Saving Money On Model Trains – Electronics
The electronics can be a little trickier. You will need some electronic components to run you railway. For those that are handy with tools you might consider rigging the electrical circuits of your railway yourself. There are lots of books on the subject. You will still have to purchase things like a power pack and wiring but wiring it up yourself can save you money. Instead of purchasing entire kits you can do the work for less than it would normally cost. That being said, if you are not comfortable working with electric components, it’s best not to do it yourself.
For those who are uncomfortable working with the electric components or simply don’t have the time. Hobby stores are the place to head. You can speak to someone there that is very knowledgeable on the subject. They can steer you to the cheapest, most effective model of power pack they have and ensure you get the type you need for your engine. If you are doing more than just powering your engine, like say lighting your entire town, then they can help you find the pack or packs that are best for that as well.
If you know what you are looking for, even if you don’t want to wire it from scratch yourself, then you might be able to find the pieces cheaper at the electronics store. An electronics store is sure to have a wide array of power packs and switches for you to use. Some of the packs will come ready to hook up, just like you would find at the hobby shop, so all you have to do is attach it using the simple instructions and you’re off and running.
You can find discount power packs and electrical components on the internet as well. If you are unsure of what to purchase, you need to do the research before you purchase. A quick Google search will give you everything you need to know about the voltage you need. All you have to do is put in the type of train you‟re running (as in HO, O, Z etc.) and you should be able to find an answer to your question. It is suggested though; if you are running your train and a lot of accessories off of the same power pack get at least an 18V pack.