The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

About time for a new power pack

I recently had time to take apart the drive of a Johann 2-8-2, featured in this post, as it just never really ran well. It could barely pull itself down the track in fact. Short version, it seemed like everything was free and it was set up so it should run. But it would not.

A thought came to the back of my mind. Maybe I need a different power supply? I was using the DC feed off a transformer I purchased in high school that was only 1.5 amps. So I got into the MRC website and found the 5.5 amp Control Master 20 looked like it had potential and I then found it on sale at Walthers. It arrived today. Oh my! That 2-8-2 suddenly would run and pulled with ease ten cars. Then also I tested my E-7 that I have been running most of the time, oh my again! It had much more power and ran at a faster top speed. Similar story with other engines.

The moral of this story being, if you run OO, you need to buy a power supply with enough amps! They draw a lot. If in doubt at all, don’t wait years to upgrade, do it now.

UPDATE: This model is discontinued but there are options out there for power supplies that deliver more than roughly 4 amps, a level we need in OO. According to the MRC website this is the soon to be released replacement model:

UPDATE II: The "large scale" setting works well for running the early Scale-Craft 24 volt DC motor.

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