David Todd
 
  It’s not commonly understood, but even the digital systems that show the use of AC power supplies in their manuals actually run on DC internally… and what you may also not know is that while AC power supplies may be lower cost, they also give ZERO protection from inevitable voltage surges and level changes, increasing the possibility of system damage!

So – using AC power makes no sense in reality – especially as all involved in digital electronics agree that the quality of power supply you choose will, more than any other factor, dictate the eventual performance of your model railway, because digital electronics in particular require smooth, well filtered DC! Without it, interference added to the digital commands can at best cause problems with communication and may, in the extreme, actually damage your precious decoders and other items.
            dt.
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Mister Rusty
At long last, the myth is busted.
This is the one item that stops absolute novices, in my experience at our club.
Bunkerbarge,
I am locked out, hooked up on your last message, this is the only way that l can get into the forum.
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Could anyone reading  this, please advise Jazavalley or another admin , thanks
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Pete
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newbryford
I use a DC power supply with my Lenz system with no problems whatsoever.
AC transformer supplies are used by the manufacturers because they are cheaper than a good DC supply - particularly when it comes to the higher current units.

I think that there is one DCC system out there that does require an AC power input, but can't remember exactly which one. (It's not a popular, that's why I can't recall it)

Cheers,
Mick
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Peter Pocock
I've been involved with DCC for 19 years or so, and have stuck with Lenz all that time! Lenz say in their manual that AC or DC power is ok to use with that system. BUT, I 150% agree with the current advice to  use the best "clean" power you can for DCC. I've blown a few decoders and always blamed   a dodgy decoders!
Wrong! Dodgy power is most likely the culprit.
I've built my own smoothed, regulated 15 DC 5 amp supplys, and guess what, I haven't blown a decoder ( yet! ) for several years!
Do your pockets and decoders a favour, and invest in the best power you can.
Pete
Albany Western Australia
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Robert Hodgkins bobh
Hi guys
I have wondered about my power supplies on my Lenz..I have a TR100 and a TR150  not having any test gear to take a look myself I'm curious just how smooth/regulated they are?  I'm just starting a new layout and I only need the one power supply.   I'm thinking maybe to buy the cobalt 5amp 18v dc. if they can cause problems.  I was also planning of using the TR150 to supply my new digital cobalt point motors?

Thanks
Bob
 
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AHJAY
Hello Bob.

Re Lenz power supplies - They are simple AC supplies. They have zero regulation, zero protection. Basically just a transformer in a box.

You cannot use them to power Cobalt digital directly at all - but surely you would power the Cobalt digitals via the DCC track bus anyway?.

regards, Ahjay
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Robert Hodgkins bobh
Hi Ahjay

Yep soz I will be using my LZV100 to supply the Bus. Please excuse my ignorance ..I take it then the LZV100 regulates the AC into DC?

Bob
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Robert Hodgkins bobh
Hi
Ok I just found a very good web page http://apnmrr.club/files/tech/howDCCworksLoyS.htm that explains DCC waveforms and how the train is controlled.  I think I was confusing the DCC thinking it was a Direct Current(DC)
Thanks
Bob
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Iain Morrison wimorrison
You are not the first to have this confusion and I doubt you will be the last 🙂

This is further compounded by people talking about the +ve wire and -ve wires which don't exist for DCC, then they add to the issue by using red and black wires 🙁 There was a reason why Lenz started by using J and K as the track wire nomenclature, completely different from the red +ve and black -ve that people are used to with DC, just a pity they chose to use the term DCC, would have been better if they had said SQC or something totally different (Square Wave Control - just created that, because it doesn't look anything like DC 🙂)
Iain Morrison
Modelling h0e using Z21 with iTrain automation and Railcom
There are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know
http://www.wimorrison.co.uk
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Bunkerbarge
I must admit I still struggle with the differences in the two cables.  DC is fairly straightforward with +ve and -ve and AC I get with live and neutral but, of course AC could still be live and live so I have to try to see it in that way.  I'm sure there will be something wrong with the thinking!  I think we can get caught out by still thinking of +ve and -ve, particularly as we still insist on using red and black cables.  We even buy pre-twisted bus cables, which come in red and black. 

