Power and MTH RailKing track and switches

Apparently, the MTH RailKing track is only powered on one side rail. In
addition, it appears that the switches only pass power on one side. Is that
I designed a simple double loop using a LH and RH switches to transfer from
the outer to inner loop, connecting the turnout of one switch to the pass
through of the other. Now the inner loop receives no power at all. In
addition, the outside loop has power, but my TMCC steam loco stutters over
the switch on the outside loop. The TMCC desiel is as smooth as silk, even
at very low speed.
Several questions (assume TMCC operation only).
- Should both outside rails be powered for best performance.
- What is the best way to power this double-loop configuration? Should I
add a power terminal to the inner loop? Or, should I have used two LH
switches for this double loop configuration?
- The MTH switches have an auto switch feature when the train is coming the
wrong way. Will adding power to both outside rails defeat this feature?
- Does my TMCC loco stutter because their is a problem with the track wiring
or the loco?
Reply to
Christopher Glaeser
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Outside rails are "ground", which is important for TMCC. You will need at least one lock-on for each loop. More depending on track lenght. Figure one lock-on for each twenty running feet or so.
RealTrax lock-ons only connect to the middle and one outside rail. If you still have weak signal after adding lock-ons as suggested above, you can try adding a couple on the opposite side as well. I don't think this would affect anti-derail feature of the switches.
Reply to
OK, thanks, I'll add more lock-ons. Do I have to worry about current loops or TMCC signal reflections, or can I just put the lock-ons at each track loop and extended turnout?
Also, what is the recommended guage wire for powering the lock-ons with two TMCC locos? I saw a package of RailKing wires with banana plugs at the hobby shop yesterday. I'm guessing it was for easy connection to the lock-ons, but the wire guage looked rather small for powering a couple of TMCC locos.
Best, Christopher
Reply to
Christopher Glaeser
or TMCC signal reflections
Don't know about current loops but TMCC signal can be problematic in tunnels with wire mesh. I'm told you have to ground any metallic scenery to earth, not transformer ground.
Our club uses 12 gauge wire. The standard lockon wires do look wimpy (16 gauge?) but they work for me.
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