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Computer power adapter as source of power?


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#1 OCJoeR

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Posted 21 March 2020 - 07:01 PM

My apologies if this is a duplicated post but I can't seem to figure out how to locate my other posts. I've acquired about 200' of Scalextric Classic track. Most of it is in decent shape but I'll be going over it all to clean it up. there are 2 power tracks included. I plan to build an "L" shaped track with 2 4' x 8' sheets of mdf that will fold up against the wall when not in use. I'm going to have what amounts to a 2 level track in order to use the majority of the track. I've gone over the power tap posts and have that part figured out but I'm trying to get information regarding power supplies. I have 1 standard Scalextric (Hornby) power supply which shows output: 19 V AC 13 VA. The second power supply is originally from England and uses 220 v input, which I have but don't want to use.

 

My first question is why does the output indicate AC output? Shouldn't it be DC going to the track? In addition the VA number is for "volt amps" which I need to divide by the volts (19) to get .68 amps, not a lot to run 2 lanes.

 

Next question concerns some posts I read somewhere saying I could use an old computer power adapter (transformer) with an output of around 14 V DC and between 4 and 5 amps. There have also been posts and You Tube videos saying that old model train transformers would also work. But again I'm finding these be in the 14 - 18 volt range but with about the same VA output which again gives you 1 amp between 2 lanes.

 

I'll keep searching on here but if anyone can point me in the right direction I'd appreciate it.

 

Also if anyone can let me know how to located my other posts I'd be grateful.

 

Joe


Joe Rowland




#2 Modelville Guy

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 11:41 AM

Scalextric Digital runs on AC as I believe all digital systems do.

 

Scalextric's power track had the conversion to DC at the track. The older Classic track did not.

 

So, my answer is if you are going to use the Power Tracks supplied you will need AC if you are going to do your own wire then you will want DC.

 

Good luck and remember there is no such thing as bad slot car racing.


Richard Payne

#3 OCJoeR

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 01:04 PM

Scalextric Digital runs on AC as I believe all digital systems do.

 

Scalextric's power track had the conversion to DC at the track. The older Classic track did not.

 

So, my answer is if you are going to use the Power Tracks supplied you will need AC if you are going to do your own wire then you will want DC.

 

Good luck and remember there is no such thing as bad slot car racing.

Hi Guy,

 

As far as I know all the track I have is Classic (the ones with the round end connectors at each end of the track). I was planning on doing my own wiring into the track using the track wiring guide I found. From what you're saying it sounds like a computer power adapter can be used since it's output is DC which I can run into the terminal blocks and then directly into the track, well through the lane controllers and then into the track.

 

thank you for the reply,

Joe


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#4 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 05:50 PM

Double check your CPU power supplies for DC output.  Plug them in and meter them.  Many use a different output voltage since 5 volts is more common in desktop units.  The laptop units could work, but the longer the track, the more amp output (wattage) you will want.  Many of the 5 volt units have a trim pot to control output voltage.  It is common practice for commercial raceways to use three high amp 5 volt output (server CPU) units wired in series and tuned down to 13-14 volts DC.

 

Our Chicago suburban club use Pyramid adjustable voltage ham radio power supplies.  20 - 25 amps are more than adequate for a four lane 100 ft layout.


Larry D. Kelley, MA
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#5 OCJoeR

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 06:43 PM

Hi Larry. Thanks for the info. I was looking at a couple old laptop adapters that are sitting in the garage and they're between 2 and 3 amps.

 

I've located an adapter on Amazon with multiple outputs, between 5 and 15 volts, with corresponding multiple amps, between 3 and 5 amps. I planned on building a box to run the power through and into the track with the controllers in between. I'm going to use the diagrams in the Steve Sawtelle download. As I noted above my plan calls for a 2 level track mounted on 2 4 x 8 sheets of MDF. I figured 3 or 4 power taps should give me continuous power. It's somewhere around 50' of track as best as I can figure. 


Joe Rowland





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