Sunday, 10 July 2016

A Smorgasbord Power supply

Whilst I was in Scotland a few weeks ago exhibiting "Steam on the Cambrian" I took the opportunity to join MERG (Model Electronics Railway Group). After model and steam railways Electronics has always been another hobby of mine so it made sense to join MERG if only for the chance to be able to purchase their kits for electronic modules for various projects I have in mind for various layouts and so on. So, before I progress on to ordering any kits or parts I decided to build this "Smorgasbord" power supply unit.
Basically it's 4 power supply units in one case, It converts the domestic 230V mains power to the safer low voltages needed to operate locomotives and any electronic accessories that I will be building in the near future.
The unit is designed just for workbench use, once modules have been tested then they will be powered from the layout power supply. The unit gives several outputs. A 0-12v variable supply for testing locomotives and motors on the bench, and fixed voltage supplies of 12v A.C. 5v D.C. and 15v D.C.
These being the most common values of voltage used on model railway electronics.
I have ambitions of adding a certain amount of automation to "Steam on the Cambrian". Mostly to be able to control both fiddle yards remotely including indexing the (soon to be rebuilt as 5 road) train turntables at both ends.
I intend to make the turntables longer and wider so that i can accommodate more trains on the layout.
I must add that i do NOT use DCC at all, not that I have anything against it, It's just that all my layouts to date have always operated on the "One engine in steam" principle and I just don't see the point as far as operating is concerned, Added to the fact that to add decoders to all my locos would cost a fair bit and being as I'm now a poor pensioner it would stretch my budget somewhat, I would much rather spend the money on building layouts and stock. Having said that on board sound would be nice but again to be honest I've not been convinced by the steam loco sounds i have heard so far. I've not set any time limit on this work as i'm still working on the design and interlocking to make it idiot proof.
Not that those that take the time and trouble to help me operate at shows are idiots of course!
More about progress as and when it happens.
Cheers for now


  1. Good work Frank. I envy you folk that understand electrical witchcraft!

  2. A nice piece of kit Frank, I made my own PSU several years ago, and though it does the job, I rather fancy one of those.