Reducing DC voltage

Shortround Jul 12, 2021

  1. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I can have access to a 12x20 room for a layout and other things. But the issue is the only electrical system is 48 volts DC. Solar cell charged. What would be the best way to reduce that to 12 volts DC? From my camping days I have units to convert it to 120 AC or just use the 12 volts DC.
    Thanks Rich
     
  2. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    There are probably voltage regulators that can drop the 48V to 12V but at what amp I don't know.

    What current are you looking at?
     
  3. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    There are two easy ways. You can find three other things that use twelve volt, wire them all in series, and turn them all on at once.

    Or you can buy a transformer for under $30. I put "48-12 volt transformer" in the search engine, but "converter" or "golf cart" can also find you what you're after. What I saw can handle current in the 60 amp range, which is much more than model trains tend to use, but it takes a pretty big transformer to soak up lower amperage entirely with resistance.
     
  4. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    The amperage would be enough to power 12 volt lights and fans. The tools and trains will run fine with a 12 volt DC to AC convertor. I have used them in campers. Lights for high DC voltage are very expensive.

    I've also been asked if there one to do the same for electric bikes that are 48 volts and the only lights are individually battery operated, which doesn't last long enough, bright enough and are just clipped on your clothes. YUK!!
     
  5. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Sixty amps at twelve volts is 720 watts. So unless your trains and tools push the kilowatt range, the transformers I saw should do.
     
  6. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, I did the search and they have a big selection. I'll try fingering out how much I may need and buy a larger one. Including one the folks wanting one for there bikes. I may buy one of those later. Clip ones work fine for now.
    I hadn't thought of gulf carts, being an ex-farmer and machinist, they didn't fit in. Besides being a southpaw held me back from the game.
    The big truck repair shops and electric supplies only had very large ones.
    Thanks a lot. Now a may have a place for the trains. I could maybe run the DC trains off one of those with the voltage regulator I have, to dim the camper lights for parties. :cool:
     
  7. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    If the input is 48VDC; Without knowing how much maximum output current the layout requires(eg gauge but if your looking at 12V presuming you have n scale?? ) ; I'd start out looking at Buck converters like below and, if need is different, then find others higher or lower as desired;

    https://www.amazon.com/Step-Down-Converter-Regulator-Reducer/dp/B089YBPHM1/
     
  8. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    A transformer won't work, they only work on AC. A buck convertor (or sometimes just called a DC to DC converter) like what Mark linked to is probably your best bet. The funny thing is, I 've seen at least one described as a transformer on Amazon, but again, it's not a transformer.
     
    Mark Ricci and Pastor John like this.
  9. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Going to where was suggested worked very well. I have place an order for two. For the trains I have a DCC controller for the HO Gauge and 4 regulators for the N Gauge DCs/maybe DCC.
    Thanks again. I wasn't think too clearly after that 2 1/2 hour nap after checking out the space and visiting the repair shops.:rolleyes:
    Rich
     
  10. Chris Hall

    Chris Hall TrainBoard Member

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    I found this video really helpful in working out how to supply voltages to my layout.

     
    Glenn Butcher and warnerj01 like this.
  11. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    WOW!! Very informative but far more than what I needed. ;)
     
  12. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I just received notice from Amazon, that the company no longer supplies those items. I will have to keep looking.
     
  13. TrainzLuvr

    TrainzLuvr TrainBoard Member

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