Tagged With "How-To"

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Re: Powering a McKeen Car

Madison Kirkman ·
I don't think I would want to do that, I built the truck, since the original ones were custom made, so I would like to keep my truck. I would not mind adding a bracket or something to be able to house the motor to the truck.
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Powering a McKeen Car

Madison Kirkman ·
This is my first model train I have built,(and maybe my last McKeen Car) and I would like some help with Ideas on how to power it.  I purchased a motor used in the engine in the starter sets made by Lionel. ...
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? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

Garrett76 ·
Hi, what is the simplest way to connect multiple operating accessories in parallel to power from one CW-80? I will not be soldering anything. Crimping and/or tightening screws attached to terminal blocks is what I'm going for. I'm an amateur at electronics, some pictures of actual products would be very helpful. This is for a Christmas layout and I'd like to be modular so I can disconnect the items and reconnect next year. Thanks Garrett
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

cjack ·
Run 12 ga to a barrier strip with jumpers so you can parallel loads. Here's a picture of one with all the jumpers showing...
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

George S ·
Are you also asking about accessory activation wires? Those vary by each type of accessory. Are these all buildings? Otherwise, could you list the accessories you are trying to hook up? Also, you asked about modular connections. There are great ways to use labeled Molex connectors so that you can unplug a module just like you would with a power cord to a wall outlet.
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

Garrett76 ·
I am learning from everyone but still not all the way there, yet. I am a visual learner and would really appreciate a hand drawn sketch with arrows showing the flow direction of electricity at each connection point. please clearly label polarity and other relevant points Thanks!
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

wild mary ·
If you use a busbar (not to be confused with a terminal strip) there's no need for jumper wires.
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

Trainfun ·
Garrett, if you look at ACDX Rob's excellent diagram you will notice that he says to use a jumper strip on one side of the barrier. A jumper strip is a thin metal strip that looks sort of like a comb. Think of the prongs of the comb and imagine two going under each screw on one side of the barrier strip. Now all of the screws on that side of the barrier strip are electrically connected. So, if you attach your red (hot) wire to any of the screws on the side with the jumper strip all of the...
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

wild mary ·
Garrett I see you live in Maryland - same here in Baltimore. If you email me at nicholscharpam@comcast.net I'll give you me cell number. Call me (any time-I'm retired) and I'll walk you through the hook-up. BTW nice job on your web site.
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

Gene Dickerson ·
This is what I use, works great!
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

coach joe ·
Garrett, that barrier strip is a fairly common item that should be available at Lowes, HD, ACE, Menard's, Radioshack if you're lucky enough to still have one nearby or any quality hardware store. They come in various lengths so depending on the number of accessories you may want a longer or shorter strip. Look closely at Chuck's picture and you'll see the copper "jumper"wires connecting the cells of the strip so that one power wire from transformer feeds up to six accessories. You'll also...
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

Garrett76 ·
so, do all the red wires go on one side (top) and all black wires go on other side (bottom)? or is it power wires on the outside (left and right) and operating accessory wires go the middle? a sketch on paper would be helpful. thanks!
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

cjack ·
It's left and right. Each vertical pair of screw downs are electrically isolated from each other. I connect half of them of them together and call that red, then the other half connected and they are black. In Lionel terms that is A and U. Instead of using wire jumpers which I make out of #20 ga wire cut in about one inch length and bending around a needle nose plier in the shape of a U, you can buy jumpers. They come in say 8 or 12 long and I cut off what I need like say 4 in a row to...
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

George S ·
This is my favorite way. Black to one side and red to the other. You can even plug in with banana jacks. I made this myself, but MTH and Miniatronics each sell one called a power distribution block. George
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

Dave45681 ·
They seem to have one model of the item shown and also the other type of Barrier strip at Lowes (you will have ot change to your local store to see if they actually have it). Barrier Strip #1 . Barrier Strip #2 . -Dave
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

ADCX Rob ·
Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

Garrett76 ·
excellent, exactly what I was looking for. One question- as the wire leaves the transformer and becomes many before connecting to the jumper, how do I simply get multiple wires from one? something happens at that intersection which is not clear to me thanks!
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

