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jack schaefer

new bridge werks

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 I just have the "to track" outputs connected to two TIU channels with 10 amp inline fuses on both channels input. I have small 1 amp walwarts powering the TIUs on the indoor layouts.

I wonder if I could use the other output down the road for signal lighting? I would like to have track signals. I also might use old extra outdoor lighting powerpacks with a bridge rectifier for building lights, switches, and signals. Too early for me to plan this far ahead.

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Ooops!

If you want passive mode, you connect the "to track" to the track, or the outputs of the TIU and then to the track. Ray's site should cover this. I'm not sure how he powers his TIU?

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TIU will power itself when used in passive mode. I've never ever needed to power any of my TIU's via the aux. port.

 

I would stay away from using the AUX DC outputs on any Bridgewerks power supplies for a few reasons. For one I've seen some big voltages come out those ports. Second if you wire via the "To Tracks" port you can adjust the voltage on the rails esp. when using lighted cars. If say 18-20 volts runs everything just fine then why do you need 28 volts on the rails? And if you want to "experiment" by running a non-DCS loco on the same track as a DCS loco you can do it...Just power up and get the conventional loco going and start the DCS equipped engine.

 

Right now I'n experimenting with pure DC regulated power supplies made in the USA that can be bought used at 1/4 the price of the big MAG25 or PowerMag and puts out more amps...like 40 amps @ 30 volts DC but what's nice is they have adjustable amps & voltage outputs. Bridgewerks has only adjustable voltage out and that's something I never really liked. 

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One other thing I will add on the aux ports on the bridgewerks, those ports don't get their output power from the internal linear regulators as does the main To Track connectors (which are controlled by the throttle).  So the power will be a little cleaner by using the throttle controlled outputs.

 

I'm very interested to hear about the outcome of the power supply testing :)  Having adjustable amps would be something I don't think I've ever seen on any train transformer ever, so that might be a nice additional feature to have.

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Hello Chuck, Rayman

 

Bridgewerks is my dad's company, and I am starting to become familiar with it and it's products with the thought of taking a more active role in the company.   I am also an electronic engineer, and will probably be designing many of the products moving forward.

 

I would not consider myself to be an expert of G-Scale, although I do have a simple layout in my back yard that the grand-kids and neighborhood kids like to play with so I know a little bit - I just joined this forum to get a better idea of the hobby and what is going on.

 

Chuck mentions regulated supplies with adjustable current and voltage - many bench power supplies have adjustable voltage and also allow you to set a current limit.  The bridgewerks controllers have a built in current limit which is pre-set, and you (the user) doesn't have control over it.   Would it be a valuable feature to add a current limit to the controllers?  - The major place where I could see it having value is on the multi-track units which share one power transformer - this way you could allow for less interruption of one track if disaster (a short or something) struck the other track.    On bench supplies, the current limit is generally used to protect the device under test from damage - if I expect my circuit to draw 1A, I might set the current limit to 1.5A, that way if there is a short or something, the power available to do damage is limited.

 

Mark

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Hi Mark,

 

Welcome and thank you very much for posting.  I'm very glad to hear it sounds like you are taking an active role in the company now.  I can let others share their thoughts but I see a current limiter adjustable by the end user as something that would be a very nice to have particularly in this scale.  We can run trains that draw anywhere from 1 amp to 20amp depending on how many trains, passenger cars etc.  Where sometimes you run a train you may want limited to 3-4 amp and not have full 20-25 amp available all the time.  I myself just use blade fuses.  I've never looked into adding one aftermarket to mine but may consider that.

 

One thing as a product enhancement I might like to suggest is voltmeters on the power supplies that can provide readings beyond 20v.  In G scale (especially if you are running digital control like I do), I run up to 24 and sometimes a little beyond.  To accurately monitor I've added digital volt and amp meters to my power supplies but going forward it might be nice to see a broader range meters installed.  I know the TDR25 had them which is one reason why they were so nice.

 

Again welcome and glad to have you here.

