Lionel trains wiring diagrams bmw,model train museum nj bridgewater,bachmann trains 2016 toy fair yorkshire,nyc subway map 6 train yelp - Step 3

23.12.2013
When creating a miniature railroad, electricity is routed from a 110-volt AC source (220-volts overseas) plugged into a wall outlet, through a transformer that reduces the voltage, and then to the locomotives, rolling stock, signals, lights, sound systems, and other devices.
Understanding the amount of electrical current drawn by various locomotive motors, lighted passenger cars, accessories, and lighted or animated scenery is important to ensuring the right size wires are selected. Wiring skills involve stringing and routing wires from one point to another, supporting them along the way, and joining them by soldering joints or crimping connectors.
Troubleshooting electrical problems can be a very time consuming effort since there may be many connection points between your transformer and track or accessories. If you decide to rewire your layout, I suggest that you adopt your own standards based on certain rules of thumb. I have found that the best cure for one's apprehension about tackling a wiring job is to draw a picture of the wiring.
The 'art' of soldering correctly is a skill learned over time since your first attempts to ensure a mechanically and electrically sound splice or connection will be by trial and error. Last, the right tools will make a very big difference in how well you test layout electrical circuits and CEMs, trouble shoot problems, strip insulation from wires, attach solderless terminals, and solder. Two other wire features are also important: type of insulation (plastic, paper, cloth), and whether the wire has a stranded or solid metallic conductor. Modern wiring for toy or model train layouts most often has a thin plastic insulation over the conductors. Short circuits occur whenever two un-insulated or bare electrical conductors touch each other. On your train layout, short circuits are not usually so dramatic since the voltages are low. If the short circuit current draw is not sufficient to cause local area heating, then low voltage shorts are often difficult to find especially if you have a lot of wiring.
For example, suppose that you use #20 stranded wire for connecting to turnout motors and solenoids.
This is one instance where you may wish to either 'tin' the end of the stranded wire or crimp a solderless terminal onto it after striping its insulation and twisting the strands together. A major problem with short circuits in recent times has been the loss of on-board electronic command control and sound systems due to a derailed train. An open circuit is one in which there is a discontinuity along a wiring path over which electricity does not flow. When working with AC, it usually does not matter whether you connect one or the other power wire to an accessory even though it is normal to connect a transformer common to a side rail and lettered post to the center rail. Whenever you solder wires, remove only enough insulation with your wire stripper to allow the clean, bare conductors to be twisted together so they have mechanical strength, and then solder them together.
Segmented Wiring: I run a 16-18 gauge 2-wire conductor from two transformer terminals to a block. By organizing electricity distribution by segment, maintenance, trouble-shooting, and changes are much easier to accomplish.
Since no devices are attached directly to the transformer posts, reliability is enhanced because you have eight screw terminals from which to draw power, not just one. The left terminal block is a distributed DC power point, and various accessories like a highway flasher, station stopper module, & others use the right terminal block. Wires above the terminal blocks lead to the power sources and central control panel, and wires below come from the individual soundboards located in the engine house, sawmill, and others.
Use either spade or loop connectors for reliable wiring and for connecting a wire to a terminal block. Rely on your diagram when stringing and connecting your wires, and follow your diagrams and the previous guidelines for cutting, stripping, crimping or soldering wires in order to ensure neat and reliable layout wiring.
Trouble-free train operations will more than justify the extra time that you spent ensuring that your wiring is as reliable as you can make it.


