Setting up again – part 2

With all the layout sections back on their legs and bolted together, it was time to connect the wiring. Two wires connect one section to another via a Euro-style nylon barrier strip. The lead photo shows how wires from an adjacent section are about to be connected to the barrier strip.

Nearly all of these were reconnected easily except for the final interface where the DCC command station is located. The layout is divided into three districts to minimize issues with short circuits. If a short occurs in the yard, it won’t affect the rest of the layout. Same with the other two sections.

But there was a slight issue. I couldn’t immediately recall how these were wired into the layout. After reviewing the terminal connections on the layout, I figured out the wiring.

These automobile taillight bulbs are wired in series with the track and would light up when a section has a short circuit. It’s a simple way to minimize operational problems and to identify which section has the short circuit. This RR Circuits web page has the details. It’s old school, but works.

With the layout wiring connected, I daisy chained the Digitrax UP5 panels along the fascia for their Loconet. These are the plug in points for the hand-held throttles. I former crew member dubbed these as Plugintas. I had a nest of CAT5 cables of different lengths and had to determine which of these connected the panels. It didn’t take long to figure it out, but I did think about moving onto a new system with wireless throttles. It’s definitely going to happen for the next layout.

The last step is to set up the Digitrax command station and power supply. A couple wires to the track terminal strip, a couple to the programming track, a CAT5 connection with the Loconet, and a connection with the power supply finished the work.

I’m sure you are thinking that I ran a train next, but I did not. There are a couple of track issues to fix before trains can run. Wheels will turn soon. I promise.

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4 thoughts on “Setting up again – part 2”

  1. I use the same connectors and wiring solution to connect all my sections. Been using that system for over 30 year and multiple moves. Simple and works great.

  2. Oh, no! You are getting your wiring done before me. I guess I better stop laying track and do some wiring. Who knows, maybe I’ll get to run something before you do. Great progress. The race is on.

    1. Ha! Thanks, Gary! My wiring is just reconnecting sections. The track was installed and wired years ago. I’m not starting anew like your project. – Eric H.

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