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Digital 132 - How low can voltage be set on VPS?

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  • Digital 132 - How low can voltage be set on VPS?

    Hello everyone,

    I'm new to slot cars (aside from what my stepfather had 40yrs ago), and I'm gathering everything I need to put together a Carrera D132, 2 lane, 70' track.

    I just received my 30V 10A Var DC PS that I will run into my 30352 CU and would like to know if I set the voltage really low would it cause damage to anything? People have asked about too high but I couldn't find anything about too low. I know at some point the cars won't move because of the magnets (and lack of power) but if I set it just above that point does it hurt anything?

    3 of my 5 kids are young so I'd like to restrict the power till they get more experience.

    We'll be running 6 to 7 cars, multiple lane changes, start light, double pit lane, 3 double wireless chargers and LED lighting so I figured I set my amperage around 6A.

    Thanks in advance for the help,

    James

  • #2
    At some point the CU will brown out and die. Probably not much below 10v, if even.
    Don't think of digital like analog, though. Use the options digital provides. Each car can be set to a level of speed, from 1-10. The 1 speed is usually slow enough that the car won't crash.

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    • #3
      Thank you Mr. Flippant, I had no idea each cars speed can be controlled via the CU. Part of my problem is the majority of the research I've done has been on analog, I didn't know till a few days ago how different digital is. I obviously have a lot more to learn.

      Do you think it was a waste of money to buy the VPS? My other purpose for it was to insure I had enough power to handle a 70' track, 7 cars, all the digital accessories and lighting.

      James

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      • #4
        A good variable voltage PSU is never a bad investment for a slot car hobbyist.

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        • #5
          At least I feel better about that, thanks again!

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          • #6
            Hey Sarge, the power supply is a good investment in the future. With Carrera you don't want to set the voltage below 12V as the digital lane changers may become unreliable. Like Flip said the cars speed is controlled by the CU so it doesn't matter where the voltage is set. I personally keep my voltage at 17V to allow for any lazy L/c's. If you are going to make a 70' track the only other investment you will have to make is running jumper wires throughout the track. I good rule of thumb is a jumper every 12 sections of track or at a minimum one before every lane changer.
            Dave

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            • #7
              By the way, WELCOME to the forum..

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              • #8
                Yes, Welcome One other thing you should do is to put a fuse in the positive line between the VPS and the CU. Just a simple automotive inline fuse available at auto parts stores. The CU will handle 8a so anywhere from a 6a to 7.5a will do. It sounds like you have adjustable amps as well as voltage, but the fuse eliminates any chance of a sudden spike or the amp adjustment inadvertently getting turned up and causing damage to the CU.
                Glad to see another Carrera digital user come to the forum
                Randy
                Last edited by 32lbKING; 05-18-2020, 12:09 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dw5555 View Post
                  Hey Sarge, the power supply is a good investment in the future. With Carrera you don't want to set the voltage below 12V as the digital lane changers may become unreliable. Like Flip said the cars speed is controlled by the CU so it doesn't matter where the voltage is set. I personally keep my voltage at 17V to allow for any lazy L/c's. If you are going to make a 70' track the only other investment you will have to make is running jumper wires throughout the track. I good rule of thumb is a jumper every 12 sections of track or at a minimum one before every lane changer.
                  Dave
                  Good info...I ordered 15m of wire and a dozen clips. I'll cut it down, solder on the clips and have about 4 to 5 jumpers throughout the track.

                  Thank you

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 32lbKING View Post
                    Yes, Welcome One other thing you should do is to put fuse in the positive line between the VPS and the CU. Just a simple automotive inline fuse available at auto parts stores. The CU will handle 8a so anywhere from a 6a to 7.5a will do. It sounds like you have adjustable amps as well as voltage, but the fuse eliminates any chance of a sudden spike or the amp adjustment inadvertently getting turned up and causing damage to the CU.
                    Glad to see another Carrera digital user come to the forum
                    Randy
                    Will do, thanks. I have a Korad KA3010D which should be good for many years to come. It has a lockout feature and overload protection but like others have said the overload may not react quick enough so a simple fuse is good cheap insurance. With the advice I've been given on SCI I can regulate the power to the cars via the CU and just set the VPS at 16-17V and 6-7A and should be good to go.

                    Thanks for the advice and the welcome...its good to be here. Great experience and great people!

                    James

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                    • #11

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                      • #12
                        Welcome to the forum. That's a fantastic PSU!

                        To answer your question; The CU can operate as low as 6.5 volts, lane changers will work at that level. But under 10 volts means you can't use wireless controllers or other accessories, only basic CU functions under 10 volts. Just an FYI.

                        Like Greg said, the best way to set the speed of the cars is with the CU speed function. If you're like me you run the risk of forgetting you set a particular car's speed low then a day or so later driving the car and freaking out because the car is running super slow. Sometimes It's hard to remember what speed you have cars set to. So occasionally I put all the cars on the track and re-program speed just to be sure. It's a necessity for me because the only person I've raced with over the last year is my 8yo daughter.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by carlosinseattle View Post
                          Welcome to the forum. That's a fantastic PSU!

                          To answer your question; The CU can operate as low as 6.5 volts, lane changers will work at that level. But under 10 volts means you can't use wireless controllers or other accessories, only basic CU functions under 10 volts. Just an FYI.

                          Like Greg said, the best way to set the speed of the cars is with the CU speed function. If you're like me you run the risk of forgetting you set a particular car's speed low then a day or so later driving the car and freaking out because the car is running super slow. Sometimes It's hard to remember what speed you have cars set to. So occasionally I put all the cars on the track and re-program speed just to be sure. It's a necessity for me because the only person I've raced with over the last year is my 8yo daughter.
                          Thanks Carlos...I'll keep it above 10V cause I'm gonna be all wireless.

                          Great point about programming the cars, I've got 5 kids (and my wife, same thing) and even though they'll all have their own cars I'll still forget when it comes time to speed them up. Since the PSU has 4 memories I was thinking about setting one at 10V 6A, 12V 6A and so on so I can gradually step them up or back down at the push of a button. I won't be able to test it out for a few months because we're in the middle of a move. I'm doing all my research, planning and purchasing now so I can hit the ground running in the new house.

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                          • #14
                            I keep the track voltage the same all the time. What works for me since I am basically a solo racer until the grandkids show up is I made a spreadsheet with all the cars settings on them. Since they can run any car they want I set the speed for them and when they leave I can just use the sheet to put them back where they were. Saves me having to run the cars to find the setting again.

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