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If this isn’t too much of a newbie question I’d appreciate any thoughts or guidance from the community.

So it seems I have reached the limits of the starter pack / 72w DC power supplies for my 3 “main” layout with one interconnecting section where trains can go from one to the other.  Layout currently is U-shaped with a 4x10 table to the north with 0-36 figure 8; 4x6 table to the south with 0-36 loop, and a 3x5 table along the west connecting the two. An O-48 mainline loop around the outer edges of the entire setup.  The 3x5 connector also has an interchange on the 3x5 that allows interchange among the loops.   I don’t have enough track sections in the free version of Railmodeller to give a diagram of this mess.

We are only running LionChief / LC+/ LC+ 2.0 engines, but I would like to be able to run 3 or 4 at the same time.  Each loop is powered by its own little wall wart but I am starting to see some issues with coupler operations, passenger car lighting, etc.

Since I really don’t have plans to run conventional (and have no other engines) and don’t have the $$ to obtain and run scale or complicated engines, what is the power upgrade path where we just want to have adequate track power for 3-4 LC type engines?

It seems like a 180w PowerHouse brick with some type of direct lockon or direct feed would be better than what I have, but how to do it and whether I have this right are my big stumbling blocks.  I have done some research  and searching, but haven’t been able to find discussions where there isn’t any real interest in going to the TMCC / DCS / other types of advance controls.

Thanks for any help -


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I second John's suggestion for the 275 Watt postwar ZW to replace the wall warts.  You can use one or more of it's 4 outputs, set to 18V to run your LC trains.  I've done this for years and been very happy with them.  If you go that route, I'd also recommend adding some sort of supplemental over current protection such as the PSX AC or Airpax circuit breaker(s).  Here's a link to more info on those breakers: Airpax Breakers

Also, many accessories work better at less than 18 volts.  You can set each of the ZW's four outputs independently.

Last edited by SteveH

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