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Power source & jumpers on large AFX tracks.

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  • Power source & jumpers on large AFX tracks.

    I'm jealous of the large layouts that the UK guys do & will be freeing up some space for a new project soon. Nico, what sort of power source do you guys use & what do you use for jumpers on the large tracks? Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    18-20V regulated, 1.2-1.5A, and three passive jumper pairs.

    What you gonna run though Randy?
    Last edited by NicoRosberg.; 01-10-2019, 11:26 AM.


    • #3
      I have a large AFX track that features four lanes at about 135-feet total length.

      I run 3 and 6-ohm Viper chassis with 35-ohm Parma controllers. My power supply as an Astron 35-amp 5-32 volts. I have jumpers every ten track joints. I use mostly 15-inch straights and 18/15-inch radius curves.

      No power issues at all.

      I also laid 1/8-inch cork under the whole track id it is smooth and quiet (for factory AFX plastic track).


      • #4
        Whilst there is no downside in that many amps or jumpers, both are overkill.


        • #5
          One manís overkill is another manís margin. Horsepower, amps, money. I like margin...


          • #6
            Thanks guys. Plan on running basically stock Mega G & Mega G+ stuff. Clearing my area in the next few weeks and then looking at a track plan. Something organic and flowing.


            • #7
              Nice looking layout Bonez!


              • #8
                What footprint do you have for the track Randy?

                The key to a UK track is that, rather than lap length.

                The best ones tend to have a really long straight or two, tempered with technical areas so the best drivers and best cars win.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by NicoRosberg. View Post
                  Whilst there is no downside in that many amps or jumpers, both are overkill.
                  Indeed in normal running conditions there is no downside to higher current power supplies. If a car only needs 2 amps in normal running conditions it only takes 2 amps even if the power supply can deliver 30+amps.

                  However, in the event of a fault such as a short circuit, the high amp power supply can put the full current (in this example 35 amps) into the short circuit which can cause damage. This risk can be overcome by putting a fuse or circuit breaker in the feed to each lane. This is common practice when high amp power supplies are used in the larger scales. For example if the cars don't need more than 3 amps a 3 amp fuse in each lane will do nicely.

                  (Another possible downside that just might be worth mentioning is the higher cost of a bigger power supply)


                  • #10
                    Agree. Each driver station is fused for that type of scenario.


                    • #11
                      A good rule of thumb is an active jumper every 10 feet of track length. There are many threads on soldering jumpers to the rails. A 10 Amp regulated power supply should be able to power a four lane track with 6 ohm motors without problems. And yes, fuses are a great idea.


                      • #12
                        We have found way less jumpers than that is fine, a 5A enough for four 3ohm cars capable of 300 IPS.


                        • #13
                          Having run 'big tracks' for 28 years, for 25 of those we've used 6 track boosters. Depending on the layout that would put them anywhere between 10'-20' apart.

                          However, distance apart wasn't the over-riding rule.

                          They would always be strategically placed, for example just after a corner as you entered a straight, not at the end of a straight as you entered a corner.


                          • #14
                            Makes a lot of sense; the biggest issue is surely to ensure there's a constant power supply, with more than enough amperage available no matter what the draw from the cars. Nothing wrong with overkill, everything wrong with insufficient current being available.

                            The professional tracks I've raced on have been designed with this principle in mind, along with carefully regulated voltage.


                            • #15
                              Well as we had people coming from all over to race it only seemed right to do the best we could with track preparation.

                              Always got positive comments on how smooth the power was - and equal across all lanes.

                              We did use permanently connected high frequency rail cleaners from the model railway world too. As long as we were racing they automatically cleaned the rails, pickups and hand controller resistors and wiper buttons too.