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Brian Ferguson
3,652 Posts
Peter, good points! The output of set power supplies has always been minimal (we've all experienced the dreaded power surge at some time), but problems may become far more pronounced and obvious on digital sets unless the manufacturers seriously address this issue. They haven't in the past, so I wonder if they will now.

Even with just four cars on two lanes, typical supplies will need to be more than doubled in capacity. Why? Because the effects (surges) won't be felt by just one driver as now, but potentially by three - it will become much more obvious, more frequent, and more frustrating. And while the additional current draw of the on-board electronics is pretty minimal, the sorry state of home set supplies means this can't be ignored.

Hopefully, better power will be addressed as part of the digital scheme. Otherwise, I think many people will experience frustrations with it, and it may (as was pointed out elsewhere, by Beppe I believe) also limit digital car motors to rather low-powered units. I realize power supplies cost money, but it still amazes me that no common manufacturer has ever used a decent supply in their sets. Perhaps such a change in architecture as digital will soon force them to do so?

On the limit of number of cars in the various digital systems, there should, in theory, be no problem with 16 cars (given adequate power!) and I'd be surprised to find out that anyone intentionally designed for less. I suspect, and hope, that future releases will expand the apparent current limits, which may well be constraints more of a cautionary nature than of necessity. Companies could lose a great deal if their digital promises exceeded their initial product's capabilities - this is a big step and a big investment for these guys and they can't afford to screw it up.

What's that?... time's up?....I'm babbling?... okay...
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