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  • Topic: DIY Power -- Good, Bad, or Neutral

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    • March 18, 2019 1:36 PM EDT
      • Shut Up Rooster
         
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      Just checking, your "sockets" for power out are NOT normal 110v sockets, right?

       

      I've seen this done, and people have plugged the rails into a 110v outlet.

       

      zap!

       

      Greg

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    • March 18, 2019 2:36 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Ouch!

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • March 19, 2019 12:14 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Greg,

       

      No, I made sure of that!  The sales guy actually recommended normal household sockets, and I just had nothing but bad premonitions.  Thanks for the doublecheck!

       

      Eric

    • March 19, 2019 5:57 AM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Fan controllers, standard household sockets...This kid better get an education before his recommendations kill someone.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • March 20, 2019 4:44 PM EDT
      • Shut Up Rooster
         
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      This is the same guy that is a graduate student in electrical engineering? Scary!

       

      Glad you made the right decisions!

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • March 20, 2019 11:09 PM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Glad I checked, double checked, and checked again!  Parts are in the air, by the way. 

      This post was edited by Eric Mueller at March 20, 2019 11:18 PM EDT
    • March 22, 2019 5:56 PM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Update:

       

      Taking some "garden therapy" today to get over a sinus infection, and lo! My parts are here!  From left to right:

       

      wall to power supply -> power supply -> four pin socket -> voltage controlloer -> DPDT switch -> fuse holder and fuse -> outlet to tracks - > plug for wires to tracks

       

       

      They should fit in the toolboxes behind them.  The only error I made in ordering was extra power cords.  I can scoop that up.  Thanks to all for the doublecheck on everything else.

       

      Quick question...The Power source has four pins that plug into the sockets.  Do I solder the wires to any two pins on opposite sides, or do I have to solder wires to all four, then pigtail them into the single wire that goes to the voltage controller?

       

      Barring any warnings or corrections, I / we will start putting a controller together tomorrow.  I might even let Oldest Daughter solder!  Nothing will help me get better like trying to teach someone else.

       

      Back to my therapy...

       

      Eric

    • March 22, 2019 7:27 PM EDT
      • Shut Up Rooster
         
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      Don't make me fly over there to hurt you!

       

      DO NOT use 110v plugs and sockets for the track connections. The way it looks you will have the ability to plug your track into a 110v outlet or extension cord, worse yet you apparently picked a high current version of the 110v connector.... someone could still find an adapter and plug in... and if the local code enforcement officer sees that ... woah!

       

      PLEASE!   Get some 12v connectors from the auto supply house... do not use anything that even remotely looks like 110v

       

      Greg

      This post was edited by Greg Elmassian at March 22, 2019 7:29 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • March 22, 2019 8:21 PM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Greg:

       

      OK, two saves.  I owe you a couple rounds.  I thought these outlets and plugs (the white and yellow items on the far right) were OK, as I have no extension chords or appliances that use them.  It never dawned on me that there were adapters.   I still have the receipts; they will be gone.

       

      12V connectors will still be OK given the power supply has 24V DC at the outlet?

       

      Eric

       

       

    • March 23, 2019 2:59 AM EDT
      • Shut Up Rooster
         
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      Absolutely, and they will handle the amps.... you can find one like for connecting trailer lights, etc.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • March 23, 2019 4:43 PM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Got 'em.  $4 each, with a connector on each end.  Cut them in half, one end "power out" from the controller, and the other end is the "power in" plug to the wires leading to the rails.  Should be OK now!

       

      Longer term, I was amazed at the number of switches at the car shop.  If I pull this off, maybe I'll get bold with another project in this dark magic of "electricity."

       

      Eric

    • March 25, 2019 3:09 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Update:

       

      Started in on the project yesterday.   I used a Dremel with a pointed grinding tip to make the hole for the four-pin female socket.  I then actually looked at the power supplies and saw that the four pins are two pairs of positive / negative poles.  Naturally, I soldered it wrong, anyway.  By the time I screwed that up, it was time to secure and stow the project, as lo! Kid-zilla began to stir. 

       

      I did tin the bitter ends of the wires and crimp on some spade connectors.  Limited experience to date has shown my soldering skills (and to be fair, my soldering iron) are wanting.  The crimper I bought for that loco restoration project has been a Godsend, and I have found spade connectors allow for easier error corrections than soldered joints.

