Booster amps : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

Is there a problem using a 10 amp booster in ho scale. It seems to me that having more power capacity available is beetter, but the ads for NCE 10amp booster says not to use on smaller scales. I understand the reasoning to use 2 5amp boosters creating different power districts, but suppose but suppose there are 2 or three older brass engines (with original open frame motors) operating in a large yard seems that the 5amp booster could be reaching close to its limit whereas a larger booster would still have power available. I'm getting close to buying a DCC system so appreciate being able to learn from others. At the moment I cant decide between the NCE powerhouse pro & CVP easy dcc....thanks, Paul

-- Paul Nunes (, November 10, 2003


The reason you don't want to use a 10A booster on HO is because during a short, 10A will flow through all the wiring, switches, contacts, and such. All these items may not be able to take the 10A. At the moment of the short, you may get arcing and pitting. Of course, if the short makes the booster shutdown the damage MIGHT be minimal. But if you have a short that only draws say 9.5A, the booster will not shut down. Now all these items will be stressed by the 9.5A. They may not be designed to handle it. Smoke or worse could result.

Those old brass locos may not be as big a problem as you think. In a given yard, are all 3 of your locos moving at once? Probably not. Are they working hard? Probably not. Give a 5A booster a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.

-- Allan Gartner (, November 10, 2003.

Surge suppressors are for voltage surges, not current surges.

10A is not stored in a booster. It is worse than that! :) A 10A booster is capable of delivering 10A CONTINUOUS - until smoke, fire, or some other catasrophie occurs. With luck, the short will pass more than 10A and cause the booster to shutdown.

In selecting a system, make sure you pick a system that will ultimately have all the features you want - and you like the way the system implements those features. Example: Some systems handle 4 digit addressing by displaying only 2 of the digits at a time. I would not like that, but perhaps you don't care about 4 digit addressing. It is also a good idea if you know someone who has the system you are interested in and can check it out.

Another thing to consider is whether you plan to operate with other people. Do you want to be able to share throttles? Sometimg to think about.

Note: You can reply to this message and keep a single thread going if you need to.

-- Allan Gartner (, November 11, 2003.


I would use a 10Amp booster only with a power protection module which divides the layout into several power districts. Digitrax's PM4-2 allows 4 power districts, Tony's TTX sells units that can control 1/2 or 4 districts from a booster. Setting the power limits on these units to 4.5 A will limit the current in each power district to that provided by a safe 5A booster!


-- Ulrich Albrecht (, December 01, 2003.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