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Sure.

Here are a few potential options to start with, particularly if you don't mind using electronics to accomplish the task:

1.) DZ-1240 Auto Stop & Reverse Module by Z-Stuff for Trains

2.) Blinking Auto-Reverse Controller by trainelectronics.com

3.) AC Auto Reverse Unit, Model ARUE by Pocono Mountain Lines

The ARUE is quite old, and I believe they may be out of production, but can occasionally be found at train shows.

4.) For something more sophisticated, and particularly if your haven't purchased the trolley yet, you also have the option of using one of several made by MTH, and streetcars as well, which have this kind of functionality, along with station stop announcements, built-in to them (and programmable).

5.) Also on the more sophisticated side check out this thread if you're looking to use loops at the ends of your trolley line:

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...72#80551019692618872

It refers to using SuperStreets vehicles (taxis) instead of trolleys, but they work in the same way.

6.) Finally, if you'd prefer non-electronic instead there's always the classic bump-n-go trolleys that reverse using electromechanical means by running into bumping posts at each end of the line.  No auto-stop for 30 seconds here though.

Many choices.

Mike

Bachmann has offered a point-to-point trolley set in On30 for several years.  The most popular of these sets is in a Christmas motif, complementing the wide range of ceramic villages available from different mfrs.  But, Bachmann has done this set in a more common, non-seasonal set decoration.  And those trolleys are available separately, too.

If you want intermediate stops on this sort of a set-up, I highly recommend Dallee's trolley stop-and-go system using current-sensing for detection.  For all the years we used this system (Our Christmas metropolis became overwhelming to recent demise as the body became less flexible!), it worked flawlessly.

FWIW....

KD

Do you already have the trolley car(s) you want to use in-hand? 

As suggested by others, there are several off-the-shelf "systems" that can intermittently stop, reverse, delay, etc.

Most guys on OGR want an off-the-shelf, plug-and-play solution.  But if you don't mind DIY wiring, you could cobble together some timed-relay modules (a few bucks each on eBay) and get it done for, say, $10 out-of-pocket.  If this applies to you, I can elaborate.

 

The trolley comes into the station and stops. The lights go off and the direction reverses. The trolley
on the next siding turns the lights on, waits 10 seconds for passengers to load and slowly takes off. The
other end of the line is a reverse loop so the trolley returns and the process is repeated with the
trolley on the other siding.

The trolleys are controlled via TMCC which is initiated by insulated rails on each siding. An Arduino
then sends TMCC commands to the TMCC base.

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1. Simple DC Polarity Reversers:

If you can operate the trolley on DC, and do NOT require an intermediate stop -- then there are a BUNCH of systems that use a gapped section with a diode at each end of the track, and a controller that simply reverses the track polarity using a timer.

  • These are probably the SIMPLEST way to do automatic shuttle operation.
  • When something is not working right, they are relatively easy to troubleshoot, because the track power is ALWAYS on, it just peridically changes polarity.

How They Work:

  • When the trolley reaches the end of the track and crosses the diode section, the DC current cannot propel it any further in the direction it was going.
  • It sits and "waits" until the polarity is reversed, then the diode allows current going the other way to reach the motor, and the trolley starts up in the other direction.

I attempted to do a DEMONSTRATION of this type of unit in this video: https://youtu.be/VEHfVsTxZL0 .

The below IMAGE shows the LGB loco and the S gauge loco I used, but the gauge doesn't matter -- as long as the loco runs on DC.

scnCap25_56_666

I think the Bachman system that 'dkdkrd'  mentioned above, uses this type of system.

These controllers are fairly simple for electronics people to build, and I think you can get the more "homegrown" versions as low as around $30.

The units usually include a knob that controls the time delay between polarity changes, which controls how long the trolley sits at the end before it starts up in the opposite direction.

  • In the above image, the blue box is the controller
  • The black knob on the top of that blue box, controls the time delay.
  • This unit is a no-longer-made PH Hobbies unit, but currently-made units operate pretty much the same way.

 

Warrior Run Loco Works  located in NE PA, was marketing a "home grown" unit a couple of years ago for around $30. I can't find it on their web site, but they may still produce it.

You can sometimes find these USED reversing controllers at train shows.