       

      Interestingly, my father-in-law, a real tinkerer, has taken on this problem separately as a way to power the various contraptions he sends down the rails (They show once, disappear, and, occasionally return well modified).  He bought some laptop power supplies second hand and a voltage controller on-line.  Same basic solution, but with cheaper parts from unverified sources.  If one appears again on the Triple O, I'll pop up a photo.

       

      No progress today.  The backyard became a training camp for Legio VI Victrix for Oldest Son's birthday.  Soldering while seven year olds prepared to invade Britannia seemed unwise...

       

      Have a great week!

       

      Eric

      This post was edited by Eric Mueller at March 25, 2019 10:40 AM EDT
    • April 1, 2019 3:30 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Update:

       

      Oldest Son and I, crimper and soldering iron in hand, turned-to today to wire this thing up. We took it to the rails, put our most cantankerous piece of equipment out there, an ancient LGB railbus (Christened Railbus in Triple O service.  Poor thing...), subjected it all to one last inspection (picture below):

       

      ...and….

      HOLY MACKEREL!!!!   What 5 Amps will do to a cantankerous railbus!  Flawless over a range of speeds.  Then we tried it in reverse...Nothing.  I checked my wiring on the DPDT switch.  Good.   I had originally gone power ->DPDT->Voltage regulator.  I made a guess that some of the doo-dads on the voltage regulator's circuit board did something to reverse whatever magic the DPDT wrought.  After reversing my internals to go power->voltage regulator->DPDT, exactly nothing happened, which was not the direction I had hoped to take the project.  Guessing again, I changed the wires coming of the power supply to the opposite input terminals on the voltage regulator and...HOLY MACKEREL!!!  What 5 Amps will do to a railbus going in reverse!  Charlie our possessed B'mann railbus even ran nicely...Until "he" failed for some other reason of Chinese quality control...

       

      I should note that the crew, to include Kid-zilla, are all able to operate trains with this.  In addition, the older ones found it easier to set up, though the trailer hitch connectors were a bit hard to pull apart at the end of the evening.   Small stuff...

       

      The final product looked like this:

      I'll get some Velcro to hold it all in place and caulk up a few things, but it is otherwise done.  As a bonus, the top of the tool box has tray for those 5A fuses.   All told, this was about $60, or close to $300 dollars less than an equivalent off-the-shelf model.  Considering it was time to retire TWO controllers, this was quite a savings.

       

      Thanks to Bill B. for putting me onto this idea and for Greg E. for keeping me from frying myself in the process!

       

      Aloha!

       

      Eric

       

    • April 1, 2019 10:49 AM EDT
      • Ormond Beach, Fl. 32174
         
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      You're almost a master electrician, good job

    • April 1, 2019 11:25 AM EDT
      • Shut Up Rooster
         
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      If you read the forums, there will be a group of people pontificating on how their 0.7 amp power supplies are just fine.

       

      That is true, mostly indoors, small LGB locos with efficient Buhler motors with perfect drive trains.

       

      The reality, that after a while many locos can get a "hitch in their git-along", or just really need more current.

       

      I would suppose you are now a believer.

       

      Best, Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • April 2, 2019 3:22 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Greg,

       

      Yep, I'm a "convert."  The real test will come this weekend.  I plan to button up Glitchy Gustav, my temperamental LGB U-Lok, and see how "he" likes the extra amps.  Maybe that'll cure the "hitch" in his "git along."

       

      Eric 

    • April 14, 2019 2:33 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Addendum:

       

      The second unit went together in less than three hours, to include work area set up and break down time.  There were a few lessons learned, like longer lengths of wire and rotating the female socket 90 degrees to make it easier to place the holding screws, and the thing was ready to go for a good afternoon of running trains and enjoying a beverage...Then a rail clamp at a turn-out gave way half way through the second beverage...

       

      Again, thanks to all for the prompts and guides along the way.  For a few hours of work, I saved several hundreds of dollars, and the trains run much better.  Now whatever shall I do with the money I saved?  

       

      Eric

    • April 14, 2019 5:43 AM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Buy more beverages.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

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