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The only requirement left to complete the layout electrics / power to the track was the addition of a circuit breaker for when the inevitable ‘short’ occurs.

I spent a considerable amount of time researching what was available and reading members posts on other forums about what other modellers use and prefer.

My controller is the NCE Powercab (1.8amps) so I looked at the NCE offerings but they don’t have a product suitable. Many modellers use the DCC Specialities ( A US company) Power Shield PSX unit so I investigated this product.

The PSX is available in four modules – PSX-1 for one output to the track bus to a PSX-4 for 4 outputs. The multiple circuit boards come as one unit with perforated score lines if you wanted to divide into individual units and is ideal if you have several power districts.

The PSX board has a unit that by adding ‘jumpers’ you can set the breaker trip current rating from 1.27amps to 10.2amps so should protect most DCC systems. It comes with two on-board LEDs that indicate the power on and power to track status with an option to add remote LEDs to these if your PSX is mounted under your baseboards.

The PSX comes with a default setting of 3.8amps which is ideal for my system as I’ve now upgraded to 5amps with the DCC Concepts Alpha Power and Alpha Box. The PSX uses the track DCC to supply it’s operating power. Installation is very simple.


There are only a small select number of distributors for the DCC Specialities PSX products in the UK and upon first checking availability all these retailers were out of stock. Finally last week I found that Digitrains had them back in stock so took the opportunity to purchase one.


Connection to my system:   The track feeds from the Alpha Box go to the input terminal and then from the output terminal track feeds are attached to the track bus. There is a second output terminal where additional PSX boards can be daisy chained, but I have used this terminal and connected feeds to my accessory bus.

As most ‘shorts’ on a layout are caused by derailing or incorrectly set points the breaker only cuts the power to the track, allowing you to still operate the points via the accessory bus.


More to follow…

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About The Author


Recently retired and building my first model railway in about 50 years. Live on the Lancashire coast with my partner Deb and our three French Bulldogs. Modelling OO gauge / recent/modern image / DCC NCE Powercab / Cobalt Alpha Power / Alpha Box / Alpha Central / Alpha Mimic / PSX-1 Circuit Breaker

1 Comment

  1. Iain

    An excellent idea that Malcolm will look into one of these units for my own layout. Many thanks for sharing this 🙂

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