  • LGB has been making these units for years.
  • Also Split Jaw made them; they're now out of business, but many used ones seem to be around.

 

2. More Sophisticated:

If you want a more sophisticated unit, Railroad Concepts makes a "Stationmaster Reverser" unit that does gradual acceleration/deceleration, plus intermediate stops. Details here: http://rrconcepts.com/Reverser.shtml .

3. DCC Option:

If you didn't mind using standard NMRA DCC, you could use an NCE DCC "Mini-Panel" Programmable Train Controller to run a unit point-to-point -- with the added BENEFIT that you can have lights and sound ON -- all the while that the trolley is stopped.  (You might have to "lean" on your HO friends, who are probably more familiar with the DCC stuff.)

I did a 2-minute-long video demo of this type of operation using two MTH Proto 3 locos in this video:  https://youtu.be/y9NASFyoJ5o .

Just pretend those two MTH locos you see in the below IMAGE are trolleys, and hopefully it gives you the idea.

scnCap824B-00-06-portable

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Great summary James!  

I was hoping the OP would let us know what kind of trolley he has or is considering.  It's such a difference if command-control is in play, or if trolley uses a traditional AC E-unit if lights/sounds at the timed stops is of interest. 

I like how you included price info.  To that end, I looked up the Dallee 682 that Mike refers to above.  

dallee ac back forth

It also occurs to me that with low-power LED technology, it would not be a stretch to add a capacitor or similar simple circuit to keep the lights on at station stops even if there's no power on the track itself.  Or for more play value maybe the LED circuit charges while running keeping cabin dark...but then lights turn on only when unloading/loading at the station!  So many possibilities!

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Last edited by stan2004

Thanks for all your suggestions. Here’s a better description of what I’m up to. On the layout I’m building - my first since I wad a kid 70 years ago - I’m running two mailines on O gauge tubular track.  I plan on adding the trolley on O27 because I need the sharper curves. The trolley runs from an urban center to a ski resort and mountain hamlet. A ZW provides conventional power to my post war equipment. 
The trolley is not prototypical - just a Little bump and go thing I got for under the Xmas tree, but a quaint addition to the mountain village.     
I do have the following which may help:

1.  One Lionel 153 IR

2.  Two dual infrared detectors model IRS-2 by Rail Tronics.

I’ve never used these. I picked them up a few years ago on ebay thinking I might someday use them. 
My basic goal is a point to point run with a pause for loading unloading at each end. 

will these tools work. If so how?

thank you James and all. 

Several methods assume direct access to the DC motor inside the trolley.  This allows direction reversal by simply reversing the DC voltage polarity on the track; we can deal with how you make DC track voltage from your ZW later.  Your bump-n-go requires the mechanical bumping which moves a slide switch inside the trolley to perform this DC voltage reversal.

So the question is are you willing/able to do some minor re-wiring inside the trolley?  It most likely will involve soldering which I realize is not in everyone's comfort zone.

As for your in-hand occupancy detectors, I'd think you need one on each end of the line.  Hence at minimum, if using the 153 IR, you'd have to buy a 2nd one which is $30 or so.  I couldn't find an online description of the IRS-2 much less a company website; these cottage-industry widgets usually come in a stapled bag with a one page "manual".  If you are able to scan/photo the instructions or provide an online link to the same we can see its relevance.

In any case, the guys above have given a wide variety of off-the-shelf options.  This is a problem that has been solved!  I approach it as a re-invent-the-wheel exercise while sheltering in place.  I think it could be done with, say, $5-10 in components/modules for a DIY enthusiast - meaning guys that turn on the soldering iron and coffee pot at the same time each morning!  

 

Last edited by stan2004

Thank you Stan.  I just completed the tables and am running the wiring. By tomorrow I plan to attach the table tops and begin the land forms. Then the two mainlines will be completed. The trolley will be last. 
Along the way I’ll send you the info about the “stapled in a cellophane bag widget” (good description).

i don’t understand the need for DC conversion.   The trolley bumps and reverses fine. I was assuming I could somehow stop the trolley and then move it forward an inch or so to bump and reverse. 
You are right, I do have an aversion to soldering. But if necessary, there’s always a first time!

