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Thread: Power Supply for 6 MRC Cab Control 55's?

  1. #21
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    That's cool, man! I was thinking that your 12VDC power supply was going to be kind of "just right." Glad it's working out. Most DC power packs just put out way too much voltage, forcing you to perform all of your operations on only the first 20% of the throttle-knob's travel.

    Southern Pacific | Santa Fe | SPSF | BNSF | Metrolink | CalTrain | Chicago Metra | TGV Lyria

    railways by Kato Unitrack + Unitram | electric light-rail by Tomix | construction by Kato Diotown & Tomytec Co., Ltd. | vehicles by Busch GmbH & Co. KG
    ambient sound design by Fantasonics | digital command control by Dynamis Ultima | layout automation by RailController

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    I see that you connected some digital voltmeter LEDs to your set-up. Could you talk about that a bit please? I didn't see any mention of "pulsed-power" or their "automatic pulse injection" mentioned in the 55's manual here. But it looks like yours is working fine. What's the "start-up" voltage (when does it being to read a voltage?). Did you simply connect it to the DC track-power leads? Thanks!

    Southern Pacific | Santa Fe | SPSF | BNSF | Metrolink | CalTrain | Chicago Metra | TGV Lyria

    railways by Kato Unitrack + Unitram | electric light-rail by Tomix | construction by Kato Diotown & Tomytec Co., Ltd. | vehicles by Busch GmbH & Co. KG
    ambient sound design by Fantasonics | digital command control by Dynamis Ultima | layout automation by RailController

  3. #23
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    I kinda figured out the random voltage issue. Apparently the negative is supposed to be wired to both the negative for test voltage and negative for supply voltage. Not sure how to do that without opening up my MRC's and connecting prior to direction switch.

    Voltmeter Wiring Diagram.jpg

    Anyway, by wiring to the track negative (instead of supply negative) I get a zero (or .01) volt reading as long as there is a locomotive on the track section (I guess it completes the circuit?). Once I am sure what I will do I suppose I will open up the MRC 55's (they are riveted so some drilling is required) and wire the sensors I want to them in the correct place.

    I wish I could find circuit diagrams for the MRC 55's as well as later generation Tech II versions of the same type of Cab Control. Later versions had pulse and momentum and I figure I could add pulse at least to these MRC 55's but also maybe momentum / brakes (no idea how complicated that is but it seems that there are people on these forums that know how to do nearly everything).

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  5. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metrolink View Post
    I see that you connected some digital voltmeter LEDs to your set-up. Could you talk about that a bit please? I didn't see any mention of "pulsed-power" or their "automatic pulse injection" mentioned in the 55's manual here. But it looks like yours is working fine. What's the "start-up" voltage (when does it being to read a voltage?). Did you simply connect it to the DC track-power leads? Thanks!
    You are correct the 55s don't have pulse or momentum. I guess most of my locos are starting up at around 3 or 3.5 volts w/ the 55s. I have not compared the 55s side-by-side with my MRC 260 since I have been too lazy to wire up a DPDT switch. Also it is hard to separate responsiveness at low voltage with the fact that 3.3 volts is 100 degree turn on the 55 and a 40 degree turn on the 260. That being said, it does seem like the 260 and 220 had better low speed startup / steady slow speed (assume this is due to pulse). I plan to most likely wire all the zones of my layout so that I can swap in the MRC 260 in place of the dedicated MRC 55 for the respective cab.

    I wired the supply DC positive and negative to the red positive power and black negative leads respectively and the white sensor lead to the track positive. Per the post above this behaves a bit strangely when there is no locomotive on the track section (because I am supposed to connect the black negative to both supply and test negatives) and does not work when polarity is reversed (I will need to open the controller up and connect prior to the direction switch or use a diode solution per the post in your thread to make this work in both directions). When you wire the power separately from the sensors it provides readings down to 0 volts.

    I have a couple of voltmeter-ammeter combo sensors coming in the mail so will test that out as well to see what the results look like.

    Learning all this stuff is a very cool journey!

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    Here is my under-construction (as if you cannot tell) layout with 4 cabs and 4 trains running (this under-construction layout is in an under-construction floor of my house so forgive the background mess).



    If you are good at estimating speed of trains and forecasting collisions (I assume you are) you can see my UP PA-PB about to try to push my UP Dash 8 off the table (I am glad that I pulled all my track in a bit from the edge of the platform - just enough room for a train to lay down after it is side-swiped while the conductor makes a 15 second YouTube video).

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    Your layout looks really fun! Thanks for all your answers!

    Southern Pacific | Santa Fe | SPSF | BNSF | Metrolink | CalTrain | Chicago Metra | TGV Lyria

    railways by Kato Unitrack + Unitram | electric light-rail by Tomix | construction by Kato Diotown & Tomytec Co., Ltd. | vehicles by Busch GmbH & Co. KG
    ambient sound design by Fantasonics | digital command control by Dynamis Ultima | layout automation by RailController

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    Mac

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