Powering each lane with a wallwart is a good starting point and a huge improvement over running multiple lanes with a single wallwart. The down sides of the wallwart per lane approach that you'll still have to live with are that your cars will run hotter and your pickups will wear out more quickly. This is because of the high amounts of AC ripple in the output of most wallwarts. But it's still a good starting point
This is the first time I've heard this. I've been using wall-warts all my life and now I need to re-think my future lay-out power requirements. I never knew this type of power supply was so inefficient as to over-heat and prematurely wear out parts. I would like to change that. I've known about the car batt. set-up and was never comfortable with that in the house with kids.
Can you or anyone comment on the ways one might consider if trying to have a multi-lane/multi-track layout with powered accessories in the same style as a train layout.
When I was a kid, I had a huge Lionel power-pack with two large levers on either side. It had lights on it and (reverse?) switches built right in. My memory is foggy on this one, but I thought I could blow the trains whistle from it too. It had a bunch of terminals for wire connections on the front. Can something like that be used? I know the big levers controlled the speed so that's out for the slots, but is there another type or variation?
I like the idea of having a "control board" to run things along with hand controllers for the cars. Is this feasible?
Right now I'm using everything from US trucking with the terminal track to multiple 440 and standard Tyco wall units--all at the same time. I plan on going with the same layout style, except much larger. I know some accessories will be on their own power line, but there has got to be a better way.
AfxToo, when I'm closer to redoing my layout I hope you can help me with some of the great advice you've provide. You sure seem to know your stuff on electrics, which I know very little. Heck, I have trouble getting batteries put in the right way! :freak:
Thanks for the great info.