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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just received a second set of controllers, power base and power supply.

If I place an analog car on the digital rails, I notice that the rails have constant full power. Since the power is common between lanes and is distributed even without controllers, I SHOULD be able to attach the second power base to my track and receive another 1.5 amps. That would be a total of 3 amps which should be enough to run 4 cars well. It seems that the power on the rails is DC. This signal to the car is multiplexed and the chip must just tell it how much power to draw.

Opinions? Any problems with doing this?
 

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Probably massive problems!

If both powerbases put a carrier signal on then they will interfere with each other.

If Carrera digital works in a similar way to DCC, then the first powerbase will be sending signals made up of + voltage and - voltage, the - voltage will be cancelled out by the other power base

Depending on the circuitry and protection of the powerbase design, the bases may not like having power fed into them at their input, and hypothetically could be damaged
 

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Hmmm. If they are smart, and only if they are smart the control unit just accepts the power and IT spits out the coded values vs. power stuff.

I've known DCC to do the +push Left and -Push right using A/C power. I got a kick in the pants from Tropi stating that the same can be done using DC only and this is not how DCC worked. I do know that some DCC systems are A/C, I have schematics. And I am sure you can push DC down either rail by reversing the polarity on the rails at given intervals as well. I am not sure what Carrera is using, though.

If I were a betting man I would think that the power packs (if separate from the control units) are not smart enough to control pulses and such would be managed by the black box. But, don't sue me. Perhaps a oscilloscope would be of use here. It would be a sad day to have to resort to such wizardry just to make a car go around a track and change lanes.

-Maltese
 

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QUOTE (astro @ 9 Nov 2004, 01:14)Probably massive problems!

If both powerbases put a carrier signal on then they will interfere with each other.

If Carrera digital works in a similar way to DCC, then the first powerbase will be sending signals made up of + voltage and - voltage, the - voltage will be cancelled out by the other power base

Depending on the circuitry and protection of the powerbase design, the bases may not like having power fed into them at their input, and hypothetically could be damaged
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

SO I assume the preferred method would be to combine the power supplies in parallel before feeding to the power base? This way the only problem could be that the power base cant accept 3amps. I suppose I should wire a fuse inline.

Edit: But you know what? I'm going to try my first proposed solution and be a guinea pig. I'm willing to take the risk i might fry one or both of the power bases. If it doesnt work, then I dont need the second power base anyway, and im willing to bet that im dealing with such small amperage that it wont damage anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE (Maltese @ 9 Nov 2004, 01:53)Hmmm. If they are smart, and only if they are smart the control unit just accepts the power and IT spits out the coded values vs. power stuff.

I've known DCC to do the +push Left and -Push right using A/C power. I got a kick in the pants from Tropi stating that the same can be done using DC only and this is not how DCC worked. I do know that some DCC systems are A/C, I have schematics. And I am sure you can push DC down either rail by reversing the polarity on the rails at given intervals as well. I am not sure what Carrera is using, though.

If I were a betting man I would think that the power packs (if separate from the control units) are not smart enough to control pulses and such would be managed by the black box. But, don't sue me. Perhaps a oscilloscope would be of use here. It would be a sad day to have to resort to such wizardry just to make a car go around a track and change lanes.

-Maltese
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The power is not AC because an analog car runs full throttle when you put it on the rails. I'm guessing that the chip accepts the input and then based upon a multiplexed digital code will draw a % of this and send it to the motor.

In fact, the analog car will run even if you dont have any controls hooked up which indicates the power is sent straight thru the power base into the rails (in I think unadultered form - I can check with my ammeter)

I think my solution will work.
 

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Darainbow, good luck with your experiments, but beware because an analogue car going very fast does NOT mean that there are no -ve voltage pulses. Even messing with the controllers MAY have negligeable affect on the analogue car depending on the way data is coded. You need an oscilloscope to see these fast pulses really, although if plugging in 2 power bases either stops digital racing working or smokes both your power bases, this will also be proof!
 

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Iam using a 10 amp 15 volt power supply and the black box for about 20 hours now with 4 cars most of the time. So far so good. The power must go it to one black box, hooking up two did not work or running to the track with out the box did not work. Also running less than 12 volts did not seem to work . Will let you know if it goes up in smoke
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
QUOTE (jeep @ 9 Nov 2004, 19:36)Iam using a 10 amp 15 volt power supply and the black box for about 20 hours now with 4 cars most of the time. So far so good. The power must go it to one black box, hooking up two did not work or running to the track with out the box did not work. Also running less than 12 volts did not seem to work . Will let you know if it goes up in smoke
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Thanks! Thats what I like to hear.
 

