What is a Booster?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread
I am brand new to DCC and have seen the term "booster" used a lot also "transformer" are these terms the same or do they refer to individual items in a DCC system?. Also is it possible to use the ac output of a standard power pack to power a DCC controller (command 2000) in N scale?
-- Steve S (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 10, 2002
YOU CAN HAVE A TRANSFORMER THAT IS ALSO A BOOSTER OR YOU CAN JUST GET A BOOSTER FOR MORE POWER TO YOUR LAYOUT AND CONNECT IT TO YOUR TRANSFORMER. ANSWER #2 : YES YOU CAN USE THE AC OUTPUT OF A STANDARD POWER PACK TO POWER THE COMMAND 2000 .. MY FIRST DCC SYSTEM WAS THE COMMAND 2000 AND I USED THE AC OUTPUT OF A (TECH 3) STANDARD POWER PACK
-- shannon guidry (email@example.com), November 06, 2002.
I'm not sure Shannon's first sentence quite came out or across as intended. Looking back to your original question, I thought a few more words were in order.
In the strictest and truest sense, a transformer is a single electrical device. It does nothing more than transform 120VAC to a lower AC voltage used by electronics - whether they be boosters or charging your cordless drill or cell phone.
That being said, there is marketing. DC power packs are frequently misreferred to as transformers. Power packs usually included a transformer as well as a few electronic components.
Given this, I can believe that some DCC equipment manufacturers, may try to ease the anxiety of one going into DCC by using the previously misapplied term of transformer.
A booster is a DCC term that converts incoming power, from a transformer for example, to DCC signals on the track. Unlike a transformer, a booster is sophisticated electronic device.
Given all this, a transformer will not contain a booster. However, a booster could, but often does not, include a transformer. (A car includes an engine, but an engine is not a car.)
I would generally NOT think that a transformer is a booster or includes a booster. If a manufacturer's literature does not include the booster anywhere and talks about hooking up the alleged transformer to your DCC track, they are probably misuing the term transformer to mean a booster/transformer combination.
This confusion is more likely to occur with the simple systems designed for beginners to ease their way into DCC. The more sophisticated systems almost always use separate boosters and transformers. This is because one booster can be used with different scales and you may want to use a transformer based on your scale (Z and G would definitely different transformers for example.)
Why? A transformer appropriate for G, would simply generate excess heat, be bigger, and cost more, than one needed for Z. You could definitely use the same transformer for both, but many people don't want the heat and especially the cost, of using a transformer that is too big for a Z scale job.
I hope this clarifies the first sentence. You definitely can use a standard power pack to run your N scale command 2000 system. Just don't overload your power pack. If you do, you will know it. The thermal trip on most power packs will kick in if you do.
-- Allan Gartner (bigboy@WiringForDCC.com), November 06, 2002.