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Garden railway DC only controllers.


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Help, I've started to build my oval tail chaser  garden railway, a garden railway that does not have the garden shed to contain the the standard electrical controllers such has Gaugemaster and so on. My garden does have an outside socket fitted by a qualified elecrician so in my simple thoughts I assumed I could use a standard contoller stationed on a table inside a protective box. Can I do this? or do I need to use a controller that is manufactured for  garden railways. I've done google searches and can find nothing to help me only comments saying don't use indoor controllers for garden railways. I've got everything to build this garden railway including a gaugemaster twin track controller.....but can I use it? I hope some one can advise me, kind regards Mike

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I don't have an outdoor power source and use a cheap solar panel  connected to a battery and inverter. When l do need mains power it via a long extension lead. I have had no problems using a controller out side and providing you use your common sense and don't get it wet or go over it with the mower you should be alright. You might want to invest in a circit braker, same as for a mower incase you do have a short on the cable. If you search 00 garden railway on you tube you will catch glimpses of people using normal controllers outdoors.

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Gaugemaster controllers are the business. They say 'For indoor use only', as many electrical items do, because they aren't designed to be weatherproof.

It should be able to survive a few spits from a small passing cloud on its own, but if you want to be sure then you could put it in an enclosure to protect it. I'd still have it so you can disconnect it quickly and take it indoors if anything heavier, rain wise, blows in and catches you unaware.

 

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7 hours ago, jimbob said:

I don't have an outdoor power source and use a cheap solar panel  connected to a battery and inverter. When l do need mains power it via a long extension lead. I have had no problems using a controller out side and providing you use your common sense and don't get it wet or go over it with the mower you should be alright. You might want to invest in a circit braker, same as for a mower incase you do have a short on the cable. If you search 00 garden railway on you tube you will catch glimpses of people using normal controllers outdoors.

Thank you for your honest reply. I'm afraid I pressed the panick button in my brain with ragards to garden railway controllers when I read an article via a google search stating how silly it is to use indoor controllers out side????? Alas there isn't enough information online so I shall use common sense and use my controller inside a large plastic box on its side and yes I always use an RCD  when i use electrical items such as my power drill via my garden wall socket. Thanks again.

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6 hours ago, Clay Mills Junction said:

Gaugemaster controllers are the business. They say 'For indoor use only', as many electrical items do, because they aren't designed to be weatherproof.

It should be able to survive a few spits from a small passing cloud on its own, but if you want to be sure then you could put it in an enclosure to protect it. I'd still have it so you can disconnect it quickly and take it indoors if anything heavier, rain wise, blows in and catches you unaware.

 

Thanks for your reply and I've now  decided to use my contoller in a plastic box. I just wish there was more helpful information online to guide people with standard DC controllers for OO gauge continuous run garden railways. Thanks again

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Hi Mike,
I guess that model railways are a minority hobby and garden railways are a minority within the model railway hobby, then smaller scales are a minority of those. As such, there aren't many companies making stuff specifically for small scale garden railways. Add to that, I don't see many of them without an indoor area they run in and out of.

That applies as much to DCC as it does to DC. We're in the same boat in that regard being all outdoors, even though I'm going with DCC. My controller (laptop) won't take kindly to getting wet either.

We have to make do with adapting indoor and other stuff and there isn't a set method or guide so you really just have to ask for other's experience and wait for an answer. There doesn't seem to be "conventional wisdom" for many aspects of small-scale garden railways.

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