Hey all,

We'll be running a bunch of MTH PS1 and conventional stuff on our layout.  We are powering the layout with a combination of KW and LW transformers, and we'll have manually switchable "block" zones.  Blocks are run off the same bus so they're not independent power districts.  There WILL be different power loops, but that's separate from the blocks.

Lionel apparently recommends a lock-on (we'll be soldering) after every three or four track splices.  We will probably do that, we might stretch it a bit though.  I plan on running distributing all power from the KW to each block, first through a  SPST switch for each block, then on a power loop with several track connections within each block.

Some of you guys recommend putting the TVS as close to the track as possible. Would it make sense to solder a TVS at EVERY track connection point?    If so, I feel like I'm going to have a hundred of them. So my plan is to put a TVS right at each SPST switch or each block and connect between SPST  and the common (U) bus.  Or should I open all my locos and put them directly in the locos? Just connect the wire from the roller to the chassis ground?

Or is that overkill, and I should just connect the terminals at the transformer and be done with it?

Thanks

 

Original Post

Just remember. They don't last forever and you want to replace them periodically. If you solder them in, its going to be a lot of work to change them out.

You might want to consider using terminal blocks with the TVS connection on them and running the power wires to one side and the track connections to the other. 

You might also stretch the connections to every eight sections and see how it works out - that would cut your drops in half. If you start experiencing problems with voltage loss or other issues, you can always add more drops later.

 

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Since it is the electronics on-board the locomotive I want to protect I put a TVS Diode in each engine (across the chassis-ground and roller input wires).

Lew

 

All photos are mine unless specifically noted otherwise.

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

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Jeff_the_Coaster_Guy posted:

Good idea. And avoid the solder. Wasn't aware that these have limited life.

 

The life isn't that limited, but they do occasionally fail.

One easy way to avoid having to hunt down shorted ones is to put a series fuse with them.  A 10A fast blow fuse should handle any transient spikes easily, and will blow if the TVS fails shorted, the most common failure mode.

gunrunnerjohn posted:
Jeff_the_Coaster_Guy posted:

Good idea. And avoid the solder. Wasn't aware that these have limited life.

 

The life isn't that limited, but they do occasionally fail.

One easy way to avoid having to hunt down shorted ones is to put a series fuse with them.  A 10A fast blow fuse should handle any transient spikes easily, and will blow if the TVS fails shorted, the most common failure mode.

With no way to tell if they have failed, it's wise to change them at least once a year in my opinion. Better safe than sorry.

The fuse idea is a good idea.

Well, there's certainly a way to tell if they have failed shorted, that's their most common failure mode.  If you have an indicator fuse with a light across it, the bulb will lite when you have a bad TVS.  Replacing them every year is a needless expense, they really don't fail that often, and even less often in an open condition.

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