Maybe it should be blue and yellow cable! 
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Mister Rusty
Bunkerbarge wrote:
I must admit I still struggle with the differences in the two cables.  DC is fairly straightforward with +ve and -ve and AC I get with live and neutral but, of course AC could still be live and live so I have to try to see it in that way.  I'm sure there will be something wrong with the thinking!  I think we can get caught out by still thinking of +ve and -ve, particularly as we still insist on using red and black cables.  We even buy pre-twisted bus cables, which come in red and black. 

Maybe it should be blue and yellow cable! 



Richard
Then it would create 2 standards, one for each, not necessary really. I do however understand your confusion as l suffered the same hang-up until l realised that it's only a colour and what went on inside the wire was under the control of our equipment designers. If we did as we were advised, then all is well. As an old fart, I realised that l was hung up on an out-of-date education.
I do not start wiring a thing until l have created a map of both the theoretical and physical layout of my wiring. As long as all the reds are joined to each other and all the blacks also, then l know that the layout will work, unless l have made a mistake.
Yes, you may couple an ip digital the wrong way around, but reversal of the feeds cures that on simple layouts, usually.
The more complex the layout, the more essential is a map [diagramme 😉].
Bunkerbarge,
I am locked out, hooked up on your last message, this is the only way that l can get into the forum.
Anyone else having issues?
Please check.
Could anyone reading  this, please advise Jazavalley or another admin , thanks
Be careful, in case it's a virus. The message received is:-
The last email that was sent to you was returned as spam by your email provider. Please update your account with a valid email address. Ahjay said  that my details are all in order, correct address and all.
Pete
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AHJAY
Red and black still work as "indicators" so there is no issue there. They provide an understandable baseline for wiring. (I'd protest strongly about chaning that especially if the choices involved colours used in mains wiring).

Having said that from a general perspective, of course you could use ANY two colours if it makes you happy.

A square wave is, by definition, made up of an infinite number of sine waves of varying frequency and the length of the square wave ALSO varies to create the control timing which is why it can't be thought of as simple AC... which in Model railway terms is always a single sine wave and constant frequency.

There are good reasons why I try hard to totally ban the use of computer or tech terms from discussions when we are developing product designs.... It is a constant battle to stop confusing customers with excessive tech-abbreviations and monkey magic such as "how it works" instead of comforting them with "what it can do for them"

Regards, Ahjay
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newbryford
Hi guys
I have wondered about my power supplies on my Lenz..I have a TR100 and a TR150  not having any test gear to take a look myself I'm curious just how smooth/regulated they are?  I'm just starting a new layout and I only need the one power supply.   I'm thinking maybe to buy the cobalt 5amp 18v dc. if they can cause problems.  I was also planning of using the TR150 to supply my new digital cobalt point motors?

Thanks
Bob
 


I quite happily use a DCC Concepts PSU2 (18v 5A) to power my Lenz system. Unfortunately, they are now out of production but the Alpha Power will do the same job.

Cheers,
Mick
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Bunkerbarge
AHJAY wrote:
Red and black still work as "indicators" so there is no issue there. They provide an understandable baseline for wiring. (I'd protest strongly about chaning that especially if the choices involved colours used in mains wiring).

Having said that from a general perspective, of course you could use ANY two colours if it makes you happy.

A square wave is, by definition, made up of an infinite number of sine waves of varying frequency and the length of the square wave ALSO varies to create the control timing which is why it can't be thought of as simple AC... which in Model railway terms is always a single sine wave and constant frequency.

There are good reasons why I try hard to totally ban the use of computer or tech terms from discussions when we are developing product designs.... It is a constant battle to stop confusing customers with excessive tech-abbreviations and monkey magic such as "how it works" instead of comforting them with "what it can do for them"

Regards, Ahjay


Sorry, it wasn't a serious suggestion, they were just a couple of arbitrary colours off the top of my head.  Red and black still works for me as simple indicators and as Peter perfectly puts it, simply connect all the reds and all the blacks together!

I actually find a lot of what is said very interesting and always enjoy finding out more and more about the way in which the layout works but simply get overfaced with the complexity and the depth of the detail.
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