Model Train Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. I have a relatively small layout (2 loops on a 8x5 layout). That said, I would like to add at lease 2 if not 3 (total) lockon for this layout. Can you please confirm for me that Lock on #1 connects to the transformer, Lockon #2 connects to lockon #1 and so forth? I think this is what I read on Thor Trains but I am asking someone to confirm.
Thanks,
Andrew
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
It can be done either way. Either connect all lockons directly to the transformer or daisy chain them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,225 Posts
... Can you please confirm for me that Lock on #1 connects to the transformer, Lockon #2 connects to lockon #1 and so forth? I think this is what I read on Thor Trains but I am asking someone to confirm.
Thanks,
Andrew
That would be a daisy chain as Bob mentioned. You can star, daisy chain, run direct from transformer to each lock-on, or any combination of the them. Minimizing the wire length from a lock-on to the transformer is always good. In general, put the lock-ons as far apart as possible from each other - measuring distance as the rail goes (not necessarily as the bird flies).

If you have problem areas, it might be wise to do a little maintenance on the inter-track connections prior to adding the extra lock-ons.

Here's my current plan for power drops to the three loops.

The "red" outer loop is a simple a star network with the drops equalizing the "rail" distance between them. The green middle loop has two main segments with two drops from each. The most interesting is the inner blue loop - an inside out reverse loop. It has a star network with three drops daisy chained on the left. The two left most drops are close "as the bird flies" but far apart "as the rail goes".

Layout Wiring.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thank you

Great stuff. I really appreciate it. Millstone Mike what are the dimensions of that layout? And, what software did you use. My goal is for my layout to be about 60% complex as yours (by sight) - 8 feet long and 5 feet wide.
Thanks again,
Andrew
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,225 Posts
Great stuff. I really appreciate it. Millstone Mike what are the dimensions of that layout? And, what software did you use. My goal is for my layout to be about 60% complex as yours (by sight) - 8 feet long and 5 feet wide.
Thanks again,
Andrew
18' x 4.25' with an extra 2.5' at the dogleg. The program is SCARM and you can download it here. It's license is free for the first 100 pieces of track (and any other objects). Mostly operates like Microsoft apps, point and click, but with a few quirks. You get used to it. It does have a database of all the various track types from prewar O to Gargraves, Atlas, and on and on.

I will be using these (pictured) to run the main feeds under the table, take off a power drop to the topside and then continuing the main feed if it's a daisy chain. They'll screw to the underside and then attaching wire is a snap.

Supposedly good down to 12 AWG but I've seen other spec.'s that may limit it to 14 AWG. I'm thinking house electrical wiring (e.x., Romex) for the main feeds and then 18 AWG for the short drops to the track's lock-ons. I'm hoping it will do 12 AWG as I have 100' of it doing nothing in the garage. Roughly $1 each but you have to wait for the "slow boat from China" to get them. I have a couple on order to test them out and will post results.

connectors.png
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Ok...got it

I have tried to use that software and I will perhaps use it again now that I have purchased a few pieces of 5- inch track that might be more agreeable to the software. couldn't replicate my draft layout in the software even though it was laid out on my train table (weird, I know).
My layout is only 8x5 but I am trying to maximize the space. You lost me on the Cable Connectors, although the sure look cool. I will probably use 3-4 connectors through a daisy chain.

Bonus question since you're being so kind - when I have been testing my layout with just an engine, I can't seem to modulate the speed- even slightly turning the power on creates very fast speeds for the train. Does that mean my transformer is too powerful (a typical R100 transformer) or is there a way to reduce the output of the transformer?
Thanks
Andrew
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,225 Posts
I have tried to use that software and I will perhaps use it again now that I have purchased a few pieces of 5- inch track that might be more agreeable to the software. couldn't replicate my draft layout in the software even though it was laid out on my train table (weird, I know).
My layout is only 8x5 but I am trying to maximize the space. You lost me on the Cable Connectors, although the sure look cool. I will probably use 3-4 connectors through a daisy chain.

Bonus question since you're being so kind - when I have been testing my layout with just an engine, I can't seem to modulate the speed- even slightly turning the power on creates very fast speeds for the train. Does that mean my transformer is too powerful (a typical R100 transformer) or is there a way to reduce the output of the transformer?
Thanks
Andrew
What loco? Some are fast runners, especially by themselves.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top