 

 

Raymond

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Hi Mark and welcome.

 

Personally I feel that a current limiter may not prove as advantageous as some may think.

 

If it were to be set fairly high, say ten amps, to power a multi loco lash up, each with a couple or more motors, hauling a long consist of lighted cars, it may continuously deliver ten amps into a fault causing a circuit board to burn out.

 

What would be nice is a trip that is sensitive to sudden abnormal current surges and trips before any damage consequential to any fault occurs. A visible indication of the trip would be good, as may possibly be an adjustment of the sensitivity.

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One thing is for sure, can never expect any type of fault/short protection at the power supply level to protect an electronic board from damage (maybe simple power traces on boards specifically for transferring power but not sensitive sound/control boards.  In an operating environment the amp loads will vary such that you usually can't set a limiter close enough that would actually protect a sensitive circuit from damage and also the limiter may not be that precise anyway.  That said, if you have a train that is using 8amps peak and have a limiter set to 10amp, if a fault occurs it will likely create a short on top of the already existing load so if it was already pulling 8amps you would only have another 2 or so to go before it trips.  The current limiter that Chuck was talking about is adjustable so if used in concert with an ammeter a user could put a reasonable cap on it which would be useful if the power supply put out 20-25 amps.  

 

Also the Bridgewerks line has circuit breakers and an overload indicator.  If I recall right if the overload indicator is lit/tripped, the electronics has automatically cut power to the outputs to the track. So I think they have already attempted to build that in to the existing product line.  (Might need to have Mark verify that).   

 

The one thing I see as well that would have to be considered is at what point do you open a can of worms where an inexperienced user doesn't actively monitor/adjust their limiter they way it should and they end up creating a bad end-user experience for themselves.  A fairly normal reaction is to simply get frustrated and blame the product saying it's a pain despite the fact it is user error and is operating as designed.  I suppose in the end a limiter could be set to its max from the factory and let the user adjust it later.  Either way it will no doubt lead to some level of confusion and frustration for inexperienced users and lead to increased calls to BW. (Maybe it wouldn't be an issue though.)  Would not surprise me if Dave S. originally considered it and decided against it for these very reasons.

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I believe that all of the current Bridgewerks controllers have a current limiter which shuts off power to the track and can be reset manually.  The two most common causes for this being tripped are a short circuit across the track - often caused by laying a tool or something on the track, or in a system with block switching, managing to get two power controllers switched onto the same block of track.   One of the challenges that we face is walking the line between making the controllers simple enough for an inexperienced user to take out of the box and have a good experience, and flexible enough to meet the demands of the more experienced users.

 

The issues with shorts across the tracks are one of the reasons that Dave no longer offers some of the really high power units.   When you short a 25 Amp or bigger supply things can get really exciting.

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Hi guys: I sure am not an expert in electronics but I do use the Bridgewerk 15 amps and TIU and beleive me the circuit protection works very well as it is, it trips off at every short I have. Last year I bought some faulty 5 amp automotive fuses from Bulgaria because they were cheap. After I discovered that they were faulty I had to resort to using again some ten amp fuses which I had before;  these were not faulty, to finnish the running season. And the circuit breaker within the Bridgewerks tripped of every time saving a lot of hastle. The automotive store I have nearby only sells 5 amps fuse by the blister with three fuse in each blister. I can go through that in one afternoon... Because my pointwork is insulated after the point so that if a switch is thrown the wrong way a loco will short out before entering it. its mainly handlaid pointwork.

 I had one of those power source made for medical instruments (at least that's what was stated in the manual). I had an incredible amount of trouble until in despair I followed Raymonds advice and bought a Bridgewerks. Been having a good time with DCS ever since. And this although my signal is still not perfect. Sure sometimes I will push on the horn and it won't trip off but the operation of the trains is faultless. I was even able to do a lash up with my PA 1 pusshing a long F3 hauled freight, shades of Ed Shaugnessy photos.

post-50-0-52897400-1454969529_thumb.jpg

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