Who uses aftermarket power for thier current layouts?
I have used standard set power, 1 pack per lane, for years. Now I have decided to go with an adustable power supply, that allows me to turn down the voltage, enabling folks just getting started, or younger children to perhaps enjoy the cars abit more, without excess damage to them!
Ah yes. My favorite topic. Power supplies. I have what you would call a frankenstien type power supply. It is a Cosel 17am 15V DC regulated power supply. The AC filtering is an off the shelf unit. It is wired for direction selection on either lane and dynamic braking. My dynamic braking though is broken. It blows up my fuses. So I think I have a bad wiring job from power to ground. The great thing about aftermarket powersupplies is the ability to run more "stuff" on your cars without worrying about voltage drop. You can run LED's until you go blind, run a Falcon motor, and run your blender (for those adult bevarages) all on one lane! Maybe not the blender. My power supplies is partially adjustable. I have to set a potentiameter to adjust the power output.
I see most of you are using regulated supplies. What you would really want in a slot car power supply is a non-regulated power supply or a linear regulated supply, not a fully regulated supply. Believe me this info has been learned from setting up the tracks here in the Detroit area with the guidance of Professor Motor. The way a regulated supply works is as power is required or used, the unit will increase or push up the voltage to try and maintain the initial voltage setting. Compared to a non-regulated supply you will find that your cars motor will run hotter and you will need to have your initial voltage level set lower than a non-regulated supply. My track uses a custom built power supply built by Professor Motor that has four independent non-regulated power supplies (one for each lane) and each can be adjusted from 0-20 volts independently. Some others in the area are using a 0-15 volt 20 amp linear regulated supply, which the good Professor recommends if you cannot go the non-regulated route. At least four of these are being used on area tracks with good results. Here is a link: www.mpja.com/product.asp?...t=12640+PS
With my track powered by a non-regulated power source I find that I can run the power a couple of volts higher say at 15 volts, and the cars still run cooler than at the tracks powered by the regulated supplies set at 13 volts. I'm not an electronics expert but I sure do trust Professor Motor's advice when it comes to power supplies and slot cars.
The issue of non-regulated and regulated supplies are very application dependant. With a regulated supply, you'll have the ability to maintain a certain level of voltage. A non-regulated supply will drop voltage under load. For my home usage, my regulated supply works great. So the cooler motors are because of the drop in voltage. You may not be getting 15V to the motor.
With that all being said, can someone give their definition of a linear supply? I have bounced this thread to our PH.d here at work and his statement was:
"If you have beefy enough supply, none of this matters."
With that being said, if your supply gives you enough voltage and current to run any of your motors in your stable you should be fine. The main thing is to have equal and clean power to each lane.
For my HO is use a Samlex PSA-305, 0-30V, 5amp and for the 1/32 I use a MG #PS10AD, 0-20V, 10amp. I threw away the terminal strips and soldered the connections to the track and ran jumpers to the beginning of all straights. The best investment I ever made was purchasing these supplies. I run the magnet cars at 15v and the non-magnets at 12v. Both lanes have equal power and I don't have anymore voltage drop. When my 6 yr. old daughter wants to "race" I turn it down to 10v and let them fly!
At Partsexpress.com, they have a Pyramid 22 amp continuous power supply for $99.90. It features adjustable voltage 6-15 and a built in fan. Part #120-548. It looks like a good one to use for slots.
This is attached to a 60' Ninco layout with the dual power track piece.
This puts independent variable power to each lane in one neat unit..which is great when my young ones want to race (a 2 and 4 year old). I can regulate the lanes to their abilities.. keeping the cars on the track, and my repair time down.... :-)