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QUOTE (jeep @ 9 Nov 2004, 19:36)Iam using a 10 amp 15 volt power supply and the black box for about 20 hours now with 4 cars most of the time. So far so good. The power must go it to one black box, hooking up two did not work or running to the track with out the box did not work. Also running less than 12 volts did not seem to work . Will let you know if it goes up in smoke
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Good luck... according to Carrera, the BlackBox is limited to 2.5 amps.
 

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But it doesnt matter what the power supply can supply current wise, if the black box is limited to 2.5 amps.

As far as i know, the digital system employed is a pulse width modulation variety (i know Im gonna get shot down on that!) so it will pick up a signal from the controller and the pulse width changes from zero width to infinity at full power. There wont be any -ve pulses, it would be 0V or 12V (or whatever the transformer kicks out)

If anyone has a digital car and wants to send me a pic of the board in the car then that will help find out how they run.
 

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QUOTE (daleg @ 11 Nov 2004, 15:18)But it doesnt matter what the power supply can supply current wise, if the black box is limited to 2.5 amps.

But as far as I know, there is no active limitation. The Blackbox also has to provide the power to the slotcars. If you code 10 cars as car #1, the ten cars will listen synchronously to controller #1. But 10 motors need more amps than the Blackbox is able to manage. If you have a power supply that is able to give more than 2.5 amps, the blackbox will be destroyed.
 

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^^ My point exactly ^^

It must have some sort of built in current limiting device to protect it against this sort of situation...............oh for a set of circuit diagrams!!!!
 

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the limiting device is that the device will be destroyed!

Carrera have designed a black box to work with Carrera power supplies. They want to make black boxes affordable, and components that have lower current handling capacities are cheaper.

They are designing a 'toy' or whatever you wish to call it for people who will by Carrera power supplies. They protect idiots by saying 'maximum current - 2.5 amps'

If idiocy excedes these limits, the black box may break and the experimenteer may not get their money back and may not sue for damages.

Anyone wishing to experiment with excessive current and inadequate understanding would be advised to have a CO2 or dry powder fire extinguisher nearby, and NOT to leave the power on unattended!
 

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Oh, I see


Sounds like some of the current limiting the stuff at work does!!! Classic one this, unit get far to hot, so answer was to mount it unside down so should it over heat the component in question will melt its solder and fall out...........and yes we are a multi million pound company
 

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QUOTE (lesracer @ 19 Nov 2004, 11:54)Lane switching on curve means the flipper speed is ok as the car speed is slower, If the lane changing was on the straight it probably would not work!

Most of the fun is destroyed as cars keep crashing into each other or stoping on the dead flipper!
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't think speed of flipper is an issue with the scalex system - the flipper changes for every car (the car gives an active 'I want to go straight' message if you do NOT press the change button, and the flipper flips straight.

Stopping on the dead flipper WAS an issue in my brief test a few times, so the added speed of a LC on the straight would be a benefit in that respect too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
QUOTE (indianasteve @ 20 Nov 2004, 07:29)Does anybody have a recommendation on a aftermarket power supply for the pro X

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Sure, check ebay for pyramid power supplies. They have one that is around 20amps and adjustable from 5-15volts. FOr around $100.

You can get a samlex 5amp fixed 13.8V for aroun $30-50 also from ebay.

More amps is imprtant when you get more cars on track you wont feel power drain from their actions. The smalex i mentioned will work great Adjustabilty is a nice feature because you can modify the speed of the cars.

I just bought a loko 30amp 6-18V supply. I would have gone with the pyramid but spent a little more so I could go up to 18V just to experiment.
 

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QUOTE (darainbow @ 20 Nov 2004, 07:42)QUOTE (indianasteve @ 20 Nov 2004, 07:29)Does anybody have a recommendation on a aftermarket power supply for the pro X

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Sure, check ebay for pyramid power supplies. They have one that is around 20amps and adjustable from 5-15volts. FOr around $100.

You can get a samlex 5amp fixed 13.8V for aroun $30-50 also from ebay.

More amps is imprtant when you get more cars on track you wont feel power drain from their actions. The smalex i mentioned will work great Adjustabilty is a nice feature because you can modify the speed of the cars.

I just bought a loko 30amp 6-18V supply. I would have gone with the pyramid but spent a little more so I could go up to 18V just to experiment.
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


More than 2.5 amps are not recommended for Pro-X.
 
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