KB113: Boosters and Power Management

This article was last updated on May 16, 2012, 12:15 p.m. | Print Article | Leave Feedback

What is the difference between boosters and power management?

A Booster is the device that provides the electrical power to the railroad.

Most Digitrax command stations have a combined booster. The command station generates the DCC signal then sends it through a booster to the layout.

A small model railroad may only have the command station and booster, while a large railroad will have numerous boosters. Multiple boosters provide more power to larger layouts.

Additional boosters receive the DCC signal from the command station via LocoNet.


Power management
usually refers to the devices which act as circuit breakers and power distributors.

One example is the PM42, which has four sections that each have their own circuit breaker.

The PM42 is used to keep a railroad running; if one section develops a short circuit, caused by a derailed train for example, the other sections will still keep operating.

Although the boosters have their own circuit breakers, many modelers choose to add the PM42 as a more economical option.

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