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LocoHubSupply: more power for your LocoNet

All LocoNet modules, with the exception of those with their own power supply, draw power from the LocoNet. When you have a large layout with multiple feedback decoders, throttles and other digital fun bits, you will run into the 500 mA current limitation. The obvious solution is to power a part of your LocoNet from it's own 12 Volt DC power supply. The LocoHubSupply is a LocoHub combined with a power supply to give you just that.

The lower two LocoNet connectors, marked with IN, are connected 1:1. You can use these to connect LocoNet main line, for example. The other two connectors, marked with OUT, are intended as branches. They draw their power from a simple circuit that generates 12 Volt DC. Connect to these connectors whatever you want to power separately, i.e. a group of modules, sockets for throttles, etc.

The shopping list:

Parts
Count Description Conrad number
1 7812 (TO-220) 179230
1 rectifier B80C1500 501441
1 capacitor 2200 µF 25V 445153
2 capacitor 100 nF 453358
1 LED 3 mm 184713
1 resistor 1,2 kilo Ohm 403261
1 fuse holder 533866
1 fuse 500mA 532923
4 RJ12 connectors 716136
1 2-pole screw connector 729949
1 heat sink for 7812 188271

The circuit is built around the well-known 7812 voltage regulator. You can use 15 to 18 Volt AC to power it. The rectifier turns the AC into DC and the capacitors flatten the DC voltage out. A 500 mA fuse acts as an extra precaution. Use a separate transformer for the LocoHubSupply, i.e. an old starter set transformer. You can also use a low-cost wall-mounted power supply which delivers either AC or DC.

Warning: do NOT connect the LocoHubSupply to the same transformer that is powering your Intellibox. This will cause a short-circuit inside the Intellibox. Do not connect the OUT connectors to your Intellibox either.

The LocoHubSupply6

The LocoHubSupply6 has two connectors more than the normal LocoHubSupply, but does not come with a voltage regulator. A simple - and cheap - Wallmart power supply is enough to power the LocoHubSupply6. You cannot connect it to a hobby transformer or any other AC source. The empty space on the board was used for two extra OUT connectors.

Building the LocoHubSupply6 is very straightforward. All components are indicated on the board. The parts you will need:

Parts
Count Description Conrad number
1 capacitor 2200 µF 25V 445153
1 capacitor 100 nF 453358
1 LED 3 mm 184713
1 resistor 1,2 kilo Ohm 403261
1 diode 1N4001 162213
6 RJ12 connector 716136
1 2-pole screw connector 729949
1 power supply connector NEB21R 738882
1 suitable power supply 12V DC 500mA 514223

The power supply has to deliver a stabilised 12 Volt DC, while the current is limited to 500mA (maximum power is 6 Watt). You can buy these simple power supplies from any electronics's shop. You connect the power supply to the round connector. The inside of the plug should be the plus. You can also cut off the plug and connect the wires to the screw connector. Please make sure the plus and minus are connected correctly. The LED will light up when the power supply is connected correctly.

The LocoHubSupplyM

Ebay is a great source of cheap electronics from China. The other day I found a small Volt and Amps meter for just a few euros, including shipping all the way from Shenzhen! Wouldn't it be great to fit such a gadget to a LocoHubSupply? You could spot instantly if your LocoNet is about to overload. This is exactly where the LocoHubSupplyM comes in.

The LocoHubSupplyM has one input (IN) and four outputs (OUT). Like the LocoHubSupply6, it draws its power from a simple stabilised power supply. The board layout is almost identical to the LocoHubSupply6, but on the side you will find terminals for a Volt meter (V- and V+) and an Amps meter (A- and A+). You can connect only a Volt meter, only an Amps meter, both of them or no meter at all. If you leave out the Amps meter, make sure to short the A- and A+ terminals with a wire.

Parts
Count Description Conrad number
1 capacitor 2200 µF 25V 445153
1 capacitor 100 nF 453358
1 diode 1N4001 162213
5 RJ12 connectors 716136
1 2-pole screw connector 729949
1 power supply connector NEB21R 738882
1 suitable power supply 12V DC 500mA 514223
1 Volt and/or Amps meter Just search eBay

The Voltmeter's range should go up to at least 12 Volts, which is the preferred LocoNet voltage. The maximum current a LocoNet branch should draw is 0.5 Amps or 500 mA. If you search eBay, you will find a suitable set of meters in minutes.

Schematics

Boards are available from the shop.

2012, 2016

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