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Power supply? AMPS?

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  • Power supply? AMPS?

    Getting ready to buy one of those power supply's off fleabay. I'm building a large four lane ( maybe 100 feet ) Will the five amp be enough or should I spend the extra cash on the 10amp? I run almost exclusive Tyco 440x2s. Thanks for any input.

  • #2
    I'm running this on my 117' track. It will run anything you want without any issues.

    power supply.jpeg


    • #3
      5A will be ample for those cars.


      • #4
        I would go bigger in case you expand to more current thirsty cars in the future. Cost difference is often marginally but you may kick yourself latter.
        PS: I run a 66.5 foot Bowman track running 20 amps at 15 volts.....


        • #5
          I went with a 10a/30v unit each for both my 4 lane 1/64 & 1/32 scale tracks. At $50.00 per unit I felt that I couldn't go wrong.

          Hope this helps.




          • #6
            Look for a power supply that is voltage regulated and voltage adjustable.

            A regulated supply will keep the voltage constant regardless of current draw. Cheap power supplies won't have this feature, and their voltage will sag under heavy current draw. No good. Regulated supplies can run into money, but this is something you shouldn't economize on.

            Adjustable voltage is a feature you'll wish you had if you don't. Take my word for it. Some folks race on up to 24 volts. Gravity cars typically race on 12 volts. Some as low as 9 volts. And if you want to break in a car by lapping at a constant power, you might want as little as 6 volts. That voltage dial will come in handy.

            How many amps do you need? Depends on the cars. I don't think anyone recommends more than 5 amps per lane, except maybe for drag racing. Frankly for most cars I think you can get by just fine with 1.5 amps per lane. But too few amps is bad, while too many amps does no harm.

            Invest in a GOOD power supply. It will probably last you a lifetime.

            Ed Bianchi


            • #7
              5 amps is not enough, by my thinking. The 10 amp unit is the very least I would want.

              Take Ed's advice and spend the long dollar. He's got a masters in engineering, he knows what he's talking about.


              • #8
                Check out this article on power supplies:


                • #9
                  That was 5 amps per lane. For a two-lane track 10 amps. For a 4-lane track 20 amps. Should be all you'll ever need.

                  Rich has the straight dope on power supplies. Go to his link and get educated.

                  Oh, one other thing. The size of your track has no impact on your power supply needs. What a large track does require is heavier wiring and more jumpers to keep the electrical resistance down. Especially for high-amp racing. But any good power supply will do the job regardless of how big the track is.

                  Ed Bianchi
                  Last edited by HO RacePro; 07-05-2019, 06:57 AM.


                  • #10
                    Yes, pay attention to what Ed and Rich are saying. All great advice!!!

                    One thing that I always shake my head at, is when you see a guy spend $500-1000 on garnering plastic track. Or the guy that spends thousands on a professionally routed track.....then try's to buy the cheapest, most under-powered power supply advertised. Anyhow, like someone stated above. You never know when you may expand your stable of cars which need more power. Even the modified Tyco 440 compared to a stock version. In this case; Bigger is better. Go bigger!!!!! You'll never regret that decision.


                    • #11
                      I have been recommending this power supply:
                      Tekpower TP3030E DC Adjustable Switching Power Supply 30V 30A
                      Lucky Bob uses these power supplies. They are available from Amazon for $240.
                      This is one of the better power supplies coming out of China.


                      • #12
                        This and a digital voltmeter will do the job nicely at a fraction of $240. The 20A version goes for $32 and should be more than enough for four lanes. If you want to go big the 40A can be had for $80.
                        Last edited by Maddman; 07-07-2019, 02:27 PM.


                        • #13
                          Maddy, it's not voltage adjustable, and it doesn't say it is regulated.

                          But eBay is overflowing with 30V 10A regulated and adjustable voltage power supplies in the US$50 to US$75 range. Similar supplies with 20A are much thinner on the ground, and well north of US$100.

                          The expression is, "You get what you pay for." ('Cept there are times when you don't!)

                          Quality varies, especially among no-name imported supplies. I owned one from a well-known and reputable dealer that gave perfect service until, after a few years, it swallered a valve and quit. It had cost US$125, but it was way out of warranty and I ate the loss. (I suspect that dealer would have cut me a break on a new one, or even replaced it free, but I wasn't going to ask. He was a friend, I could afford the hit, and it wasn't his fault the unit was defective.)

                          One of the premium brand-names for power supplies is TDK-Lambda. Lambda goes way the heck back, and is an industrial standard. I guess TDK decided they were worth buying. Many of their products go for thousands of US Dollars new, but if you hunt carefully you can find used units for rational dollars.

                          If I were choosing between a new no-name and a used Lambda, I'd pick the Lambda.

                          Ed Bianchi


                          • #14
                            I bought a used Llambda 25+ years ago for $275, including shipping and it is still going strong. Maximum adjustable voltage is 18.5 VDC at up to 30 amps continuous output. The voltage is perfect for my Banzai BuckTrax road course and it allows for more amps than I would ever use with 4 HO slot cars. It's one of the best hobby purchases that I've ever made.

                            My Slider (tm) oval has an adjustable 30 VDC/10 amp power supply, name forgotten as I write this but one of the known brands. This has been perfect for any four cars ever run on the oval.

                            Both power supplies are highly regulated with no noticeable affects to other cars if one or more deslots.


                            • #15
                              As an added thought, the Slider (tm) oval features nonmagnetic braid as its power conductors. The elimination of magnetic drag significantly reduces amperage requirements. That's why a 10 amp supply works so well on this track.