Garrett76 ·
thanks. questions- is this a common item? Anyone know if it's carried at Lowe's? If not, what brick and mortar location can I get one? is it bare wire ends or do I need to purchase some sort of end connector? what holds it in place, screw pressure? Thanks
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

coach joe ·
Garret, I've borrowed Chucks picture, If you look closely the red wire entering the strip on the left hand top side is hot power from the transformer into the strip, it is connected to the next five cells on the top side of the strip by 5 short, un-insulated copper jumper wires connecting each terminal to the next terminal to the right thus powering six terminals. On the bottom side you can see three red (Hot) wires coming out of three individual terminals, these are the hot wires to the...
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

Garrett76 ·
thanks everyone. I did go to Lowe's and buy some supplies. Haven't been able to work on it yet
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

JD2035RR ·
There was a recent post that suggested using grounding strips/grounding bars to avoid the need for jumpers. These seemed to be a cost efficient approach at $5.58 for 9 terminal (you can have more than 1 wire in each terminal hole). http://m.homedepot.com/p/Squar...t-PK9GTACP/100161420 Good luck and please update us when you get a chance. Thanks, JD
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

George S ·
Grounding strips are made for 14 to 12 gauge electrical wire used in 15 to 20 Amp circuits in electrical boxes. The gauge of wire for most accessories is much smaller, since they draw very small amps. I use grounding strips for track power, but you need to be careful with accessory wire connections. It is possible to reduce the effective gauge of the wire at the connection if only a small portion of the wire surface is making contact with the connector. It can also be difficult making the...
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

Dave45681 ·
I probably wouldn't have been able to write it up as nicely as George, but I had similar thoughts on the grounding bar and how it could be less than ideal for smaller wires, especially stranded ones. That screw connection is relying on a conductor close to the size of the hole. A properly sized conductor, such as the size George points out, can then reasonably be held in place with the screw. Mashing one (or more) smaller conductors down with the screw will probably not be ideal. You may get...
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

John H ·
I use these. Search for 8 way bus bar from ebay. About $9, but make it easier.
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

cjack ·
I don't care for the grounding strip in our applications. The only thing it has going for it is that it's inexpensive. I very much like an insulated strip which is more compatible with our wire gauges. Compared to the cost of the layout, each appropriate strip we may purchase is less cost than one piece of track. I think it's important not to focus on one favorable aspect of a choice, but to think more broadly about all the aspects including safety, ease of use, appropriate for the purpose...
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

JD2035RR ·
George, John, and Dave, Thanks for pointing out the pitfalls of the grounding strip. I am certainly no expert, so I appreciate your comments. I heard via this forum of someone using those and thought it sounded good at the time. Thanks! JD
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

Garrett76 ·
So, apparently I bought the wrong item from Lowe's (pictured). There's never anyone in that place who knows anything about electrical items. I asked the hardward guy if he could open the package and check it out. I was primarily interested to know if the terminals were connected on the long side. He said he couldn't tell but thought they were connected on the inside. They were not as I found out two days ago. In another post, someone suggested a jumper strip which I think can be used with...
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

cjack ·
Radio Shacks are .375 inch centers
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

Adriatic ·
It's not a bad idea, they end up being the same thing basically. But is the bar as easily customizable as the strips? Those jumpers can be clipped and groups set up eliminating empty excesses. I see wire too, so what was is its max amp rating?
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

John H ·
Good point on the amps. I'm not sure. I just use them for buildings and they are all LEDs. Most accessories don't draw like engines so I messed that up.
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

shorling ·
I use these barrier strips from Allied, 28 double rows. I cut them to the length I need.
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

stan2004 ·
Yes. It has what amounts to 2 bus bars, each with 8 positions...plus a pair of wires and connector to feed the 2 bus bars. As noted earlier, there is some question as to its current/power capability - the eBay listing is somewhat skimpy on technical details. I found this Amazon listing which appears to be a similar item. If you go to the Amazon listing and look at the customer reviews, a guy opened it up and had some observations about the internal construction that is worth reviewing...
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

