Gaugemaster DC controller input voltage

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D605Eagle
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Gaugemaster DC controller input voltage

Postby D605Eagle » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:06 am

I have a panel mounted twin track controller, which needs two 16V ac supplies. I looked at the circuit board and the first thing the input power does is goes into a bridge rectifier. Instead of using 16V ac could I get away with say about 14.5V DC input instead? I've got several high output old laptop chargers that are around 18V and I thought that using them with a DC-DC buck would be fine. Thoughts?

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Bufferstop
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Re: Gaugemaster DC controller input voltage

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:28 pm

Try it. Use The AC input, the rectifier will drop a couple of volts. If the input goes straight into a rectifier then you aren't going to run into the zero switching problem where you can't reach zero volts, (it would be fed raw AC if that was a possibility) If your locos prove to be a little too lively I'd stick another rectifier between PSU and controller to loose another couple of volts. I've run Gaugemaster units off a 21V AC supply nothing got upset by it. (actually the 14V and 6.3V windings of a filament transformer for pairs of florescent tubes, wired in series)
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D605Eagle
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Re: Gaugemaster DC controller input voltage

Postby D605Eagle » Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:48 pm

I can vary the voltage up to about 14.5 volts with the buck. They sell them so cheap on ebay its not worth making your own. The only thing I was worried about was over driving the controller, the output of the PS being smoothed dc, plus I also wondered if the controller used the AC ripple as a kind of pulse to help locos start better.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Gaugemaster DC controller input voltage

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:13 pm

Gaugemaster have used various circuits over the years, I've never seen any attempt to categorise them. Suck it and see is probably your best bet. Running it from a laptop PSU I wouldn't bother with the buck converter. As I said I ran one off 21v AC for several years, with no detrimental effects. I'm currently running one of an 18v AC wall wart. I've modified the output wiring so that there's a voltmeter and micro ammeter in front of the reversing switch. It's very useful for checking mechanisms the ammeter twitches if there's a tight spot on the chassis, before you notice it in the movement.
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Re: Gaugemaster DC controller input voltage

Postby D605Eagle » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:45 am

oooh I like the sound of that. I've loads of cheap digital LED volt meters knocking about. I'll get some miniature ammeters as well. Thanks :wink:

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Re: Gaugemaster DC controller input voltage

Postby Bufferstop » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:14 am

Moving coil motors are better for watching the behaviour of small motors. The twitch in the current caused by a sticky coupling rod would go unnoticed on a digital meter. Analogue still has it's advantages.
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Re: Gaugemaster DC controller input voltage

Postby D605Eagle » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:33 am

Yes I was going for analogue. Digital meters tend to be an average over a short time period, so would be useless for the job.


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