DCC Power Supplies/Xmfrs (US)
If you want to find out which power supply to buy for a given DCC product, go here: DCC Recommended Power Supply
In this section, I have information on various power sources that can be used with DCC systems or expansion Boosters. All DCC systems come with a DCC booster. The booster may be integrated into the command station box or may be external. Hence the power supply discussed below are all about powering the booster which is THE part of the DCC system that consumes all the power which in turn is used to power all the rolling stock on the layout.
Power Supplies shown below are all for the US market and international as marked. See Safety. Other AC Power Supply options exist in other countries with appropriate safety approvals for that country.
SAFETY: If the words in the column say INTERNATIONAL APPROVAL, then this power supplly is approved for usage anywhere in the world.
GENERAL RULE: You want to use a power supply that meets the minimum input voltage requirements but equals or exceeds the current rating of the booster. Any extra current that is available from the power supply but not the booster is simply not used. It does not pay to over specify the current rating of the power supply. Example: Using a 8 Amp power supply with a 5A booster will not turn the booster into a 8 Amp booster. Instead the extra current is simply not used. Hence you can pay to much for a power supply if you go way over the required current rating.
1) COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE GENERAL PURPOSE DCC POWER SUPPLIES (Past and Present)
a) At the time of this writing, DCC specialties has not released this power supply. No news as to when it will be available.
1) As a feature, this power supply provides a green "Earth Ground" with the output wires. This green wire gives the use an "option" to Earth Ground the layout. The green wire is not required for any safety reason and you do not need to use it. The power supply itself meets the same safety requirements as all the other power supplies that are allowed to be used without an Earth Ground connection (2 prong).
2) Directly Earth Grounding the layout is NOT recommended except when used with a series resistor (10K to 1Meg ohm) to address static electricity issues. Connecting a typical desktop PC via USB or other hardware communication port to the DCC command station will have AUTOMATICALLY provided a not so obvious Earth Ground connection of the layout. If a layout is large and has multiple earth ground connections around the room, it now becomes possible for AC current to flow through your layout wiring. The second ground path through the layout wiring is more or less an alternative current path. Current will flow in both paths at the same time. The amount depends on the wire resistance involved in the layout wiring compared to the house earth ground wiring. In my opinion, this power supply should have not provided this Earth Ground feature since it potentially creates more electrical problems than it solves. I would not use the green wire at all unless for static electricity control as discussed above.
3) This power supply came in two different looking cases but had the same specifications.
4) The transformer partially meets safety specifications. The metal case should be earth grounded to meet full safety requirements.
5) The front panel scale switch selects the output voltage: G (23V/12A), HO (18V/15A) or N (13.8V/20A) scale switch. Comes with the YC52 cable included to allow safe connection of the power supply to 2 boosters. Has built in DC current meter.
6) Do not use this power supply with more than one booster unless you have independently current protected each booster with a circuit breaker of suitable fuse. See note 7 below.
7) Digitrax sells a YC52 cable adapter that forms a "Y" or 2-way power splitter that allows a single high current power supply to SAFELY power two 5A boosters.
8) 7 selectable DC output voltages that are slide switch selectable:
12.0V @ 5.80 Amps, 13.8V @ 5.07 Amps, 15.0V @ 4.67 Amps, 16.8V @ 4.17 Amps, 19.0V @ 3.68 Amps, 20.0V @ 3.50 Amps, 24.0V @ 2.92 Amps
9) This DC power supply at face value clearly meets the voltage and current requirements of many DCC boosters. However, there is no guarantee that it will work properly with a booster. The key specification not given is the overload hold off time. The time it waits before shutting down. If the power supply shuts down to fast, it can appear as the Booster shutting down before the DCC Circuit Breakers do. DC output cable modification required for usage. Round DC Connector must be cut off and wires stripped free of cable wrapper to allow a standard wired connection.
10) 3/16/13 Power Supply is being closed out. Others like it often take its place. Check with store/distributor "Jameco" for current alternatives in the "AC-DC switching" of the "Power Supplies/Xmfrs" section. http://www.jameco.com
11) DC output cable modification required for usage for some DCC systems. Round DC Connector must be cut off and wires stripped free of cable wrapper to allow a standard wired connection.
12) AC Power Supply is designed as a Plug and Play for the Digitrax Zephyr (DCS50). Do not use on a DCS51. Will damage it.
13) DC Power Supply is designed as a Plug and Play for the Digitrax Zephyr Extra (DCS51). Backwards compatible with DCS50.
14) DC Power Supply is designed as a Plug and Play for the NCE PowerCab.
15) NCE appears to have never released the P315 power supply for the SB3 and DB3. Always recommended the existing P515 as the alternative.
16) The P514 has a switchable DC output voltage. 12V for N scale and 13.8V or HO and larger scales. The power supply is designed to be compatible with the NCE boosters SB5, DB5 and PB5. It it also found with the updated PowerPro (CS02 based) system with the round DC jack for power input. It will also be used in the future NEW PowerPro system (CS03 based) and all system with a 5 Amp booster going forward.
17) Specifically designed to work with the NCE 10Amp PB110a booster. The 4 pin connector is correct for a "plug and play" PB110a power supply setup. It uses 4 wires, one pair for a given AC terminal, with the 4 pin connector to support the 10Amps of current. To use the AC power supply with any other device will require removal of the connector and pairing up the 4 wires into 2 larger pair. It is fan cooled for continuous 10Amp operation.