# wiring newbie

• posted

Hi, I am starting to put together an n scale layout and I am totally new at this and new to this newsgroup. I have some questions about wiring.

I am planning to have two loops connected by two switches that will allow me to eventually have two trains running together (I will have other things but essentially will start with this). My questions are these:

1. The outside rail, both in the inside and outside loops have continuous electricity that is connected to one end of the power pack?

1. Do I put several connectors in both outside rails and connect them to the same pole in the power pack?

2. The inside rail in both loops is going to have breaks at the switches?

1. Do I put several connectors throughout both inside rails and connect them to the other pole of the power pack?

2. In other words, when I put a connector at the joint between two tracks do I attach one to each rail, connected to the different poles?

1. Do these questions make sense? Am I explaining myself properly?

Thanks,

Andres

• posted

andres=A0muro wrote: Hi, I am starting to put together an n scale layout and I am totally new at this and new to this newsgroup. I have some questions about wiring. I am planning to have two loops connected by two switches that will allow me to eventually have two trains running together (I will have other things but essentially will start with this). My questions are these:

1. The outside rail, both in the inside and outside loops have continuous electricity that is connected to one end of the power pack?
2. Do I put several connectors in both outside rails and connect them to the same pole in the power pack?
3. The inside rail in both loops is going to have breaks at the switches?
4. Do I put several connectors throughout both inside rails and connect them to the other pole of the power pack?
5. In other words, when I put a connector at the joint between two tracks do I attach one to each rail, connected to the different poles?
6. Do these questions make sense? Am I explaining myself properly?

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These might help.

NMRA's Wiring Basics:

Here are two popular books:

Good luck!

History of N Scale:
's Books and Toy Trains:
to 1,000 sites:

• posted

That's called "common" rail wiring. No particular problems arise.

Yes. You really need a transformer/controller for each circuit so that you can control each train individually.

Switches as in turnouts? Depending upon the design of the turnout you will probably need insulators just beyond the turnout frog "V". On a crossover, the frog will be on the inner rail of the outer circuit and on the outer rail of the inner circuit. (the frog corresponds electrically to one rail in one position and the other rail in the second position Your newly found rule already has an exception! ;-)

Yes, in stage one! Stage two: you will want to be able to turn a section (block) of track off so that you can halt one train while the other runs. Stage three: Two transformer/controllers for individual control. Stage four: you need 4 blocks (two on each circuit) so that you can exchange trains between tracks. Stage five: Cab control - the block switches get changed to "SPDTCO" (single pole, double throw, center off) so that you can allocate either controller to any block.

That might well be an awful lot of wires, IF I understand your question. I wire my layout with a wire to every individual piece of _rail_, or I solder the rail ends together inside the rail joiner. All those little wires get soldered to a heavier bus wire.

You don't need to worry too much about such niceties at the beginning. Over time (several years) the surface between the rail and fishplate (rail joiner) will oxidise and the power won't make it to the loco, but the action of sliding the rails apart and together again resolves that. On permanent layouts the rails are solidly fixed so oxidisation becomes a problem.

Regards, Greg.P.

• posted

Greg and Bill:

I have read some wiring instruction books and references on the web. However I wasn't sure if I understood the explanations. So, I was trying to put them in my own words and see if they made sense. From Gregs answers, I gather that I seem to be on the right track ;-)

What I seem to get from reading booklets and stuff is that I need devises to separate cables to keep things neat. However, If I get a bunch of cables that go to one pole and keep them together, it should work at first, until I get the appropriate devise. I don't have all the parts to set up my layout yet, but I am trying to get the information to do the setup. I have a train set with an oval track and I ordered a bunch of extra tracks, switches, etc. I am going to buy a

3x5 piece of plywood to set up the tracks. Once I have all the tracks and start wiring stuff, I'll know if I really understood. If I see a lot of sparks I'll know that I need to re-wire things :-0. I have a three old grandson and want to give him a little surprise. Thanks again,

Andres

control each train individually.

just beyond the turnout frog "V". On a crossover, the

the inner circuit.

rail in the second position Your

that you can halt one train while the other runs.

trains between tracks.

pole, double throw, center off) so that you can

the rail ends together inside the rail joiner. All

time (several years) the surface between the rail and

but the action of sliding the rails apart and

so oxidisation becomes a problem.

• posted

[snip]

Get Basic Wiring for Model Railroaders (by Rick Selby, Kalmbach Publ. ISBN 0-89024-358-1). It will answer all your questions, including the ones you don't need to ask yet, but will when your layout becomes more complicated (and it will, it will!) Best of all, it has loads of pictures, so it's a real hands-on manual for the wiring newbie (and an excellent refresher for the, um, expert.)

Have fun!

• posted

Neat? Can't say I've ever come across that technique. Seriously, those loop cable ties cost about a cent each. You want a separate colour for each function - I use the Marklin colour code:

- Red, track power.

- Brown, common.

- Yellow, accessory power.

- Blue, turnout activation. Add little tags with a cryptic code to identify the particular block, turnout ...

The rule which _must_ be obeyed: check the functioning of each wire as you connect it.

If you have a whole bunch of wires from one pole together, you might as well have one much heavier wire! Well, perhaps I'm thinking in terms of a 13'x15' layout rather than a 3'x5'.

Good luck and best wishes, Greg.P.

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