DCC Power supply.

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DCC Power supply.

Postby Electraman » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:50 am

I'm in the process of changing from G Scale to ON30. So I'm selling my 18VAC Power supply(6 amps) along with 2 X 20VAC power supplies (5 amps each). I run with Lenz DCC. In G I linked my Lenz together to get 10amps to the track. In ON30 I want to run everything on DCC, Points(Turnouts), Lights, Sound etc, well everything. (Deep Thought)
So I have a few questions.

1/. The 2 X 20VACs, are Lap Top power supplies. I guess those sort of Power Supplies are OK? It is just over here ( Australia) that's what the Lenz dealer uses and suggested I use. They work fine. Actually many of the DCC dealers suggest doing that. Am I better off using a DCC Train Control system Power supply?

2/. Is 10amp overkill? (2 X 15VAC @ 5amps).

3/. Can anyone suggest a Power Supply to use?

4/. Can anyone suggest (Uk or Australia) a dealer who can help?


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Re: DCC Power supply.

Postby RFS » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:23 am

I would have thought 10 amp was overkill for the smaller scales such as ON30? If your dealer recommends your existing power supply, and you have been running it without issue, I don't see any reason to change it.

I currently run my Lenz LZV100 with a 5-amp power supply (Lenz TR150) on my OO gauge layout. For points and signals, all DCC-controlled, I use a separate LV102 booster powered by a 3-amp Lenz TR100. This ensures the full 5A is available at all times for train running. I have about 60 Tortoise point motors which, in stall mode, use more than 1 amp of DCC power.

I have configured the LZV100 such that a track short only shuts down the internal LV102, and not the command station or the external LV102, so I'm able to continue operating turnouts. Most track shorts are caused by operator error (forgetting to change turnouts).
Robert Smith

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Re: DCC Power supply.

Postby Electraman » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:57 pm


I really like the idea of using the LZV to run the trains, and the LV102 for points and signals. ON30 is more or less OO with O bodies.

I'm still finalising the plans but I think so far It is likely to be around the 30 points mark. Being Narrow gauge I'm not going to have big stations. I will have a few storage sidings etc. I'm thinking about using the Peco Smart Switch controller because the points are micro servo controlled, and the board can be run independent, or linked into the Lenz for Control, Via Lenz, WiFi, Smart hhone and PC. The Smart Switch is digital, and allows you to have Push button and LED markers on a panel. It also allows you to set the speed the point changes. I still have my Lenz XPA, and phone handsets etc This decision was made on the basis of the weather here. The summers get 40C+, no humidity and dusty like you wouldn't believe possible. Winter is cooler and wetter, sort of like the UK, except we don't freeze or drown. Apparently each smart switch set can control 4 programmable servos. In the case of a short you get a warning light, or you can attach a buzzer. I was going to put in Circuit breakers between the LZV/LV and track /Bus Bar anyway. When you link the Smart Switch to Lenz, you give each servo it's own address etc. and can operate via your Lenz handset. You can then operate servos individually or link them together in pairs etc. Both point and signal are operated by one servo. I've got an adaptor that links the Lenz with my PC. I've been playing with the software etc, it's very interesting in a complicated sort of way. It'll mean I would be able to control one Loco etc whilst the rest of the Locos are automated. The difficulty would be that you have to follow the signal control like you would on a real railway. I dabbled in RC for a few years, and have got some minature HD 5MP video streaming cameras. I'm going to mount them in the Cabs pointing forward, and I guess drive them via the PC. It's not so much I'm trying to be lazy, I just want to either play trains like I did when I was a boy, or run with part automation, or sit back with a cup of tea and watch the trains go by.

I live in a Caravan, tho use the facilities in the House. I rent the space from my my friend Jenny. Been friends for a long time. We are not a couple. I'm ( and Jenny) going to move I hope within the next few months and I'm getting a shed which the Van will go inside of. The shed is somewhat larger than the van so I'm allocating a space of about 3 Ft. X 20 Ft. for my end of the line I'm putting the station there, and will build a winter circuit for when the weather is bad. I'm putting a return loop in to enable a line to the second station. Jenny wants a station on the enclosed veranda. She likes model trains to. That station will also have a return loop. Where as that station won't always be manned, I would be able to control those points too, tho bar a passing siding I'll keep it simple. BTW Servos can be mounted next to the point or underneath like I guess yours.

The main reason I was wondering about power is because the 2 stations will be about 180 Ft. apart. From my shed to the house. The outdoor track will be covered so it is always in the shade. I know Peco track is UV stable, but they don't call Australia "The skin cancer capital of the world" for nothing. The UV levels can be high. Over here sunscreen is Factor 50 In any case I can only run outside when the weather permits. The Van has extra insulation and I run Air Con and my own version of central heating. The PC and Lenz sit in front of the air can and I keep the temperature constant, nothing over heats.

DCC short circuits bother me. So I'm still thinking about it. Your idea is the best solution so far. Actually for simplicity I'll probably do the same.



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Re: DCC Power supply.

Postby Bigmet » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:18 pm

Electraman wrote:The 2 X 20VACs, are Lap Top power supplies. I guess those sort of Power Supplies are OK? ...

I should think they are OK, although the input voltage is about 30% up on the recommended value. You may well want to look at turning down track voltage - easily done on the Lenz system - so that the trains run roughly right speed without a lot of decoder adjustment,

Use one power supply to supply the track power, the other to supply the points control bus. That way if track power trips out, you still have power to change the points. Because as already mentioned by 'RFS' it is usually a mis-set point that causes the trip.

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Re: DCC Power supply.

Postby Suzie » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:14 pm

When running the Lenz LZV100 or LV102 from a DC laptop style power supply you should feed the positive into both 'U' and 'V', and the negative in to the inverted 'T' terminal. These are designed to only run from TR150 AC transformers normally, so you need to treat them slightly differently when running from DC supplies like the laptop ones, especially when they can provide more than 4A, as the power input goes through a bridge rectifier that is not rated for DC input normally. The laptop supplies are a better solution than the transformer in many ways - you just have to make allowance for them and wire them slightly differently.

Since you have a very long run it will make sense to feed from well placed boosters at around 45' and 135' to keep the track voltage constant over the whole run without having to resort to really fat feeder bus wires.

Suzie x

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Re: DCC Power supply.

Postby Electraman » Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:31 am

Hi Suzie,

I want to thank you for your informative post. Things are somewhat clearer in my head. I have found 15V 5amp. I'll try to find something less.


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