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Hi, I'm a newbie here. My "son" got a Pennsylvania Flyer starter set for Christmas.

As we add some switches, we think we'll go straight to 14VAC wall warts to power those, but will leave the track on 18V DC. Few questions:

1) Does this sound crazy?

2) if the long term plan is to use 14VAC wall warts for switches and accessories, is there really any reason to convert the tract to 18VAC. (DC seems OK with our engine? I know purists seem to like AC bricks)

3) How many amps do Fastrack switches draw? If I had a 14VAC wall wart w/ 1.43 amps (20 watt), how many switches can I run? (assume I'll use separate AC wall warts when we get to electric accessories, unless it's a no-brainer 18 V DC plug and play)

4) Is there a good way to search this site? I feel like I'm asking 101 level questions that have probably been covered here a million times, but I can't find the right threads. (I have used "Search"... but can't seem to complete an advanced search for content)

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You really need to look at the individual power requirements for each item you're planning on adding to the layout, whether it's AC or DC.

My recollection is that Fastrack switches run best at 12-18 volts so, like Rob said, there's not much reason to not run those switches off track power as opposed to external power if you're running command or LC  engines. Conventional is different because you want to have consistent power to the switches from an external source while you are manipulating the throttle voltages up and down for the engine.

As a general rule, a lot of accessories run well at a 14v sweet spot, but not all (Menards' buildings, e.g.), so you you need to consult the manual.

Last edited by Richie C.

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