Regarding DC conversion.  Somewhere in the trolley is a so-called bridge-rectifier component - thumbnail sized and with 4 terminals.  This takes the 2 wires with the AC track voltage and converts it to 2 wires with a DC voltage.  The trolley motor operates on DC voltage.  Reversing the DC voltage (i.e., swapping the two wires going to the motor) reverses the motor direction.  The bump-n-go trolleys have sliding electrical contacts that perform this swapping ping-pong style when hitting the bumpers.

So. Several of the methods proposed perform the DC voltage reversing on the track voltage itself.  For this to "work" you have to then bypass the bridge-rectifier in the trolley so that the track voltage is directly applied to the motor.  In these direct DC methods, the sliding electrical contacts are not used and the trolley does not have to bump at each end.  But bypassing the bridge-rectifier more than likely requires soldering, re-working potentially short and tiny wires so it can be a nuisance.  And you'd have to post several close-up photos so one of us can identify the necessary modifications...and of course trust that we don't abandon you along the way with everything dis-assembled should problems develop!  

-----

OK, I'm game to explore using the trolley as-is using the method you propose.  A couple questions first and I'll explain my thinking.

1. For the intended speed of operation (determined by your throttle setting), how quickly does the trolley stop when you instantly remove track power by, say, pulling the plug to the track?  I suspect this will be something like 3-6 inches but try it a few times at a few different suitable speeds.

2.  Say the trolley is stopped near the bumper but has NOT yet bumped to reverse.  If you instantly apply track power by, say, connecting the track wire to the transformer (transformer being already set to the desired operating speed), how close can the trolley be to the bumper?  In other words there will be minimum distance for the trolley to accelerate and develop enough momentum to reliably activate the sliding electrical contacts which reverses the DC voltage to the motor.  What is that distance?  I suspect it will be more than 1" but it is what it is.

So expanding on your idea, 

Trolley approaches end of line.  Infrared sensor (possibly the IRS-2 if we figure it out) detects trolley and triggers a relay.  Relay removes power to entire track for 30 seconds.  Trolley stops before end of track but far enough away from bumper per question 2 above.  Power is restored, trolley accelerates to speed, bumps and reverses, goes other direction passing detector.  But in this case the trigger is ignored (more on this in a second).  Trolley reaches other side and a 2nd infrared sensor performs same operation.  In fact the same relay module can be used if either detector can trigger the module. 

So the man-behind-the-curtain is some method to disable or ignore the infrared sensor for some length of time after stop so that the 30 second interval does not immediately start again.  Well, there are low-cost timer modules that have this kind of timing capability.  We can get into specifics but first let me know if I'm heading in the right direction!

12v timer triggerable module

 

 

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Last edited by stan2004
Adriatic posted:

Is the trolley recent?  I'm not sure Stan has the postwar version in mind. The more recent versions use a small dc can motor; the pw is a universal open frame ac motor.

What I have in mind is a method to use his trolley as-is.  All electronics or modifications will be external to the trolley.  It will use the existing bump-n-go mechanism for reversing.  In other words, it doesn't matter if the trolley guts are a DC motor, an AC motor, a mouse running on a wheel, a rubber-band, or fill-in-the-blank. 

If you use a "as is" circuit, you'll have some leeway in buying another too. But that could play into some of the on-board ideas originally mentioned

Not to jinx, but I couldn't find a new motor my last RK b&g trolley. (It saw a whole lot of run time in two years though; 100s.of.hours, many pulling a passenger car{abuse really, its a very small motor})

Stan2004, after a long interruption to fish the basement and add a bathroom, I’m finally back to work on my layout.
I will time the stop and start as you suggested

I have purchased a second  Lionel 153 IR and am attaching pictures of the IRS-2 which at the moment appears to be an IRS 1!  (Note the damage in the picture. I am contacting the manufacturer to ask if it is useful as is. ). I’ve misplaced the instructions but am sure I have them.

so, I’m interested in pursuing my goal using the material at hand. If I could add an intermediate stop using another 153R that would be great.  The Lionel fast track device looks interesting and I would be willing to abandon my O27 track for regular tubular if necessary. (I already have the connecting track for Lionel and tubular). Anyway, I’ll be back to you by Friday with the other info you requested.

