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I recently redesigned my track plan and decided to install new bus wires to the layout. All the feeder wires seem to be correctly placed. Once I added new bus wires and attach feeders, I get a short on my nce power pro 5amp dcc system.  I am at wits end and about to give up. I am running 2 rail o scale on a 9x34 foot layout with 12awg bases and 18-20awg feeders. Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Before I changed the plan the layout operated fine. I could run 3 locos with sound and lights pulling 20-30 cars with no problem.  I plan on upgrading to a 10amp system in the near future (when funds are available to do so). Just trying to get it up and running again. I can be reached at 914-443-1493 if anyone would be kind enough to discuss my current situation.  Thank you in advance for any help.

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Thanks.  I will draw up a simple track plan of what I had and what I did to try to help with the confusion.  Greatly appreciate your help.  It's been down for almost 2 months and I an going through some major withdrawal! Lol! Getting very disappointing going down to the layout and not being able to run trains. Attached video is from when they were running.


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I put new bus wires from the CS going left and dead ended where suitcase connectors would go to continue over bridges with no feeders attached. When I turn the system on it doesn't short. I attached 2 feeders (one to red bus and one to black), once turned on it shorts. I tested power from CS with a RRAMP meter and shows 14.1-14.2 volts. Pics attached. The picture where you see the road going down hill is where I did the majority of the changes.


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I'm in over my head here being a conventional power 3-railer. Still, my approach would be to get SOMETHING working. I have a temporary circle of track I can put a single loco on with power and test run. Once I know it's good, I can hook up to part of the layout using that loco. I have switches on the control panel to kill sections of track. I kill everything but one, and test it. If it works, then I add one section at a time and test run until it doesn't work anymore. That tells me where the problem is.

I have had shorts in a track switches twice: once from foreign matter, once from part of the switch touching another part that it shouldn't. I have had shorts from wires touching under the layout that didn't before. I've also had dead places from solder joints that failed.

Uninsulated frogs in new switches can be a short in 2-rail practice, based on my decades-old HO experience.

One of those cars parked in the yard could be off the track on a switch and create a short. Maybe start by making sure all cars on the track roll freely and are clear of track switches?

It can be some work to track things down, and you may need to cut some gaps and put some spst switches in your panel, but in the end, this isn't that complicated, and you can do this. It probably won't be the last time something fails and things stop working.

I didn't add more feeders . I disconnected all the ones I had attached and attached only 2 new feeders to the new bus wires i installed on about 15-20 feet of new bus wires. I plan on attaching the rest of the feeders tomorrow and hopefully that will do it. Not out of the woods yet but was a good sign I was able to hook up a short section of track and able to operate the locos. Feeling better now than I was a few days ago especially after hearing them fire up and able to move them. About the only thing I can think of now is the lack of feeders.

More places to look for a short:

1. New bus wires backwards polarity from original bus wires.

2. New feeders attached to wrong rails/busses.

3. Old disconnected feeders hanging down under layout touching wrong old bus.

4. Old disconnected feeders hanging down under layout touching each other.

That is my new plan thanks. I just disconnected the CS and attached power to older part of layout that has a 25 foot run with passing siding and locos ran fine with no short. Believe I am narrowing it down. Definitely has to be something with the feeders I have attached.  Can only hope! I know one thing, once I get this back together properly, I am not touching it again!

@Bill Sherry posted:

No need to disconnect all.  Go halfway and break it there.  If you still have the short go back another 1/4 and break it there.  At some point it should be good so you can narrow it down and just fix the misswire.  Then start adding the breaks back in just in case you have another wiring mistake.

Glad you found it but it is worth emphasizing this methodical approach is always a good start.

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