Living with low power boosters
About a year ago I was contacted by a reader, Rod Vance, who was having some issues with his MRC system and his PSX power managers. I made some suggestions and had assumed he conquered his problems. Then the other day I got the following email from him explaining how he had finally solved the problem. Hopefully his experiences will help others with similar issues. Low power boosters can be a problem with some types of power managers as they may not have enough power to function properly. The newer versions of the PSX have some upgrades to help overcome this but in the final analysis it can be difficult if you don’t have enough juice to work with in the first place. Anyway here is what Rod did to fix his problem.
About a year ago, you responded to a query that I had regarding my MRC DCC System shutting down when a short occurred in one of the multiple power districts/subdistricts on my layout (all protected by PSX circuit breakers). I referenced the MRVP series in which they encountered this same problem — you also referenced that series and problem in one of your DCC Guy postings (attached). In addition to the “manual reset” solution, you had also suggested looking at changing the trip rate on my PSX boards.
I just wanted to provide you a quick follow-up.
First, I never got around to changing the trip rate on my PSX boards since they are older and run a software rev version prior to the versions you referenced in your addendum regarding the undocumented feature. (I have 6 boards and didn’t want to remove them and send them to Tony’s to have the software upgraded. Lazy? sigh…)
Solution: I’d read some Internet forum discussions where one MRC user added higher powered boosters (non MRC boosters) to his system and it resolved the circuit breaker problems he was experiencing. So I thought I’d give it a try. I recently upgraded my MRC System by adding an MRC DCC 8 amp Booster. With this addition, and no other changes to my layout, the problem of the entire layout going down in the instance of a short has gone away. Evidently with the increased power provided by the 8 amp booster, the PSX circuit breakers handle all shorts properly and the MRC DCC System no longer sees the short and shuts down. Obviously, a happy DCC camper now! (It seems to me that this “solution” is consistent with the “low power” condition of the basic MRC system that you identified in the attached. Obviously, the 8 amp booster provides more power than the basic 3.5 amp MRC system.)
So thank you for your advice regarding the MRC problem, and all the other DCC information that you impart. If the above problem resolution/alternative is new to you, you might want to add it to your knowledge base. Someone in the future will no doubt run into the same problem and raise the question again.