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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Im looking at upgrading my track power supply. At the moment I use 2 Scalextric 13.5v power supplys (1 for each lane), but it just doesnt seem to give enough power for some cars.

Ive done alot of reading about what is the best power supply, and it looks like a car battery is the best option. It will give me lots more amps than i could ever need, and it is the cheapest option.

What do you think - is it the best option?

My track is in my loft - are there any problems with having a car battery in my loft?

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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Brian Ferguson
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3,652 Posts
There are very strong opinions, both pro and con, concerning the use of car batteries.

My opinion is to buy a good power supply instead. For several reasons.

Car batteries, while initially cheaper, are more expensive in the long run. Even if you are a fanatic about proper maintenance they have a limited life span.

Batteries produce pure DC, which is terrific, but they are not a regulated source. The voltage output can, and will, vary depending on charge state and overall condition of the battery.

The unlimited amperage is the key attraction but it can also be a danger. A short is not a pretty sight.

Batteries give off an explosive gas, particularly during charging. Most people discount this danger because they have never seen the aftermath of a battery explosion. I have. I don't want to see another one.

My two cents worth, and others will disagree.
 

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Brian Ferguson
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3,652 Posts
If you intend to run stock motors or mild aftermarket motors in your cars, the 10A supply will be quite sufficient for 4 lanes, or the 5 or 7 amp supply for 2 lanes. For hot motors, like Falcons, TSRF, etc. then the 10A supply would be a good choice for 2 lanes.

However, one of the nicest things about electronic supplies is that you can get them with variable voltage outputs. This enables you to tune the voltage level to your track for best performance or to turn the voltage down for inexperienced drivers. Maplins has this one. Yes, it is expensive, but it will last a lifetime and is always ready to go at the flick of a switch. It also outputs enough current to drive 4 cars with hot motors.

Maplins may be convenient for you, but shop around. There are supplies with a broader voltage range (like 0-20V) out there, and you may find something cheaper with better specs, although the amperage of the above unit is quite nice.
 

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BEFORE YOU GO DOWN THE ROAD WITH A 12V BATTERY, CAN I WARN YOU ABOUT THE PRECAUTIONS NEEDED WHEN USING ONE. A LEAD ACID BATTERY IS FULL OF DILUTED SULFURIC ACID ELECTROLYTE WHICH IS HIGHLY CORROSIVE, POISONOUS AND PRODUCES FLAMMABLE GASSES WHEN CHARGED. OH AND WILL EXPLODE IF IGNITED (NICE)

IF THAT STILL HASNT PUT YOU OF THEN PROCEED WITH CAUTION,
1. KEEP TERMINALS COVERED AS A METAL OBJECT BETWEEN POS & NEG WILL
GET VERY HOT, VERY QUICKLY.
2. THE BATTERY WILL NEED TO BE CHARGED WHEN AT 80%(STATE OF CHARGE)
AND DONT RUN IT BELOW 20%(STATE OF CHARGE). IT WILL NEED TO BE
CHARGED WITHIN 24HRS AFTER USE.
3. HIGH HEAT KILLS & COLD REDUCES THE PERFORMANCE.
4. YOU WILL NEED A GOOD QUALITY CHARGER(ABOUT THE SAME PRICE AS A
GOOD POWER SUPPLY UNIT) AS A CHEEP UNREGULATED CHARGER CAN
DESTROY IT BY OVERCHARGING.
TO SUM UP A BATTERY IS NOT A NICE THING TO HAVE ON CHARGE IN YOUR LOFT, NEVER TO BE LEFT UNATTENDED & KEEP YOUR LOFT WELL VENTED AT ALL TIMES.
 

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Brian Ferguson
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3,652 Posts
Another voice of reason.


PJF - Turn the CAPS LOCK off, though, please.... it means you are yelling here.... but I agree with you completely!
 
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