Urgent wiring help needed!!!

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Brewer, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. Brewer

    Brewer Member

    I have purchased two Kalmbach wiring books and after attempting to read them find myself in a state of advanced flummoxment! Hope somebody can help before I turn my soldering iron on myself!!!!

    Goals: I want this project to be as simple as possible. That said, I need the mainline segregated from the DISSTON BRANCH and also from the lower COTTAGE GROVE YARD track (not laid yet, but shown in the "will be" photo). Two locos will be the most run at any time.

    Here's my layout as it stands today...

    AS IS:

    I have started connecting track to powersource to run a train around the mainline loop and have already hit a wiring issue. The red arrows indicated gapped rails. I connected power to the DISSTON JUNCTION jumper (just to the right of the red arrow on the mainline. Loco ran fine up to the YARD ENTRY rail gap, as expected. Connected YARD ENTRY switch from the point end (jumper is just to the right of red arrow gap) to power source, loco died. Switched polarity and loco ran over the switch to COTTAGE GROVE YARD and died at gap, as expected. Wired second switch (the one just above the words COTTAGE GROVE YARD) from points end, loco died. Switched polarity and loco still died. What the hey???

    BTW, here's my layout with unlaid track filled in using a cheesy graphics program so you get the idea...

    WILL BE:

    Thanks so much for your suggestions!!!

    Edited for typos...
  2. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    I quick tip is that there must be gaps where you have facing switches . Will look at this again tomorrow and examine it more closely.
  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    What brand of swithces are these, and what do you mean by "switched polarity"? Do you mean you switched polarity of the feeder wires to the track or switched the polarity on your power pack?

  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Looking at your track plan, I don't see any reverse loops. I would suggest you discinnect all feeder wires except the first two. Then run the locomotive until it gets to the first set of insulators. Then hook up the next block, and see if the locomotive continues to run. Then go to the next block and hook up the wires and so on one block at a time testing each block for the same polarity as the previous block. You probably have one or more of your drop wires reversed causing a short. You are also going to need some double pole double throw switches to isolate the separate blocks from each other so that you can run two locomotives at the same time. I would suggest using some cheap jumper wires with alligator clips like you get at Radio Shack to test the switches before you wire them permanently.
  5. Brewer

    Brewer Member

    Thanks so much for the replies!

    They are atlas N gauge manual turnouts. I meant I switched the feeder wires around when I said polarity.

    That's exactly what I did, but probably explained it poorly! All was going well until I hit the second yard switch, which would not work with the feeders in any configuration. It shut down the entire thing.

    Makes sense. I figured I'd need one DPDTCO switch for each block, or a total of three.

    I read somewhere that you always put feeder wires to the point end of a switch (the single track), not the frog end (the two track end). Am I confused about this too?
  6. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    Ok, let me try and help. This is how I see it.

    The yellow track and the red rack make up your main line loop. The red section is so you can isolate this section for yard work. The light purple track is the main yard and the dark purple is a place to park engines.

    The blue is for the saw mill. I would have these tracks divided up as the colors suggest, but you can make all the blue one block, if you like.

    The orange block brings your train up to the top yard, and the green blocks are so you can park a train on one or the other track.

    All blocks are wired with double-pull-double-through switches so the switch determines the direction of the train.

    Check out this web site for better details on wiring.
    Go to the Wiring link on the left.

    TrainClown [​IMG]

    Attached Files:

  7. Brewer

    Brewer Member

    Thank you. That makes perfect sense. I will read the wiring link; looks like a great site!

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