If any problems do occur with a properly wired layout, it will be much easier to find them. Electrical current demands determine the size of the wires needed to distribute electricity needed for flawless operations. With simple skills and some common sense, you should be able to ensure your success and safety.
One hundred percent reliability means there are never any failures in the electrical distribution system. Each connection or wire segment must be isolated and determined to be trouble-free, before moving on to successive points in your distribution wiring. However, if the layout is operating but there are frequent or intermittent electrical problems, then start over to rewire your layout in order to ensure future reliability before expanding it.
What everyone should know is that model locomotives generally require more 'power' than do caboose lights. This is usually called a 'wiring diagram.' I've been wiring train layouts for over 50 years, and always draw a diagram, no matter how simple the job. This is sufficient for low voltage applications, but if a wire's insulation is broken, a short circuit may occur.
You may have experienced a short circuit in your home when frayed insulation allowed two lamp cords to touch causing a spark and a loud popping noise and perhaps blowing a fuse or tripping a circuit breaker.
Segmented wiring makes it easier to isolate problems as does adhering to your standard wiring practices and carefully following good installation procedures. If you strip the wire and wrap it around a screw-down type terminal, it's possible that one of the tiny wire strands may be dislocated and inadvertently pushed aside it could contact an adjacent wire.
Tinning the wire means soldering the very tip with just enough solder to keep the strands in permanent contact, but not so much solder that the wire looses its flexibility. The newest electronics are very sensitive to rapid current increases resulting from a short circuit. However, some electronic modules used as detectors or timers may require that you adhere to certain connection standards or the device will not work. If you have wired a circuit, but the device doesn't operate, you can test for voltage from the transformer outward.
A 75-watt iron or gun will ensure that you have enough capacity to sufficiently heat larger gauge wires so that the solder flows through the joint to ensure a solid electrical connection. When the joint cools, cover the soldered joint with either electrical tape or shrink tubing. Large O-gauge layouts with scale sized engines pulling long trains on several hundred feet of mainline track, 12-gauge wire or heavier may be needed to not only handle the heavy power demands but also reduce the voltage loss due to the wire's internal resistance. This helps to ensure that all power connectors are screwed down tight, make good electrical connection, and look much better.
Just looping a bare wire around a terminal block screw and tightening it will eventually cause problems with poor contact between the wire and the screw, and corrosion that causes high resistance.
It's available in electronics stores in both long and short lengths and various diameters to accommodate all wiring gauges. If used to insulate small gauge wiring joints, the tape's inherent stiffness causes it to unwind from the joint that could bare a conductor causing a potential problem. Cut it to whatever length you need, peel off the backing from the loop tape and stick it to the underside of the layout. This article guides you through the selection of proper wire sizes and connections to enable smooth flow and distribution of electricity to all parts of your layout, and to avoid problems caused by short and open circuits.
Although most of us will always find some glitch in our wiring no matter how well planned and executed, we still should be able to attain reliability in the 90% plus range. Thus, sticking to a standard way to connect and solder wires and segment electrical distribution with terminal blocks will surely lead to easier troubleshooting in those times when something does go wrong.


The latter consideration is very important if you intend to use either Lionel's TMCC™ or MTH® DCS™.
Intuitively, a six-motored A-B-A diesel lash up needs more electrical current and higher voltage (the combination of 'current' and 'voltage' is 'power' in electrical terminology) to run at scale speeds than does a single motor yard switcher. I always check supplier's wiring diagrams for accuracy, and if it is not clear, I'll call the supplier's technical support desk for clarification. This is not because I can't solder, but because I've found it to be faster and better to use spade and loop terminals for connections to terminal blocks and butt connectors for splices. The current rise due to a short may cause a wire to heat up enough to burn you even though the voltage is low.
Therefore, a fast acting circuit breaker between your transformer and the track are mandatory especially if the transformer is not one of the newer models designed to work with command control systems. Place the meter probes on each connection point and watch for volts on either the swinging needle (analog meter) or digits (digital meter).
This makes many wiring jobs go faster especially if you are opening and tightening many terminal blocks' screws.
All my main power leads from multiple transformers are connected to terminal blocks under the layout. At an 8-position block, I connect one of the transformer leads then link each of the positions with a jumper wire so that now I have eight points to which I can connect some track or device. If more than eight connection points are required for either lead, jump from the first terminal block to a second one where there may be two, four, six, or eight additional screw posts. Further, if using stranded wire, a loose strand may accidentally touch a neighboring terminal thereby causing a short circuit.
Slip a length of tubing over a soldered joint and heat the tubing with a lighted match or heat gun to shrink it over the joint.
If a joint is subject to abrasion, however, a tape or a crimped connection may be a better insulator since it is possible to inadvertently scrap off the coating thus exposing the conductor.
Leave the backing attached to the other strip, trap the wires between the two Velcro pieces, and press together for a very satisfactory wire management solution. The whole idea is to spend your time running your trains, not constantly lying on your back under your layout tracing wiring problems.
Consequently, the wires needed to supply the higher power requirements of mainline diesels or steamers need to be larger than for yard operations. Nevertheless, you will need to solder from time to time, so it pays to work on your skills.
If your trains are not running smoothly, you can test the track voltage at different points to determine if voltage is lost either due to track or connection resistance. The other transformer lead is then connected to a second block with jumpers to give me eight appearances of that lead. This is especially true if your layout features many grades where the locos exert more pull and thus demand more electricity in order to keep the train's speed constant. Colored coded wires, solderless connectors, and segmented wiring make it much easier to ensure that polarity is followed and to trace a wire back to its source.
Be sure to use a 'heatsink' when soldering wires to electronic components to prevent overheating. A common heatsink is a small, spring-loaded, aluminum clamp that is clipped onto a component's lead to absorb soldering heat.




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