Block wiring

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by SR39, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. SR39

    SR39 Member

    I want to block 3 areas of my layout. I would like to use toggle switches to control power to the blocks. Question? How do I wire the toggles to the block? The problem is how to get power to the toggles. I tried to wire them together. Of course that didn't work because one toggle controlled all the rest. I have wired 3 layouts in the past but my old age and forgetfullness is catching up with me. I need some advice from the pros. By the way this is a DC power. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  2. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Hi...I presume you will be using "Cab Control": using either of two packs to power any one block. You can use "common wire" wiring. Take the output of one pole from both packs and join them and take that to a common rail. The output from the other pole of the packs goes to a SPDT switch and its output goes to the block rails. You will need a SPDT switch for each block.
    Note: This setup requires that each pack have its own reversing switch.

    Good luck..!!
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Do you just want to shut off the blocks?
    You need to take a wire from the power pack to a terminal on one toggle. Then another wire from that terminal to the next toggle, and from that toggle to the last. The other end of the toggle goes to the track.

    Post if it's anything more complicated.
  4. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    On a further note...David is right :)thumb:) that you may want to shut off a block. If so, use a SPDT-center off toggle switch and wire as I suggested in my previous post. I should have thought of this, as that's the way I had my previous layout wired...:cry:
  5. SR39

    SR39 Member


    I would like to use only one power pack. Would the setup be the same? When you say "the other end of the toggle goes to the track" do you mean the individual blocks? I am a little confused as to what to do with the wire for the common rail. I am just wanting to be able to shut off blocks. You're dealing with an electrical dummy here.

  6. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    I strongly recommend purchase of a book on wiring model railroads, rather than trying to do it from short descriptions in these posts. The books are loaded with diagrams and photos that will give a better feel and understanding for what you are doing on this or subsequent layouts.

    Recommended books include Atlas's book on wiring (see Atlas Layout Instruction Books) or Easy Model Railroad Wiring, 2nd Edition by Sperando (see Kalmbach Publishing: Model Railroading: Books: Wiring / Electronics: Easy Model Railroad Wiring, 2nd Edition). The Atlas book is at a simpler level and demonstrates how to wire using Atlas wiring products. You can easily substitute for Atlas Selectors, Connectors, and Controllers with a little knowledge. But if you are going to do that, Sperando's book would be the better resource for the long term.

    yours in wiring
  7. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Hi...For just shutting off the blocks, the common wire goes directly to one rail..This rail must be continuous throughout the layout -no breaks. The other wire from the power pack goes to an ON/OFF (SPST) switch and from there to each block. You will need one switch for each block . You can "daisy-chain" this wire from the power pack to each of the ON/OFF switches.
    Hope this helps....
  8. SR39

    SR39 Member

    Thanks for all your help. I am using SPDT switches ( I could have used SPST) My problem was I forgot that the center pole on a DT switch carried the power and I was trying to wire it like a SPST. I knew there was some simple solution. Everything was right except that. One little mistake can cause a lot of headaches. I had wired gobs of those switches on previous layouts but as I said "old age" can cause you to forget a lot and when you do remember you might forget it five minutes later. You younger guys don't laugh. You'll get there one of these days.
    Thanks again, You guys are the greatest on this forum.
  9. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Hey Jim...We're all only too glad to be of help...:thumb:

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