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In case not obvious, the loose parts are from the adjustment potentiometer - similar to the green knobbed component on the right.  I'm guessing it's a Humpty-Dumpty situation and you can't put it together again...but who knows!  That component is inexpensive - maybe 50 cents - and can be replaced but would require some sleuthing to find a replacement and then soldering which may not be in your comfort zone.

It's curious you say you now have an IRS-1.  I was looking on the web and apparently that company made an IRS-1 with only a single occupancy sensor!  Here's a current eBay listing for an IRS-1 but the instruction sheet suggests it's an IRS-2.  If you can find the instruction sheet that would be handy.  Or, I suppose you could play Lookie-Lou and ask the seller to post photos of the complete instructions under the guise that you want to see how difficult it would be to hook it up.

BTW, the address on the instruction sheet is a residential address in Arizona which sold so it's not clear if this business is still in operation; I also saw some references to a "train-tronics" with similar products though I suppose it could be a d.b.a.

IRS-1

But in reading what little information there is on the web, I believe this gadget essentially behaves like your Lionel 153 IR...but has 2 detectors which, for example, would be placed on either side of a crossing to activate gates/flashers with a train approaching from either direction.  Like the 153IR I believe the 2 adjustments set the sensitivity of the detectors and the time-delay.  Hence, I believe you need both of the adjustments operable.

Also, what transformer throttle(s) are you using with this trolley line?  And what, if any, other power is readily available (e.g., Accessory AC)?

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OK, stan2004, (and others) the holiday is about over and I’ll soon be back to work on my layout. Here is the information you requested:

1.  The trolley is a MTH (Rail King 30-5142) bump and go

2. the unit will be powered by a Lionel 1032 (75 watts) transformer. During testing I discovered that A-U combination seemed too have so much power that it was difficult to adjust the speed at desired low speed. I switched to B-U and found the speed adjustment to work more easily. I completed the remaining tests using those posts. (Questions about the transformer at the end).

3.  How quickly does it stop. At what I believe to be the appropriate scale speed, it stops almost immediately when power is removed (1/4”).  I tried at various speeds. At high speed one inch, but i wouldn’t want to run it at such high speed.

4.  When at a complete stop it takes only 1/2” to establish enough speed to reverse directions when it bumps the obstacle

5.  I have two 153IR Controllers both purchased on eBay. I noticed in another thread that there are different generations of 153IRs.  One of mine came with instructions and service info dated 2001.  The other had none  

6. There will be a station at each end. One is a small Menards with its own LED plug in power; the other aRail King with two small light bulbs (accessory power)

7. So how do we get the trolley to ignore the 153IR when it reverses directions

Other questions (A & B most important

A. Would it be possible to add a third 153IR  and have a middle stop with no change of direction

B. I’m using a ZW to power my two mainlines and most if not all accessories.  I know that the two transformers must be in phase. Do I run a line between the two transformers or just attach them both to the common buss line. I know that is the U post on the ZW, but I’m confused about the 1032. I’ve read on the forum that with the A-U combination the U post is the center rail and A what I call the ground (outside rail). On the B-U combination which seemed to work best I think I was using U as the center rail.  Is that correct?

C. Will there still be fixed auxiliary power available on the 1032. My understanding is that A-B is a fixed 5, and B-C fixed 11. So if I’m using B for variable power how is it possible to also use it as fixed. Avoid the common ground somehow?  And a related question what might I want to use it for.

I found the instructions for the IRS2  I don’t think it’s of any use in its current condition but I plan to call them

By the way, I am willing to try my luck at soldering, but not with anything requiring fine detail. I have a serious tremor in my hands.

Last edited by Don Baird
@Don Baird posted:

I found the instructions for the IRS2  I don’t think it’s of any use in its current condition but I plan to call them

By the way, I am willing to try my luck at soldering, but not with anything requiring fine detail. I have a serious tremor in my hands.

I think you should abandon the IRS2.  A repair would undoubtedly require soldering.

So here's a strawman concept diagram that should not require soldering.  I'm immediately interested in whether this makes any sense whatsoever!  There's a lot of wiring and I won't be offended if you think it overwhelming or incomprehensible.

