Can anyone help me, I am a total noob  at wiring track.  I plan on using Lionel Fastrack and want to wire it but I have no clue how to do it.  I want to make the benchwork modular so that it can be taken down but still leave the wiring in it.  I know i have seen videos and they mention bus wiring and dropping feeder wires to the bus wiring.  My question is how do you connect the feeder wires to the bus wiring?  Are there any good books that I should use for reference on how to wire my layout?

Original Post

Get yourself a copy of Lionel's Track and Power booklet. It contains a lot of useful info on Fast Track, Power and Conrol plus a lot more. I can supply one for $6.00 with free shipping if you want a copy from 2015. I think I have a newer one but will have to look. 

This has a wealth of info for the beginner. 

Also you may have to learn how to solder the drop wires  onto the bus as that is the best way to connect them. A Weller solder gun is best with some very thin flux solder. Also get a good wire stripper pliers to cut and strip the wires.  Harbor Freight should have what you need. Get a good quality one so it will last. My Weller is from 1957 still going strong as I just replace the tips when worn..  Any other questions just email me at repairinfo@juno.com.

Good luck. rjs.  

A safe rule of thumb is one feeder for every six track joints. 16ga speaker wire should be fine. Leo's connectors (above) are the ticket for making the connection to the track. I like using the MTH 50-1014 terminal blocks. Connect to your transformer with bananna plug at the bottom.

50-1014_1

Attachments

Photos (1)
Gilly@N&W posted:

A safe rule of thumb is one feeder for every six track joints. 16ga speaker wire should be fine. Leo's connectors (above) are the ticket for making the connection. I like using the MTH 50-1014 terminal blocks. Connect to your transformer with bananna plug at the bottom.

50-1014_1

What is this thing that you have pictured used for?  Sorry for my question I am Knew to all of this.  Not sure if you’d be able to answer this but I am going to use a lionchief set is there anything I need to do so that I can still control the train with the remote? 

Product description

This easy to use tool rated @ 15 Amps, simplifies your wiring, with no soldering required! Now, there no longer has to be a mess of wires going in different directions. This product will enable you to hook up two wires from a power source to the binding posts on this heavy duty PC board. The power source can be either AC or DC power, depending on your transformer. There are 12 sets of terminals to bring power to your accessories. The unit is supplied with mounting feet. A useful chart is included so you may keep an accurate record of accessories and of the AMP usage being drawn, thus helping to prevent an overload of your power source.

This is the product description from Amazon.

50-1014_1

This device is known as a terminal block used to distribute power from your power source (transformer, wall-wart) to the track. One side connects the positive track power and the other is the negative side.

All of the screw terminals on each side are connected together to the input posts (red and black). This makes it easy to connect wires carrying power to the track from one central point. Depending on the size of your layout, you may want to use this or not.

Good advice for you so far.

I used three MTH terminal blocks on my L-shaped layout:

#1 for distribution of 18v AC track power from a Lionel 135w "brick" thru a TMCC Command Base to a designated terminal block, with feeder wires going to four lighted lock-ons on the lower level. 

#2 for distribution of 14v AC from a MTH Z1000 to a designated terminal block, with feeder wires going to eleven O42 switches on the lower level  Since a RC switch only draws power momentarily when it is activated by the switch controller, this circuit is never overloaded.

#3 for distribution of 14v AC from a MTH Z1000 to a designated terminal block, with feeder wires going to Lionel and MTH operating accessories on the lower level.  I mounted an on/off pushbutton in the circuit to each accessory; mounted on the fascia board near each accessory. Easy for kids to use. Also, this circuit supplies power to lighted buildings. Monitor the number of lighted buildings;  the total wattage can build up sooner than you think and trip the circuit breaker. 

As others have recommended, I followed the advice in helpful books about layout wiring.  Tip:  keep the instruction sheet packed with each accessory for reference -- keep them on file. 

Some pix of my layout enclosed. Sorry, no pix on hand about the under-platform hidden wiring.

Mike Mottler     LCCA 12394
mottlerm@gmail.com

Attachments

Photos (2)

Just to backtrack for a second, everyone knows that the transformer supplies the electrical power to the track via a physical connection to the track, itself, using a variety of connection methods - such as lock-ons, soldering, barrel connectors and the Quick-disconnect Fastrack connectors shown by Leo, above.

What some people, especially people new to the hobby, may not realize is that just one physical power connection to the track from the transformer may not be enough to sufficiently power your track, depending on the size of your layout. For very small layouts, one connection may be enough, but anything beyond a very small single loop of track will probably require at least a second or third, etc. connection point.

The reason is that there will be some voltage loss the further down the track you get from the point where you have made your initial power connection so, although the voltage may be good right there, it may not be high enough further down the track to effectively run your train, especially if you are using lionchief engines which run best with a rather high constant voltage. This typically shows up when your train runs at one speed near the initial connection point but starts to slow down or hesitate further down the track.  

The solution is to make multiple power connections (drops) from your transformer all along the track, about every six track joints and the easiest way to do this (IMHO) is to use the MTH terminal block shown above to connect your transformer to and then run multiple connections from the terminal block to various locations along your track using the connectors shown above. That will provide multiple power drops to even the furthest point on your layout.

Hope this helps explain what is going on.

Note: We are talking specifically about wiring Fastrack - obviously, you can also use a bus wiring technique with feeders to accomplish a similar result.

The reason you might want to isolate the power (center) rail into sections with DCS or TMCC/Legacy is to help locate a problem (like a derailment) from different areas of the layout. This is more useful when the layout is extensive.

Power distribution is important in all cases because the track is not a very reliable conductor given the places where track sections are joined together. Using a number of wired drops ensures that the entire layout has ample power throughout.

Consolidated Leo posted:

50-1014_1

This device is known as a terminal block used to distribute power from your power source (transformer, wall-wart) to the track. One side connects the positive track power and the other is the negative side.

All of the screw terminals on each side are connected together to the input posts (red and black). This makes it easy to connect wires carrying power to the track from one central point. Depending on the size of your layout, you may want to use this or not.

Sorry for my ignorance so if the red and black wires go from the transformer to the red and black posts then say a red wire and a black wire run from post labeled (1) what are the other 11 posts uses for?

Salvagni posted:

Sorry for my ignorance so if the red and black wires go from the transformer to the red and black posts then say a red wire and a black wire run from post labeled (1) what are the other 11 posts uses for?

It's just a connector. Transformer to terminal block. Then wires from the screw terminals to the various track drops around the layout. Like this:

 

Attachments

Photos (1)

Add Reply

Likes (0)
Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×