Lighting and Signals

As a newbie (well back into model railways again), I was wondering now with DCC, what is the best power supply feed/way to drive those devices
(signals, lighting, and anything else that relies on) 12v DC power?
I have gone straight in to DCC and love it, however even though my intro to DCC via the Hornby Select and now using the Gaugemaster Advance (and like that to) have given me more control and more options, its more the adding electric signals and lighting power supply I am thinking of. I realise that you can drive some of the 12v DC stuff off your train controller etc, but if you are running a bigger layout or putting more demands on the 12v DC side for those devices, what is the best or way you have tackled this?
--
Chris King
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On 29/01/2012 7:10 PM, Chris King wrote:

Basically, it's best to use separate circuits for train power, signals, and lights, whether controlled directly or with DCC. Never use a single controller or power supply for the whole layout. (A very large layout should be divided into "power districts" each with its own supply.)
Add up the amps for the devices in each circuit, and buy or scrounge power supplies to suit. You'll need 12-16V DC or AC, and anywhere from a couple of amps on up. Just make sure they're well-protected with fuses/circuit breakers. Transformers are cheaper than DC power supplies, and for lights ans signals you don't need DC.
I've used cheapie train set controllers, most of which have both controlled DC and uncontrolled AC outputs. Controlled DC can be used for day/night transitions. Typically, such controllers can run 2-4 dozen grain-of wheat lamps in series-parallel circuits (used to reduce the voltage to each lamp, thus extending their life).
I look through the wall-warts (plug-in transformers) at thrift shops, you can find ones with 9 to 12V DC (or AC) and anywhere from 500ma to a couple of amps output. Ideal for small loads.
You can use common return (earth, ground), just make sure the ground cable is heavy enough to carry the total current if all devices were switched on at once.
HTH Wolf K.
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On Mon, 30 Jan 2012 00:10:45 +0000, Chris King

I have a stash of transformers left over from numerous deceased electronic devices. I use these to supply separate 6V, 12V and 15V circuits for lighting and points. Guy
--
Guy Chapman, http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
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wrote:

Switch mode power supplies are the way to go these days, rather than trying to build your own, or use an old Dc controller. There's a wide range from e.g. http://www.rapidonline.com/Electrical-Power/Power-Supply-Units-PSUs
LEDs are the way to go for lighting.
For whole layout a laptop style supply of about 16V allows you to connect a number of LEDs in series (e.g. wire up a lineside building as one series string of LEDs) with a single resistor. The number of LEDs depends on the forward voltage of each LED which, in turn, depends on the colour. Each such string of LEDs requires only 10 - 20 milliAmps. You could have 100 of these in parallel and still have plenty of headroom from a 3-4 Amp supply.
If you are not using the Select any more, look at the power supply that came with that. Is it AC or DC? What voltage?
MBQ
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On 30/01/2012 00:10, Chris King wrote:

See http://www.cmlelectronics.co.uk/ for some inspirations note to make the most of this manufacturers products you will need a Loconet system, mainly Digitrax systems.
--
Chris

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