Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by erie, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. erie

    erie New Member

    when you cut the current off to the track do you use 2 plastic insulaters or was it one. then run a jumper wire [as i call it] to connect the current again.
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    You can use either way. Common rail wiring ( using only one insulator ) is eisier and cheaper since you only need to run one power feed wire. In other words, one rail has power all the time and the other rail is insulated and has the power feed wire coming from some type of on and off switch. But, make sure you always insulate the same rail or you will cause a short in the wiring. Run one wire and test the wiring, that way if you do cause a short you know right where to look. If your track has a lot of curves it can get confusing !
    Two rail wiring has both rails insulated and you run power feed wires to both rails, meaning you need more wire and insulators.
    By the way, is this dc or dcc, and are you wiring your whole layout this way? If your using dcc, you really don't need block wiring, except your engine service tracks, that I know of.

  3. erie

    erie New Member

    Ok thats it .Now whats dc and dcc its been awiel sents iv messed around train sets .I know i realy need to buy a book on it
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

  5. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I'd isolate both rails in a block. On dcc its good if you want power districts. It also makes it easier to install automatic signalling later. you can simply run a wire to each block for each rail. its worth the extra work now so that you don't have to rip up scenery and things to do it later.
  6. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    On a DC layout it is only necessary to use your plastic insulators on one rail. The sections you've isolated wth plastic rail joiners then become blocks that each require a feeder wire from a switch that turns power to that block on and off. As grewsome noted above, the other rail is the "common rail".

    There are some good books about basic layout wiring available in hobby shops that will hae decent diagrams and clear explanations. I was grateful to have mine even though I was using the easy Atlas components for block wiring! :)
    Best wishes!
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The answers above are good info - and especially check out DCC operations if you haven't been in the hobby a while...

    But you note in your post that you want to run a jumper to connect current again. Why do you want to do this? What sort of set up or control do you hope to have? If you insulate two parts of a rail from each other, and then simply put a jumper across, there is no point in doing the insulation.

    If you run your jumper through an on/off switch (for example) then there is a point - you can "park" a loco on that section of track and turn it off.


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