Power for Atlas stuff alongside EasyDCC installation

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I'm getting frustrated. I have EasyDCC with PS5 power supply, etc., fully hooked up...works super (this isn't the issue). Now, on my 4'x8' HO layout I have 22 Atlas under table twin coil machines (really!) How do I power these? The 16v AC/5amp PS5 works but I think is too much. First, long story, *ANY* other power supply I have tried causes the EasyDCC Command Station to reset or freak out. Whenever I engage the twincoil motor whatever is powering it seems to be not enough and the draw somehow affects the EasyDCC power--even though they are plugged into different walls in the house! (I'm not kidding--email for further details) The twincoils work when plugged into the 16v/5a PS5 but I'm thinking that is too much and I may end up burning them. Then tonight I installed the Atlas turntable and motor and hooked it up to the PS5. I'm sure I burned that motor--it doesn't work. It needs 12v DC not 16v AC. a) what v/a should I use on the twincoils? b) if I use 12v DC on the turntable motor...what amperage? The Atlas instructions assume a simple/old DC setup and power supply, not a DCC system where I have not "accessory" terminals on my transformer (like my old Tyco HO transformer from 25 years ago...which didn't work by the way). I'd really appreciate any assistance on the a/b questions above. Thanx MRR community! =) Matt Evans -- matt.larie@verizon.net -- Plano, TX

-- Matt Evans (matt.larie@verizon.net), April 26, 2004



It is hard to troubleshoot this type of problem over the Internet. Fortunately, we can keep it simple and go with what works. You say the PS5 works. Go ahead and keep using it.

Regarding the possibility of burning them out, you would have that problem even with a lower amperage power source. I assume you are operating your turnouts with some sort of push button. Whenever using this type of turnout motor, push the button and release it. DO NOT HOLD IT IN. If you hold it in, you will smoke the twin coil machine.

Another thing that I think will work for you is a capacitive discharge circuit. These have the advantage of only briefly applying power and should not smoke your switch machine. I am pretty sure Circuitron makes one and sells it through Walthers. Here is a website that has some circuits for you:


Note, don't think you need the capacitive discharge circuit. If you just press the button briefly, your switch machines should work fine. Just if you have children, make sure they can't press and hold a button down.

Regarding your question about the turntable, you should be able to use about anything that will supply the 12V. Using something like the old Tyco transformer should be excellent. We even use a 9V battery to test the turntable I am in the process of building right now.

You didn't say whether you tried the old Tyco transformer before or after you applied the 16V AC to the motor. If you did damage the motor, then the Tyco transformer should still work for you after you get it replaced. Make sure your Tyco transformer will still run a train. If it isn't broken itself and still runs a train, then you have your power source for your turntable.

I noticed in your question that you are concerned about too much current. Let me dispell a common myth. If you have a power source that is capable of supplying more current than your device needs, that is generally okay. This only real disadvantage of having one that is much too big is that if you have a short, you will have needless smoke. But that is why they invented fuses!

-- Allan Gartner (wire4dcc_admin@comcast.net), April 27, 2004.

Yes, a 12VDC, 800mA should work well in operating your turntable. If you are going to use a "wall wart", do make sure it is DC or add a bridge rectifier to an AC wall wart.

The only potential problem with using a wall wart is that your turntable may go too fast for you and you may have trouble lining up the rails. Hence the advantage of using your old Tyco power pack. Try things out and see.

-- Allan Gartner (wire4dcc_admin@comcast.net), April 28, 2004.

Thanx, Allan! So I can use any 12v DC 800mA old answering machine transformer for the 12v DC turntable motor? (after I get it replaced). Cool. The old Tyco transformer provided DC power to the track (DC operations) and two +/- posts for AC "accessories" which primarily meant Atlas switch machines back then. I hooked up the Tyco transformer and the switches worked just fine, but somehow when I pressed the buttons (hooked up Radio Shack push buttons to my switch-board control panel) the EasyDCC Command Station would freak and/or resest. I separated the wires, plugged the EasyDCC transformer into one outlet and the Tyco transformer into a outlet across the house. There was no power going to tracks. It was only EasyDCC Command Station and transformer vs Tyco transformer and switch machines. When I would push a button the command station would freak (sometimes it took a couple presses). This sounds weird but the only conclusion I can come to is the switch machines and/or the old Tyco transformer drained or did something to the house power that the EasyDCC Command Station was so sensitive it picked up on that and protected itself by trying to shutdown (no power) but then power was immediately back to normal so it reset itself. It was one transformer against another...I have no other answers! Anyway, I'll keep the switch machines on the 16v 5A AC PS5 power supply and grab a 12v xxA DC transformer...and a new motor...and get things working. Thanx!

-- Matt Evans (matt.larie@verizon.net), April 27, 2004.

I suspect that somehow you have interconnected switch machine circuits and the EasyDCC power source (the PS5) or track circuits. They should be independant of one another. Turn all power off. Measure the resistance from both sides of the switch machine power supply to both sides of the EasyDCC power supply and track circuits to verify that there is almost infinate ohms of isolation. If there is any reading less than 1 megohm, find and correct the wiring problem. Whatever you used to operate the switch machines before DCC should still be adequate with DCC.

But BTW - Do not attempt to use DCC track power to operate twin coil switch machines. The booster simply cannot do it.

-- Don Vollrath (dvollrath@magnetek.com), April 28, 2004.

Success! Hmmm... In the good 'ol days of DC operations you plugged in ONE transformer and did everything. Now, I have one transformer for the EasyDCC Command Station, one transformer powering my twin coil switch machines and one transformer powering my turntable motor. Oh well...works! =) Thanx to all for Q&A (OK, thanx for the A I had the Q). I got a 12v DC 300mA transformer for the Atlas Turntable Motor and, by the way, I did burn out the first one. Fry's at Hwy 75/Plano had an EXACT match of the motor. For $3 I replaced the motor and it works great.

-- Matt Evans (matt.larie@verizon.net), April 28, 2004.

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