach financially at this point in time) and I do want to go there eventually, but everything to do with this hobby is so expensive.

I broke down and purchased a used MRC TrainPower 6200 to hold me over (because it was under $100), but I have a sneaking suspicion it might not be enough. Do I really need to spend $200 or more to power multiple LGB locomotives? If so, what model offers the most bang for the buck? Are there any models out there that I can purchase that will give me all the DC power (analog) I need today and also be able to power an MTS system (digital A/C) in the future, or will I need to buy two more transformers? Who wants to write up a nice article on LGB Track Powered Train Layout Requirements? I would be interested to get everyone's opinion on what they believe is the best bet for track power. I've started forming my own opinions based on what's available on eBay, but I just thought I'd throw this question out there for the experts to expound upon.

Also if anyone has any good references for all the various electrical jargon surrounding model railroad transformers (Voltage, Wattage, Amperage, etc.), I think that would be a great topic for beginners such as myself.

What say you?
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:09 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 6

Track power required is determined by the number of motors in your trains. The 5003 power pack is .5 or 1 amp, I believe, so you need a larger capacity trafo/controller combination - I would suggest a 5 amp output to the track.
I have a similar layout and chose to invest in an LGB 50111 6 amp trafo, and a 51070 5 amp controller. This allows me to run 3 trains simultaneously with no problems. (2x LGB 0-4-0 loco w/ 0-4-0 power & sound tender, & 1x Bachmann 4-6-0 loco w/ sound tender - that is at least 5 motors and 3 sound systems) Also powers a few remote switches, signals and AC lamps.
Good luck...
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:08 PM   #3
Dan Pierce
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Eastern Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 23

The 5003 is less htan .5 amp. It has both DC and AC ratings that are small.

For each LGB motor, plan on at least.5 amps and add 60 milliamps per lamp and 100 milliamps for smoke.

So, the 5 amp suggestion is good.

The sound car may not like PWC or Momentum type power, so be careful in your choices. Also, the sound car can have a 9 volt battery installed to smooth out power interruptions.

Keep the 5003 for power for the switches (LGB EPL units).
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analog, digital, power, track power, transformer

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