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Hello Everyone,

I’m in the process of building my first layout and I just finished wiring my tracks up to a Lionel 180w PowerHouse. I connected the Powerhouse to a terminal block that branches the wires out directly to the track. All the hot wires are on the right side and common on the left. The wires from the PowerHouse are on the bottom of the terminal block. However when I turn the power on, the voltage on the track still reads zero. I’m wondering what I’m doing wrong?


F79F312F-D03E-4422-AFBB-4FD96286F1EE

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@MartyE posted:

It looks to me that the barrier strip is not connected per side across the screw terminals.  You need to bridge all those screw gaps per side.  I bet you have power at the bottom 2 screws.

That makes sense. When I received the terminal block I did receive a bridge, I just didn't realize what it was for at first. When I get home tonight Ill add it in.

Remember, certain powerhouse units had a microswitch inside the plug to turn them on. If you chopped off the end and didn't account for this, or if you used a plug socket (example harness used with the TPCs) that 3rd pin is required to turn on the powerhouse.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...8#147972075020227488

I was not aware of that. Luckily I believe I don't have one of those types as the powerhouse light was always indicating it was on. I'll have to do more research about this other version though.

Remember, certain powerhouse units had a microswitch inside the plug to turn them on. If you chopped off the end and didn't account for this, or if you used a plug socket (example harness used with the TPCs) that 3rd pin is required to turn on the powerhouse.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...8#147972075020227488

It would seem to me that this safety switch is internal to the molex plug.  Once the molex plug is cut off I suspect the wires have voltage.

@MartyE posted:

It would seem to me that this safety switch is internal to the molex plug.  Once the molex plug is cut off I suspect the wires have voltage.

It is and no.  If cutting the connector off disables the new interlock function then the design should never have passed muster with UL.

Cutting off the connector should render it inoperative, otherwise generally known as failsafe.

Mike

You might want to invest in a small VOM.  Volt, Ohm Meter, if you don't already have one.  Resistance/Continuity, (Power off), can be tested without a lot of difficulty.  IMO, Mike CT.  The nature, of sectional track, can leave holes in track circuits.

You may want to search the forum, meters have been discussed before.

Last edited by Mike CT

I thought I was crazy, the way this is

@romiller49 posted:

As Rich shows you’ll need separate connectors for hot and ground. It may be easier simply to buy the MTH power strip. They are already separated.

I thought I was crazy, to me the way this is wired would be a dead short. If you look at the barrier strip, the terminals on the right side and left side are common for each pair (the pairs are isolated from each other). If he put the power on the two bottom screws like that, he would have a short because the ground and hot would be shorted.

The way the barrier strip is native is each pair (right/left if you will) is connected, but each pair is isolated from the other pairs unless you jump them.

You could use a single barrier strip like this, but I would use 1 for hot, 1 for the ground side. If you use the single barrier strip, using your barrier (which looks like 12 rows), you could hook the neutral to the bottom right screw, then on the right side jump from the neutral screw to the one above it, until you are at the 6th position. At the top right put the hot, and then jump down to the next 5. Doing  this, on the left side (output side) you would have 6 hot terminals starting at the top left, then 6 neutrals below that.



I agree totally with another poster, buy yourself a VOM, you can get one cheap at Harbor freight or almost anywhere. For example, in this case, with it in OHM (resitance mode), you can determine if the right/left terminal pairs on the strip are in fact connected the way I think they are.You can see if the powermaster is even putting power to the strip (the fact the light is on the powermaster may only mean it is plugged in, not that it is putting out power) by using the AC volt scale, and so forth.

Last edited by bigkid

As someone suggested, this might be less complicated ..... comes in 12 or 24 port configurations, depending on your needs.

Power supply to red and black and then paired wires from each number out to your track power drops.

Can be used for conventional or command layouts and makes star wiring for MTH/DCS layouts a piece of cake.



MTH 12 PORT

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Last edited by Richie C.

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