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Aurora power pack voltage(s)...


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#1 strummer

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 09:00 AM

I'm asking this question here, since 1/32 is my area of interest, and pertains to the earlier type of packs that had screws for track hook up, not the later "wall wart" type.

 

Why did Aurora's "Big Car" sets come with 18V power pack, yet their HO sets were 20V?

 

Wouldn't the physically larger models require higher voltage?

 

I apologize if this seems like a stupid question...  :)

 

Mark in Oregon


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#2 Bill from NH

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 01:51 PM

How does their amperages compare? I would think the "Big Cars" would draw more amps.


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#3 MattD

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 02:13 PM

Amps are  very important.    12 vdc is fine for all new 1/32 stuff and all the 60's stuff except Eldon.   Lot of guys think you need to spend a few dollars for a power supply.

 

If you check Bangood.com you can find cheap power supplies.   I saw one in an email ad they sent yesterday that is 12 vdc and 50 amps, it was $12.99.   I have one that is 9-13 vdc variable and 35 amps.   I have used this power supply for a four lane track for 8 years or more.  


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#4 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 11:10 PM

I recall something about 'child consumer safety' that requires plastic set manufacturers to use low amperage output (Wattage) power supplies.  The general use factor is that commercial 1/43, 1/32, and 1/24-5 slot cars use a common auto battery 12-13 Volt DC output.  HO use an 18 VDC standard.   When the load of the cars is on the track, the actual measured voltage at the track is pulled down to less than those standards voltages.

 

When we build 1/32 club tracks of 30 - 150 foot lap lengths, a common standard includes at least 5 amps per lane of the standard voltages.  1/24 commercial raceways need at least 10 amps per lane output in the power supply.  Cobalt Wing and Eurosport classes will need 20 - 30 amps per lane with sufficient stranded wiring to get it to the cars.

 

Ohm's law applies: Volts X Amps = Watts.  13 Volts X 4 lanes X 5 Amps = the right vintage & 1/32 home power supply.  Our 1/32 plastic club use mostly the 25 amp Variable voltage power supplies from the Ham Radio industry.

 

 

 

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#5 strummer

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 05:38 PM

Okay, so I tried something today, in an attempt to slow down these cars a bit, and it seems to have worked, although I can't imagine why. So I'll ask you all.  :)

 

Here is the "wall wart" pack (item #C977w) that came with the 1999 Scalextric set I bought (used) back in '07:

 

 

unnamed-14.jpg

 

 

As you can see, it is rated at 16V, 13VA.

 

Here is an old Aurora pack I just got today off eBay:

 

unnamed-13.jpg

 

It's rated at 20V, but only 12VA.

 

I tried this Aurora pack, and in spite of the higher voltage rating, it does indeed run these cars at a slower, more manageable speed.

 

Why is that?   :huh:

 

Mark in Oregon


Mark Mugnai

#6 SpeedyNH

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 07:11 PM

sometimes those old power packs collapse or fall back (put out much reduced Voltage) when asked for more current than they can provide. that prevents overheating.

seems to me that a real adjustable bench-type power supply (e.g. 10-20V @ 0-10A or so) might get you what you want. just run individual lines to each driver's station so that they don't share current and affect each other.

back in the 60's we had one model train power supply per lane on our club track, which limited us on how aggressive we could get with the motors.


Steve Lang

#7 strummer

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 07:28 PM

Thanks Steve

 

I checked the output voltage right after I took it out of the box, just to be sure and safe: it read a correct 20V DC, as advertised... 

 

I guess it really doesn't matter, just as long as it works...  :)

 

Mark in Oregon


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#8 SpeedyNH

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 07:50 PM

you should probably tack a Voltmeter on it while you're using it, just to see how it holds up.

(in a previous life, I designed power supplies)


Steve Lang

#9 strummer

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 08:06 PM

you should probably tack a Voltmeter on it while you're using it, just to see how it holds up.

(in a previous life, I designed power supplies)

 

Okay, I just tried your suggestion (thanks, BTW).  :)

 

Under no load, it reads 20V; with 2 cars running, it reads about 15V.

 

Does that sound reasonable...and safe?

 

Mark in Oregon


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#10 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 08:44 PM

Reasonable and safe, yes.  The voltage DROP is normal when the supply output is insufficient to meet the draw needs of the load.  Should it be acceptable in racing conditions - NO.   One of the notable problems is voltage surge and lag when competing cars are accelerating at different times.  The Faster the motor, the more it bogs; hence the amperage standards for competition as I supplied in my first post.


Larry D. Kelley, MA
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#11 SpeedyNH

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 08:53 PM

welcome of course.

clearly not up to the job, as expected. did you try it with just one car to see how bad it is?

how about one per lane, if you really want to go with these little underrated supplies. at least then it would be the same for each car and they wouldn't affect each other.


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Steve Lang

#12 mickey thumbs

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 09:31 PM

The phenomenon Larry describes bugged me so much with the transformer that came with my Strombecker set back in the 60’s that I convinced my dad to score a used auto battery from the company pool when the local gas station mechanic wouldn’t let 12 year-old me haul one home in my wagon.
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Mike Vernon

#13 strummer

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 09:32 PM

 It doesn't seem to matter whether I run just one car or two: it seems to run these "newer" style of cars just fine; just a little slower, which is fine for me. I also like the fact that, using this Aurora pack, the cars can come to a nice, realistic stop.

 

I then re-connected the original "wall wart" and once again, the cars had very little low-end speed and acted more like rockets with wheels, and came to a very abrupt stop.

 

I guess that's why all these new cars come equipped with magnets; otherwise there's no way they could stay on the track.

 

It will be interesting to see how vintage cars perform (once I get a couple); one would think this older Aurora pack will be a good match(?)

 

In any case, tons of fun...

 

Mark in Oregon


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