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Thread: Why does the Tech 4 series have AC for accessories and no DC?

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    Default Why does the Tech 4 series have AC for accessories and no DC?

    I was kind of puzzled when I finally sat down to wire up my turnouts, to discover that the back of my Tech 4 220 had AC accessories and no DC, only variable DC to the track. Is it uncommon to have DC turnouts?

    I've solved the problem by taking the 5 amp 14VDC power supply from an ancient and long gone IBM Thinkpad laptop and using it to power my 10 Kato turnouts (and whatever else I end up doing accessory-wise in the future)

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    Actually, the majority of turnouts use AC. Believe it or not the Atlas turnout motor still outsells Tortoise motors. Peco motors also use AC. Most older track mounted turnout motors use a twin coil mechanism. All the twin coil motors work fine on either AC or DC.

    Kato, Tomix and Tortoise motors require DC. They work on different principles.

    I would be careful about such a high power supply, with your Katos. The factory units are only 12 volts. The Kato turnout power adapter converts 16VAC Accessory Power to 12 volt DC.

    While an external power supply is actually better. A bridge rectifier will convert the AC current to DC. Because of the nature of the four diodes in the bridge rectifier the voltage is reduced slightly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
    Actually, the majority of turnouts use AC. Believe it or not the Atlas turnout motor still outsells Tortoise motors. Peco motors also use AC. Most older track mounted turnout motors use a twin coil mechanism. All the twin coil motors work fine on either AC or DC.

    Kato, Tomix and Tortoise motors require DC. They work on different principles.

    I would be careful about such a high power supply, with your Katos. The factory units are only 12 volts. The Kato turnout power adapter converts 16VAC Accessory Power to 12 volt DC.

    While an external power supply is actually better. A bridge rectifier will convert the AC current to DC. Because of the nature of the four diodes in the bridge rectifier the voltage is reduced slightly.
    Interesting. Well, wall warts are cheap enough. To Amazon, for a 12VDC 5 amp power supply! (it will probably run lights and god-knows-what before I'm done)

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    Hope this isn't too far off topic but how on earth do you connect your wiring for turnouts or other accessories using one of these wall worts, there doesn't seem to be any terminals for wires to be attached to?
    Cheers Tony

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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat457 View Post
    Hope this isn't too far off topic but how on earth do you connect your wiring for turnouts or other accessories using one of these wall worts, there doesn't seem to be any terminals for wires to be attached to?
    You chop the end off and wire it up to a terminal strip or terminals of your own making.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
    Actually, the majority of turnouts use AC. Believe it or not the Atlas turnout motor still outsells Tortoise motors. Peco motors also use AC. Most older track mounted turnout motors use a twin coil mechanism. All the twin coil motors work fine on either AC or DC.
    I originally used 20 VAC on my Atlas turnouts but then added a latching relay to control/coordinate my control panel and dwarf signal LED's on switch throws. The relay was rated for 12 VDC and operated erratically on AC so switched to 12VDC for the relay and my Atlas turnouts. Not sure why but the Atlas turnouts now seem to throw better than when I was running AC. Go figure
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-LineSoo View Post
    You chop the end off and wire it up to a terminal strip or terminals of your own making.
    How darn obvious is that Thanks mate.
    Cheers Tony

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