First off, I am NOT an electrician, and I am NOT advising you to do ANYTHING. That said, I'm pretty sure 100 feet is still within the range of a normal pack from one of the larger sets. Those I believe are 24 volt DC, and measured in milliamps, not amps. BIG difference. The wall packs that you plug into your walls have up to 120 volts and 20 amps at their disposal, but they only use a tiny fraction of that. I looked at a few on the bay, and DC volts are between 14 and 22, and about 14 milliamps. Keep your volts in the lower range. The lower the volts, the longer you can run the cars. The higher the volts, the quicker they overheat. So, basically, you need 14 milliamps times 3 = 42 miliamps, maybe a bit more. The cars won't use more amps than they can handle, it's you and everyone else that need to be safe. You could hook up 8,000 milliamps and you wouldn't burn out the cars, but if anyone touched the rails, they might get thrown across the room. And yes, that does happen. I watched my best friend's kid sister fly into a couch 10 feet away. No, I didn't know she had a fork in her hand in front of a wall socket. Scared the crap out of all of us, except her. She had a dazed look on her face, then she laughed. If we hadn't yelled in surprise when it happenned, and told the adults, we may have tried it too. After all, she did laugh.. Back to your powerpack issue. HO train powerpacks, the bigger ones, should have plenty of power for your track. And, it's adjustable on some, which have 2 separate throttles, so you can dial back the power for kids and novice racers. I've also heard of some people just hooking up a 12 volt car battery hooked up to a trickle charger. You'll definitely get a few hours of racing out of it before you need to recharge, or just leave the trickle hooked up. That'll negate some of the drain. You can get a used battery from most junkyards, and a trickle charger for under $40. Ask around. Reviews of tracks that use 12 volts always say their cars ran nice and smoothe for hours. And I need to say this again, just in case you decide to set your beer on top of the battery, then dump it on both terminals while holding on to the mailbox-- I am NOT an electrician, and am NOT giving you electrical advice.
I should also say that most people who know enough to hook this up won't say anything, just because they don't want to get sued if you somehow manage to hurt yourself. Make sure that whatever you end up doing, people are safe.. No beverages on the same table as the track, or anywhere near the powerpack/battery. Anyone can walk up and touch the terminals on a car battery, but you don't want someone throwing a glass of water at you when you're doing it. Volts don't kill people, amps do. In the above post, I told you what others have done. IF people were dying from doing this, you'd hear about it on the evening news. Old car radios used less than a 5 amp fuse. If you wanted to, you could hook your radio directly up to the battery so it'd work even with the keys out. It didn't kill the battery, and the radio didn't blow up. That same battery sends out 500 amps to start the car. Radio kept playing as if nothing happenned. Why? It only needed 5 amps, so it only took 5 amps. DC loses amps the farther you get away from the power. The solution is to hook up power every 25 running feet of track. These are called feeder wires. Doesn't matter what powerpack you use, you'll want feeder wires every 25 to 50 feet, depending on how old the track is. Any questions, PM me. AND DON'T HURT YOURSELF OR DO ANYTHING STUPID
Depending on how far up the inline magnet car ladder you wanta go,will determine your power supply,more then anything.
If you plan on running anything hopped up,the general rule of thumb is a mininium of 5 amps per lane.
With 6 lanes,you'd be looking at a mininium of 30 amps,if you plan on poly or neo mags and custom arms.
And like GP says,add power taps
Sorry Hornet, 30 amps is just too much.. It'd trip the circuit or even fry the plug outlet in the wall.. You're comfusing amps with milliamps. Seriously, look at a decent HO train powerpack.. They are designed to run trains over hundreds of feet of track, and light up the whole city on a 12 foot by 50 foot layout, and power a crapload of automated accessories.. Ask in the train forums if anyone is close by for you to try out their transformer. I know as long as it's a DC transformer and not an AC transformer it'll make all 6 lanes run better than 1 lane does on your best HO slot wallpack.... Call your local hobby shop, they'll tell you the same thing, and chances are, they have or had a big track there at some point, and might even hook up the HO train transformer there so you can see for yourself. It'll cost you more than $70, but it's better than using a power outlet strip with 6 wallpacks plugged into it.. Heck, 10 HO slotcar wallpacks won't put out 2 amps. 30 will get somebody killed.
GP,Shocker is right.
I see over 2 amps easily on my cars at start-up,not milliamps..
And lay off the scare tactic's the hobbies been around for 50 yrs,and i can't say as i've ever heard of anybody being electrocuted from it.
It's good to warn guys,but you're going alittle overboard:thumbsup:
ok thanks guys just tryin to figure out what i need my old power supply was 24 volt and 7.5 amps and was plenty of power but it quit workin and lookin for a new one now that stock car season is over now its slot car season . pics of my track are posted in my photos if you want to see my track .. thanks
I guess it really depends on how much you want to spend and how crafty your electrical skills are. A couple of ideas.. find some laptop power supplies they range from 16-24 vdc and 2-5 amps, buy a big power supply (big money) or you can buy PC power supplies from tiger direct or any other pc supply store and cut the molex plug off and rewire it those also work great as a small hobby power supply they have 24,12, and 5 vdc out options and being that they are used for computers they have a tendency of having cleaner power that being said DC is cleaner to begin with and thats a separate topic all together.
I've been running on a golf cart style charger for years (actually for a floor scrubber). 24 volts up to 20 amps.
Try and find one of the ancient ones with the mechanical timer knob. It'll shut off if forgotten. You can use the smart charger automatic version, but you have to trick the start relay and you'll be responsible for turning it off.
Been great. Gobs of good clean power for cheap. My cars thank me all the time, by running great and keeping their cool.