Track Wiring Problems

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by RidgeWalker, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. RidgeWalker

    RidgeWalker New Member

    I ran a 14 gauge buss wire under my layout, then connected all my Kato feeder track wires to the buss (white feeder to white buss, blue feeder to colored buss). I have an MRC Tech II power pack. I attached the white buss to the Variable DC terminal but when I attached the colored buss the whole thing shorted out. Obviously this is my first attempt at wiring a model railroad. I'd appreciate any help or guidance. I'm doing something wrong here but have no idea what.
  2. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    a look at the track plan and your feeder connections would be helpful. Do you have a reverse loop in your layout?
  3. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    RidgeWalker. I also have a MRC Track ll. Mine is a dual control with two cab controls. There is two screw attachment for each cab control and between them is the AC terminals. As long as you have the two wires connected to the same cab control it should work, "unless" you have a short in the track wireing someplace. If you don't have a volt ohm meter, get one at Radio Shack. They have very cheap one's which would do just fine. Be sure the wires a "NOT" connected to the MRC. With no engines on the track check the resistance between the to lead wires. If the meter needle jumps way over, you have a short in the wireing someplace. Also put the meter leads across the tracks and see what happens. It should jump way over there also.
    If the meter needle does not jump over, then it is your MRC.
    If the short is in the wireing someplace, go about half way between the ends of the buss lines and cut the wires. Then check each side to determine which half has the short. You can go from there and work down or up the wires

    Check out the link, an excellent source for wiring. Scroll down to "Testing" and build yourself the simple tester made from the Radio Shack buzzer. Unhook your tech 2 and put this tester on your track, if it goes off then it it the track or wiring, if not then look at the Tech 2.

    Have you tried another power pack?

    I am sure you have already done this, but double check all your wiring connections, it will only take one feeder installed to the wrong rail.

    Be patient. Good luck..
  5. RidgeWalker

    RidgeWalker New Member

    My layout is basically a large loop. No reverse loop. The trains run counterclockwise. I have a 4'x8' yard, a 4'x8' rural scene and a 3'x16' section of industries and town connecting the two. I have about 12-14 feeder tracks. Obviously I'm electrically challenged. I was able to run trains prior to attaching the feeders. (I had one feeder attached to the MRC. It worked but there wasn't enough power in far off areas). I doubled checked my feeder/buss connections and they're each white-white, colored-colored. I stripped about 1 1/2" on the buss wire, wrapped about an inch of feeder around it and soldered. What would I have to do in order to produce a short? Thanks. I really appreciate the help.
  6. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    All the "White Feeders " must be on the same side of the track....

    If you have white on the "inside rail" the white must be on ALL the inside raills. When you went to the other side of the layout (loop) is the white Still on the inside???

    Yeah I've done this before :) Also check any "Curved Feeder track" same thing - when they turn corners. The same color wire leads should always be toward the inside of the loop.
  7. RidgeWalker

    RidgeWalker New Member


    I'm using Kato Unitrack and the feeder track is set up so that the wires clip into the bottom of the track only one way - but the track can be installed backwards (which I discovered after reading your post). I have 13 and found 3 that were backwards, which would put the white on the inside rail instead of the outside rail like the other 10 feeders. That all makes sense and I shoulda known better's still shorting out. I must be missing something but I'm going test it with a meter tomorrow. Thought I had it......
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    One trick to use when wiring a layout is to connect one set of feeders, then test run a train. Then connect the second set of feeders, and run a train. Repeat the process connecting one set of feeders at a time, and running a train between until all feeders are connected. That way, if a short appears, you know it is in the last set of feeders you hooked up.
  9. RidgeWalker

    RidgeWalker New Member

    Now I'm really confused. I used an ohm meter to test my white buss to outside rail (which is the rail that the white feeder wire connects to) and got zero resistance. Then, with the meter still on the white buss, I touched the inside rail and also got zero resistance. ?? I disconnected all feeders but one, ran a loco with good power. Connected the next feeder in line, no problem. When I connected a third feeder the green light on my power pack was dim and the loco had poor power. Tried this in both directions from the original feeder track. Could it be a turnout issue?
  10. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Have you placed insulated joiners between facing turnouts? That could be your problem if you hooked them with metal ones. Fred
  11. RidgeWalker

    RidgeWalker New Member


    I missed a feeder track in the rail yard. It was facing the wrong way. I have plenty of juice now. Help the newbie. Where do I need to put insulated joiners? Only with facing turnouts (like a passing siding)?
  12. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Since you found the problem, never mind. :D Like a reverse loop... Fred

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