Trolley Modeling in N Scale

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Layouts To-Go, and Some Electronic Musings ~ Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My in-laws visited, and I wanted to show off my trolleys. Everything I needed--rolling stock, Tomix track, and "power supply" fit into a small case originally intended for photo slides.

It didn't take much room to set up a layout.

The "power supply" was just a 9v battery. Here's my daughter showing how it's done!

Speed control is pretty rudimentary--on or off. Later on, I got to talking with my father-in-law about smoothing starts and stops with capacitors. Capacitors, it seems, have been increasing dramatically in their storage capacity, and caps with enough to to keep an N scale trolley going for an appreciable span of time are no longer exotic. They probably won't fit inside a car, but I'm mulling over the idea of a rudimentary batter-based power supply with simulated momentum.

As a test, I bought the highest rated capacitor I could find at a local electronics store (Fry's), a 2200µF. If I charge it up with an 9v batter for a second or two, it will power a small trolley, like a Kato single-trucker, for a brief spurt--so the principle is sound. Capacitors in the 1F range are available from sources like DigiKey, and don't cost much, so I think this is an experiment I'll be pursuing.

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