George S ·
Maybe just buy the terminal blocks and jumpers from Radio Shack if you can find one that is still open. They closed four stores around me, but there is one that is 10 miles away.
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

stan2004 ·
OK. So you have 3/8" centers. My guess is Lowe's Utilitech GTB-408-UT is a private-label (or whatever you call it) and close cousin to the big supplier Gardner Bender GTB-408 strip which has 9/16" centers. You'd think these jumpers to make a bus'd connection would be clearly listed as an accessory or companion part to the terminal blocks themselves! And NYC Subway's barrier strip is yet another option with 7.5mm centers. And Garrett asks for as the "simplest way". Anyway, my suggestion to...
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

stan2004 ·
Do you have a part # and where Garrett can buy that jumper strip? As others have noted there are different sizes of these strips; if the pic below is the Lowe's product he has I think he needs 9/16" centers - though you wouldn't know it hunting around for dimensions on the Lowe's site!
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

George S ·
They are called Terminal Block Jumpers and you can get them at Molex or Radio Shack online. I could not find them on the Lowes or Home Depot web sites. I think I bought mine and the blocks at Radio Shack. There is a Molex part number 0380021290 for a Beau 8 circuit connector, but it is spec'd at .375" centers. I am not sure whether that is the exact match to Garrett's terminal block. I couldn't find the specs on the Radio Shack model.
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

John DeAlto ·
Bandgood.com 12V NE555 Oscillator Delay Timer Switch Module Adjustable 0-10 Second (4) Added : Jul 09, 2016 US$2.33 Price alert Add Cart Remove Share <form id="postproduct"></form> 600V 15A Dual Row 4P Screw Connector Electric Barrier Terminal Block Cable Wire Board (8) Added : Jul 09, 2016 US$1.49 Price alert Add Cart Remove Share <form id="postproduct"></form> Dual 12 Position 15A 600V Screw Terminal Strip Covered Barrier Block (4) Added : Jul 09, 2016 US$2.29 Price...
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

Adriatic ·
Whada ya mean, why carry those too? I'd call and put the question in a managers hands and tell them you'll callback. I have seen the jumpers in either Lowes or HD, but that doesn't mean they carry them at every store, or at all anymore.....it also doesn't mean they haven't been moved to the paint department I'm sure you could find them cheaper, but in a pinch for an odd part like this Grainger is a good place to start. There used to be enough manufacturers represented to cover just about...
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

nvocc5 ·
Hi Group Allelectonics.com has the terminal but no strip terminal. http://www.allelectronics.com/...rips/dual-row/1.html
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

John H ·
In my post above, you don't need the jumper strip. That's why I said it was easier, one side for hot, one side for ground.
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

Adriatic ·
Messesed up ? Not really. Its still a quick and simple option. We don't know what its limits are though. Messing up would be to not share what you thought might help
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

wild mary ·
WOW Talk about complicating a cheese sandwich!!
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

Rivesm ·
Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

George S ·
Yes Garrett, this is the jumper strip to use for those following along. George
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

stan2004 ·
Doing cjack's suggested search: Imagine that....barrier strip AND jumper strip to make a bus - on the same page. I've taken my share of potshots at Radio Shack but in this case credit where credit is due!
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

cjack ·
Just buy on line... The radio shack link won't work...just search for barrier strip https://www.radioshack.com/
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

Dave45681 ·
Working link to the Radio Shack Barrier Strip Search results. -Dave
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

rtr12 ·
We still have 3 Radio Shack stores within about a 10 mile radius of where I live. The problem with the RS stores is they usually carry only 2 of each item, especially with the electronic stuff. If you want 3 you are in trouble. Wonder if that has improved since their restructuring? Maybe I will stop by one and see.
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

John H ·
To answer RIVESM's question: it is a bus bar, actually a pair, one on each side. Oops- Just saw Stan's post.
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Re: ? simplest way to connect wires of operating accessories to one CW-80?

Adriatic ·
The lack of efficient restocking at RS is why they are sinking fast, IMO. The now closed store at the corner would get "the drawers" refilled once every 2 -3 months, and it would be void of the basics again in a week. It was also obvious the issue wasn't the stores, but upper management and failure to deliver parts in a timely manner. I'd spend 10 minutes there and watch $30 walk out the door 3-5 times each visit just from those empty drawers. I miss my store, but in a nostalgic way. It was...
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