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I always use DCS for running trains.  However, I recently bought a new, unopened MPC train set and I'd like to run that locomotive - as well as the loco from another unopened MPC set I bought awhile back.  I have two loops.  My choice of power includes an MTH Z750 power pack and control, a Lionel CW80, and the two Lionel controls that came with the two MPC sets.  Both MPC sets use AC.

What would be the best options to use for power?  I am assuming the new ones, but I have read about sine wave issues and don't understand that at all.  Thanks in advance for the help!

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If the MPC train set came with a blue 50-watt transfomer, I would personally pick that over the Z750 or the CW80.  I would also recommend Lionel's postwar 1033 and RW-type transformers for conventional operation.  These are quite affordable these days.  The only caveat is that I would add an Airpax external circuit breaker between the transformer and the track, as cheap insurance.  My $.02.

Switch either track loop center rail between your MPC sets power and DCS Explorer power.  See my website page, Toggle Track Power Between Conventional and DCS or TMCC .
This "how-to" photo on that page shows how to switch one loop between an AC transformer and DCS TIU.

(Be sure transformers are phased.)

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Last edited by Susan Deats

I've got 2 mainlines and DCS / Conventional (MRC AH601) that can power either / or by using 2 toggle switches. I've use a DPDT; one for common and hot, though the SPST will work as well. All the lightning and switches are controlled by a separate ZW providing varying levels of voltage. They all share a common ground, i.e. phased together. Currently working on using rectifiers (LED's) and relay's to control the crossing gates, flashers etc by using the ZW power them triggered by whichever AC is actually on the tracks.  That keeps the accessories operating at a constant voltage regardless if the track power is conventional or not. Below is a neat diagram I found showing the use of AC and DC control together. Some folks may find this useful.

Block Signal

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Last edited by MR_P

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OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
800-980-OGRR (6477)
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