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Tonight I experimented with direct powering a Fastrack turnout but it didn’t work.

The track jumper was removed and power from a separate channel on the ZW+L was connected to the AUX IN position.   I understood that I didn’t have to use the AUX GROUnD so I didn’t connect that at first.   I turned up track power to 18V and the channel that the turnout was connected to was turned up to 14V.    The turnout lantern did not illuminate and it did not respond to commands.    Track voltage was 18V at both ends.

I connected a ground wire from the appropriate channel to the turnout AUX GROUND position.   Track power to 18V and the ZW-L red light started flashing.  If I left track power off and turned on the channel powering the turnout, the turnout worked perfectly.

Not sure if it matters but the turnout was not in a full loop of track. It was on the workbench connected only to a terminal 10” straight piece.

What would be causing the flashing red light?   And did I understand correctly that the AUX Ground was not needed?  If so, why didn’t it respond when the ground was not attached?

Any input would be appreciated.  

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Vin, there are lots of wires inside the switch to be sure, but you really only need to be concerned with 3 to resolve this issue.  Using a multi-meter or some other means of checking continuity will greatly simplify the process.  Checking continuity, you only need to identify which of the 3 terminals (Aux Power, Track Power or Ground) is connected to the center rail and which terminal is connected to the outside rail.  The remaining terminal should be Aux power.

Once you've identified which terminal is which, how you deal with the issue is a matter of personal preference.  The choices include:

  1. Relabel the terminals on the cover plate using masking/painter's tape and a marker or other method
  2. Reposition the terminals so they correspond to the stamped markings on the cover plate
  3. Resolder the wires to the terminals so they correspond to the labels on the cover plate
@SteveH posted:

Vin, there are lots of wires inside the switch to be sure, but you really only need to be concerned with 3 to resolve this issue.  Using a multi-meter or some other means of checking continuity will greatly simplify the process.  Checking continuity, you only need to identify which of the 3 terminals (Aux Power, Track Power or Ground) is connected to the center rail and which terminal is connected to the outside rail.  The remaining terminal should be Aux power.

Once you've identified which terminal is which, how you deal with the issue is a matter of personal preference.  The choices include:

  1. Relabel the terminals on the cover plate using masking/painter's tape and a marker or other method
  2. Reposition the terminals so they correspond to the stamped markings on the cover plate
  3. Resolder the wires to the terminals so they correspond to the labels on the cover plate

Appreciate the additional instruction.   I followed the link to the Lionel fix but it wasn’t helpful.   My wires seemed to be in the correct positions and matched the pictures.  I’ll need to look again and follow your steps.

That will have to wait, though.   I haven’t been able to run trains for almost a month.   For now, I’m going to work on the bus to power the layout and screw some of the tracks down to help stabilize the connections.  The turnouts will have to run off track power for now.  Hopefully the bus and screwing the tracks down will be enough to get me up and running.

Plus, I need to pick up a soldering iron and practice with it a bit.    

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