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Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by stary, May 7, 2003.
would anHO power pack also work in N scale ?
Sure, why not? The only concern would be if you cranked it to warp speed you could have the voltage so high you would damage the motor before the train left the track. (IMHO)
Yes, I don't know of any name brand ones that are made for one scale only. The usual is Z/N/HO, N/HO/S/O, S/O/G or O/G/#1. A larger scale transformer will work on a smaller scale but like billk said you have to be careful about "over-revving" as it could take some life off the motor over a period of time. You have to be careful about using a smaller scale transformer on a larger gauge train as that should fry the motor almost instantly! Low voltage is much worse the high voltage (talking D.C. here) on things like motors. Good example hook a 12v battery to a 6v car starter and it will crank (boy will it crank ) but you can do this many, many times and the car will continue to start. Course some of your gauges will read really whacked out , but that's another story! Now take a 6v battery and hook it to a 12v starter and watch every thing meltdown in record time, battery cables, starter, wiring harness and the owner of the car you been messing with ( well you weren't going to mess up your own car were you????? ).
I think that most scale trains use 12V DC, except Z and G. I believe that Z uses 9V and G may use something over 12V. (members using those scales will now jump all over me.)
The other exceptions are Lionel/American Flyer which use AC of up to 14 or 16V and Marklin which uses AC (don't know the voltage).
And DCC (Digital Command Control) but that's a different kettle of worms...
the biggest concern in using an H.O. scale power pack is having good speed control. Any of the "knob type" packs using capacitance control will be fine [like the MRC tech series].
the rheostat types [usually a swinging lever, but some use knobs] may not offer fine enough control between slow and speed racer.
if you can not feel any equally spaced "ridges" when you turn the knob, then you are probably using a capacitace type.
the rheostat kind is made up of wire wound around a base with a finger rubbing against that. you can almost always feel the finger traveling over those wires as you move the lever or knob back and forth.
i have never seen a lever type capacitance control, but it is mechanically possible. generally, the cheaper packs used rheostats and levers.
i prefer the MRC tech series. i have one model dating back to 1979 [tech ii 2500, or maybe a 2400] that performs perfectly.
if you have a rheostat version that does not provide enough speed control for you, you can always buy a MRC cab control unit to go between the power pack and the track. [you leave the power pack at full throttle and use the cab control for direction and speed]
hope this helps
I have to agree with jdh. You can't go wrong using a MRC throttle! Granted there are more sophisticated throttles available but for your money MRC's are hard to beat.
Heres their site www.modelrectifier.com
great!! Because the pack in question IS an MRC TECH II (I think a 2400). Thanks guys!!
Well, if you're concerned with limiting your voltage output, and you should, MRC's Tech 4/350 has a programmable voltage limiter. I can set my full throttle to whatever maximum setting I want and it will never go over that. Full throttle can be 14 volts (way too high for N) to one or two volts if I so choose.
I am very impressed with this controller. I can also program momentum (slow startup), and a few other functions. Not only that, the output is a very "clean" and well regulated "pulsed" DC I compared mine to a couple of others I had that were not regulated or filtered. By that I mean on these cheap units, the voltage output would change dependent on the load, and in all likelyhood would change if someone started an electric mixer or even flushed the toilet.
if you have a tech ii, you're golden