im new to the hobby, how do i make 2 different power districts?

I bought a stack of fastrack (O-gauge) and a train for my son for Christmas.  The track was too big to support the 80 watt transformer I got from LIonel, the train just dies at the far ends of the track.  So I bought another 80 watt transformer.  I watched a Youtube video on how to get them in "phase" by wiring them together via the black wire, but I have no idea how to actually take these 2 transformers and get them to power our track.   The train runs great when it is close to transformer #1, and I know just the spot I'd like to place transformer #2, but how do I do this without risking the trains?   I read posts about people buying a different transformer like a 100watt one, but since I already bought 2 CW-80's I'd prefer to use them if possible so I don't have to go spend more.   I'm just not sure how to get it to work.

 I'm doing my best to read through forums and try to educate myself but it gets hard to understand because I'm very new to all this.   Just need a few good succinct  steps and I'll go get the equipment to get it done!  Thanks for any help, and merry Christmas!

Original Post

Instead of 2 transformers, I think you need more power connections to the track using one transformer. On bigger layouts you need more than one power drop. At every track connection you will lose some of the power as you get further from the transformer. 

You don't mention if you're running command, conventional, LC, LC+. You didn't give an overall size...3x9 loop, or 20x40 sprawling carpet monster. 

If you run lit passenger cars with blocks you have to be concerned with thier wiring.   (never leave a set of rollers bridging two blocks for long; phased or not.)

For command, LC, LC+ etc. you need constant power, so you put pins in the center rails to create 2 "blocks". Then each transformer feeds one block. Turn them on, make sure you dont excede their max voltage. Run the train via the systems remote. 

  However, try the drops is first. Use 12g to 14gauge set of wires feeding the track at various points; drops. Some folk do only a few, some folk do one nearly every other track section.  

The short of it is copper wire provides a better electrical path than track does. 

For small conventional, one transformer per loop is what you want. If you have a ton of track two might be easier to handle, but the extra throttle isnti a help really. .  If you run a grade, it might be handy to have two. One on high to climb, on on low to come down.

 I'd think about two loops and two engines if conventional running is what you do. That or a siding that uses its own power.

If you connect the loops, then you'd set up blocks between the turnouts. You want turnouts to remain powered by the main track they support. Which loop powers the rails between two loop is a choice (with trick options if fancy=fun)

 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





marshill88 posted:

...The track was too big to support the 80 watt transformer I got from LIonel, the train just dies at the far ends of the track...

Tanner111 posted:

Instead of 2 transformers, I think you need more power connections to the track using one transformer. On bigger layouts you need more than one power drop. At every track connection you will lose some of the power as you get further from the transformer.

Your first transformer is capable of powering miles of track, and as tanner describes, you just need to get the power there more effectively. The transformer need is based on how much equipment you are running, not how much track there is.

FasTrack has the advantage of each full size(and many of the smaller fitter sizes) section able to become a connection point(center rail & running rails) for additional power connections made in parallel with your FasTrack terminal track. The newer FasTrack does not conduct through the track joints as well as the original 13-14 year-old track, so you will want to run a pair of 18-16 gauge wires along your tracks making use of the connectors on the bottom every 6-7 joints for good operation.

The wires included with the sets to the FasTrack terminal track also is somewhat lacking - too small. Use better wire there too. Anything you can do to reduce the voltage drop is the goal.

Rob

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