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After having taken down my floor layout a year or two ago I've finally built a train table and am getting back to wiring the layout. I've revisited a couple books on track wiring and DCS, but am hoping someone can clarify a few questions I have regarding MTH Realtrax switches which will all be hooked up using auxiliary power (the 14v accessory power on the MTH z1000 power brick).

1. (also 1 in the image) - With a switch on each side of this piece of track does the track need its own connection to track power?

2. (also 2 in the image) - Where does an engine whose rollers will be on both switches (as you can see two switches are connected together) for a short period of time get its power? Does an engine use the 14v power going to the switch to keep moving in this case or somehow use the 18v from the connecting track? Is there another explanation? Thank you.



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  • realtrax
Original Post

(1) No. Jumpers inside the track switch carry track power to all the center rails. Thus track power (the variable voltage being generated by the Z-1000 throttle) is fed from the center rails of track pieces adjacent to the track switch. Accessory 14VAC is only fed to the switch motor and the switch lantern, completely separate from track power. 

(2) Same answer, really. Power is fed to the center rails by inside jumpers.

Sorry for just responding, but I spent most of last week finishing up the table. I did end up using track power for the switches and it's working well so thanks to all of you for the advice and information. I read something in Barry's book about trying to keep the DCS track signal from running through circuit boards so if I have issues I'll switch them over to accessory power. 

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