You should be able to click on the image to get more detail:

baird trolley stop 12-28-2020

This method can be used for the original 2 end-stations with 2 153IRs.  You can add 1 or more middle stations.  Each middle station requires its own 153IR.

When the trolley passes a 153IR it generates a trigger to a timer module.  The timer module cuts power to the track for 10 seconds (you select the stop time, just using 10 sec for example).  Then power is restored to the track and the trolley starts back up.  The key is that the timer module only responds to the off-to-on transition of the trigger.

There are two cases to carefully work through.

1) When approaching an end station, the 153IR must be near the station.  As you say the trolley will stop in a 1/4" after passing in front of the 153IR.  Track power is cut for 10 sec and track power is restored.  The 153IR is still generating its occupancy trigger but that's OK because the timer module only responds to the initial occupancy.  So the trolley accelerates to speed in 1/2" inch, hits the bumper, reverses, and heads down the track.  All this time the 153IR is triggered until the trolley clears the station.

2) In a middle station, the trolley stops in 1/4" after passing in front of a middle 153IR.  The timer module can accept a trigger from ANY 153IR.  Track power is cut for 10 sec, power is restored and the trolley continues in the same direction.  Again, because the timer module only responds to the initial occupancy, it only removes track power once per passing.

Regarding transformers and power.  What I'm showing keeps power systems separate which I think will keep things simple for now.  Grounding, phasing, etc. are obviously important issues but I think it more important to solve the matter at hand which is the "automatic trolley" function.

So what I show is your ZW Accessory voltage powering an AC-to-DC converter module.  You will need a DC voltmeter to adjust the output of the converter to 12V DC.  This 12V DC then powers all the 153IRs and the timer module.  Yes, you can power the 153IR with DC.  So the AC-to-DC converter module, the 3 153IRs, and the timer module are effectively one "big" accessory powered by your ZW Accessory voltage.  This "big" accessory has a simple 2-wire connection to your track; it's purpose in life is as an off-on switch from your 1032 set to a suitable trolley voltage.

The two electronic modules mentioned are widely available.  There are similar modules that can be paired to perform the same function.  It's just that I have used both of these modules.  Here are some current listings I just pulled off eBay though these are coming from Asia so can take a month or whatever.  These modules are generally available on Amazon with U.S. shipping but are typically marked up in price (sometimes quite a bit).

ebay asia converter and timer for baird trolley

There are i's to dot and t's to cross.  For example, I see that you might have different versions of the 153IR which would modify the diagram.  For example, the timer module has to be "programmed" to 10 sec using tiny buttons and the digital display - can be exasperating!

But I'll stop now so we can see if we're on the same page!

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Last edited by stan2004

OK. I’ll give it a shot.
question:  Does using the B or C plug on the ZW eliminate the use of that for anything else?

i do have the 1032 to work with and did all my speed testing on that. With two mainlines and a trolley I assumed I needed three sources of power, saving ZW B & C for accessories.  It’s not clear to me how to run accessory power from the 1032.

I’msure I’ll have questions once I get started. First steps:  order the parts and finish laying track!

thanks!

P.s.  I do have other transformers which could be added to the mix - little square black ones and a newer 40 volt train master which came with Thomas The Train. I planned on saving that for Christmas , although I’ll probably have to pick up something that will run two trains under the tree (this year I used my ZW).

I found an eBay listing that shows the 1032 instructions.

lionel 1032 transformer fixed voltage to accessories on B-C

Apparently your trolley works best using the B-U terminals.  10-4.

I guess I misunderstood about using the ZW.  I thought you wanted to used the ZW Accessory output to power "all" your accessories (including this new "accessory" that performs automatic trolley control.

But if you want to "isolate" your trolley system and use JUST the 1032 to power all-things-trolley, then simply power the automatic trolley system using B-C terminals and the trolley track voltage with B-U (adjusted to a suitable speed).  In this context, it doesn't matter if it's B-C or C-B in terms of orientation of the wiring.  Likewise, it doesn't matter if it's B-U or U-B in terms of orientation of the wiring.

1032 powers everything

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I can go either way. I was concerned that using the ZW might eliminate the use of one OF the accessory posts on the ZW  I have yet to figure how best to group the various accessories while connecting to the B and C posts.
It seems that if I use the 1032 for all things trolley that might simplify the use of the ZW. . When I get the whole list of accessories for which I wish to use fixed voltage auxiliary power it may become obvious. (It might even suggest dividing the accessories between all 3 potential sources of fixed voltage?). We’ll see.

