Advice On Fuse Protection For Entire Model Railroad

Hardcoaler Oct 3, 2021

  1. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you. I was just reading about that very thing on an electrical forum and the inrush current might be significant on my layout because I'm using 24 capacitive discharge circuits to power my Kato turnouts. If I can figure a way to do it, it'd be fun to check how many amps might be drawn at start up.
     
  2. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    When I used to fix stand up arcade games, they used a type of fuse on their power supply called a “slow blow” which would tolerate a spike for a few seconds before popping. These were designed to handle the inrush current as the caps charged up. They are quite a bit more expensive but they did the job.
     
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  3. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Beware... GFCI breakers or outlets are not suitable replacements for surge protectors. A GFCI receptacle will shut down the downstream circuit if a surge causes a ground fault, but by that time, any would-be-protected electronics will likely already be fried. In fact, it might well be that the surge fries the plugged in appliance, which creates the ground fault, that only then trips the GFCI. GFCI outlets may have built-in surge protection to protect their own electronics, but such protection may not be sufficient to protect what you plug into it. The circuitry in GFCI outlets is pretty robust, likely more so than consumer electronics devices.

    Also, GFCI outlets typically do not provide any over-current protection themselves. They merely sense a current imbalance in the hot and neutral lines (in single-digit milliamps), and interrupt the circuit in such an event. Like all outlets, a GFCI outlet depends on the circuit breaker (in the panel) to protect it from over-current conditions.
     
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  4. Dave Kerr

    Dave Kerr New Member

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  5. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I suppose I could do that, but I'm using capacitive discharge circuits on 24 turnouts along with a bunch of LEDs and thought I'd be better off with a separate inexpensive power supply. I think I'm going to adopt the simple and safe solution of mounting a power strip with a lighted on/off switch behind the fascia on the layout, mounting it where I can see the light.
     
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  6. Dave Kerr

    Dave Kerr New Member

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    Twenty-four turnouts! Wow! Adding additional power supplies seems prudent to me.

    Dave
     
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