N Scale LogoProduct Line: Tam Valley Depot

DCC Booster for Accessories and Track Power Districts

This DCC Booster was designed to solve two issues that putting a lot of DCC accessory decoders on your layout brings up. 1) They are a drain on your precious loco amps and 2) When a loco causes a short all the accessories lose power. To solve this problem we have made a DCC booster that can be used for accessories on any brand of DCC system. It can provide about 5 Amps of power to run the DCC accessories independent of the track power from your command station. During a short on the layout, when the DCC signal dies, the booster continues to deliver full power. This is a so-called "dumb" booster in that it does not need a cab bus - it connects directly to the track output of your existing command station.

You can also use the booster as a "powered circuit breaker". It fills all the functions of a circuit breaker but provides its own power. Each of your power districts puts no load on the command station as it is fully buffered. I use several of these with 16 V power supply which gives about 14.5 Volts on the track to power my own layout with just a single NCE PowerCab.

Auto- shutdown - the unit shuts down after 5 minutes of no DCC signal (accessory mode) or immediately (power district mode). When the DCC signal returns it wakes up immediately. Just plug the booster in and forget about it.

The booster has protection against shorts and overheating. The input is optically isolated.

Efficient - this booster uses the latest in efficient power electronics and as such it does not get hot in normal operation - the power supply is a highly efficient switching power supply that also stays nice and cool. A heatsink is provided although in normal use it never becomes warm unless the track is continuously shorted.

To use the booster with Loconet you can connect it to the railsynce lines (the outer pair in the loconet cable) or to the rail outputs of your commend station. The Loconet method has the advantage that the signal can be sent farther without significant degradation in quality.

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The terminal block can be removed for ease of putting in the wires.It can be put on the pins horizontally... ...or vertically.
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5 Amp Trip / 3 Amp Continuous Duty DCC Booster Board

DCC Booster board without the power supply. These boards can be used to make locomotive Power Districts or an Accessory District with a shared power supply. A jumper is used to set either Accessory Mode or Power District Mode. Each board can supply up to 3 Amps continuous duty and 5 Amp peak with a suitable power supply. These boards work very nicely with the Hex Frog Juicer.

Max power supply voltage:40 volts
Power Connector:5.5 mm (outer)/ 2.1 mm (inner) barrel plug, center positive
DCC input:optically isolated, 5-24 Volts (voltage level on the DCC input pins has no effect on output voltage level), 25 mA load typical.
DCC Connectors:Screw blocks
Max output:5 Amps for short periods, 3 Amps continuous
Peak-to-peak output voltage:Power Supply voltage minus 0.8-1.4 volts (decreasing with load and independent of voltage on the DCC input)
Short Trip Point:5.6 Amps
Short Trip Off Time:1 microsecond
Short Trip Recovery Time:200 microseconds
Board Size:3" long x 2.5" wide x 0.5" deep (including heatsink) (76mm x 64mm x 12mm). Green blocks extend another 0.3" (8mm).

12 Volt 5 Amp Power Supply for Accessory Bus Use

12V 5A 60W switching power supply. Best for powering the Octo III. This unit will power up to 4 Octo IIIs fully loaded with servos. Plug size is 5.5/2.1 mm. Power supply comes with a US 110V plug. By swapping the power cord can be used with 100-240V~50/60Hz power. If you don't want cut and strip the wire ends use the power jack to screw terminal adapter below.



16 Volt 4.5 Amp Power Supply for Track Power Use

16V 4.5A 72W switching power supply - best for track power. Delivers about 15 V to track when used with our booster above. Plug size is 5.5/2.1 mm. Power supply comes with a US 110V plug. By swapping the power cord can be used with 100-240V~50/60Hz power. If you add the power jack to screw terminal adapter below you can use this as a general purpose power 16V supply. Peak-to-peak output from DCC booster will be about 14.5-15V varying with the load.


Power Jack to Screw Terminal Adapter

This adapter mates with the above two power supplies to make them easy to hook up to wires using the screw terminals. Jack size is 5.5/2.1 mm. Plus and minus terminals are marked. Price is for one adapter - picture shows two to illustrate both ends.


Power Plug to Screw Terminal Adapter

This adapter mates with the DCC boster power jack in order to hook up your own power supply using the screw terminals. Plug size is 5.5/2.1 mm. Plus and minus terminals are marked. Price is for one adapter - picture shows two to illustrate both ends.

TurnOn Module - Soft Start Circuit For Large Inrush Currents of Sound Decoders and Stay Alive Decoders

If you have a lot of sound decoders and decoders with stay alive circuits on the track, they can confuse the booster when it starts up in to thinking there is a short because of the sudden current draw of all the capacitors. This circuit prevents that problem by putting a small resistance in to the circuit to slow the current rush and once the voltage gets up a 10 Amp relay bypasses the resistor so that there is a straight connection to the booster. (If you have no idea what the previous explanation is about and you are not having any touble with starting your layout then you don't need the TurnOn.)

Note: will not work if the final load is over 60% or so of the capacity of the command station. I.e. if you have a 5 Amp command station and are trying to run a 3 Amp load of locomotives, or more, then the TurnOn may not work. In this case you proabably need more power or use toggles switches to turn off some of the tracks with idling locomotives.

Connect the TurnOn directly after the booster and before any other components.

Resistor is 0.5 Ohms 20Watt. Relay is 10 Amps and turns on at about 10Volts on the track. Diodes prevent the startup pulse of the relay from getting on to the DCC bus.

Will also work with other brands of boosters and command stations.


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