I have an Aristo Craft Ultima 10A Power Supply. It has an OUTPUT of:
10 AMPS at 18 V DC.
I'm considering getting the MRC Prodigy DCC. In it's specifications it
says: Input: 16-18 Volts AC or 18-20 volts DC.
Can I connect the Prodigy to the Aristo to add DCC and give it more
power for my G-scale layout?
In electrically challenged and a model train neophyte. I appreciate
your help. Thanks.
Yes, you can connect the Aristo Craft Ultima to the MRC Prodigy DCC, but you
will NOT get 10A of current out of the MRC Prodigy DCC. The DCC output from
the MRC Prodigy DCC is only 3 1/2 A. The MRC Prodigy DCC is not recommended
for large scale operation. If you are considering converting to DCC, you
need to look into a system that can use a 10A booster. NCE and Easy DCC both
offer systems with 10A boosters.
Also to be able to run DCC each locomotive has to have a decoder, and since
you are running G Scale, you will need to install large scale decoders in
your locomotives either from NCE or Digitrax.
LM electronic Services LLC
IIRC, the Prodigy is not rated for 10amps, so it may be risky to do
that. It all depends on how well the overload protection works within
the Prodigy. With a 10amp source, the Prodigy will attempt to provide up
to 10amps output. In fact, a 10amp source can briefly supply a good deal
more than 10 amps.... OTOH, if the Prodigy is in fact rated for 10mps
output, there should be no problem at all.
I suggest that you use the power pack on a separate circuit to control
the building lights, turnouts, signals, etc. Just make sure you use
circuit breakers or other overload protection as needed. A short circuit
of 10 amps at 18V can start a fire (180watts is _hot_.)
From what I have seen here the Prodigy has a rating of 3.5 amps output.
The Prodigy will only pull enough current to make that 3.5 amps from the
source, or in this case the Aristo Craft power supply. This might actually
be a little bit over 3.5 amps as the Prodigy needs some power to operate.
The only thing that you might want to do is place a fuse in series between
the power supply and the Prodigy. I would recommend a 5 amp fast blow
The way that the power supply works is much like the power in ones home.
The outlet in a new home is quite often wired to a 20 amp breaker. But when
one plugs a device into that outlet it doesn't get 20 amps forced through
its internals. It only draws what it needs to operate.
The rating on the power supply indicates that it has an output voltage of
18 volts. That is at the lower end of the required input rating of the
Prodigy. That is one of the important numbers to look at when hooking
items to power supplies.
In general, first look at ratings of unit that will be the load, in this
case that is the Prodigy. It gives voltage and current ratings that it
requires to operate properly.
Next look at ratings of power supply. It will have specifications
indicating what it puts out for power and current.
If the power supply has the correct voltage output and the current rating
is high enough to satisfy the load it will work. If the power supply cannot
make enough current to satisfy the load, then it will not work because it is
likely that the voltage would drop as the current out of the power supply
went beyond the rating.