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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may seem like a dumb question but it is cheaper to ask a question than to fry something.

LGB Boosters are linked to the MTS Central Station and a loco can run from one insulated boostered track to another and to another and to another (up to 4 boosters).

I would guess that other brands of boosters would also allow for a loco to run from one insulated boostered track to another but if (as with the MRC AD501) the booster is not connected to the Central Station (OK I know it gets the DCC signal and passes it on) I would like to confirm that it too can run a loco from one insulated boostered track to another etc.

Another related question is whether boosters could be mixed (brands) on the same main line. My current plans are to use the same booster model on a given mainline and perhaps a different booster brand/model on another mainline but perhaps getting the DCC signal from the 1st mainline (such as LGB MTS on mainline 1 and MRC on mainline 2).

Do the insulated rails between boosters need to end at the same spot? What if the rails are flex rails and one end is a foot or more from the end of the other rail? Would this hamper the operation of a train moving between two boosters?

What about reverse loop circuits? Presumably they all work the same but are they interchangeable between brands of boosters?

Now that I have a number of both LGB and MRC boosters I need to figure out how to get the most efficient use from them.



Most DCC systems can accommodate many boosters. There should be no reason why they all have to be the same model or make. Each is just an amplifier that takes a sample of the DCC signal and raises it to a particular voltage level with some current behind it.

Multiple boosters should all be set to the same output voltage (within a half volt or so). If a booster's output voltage is not either fixed at a particular voltage or adjustable to some desired voltage, then it probably should not be used. Large scale typically wants to see 20 to 24 volts on the track, although for small engines and consists running a narrow gauge speeds, 16 volts works well enough.

Most rail gapping between districts is done at the same place in both rails, although some manufacturers recommend a small offset, about 1/8" or so. I don't know what would happen where the offset is longer than a whole loco.
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