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I am preparing to rewire my power set up in preparation for the new Base 3. The plan I had was to phase the three transformers on my layout that control 6 tracks (ZWL, ZW, CW80 2021 ver) and then wire the common wires to terminal block.  From that block I was going to run common wires to each of my track.  The hot wires will all run straight from the transformer posts to the tracks as normal.  This is a diagram of what I was thinking of doing.

I have 2 questions:

1. With the terminal block bringing all the common wires together do I still need wires running directly between each of the 3 phased transformers common posts?

2. With the Base 3, I was going to run the wire to the terminal block but for the ZWL do I also need to run a wire from the Base 3 to the command base post on the back of the ZWL? (orange in the attached diagram)

Common Diagram


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  • Common Diagram
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@Mike CT posted:

Electric panel ground  bus bar.  Both, common track ground, and accessory ground, use this bar.


Another look.


Thanks for posting this.  It's an "a-ha" and "duh" moment for me.  Terminal strips can get expensive, and the ground bus offers a low per-connection cost.  It's a common part that I'm familiar with, but my feeble mind never thought to use it for this purpose.

And your wiring is very tidy.

Last edited by Mallard4468

Ok, so I tried to rewire my table tonight doing what I have pictured above and I have run into some issue that I'm hoping someone can help with.  I'm assuming I did something stupid but I can't figure out what it is.

Like I described above, I took all the wires off my 3 transformers (all in phase).  Then I took a terminal block and used one for all the common wires and one for all the hot wires.  The difference is that I took terminal block and added the jumper strip, I didn't do this on the hot wire block.  I connected all the track common wires and all then ran new lines from the same side of the block to each of the common terminals on the transformers.    For the hot wires, I connected the track wires in one side of the block and then ran new lines from the opposite side of the block to the appropriate handle on my transformers. 

What is happening is that no matter which handle I use on my ZWL, a track that isn't hooked up to that handle powers up.  So handle A powers the track hooked to handle C.  This appears to only be an issue with ZWL but I disconnected the wires from all the transformers because I didn't want to break something. 

Attached are photos of what I had done, note that these photos are from after I had disconnected many of the tracks from the hot block on the left but you can see how I was lining up the tracks on opposite sides of the block.

Am I wrong on how the Terminals on the Transformers are labeled?  Are the Common on the ZWL not the same as the Common on my ZW?  Is there something obvious I'm doing wrong?  Are these the wrong type of terminal blocks to use for this use case?20220925_20020020220925_20065320220925_200656


Images (3)
  • 20220925_200200
  • 20220925_200653
  • 20220925_200656

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