Easy Wiring of HO Model Railroad

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by gregbva123, Mar 14, 2003.

  1. gregbva123

    gregbva123 Member

    What is the easiest way to wire a HO Model Railroad? What brands or types of equipment?

  2. billk

    billk Active Member

    Uhhh - what? Greg, your question is too vague to give any sort of meaningful answer. I suggest getting a book on the subject of how to wire a model railroad, (maybe someone can suggest one?) or maybe doing a little internet research (the NMRA web site for instance) to get started.
  3. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    The easiest way to wire an HO railroad, is to have someone else do the wiring!:D :D :D

    OK, maybe not. Wiring for DCC would be the easiest, in that you have two heavy gauge bus wires to carry power around the layout, and feeders, usually 20 gauge wire, soldered to the rails,
    and the bus wires, about every 3'-4'.
    Then, straight DC, with no blocks, and a single cab, is about the same.
    DC, blocked, with multiple cabs, is complex. Lots of rotary switches to route the cabs to the blocks, and lots of gaps to isolate the blocks from each other.
    The most complicated would be DC, blocked, with multiple cabs, and automated signalling.
    Not sure what you're asking concerning brands, or type of equipment.
  4. gregbva123

    gregbva123 Member

    Pete good joke.

    I am doing DC with blocks (17) and Atlas Switches (16). Might go to the switch machines under layout for more realistic view.

    My layout id L-shaped and covers a room 11 x 13. I plan to use one MRC Tech -4 transformer for power and accessories.


    Keep posting, Good imformation.
  5. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!


    Wiring is my least favorite part of the hobby. I made it easy by using Atlas selector components, those black squares with the green slide switches that let you select blocks. I've never thought to compare the expense of these components with toggle dpdt switches or others that many modelers use. Any one venture a guess?

    The down side of the Atlas components is that the switches are mounted in a row below a track diagram instead of being placed individually in holes drilled into it. You'll need to number the Atlas selector switches to correspond to the blocks on the track diagram above them. When running trains you'll have to look back and forth to select the correct selector switch to control a block. Obviously, after a while you'll know your plan well and it won't be a big deal. Visitors, however, might not catch on to this arrangement as easily as they might to toggle switches sticking out of lines representing blocks. Placing individual switches in the track diagram itself can create really nice looking control panels. I hope to redo mine that way sometime.
  6. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Greg,
    At your LHS you can find a very inexpensive book by Atlas (I think it's called the Atlas Wiring Book) which clearly lays out basic block and switch machine wiring. It's worth every penny.

    There's another good Kalmbach book, if you can find it, Basic Electricity and Electronics for Model Railroaders (by Don Fiehmann). It has more detail on soldering, lighting, signals, etc.

    :) :) :) Good Luck and Happy Motoring!
  7. gregbva123

    gregbva123 Member

    Thanks for the posts.

    Keep Posting
  8. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Wiring a layout? Easy shmeezy!! Take ya two wires from the back of the controller and jam one under each rail of your track. Run your trains.


    take 3 miles of multi colour wire, cut it into a thousand pieces, nail it up everywhere and all over the place, weld it to 100 different spots on the track, join it all up again, and plug it in. :):):) :eek: :eek: :rolleyes:

    Neither way is really recommended, Wiring can get very complex indeed.

    try here then change the page number (page01 thru page10). It is a copy of some pages with very useful wiring instructions I have put up on my website. Just view each one and print according. Hope this helps. :cool:

Share This Page