I’ll let you know when all the parts arrive.

Stan

[“But if you want to "isolate" your trolley system and use JUST the 1032 to power all-things-trolley, then simply power the automatic trolley system using B-C terminals and the trolley track voltage with B-U (adjusted to a suitable speed).  In this context, it doesn't matter if it's B-C or C-B in terms of orientation of the wiring.  Likewise, it doesn't matter if it's B-U or U-B in terms of orientation of the wiring.“]

I happen to have 3 colors of 16 gauge wire left (two “boat cable” & one “primary wire.”). One each for the B, C, and U posts  

Am I correct in that B & U provide variable power to the trolley; and B & C fixed voltage to the 153ir?  Which post is connected to the center rail, B or U?  If B, then is the C the “common rail” for the 153ir.  It seems more logical to me that since B is used twice, it should be outside rail on track and common on the timer module and 153ir  

Can I also power the single light in the trolley station with B & C  

(I’ve discovered that I can purchase a new 153ir from a local train store for less than $5 more than the going rate on eBay)

Thanks for your help.
Don

@Don Baird posted:


...

Am I correct in that B & U provide variable power to the trolley; and B & C fixed voltage to the 153ir?  Which post is connected to the center rail, B or U?  If B, then is the C the “common rail” for the 153ir.  It seems more logical to me that since B is used twice, it should be outside rail on track and common on the timer module and 153ir  

Can I also power the single light in the trolley station with B & C  

baird trolley stop 1-23-2022

If using the 1032 for all things trolley, above revised diagram might help.

Note that the 153IR operates on DC voltage supplied by the AC-to-DC converter.  No connector/terminal on any 153IR or the DC timer module is ever in "contact" with a connector/terminal from the 1032.

And it's fine to use your 16 for the track power and the 22 for accessory wiring including all the DC connections between the voltage converter, 153IR and timer module.

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Still haven’t received the AC to DC converter module or the timer module. Here’s what I’ve completed so far.

The lines from the 1032 are independent- not connected in any way to the other buss lines. I’ve run three lines - one each from the U, B, and C posts (C to be used with the stop and go centers we are setting up and any trolley related accessories)

Because the trolley run is 20 feet I’ve planned on three power drops, one at each end and. one approximately half way, co-incidentally near each of of the there 153ir.

The drawing suggested to ME that the power for the timer - converter - 153ir unit goes to the timer module first the to the converter and on to 153ir.  (Maybe because I’m reading right to left)

Your last post  says that is not the case but I don’t see a direct path to the Ac-DC converter unless the lines go into the ports labeled B and C. But if that’s the case what are the lines labeled U, B, and Center rail on the right side of the timer

An easy question:  Are the 153ir units located in isolated blocks of track

Maybe this revised diagram will clarify?

baird%20trolley%20stop%201-26-2022

Electricity has no concept of left-to-right or right-to-left!  Current flows where the wire takes it...up, down, left, right, north, south, or around and around!

The 153IRs are NOT electrically connected to the track!   They do physically sit next to the track at 3 places to detect trolley occupancy at those positions.  Power to the 153IRs comes from the AC-to-DC converter output.  The rocker switch on each 153IR is set to "AUX PWR" and the DC power is applied to the U and A terminals on the left side of each 153IR.

To be clear, your 20 foot run is a single "block" of track.  The center-rail and outer-rails are continuous from end-to-end.  There are no cuts or breaks or "isolated" sections.  The timer module has a relay which has ON-OFF control to the entire 20 foot track.  All or nothing!

I clumsily attempted to show 3 power drops along the 20 feet of track.

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Right. I've had an easier time with solid into the screw-terminals as used on the AC-to-DC converter and timer module.

Not sure what to make of the 24 AWG comment in the 153IR.  I just tried it, and 16 solid securely fit into a 153IR - no forcing, jamming, cramming, whatever.  Almost makes you wonder if "larger than 24" means numerically larger like 26, 28, etc.. which I suppose can be too thin to make solid/secure contact!

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