Whilst the RailKing O gauge locomotives can operate with a traditional 18 to 22 volt (dc or ac output) transformer/controller the use of a modern sound compatible controller will allow the full benefit of the Protosound-2 units that are built into these models. If all the track-powered locomotives are under digital command control then the transformer need only provide a fixed ac output. Using MTH controllers there are basically two options; firstly there is the Z-4000 transformer-controller (which itself takes a 110 volt input so you may need a step-down transformer) which is sufficiently heavy duty to provide 10 amps at 18 volts on both of the throttle outputs and will also provide basic sound control (whistle, bell). Secondly the DCS handset in combination with a TIU can be used to control multiple locomotives (and also trackside accessories), the TIU can be fed with 18 to 22 volts ac or dc from a plain transformer or set of batteries. We have heard of people using NiCd, NiMH and traditional lead-acid cells as power sources, with MTH and other controllers, and the occasional use batteries within the rolling stock to remove the need of powering the track. Whatever the power source MTH recommends an 18 volt output of 10 amps capacity protected by a 15 amp quick-blow fuse. MTH recommends an 18 volt supply since this will increase the operating life of components such as the bulbs in the constant lighting units, the controlling electronics and locomotive motors are however rated at 22 volts maximum.

Please note that the controllers and maintenance items are being moved to the Common Items category in the category frame at left.

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