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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For the life of me, I can't seem to get power to this siding. Here's a drawing of the electrical connections including power to the mainline and power to the siding via a single pole switch.

I've got a feeling this should be simple but, if there's anyone out there who can help, I'd appreciate it!



Branch Power.jpg
 

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Sure seems like that should work. Do you have a meter to be sure the switch and connections are good?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sure seems like that should work. Do you have a meter to be sure the switch and connections are good?
For some reason, the new voltage meter (cheap one from Home Depot) I have doesn't work anywhere on the layout. Train DOES run on Main, however.

I'll keep trying...thanks for responding!
 

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show us;
the connections, pictures.
Make and model of the switch.
make and model of turnouts (power routing can cause a short circuit)
 

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DC or dcc?

What happens if you remove "the single pole switch" and connect the power (for the isolated section) directly to the track?

How about insulating BOTH rails and using a double-pole switch instead?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to everyone for their input. I just spent a considerable amount of time trying all your suggestions.

Yup...there's power to the Main.

Haven't tried the double insulator, double pole suggestion yet. Just too frustrated at the moment. Will give a try later on, after 4 or 5 beers, which may or may not be the best tactic in this case!

As mentioned earlier, this should be simple. Guessing that it's
"operator (me!) error" of some sort.

Thanks again to everyone for hanging in there with me!
 

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This is a simple on/off switch situation. You need
a meter or 12 V bulb to find where you lose
connection.

Set your multimeter to DC if you are
analog, or AC if you are DCC.

First run up the speed control to around 50%.

Then your probes (or substitute wires from a 12 volt bulb)
should be on both rails: You should get voltage reading.

Next put one probe on upper left rail and
other probe on right rail of the isolated siding. Flip switch.
If you don't get reading you either have poor
connection to the switch or the switch is defective.

Keep the probes as you have above. Short
the two switch terminals (thus bypassing the switch)
If voltage reads, switch is defective. If no reading
there is break in the connection from the power
source.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This is a simple on/off switch situation. You need
a meter or 12 V bulb to find where you lose
connection.

Set your multimeter to DC if you are
analog, or AC if you are DCC.

First run up the speed control to around 50%.

Then your probes (or substitute wires from a 12 volt bulb)
should be on both rails: You should get voltage reading.

Next put one probe on upper right rail and
other probe on left rail of the isolated siding. Flip switch.
If you don't get reading you either have poor
connection to the switch or the switch is defective.

Keep the probes as you have above. Short
the two switch terminals (thus bypassing the switch)
If voltage reads, switch is defective. If no reading
there is break in the connection from the power
source.

Don
Thanks, Don! While your suggestion is outside of my wheelhouse (i.e. a bit more complicated!), I'm kinda at my wit's end so, I'll give it a try.

If you can, please help me with hooking up a 12 volt bulb. Sounds like I should solder some wires to the bulb and then connect the other end of the wires to the tracks...no?
 

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And just like MAGIC
you have your answer. As he says, just substitute the bulb wires
for the meter probe suggestions and you'll have the same
results...if the light lights you have a good connection...
if not something is not right.

Let us know how it comes out.

don
 

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Discussion Starter #14
And just like MAGIC
you have your answer. As he says, just substitute the bulb wires
for the meter probe suggestions and you'll have the same
results...if the light lights you have a good connection...
if not something is not right.

Let us know how it comes out.

don
Don, thanks for sticking with me! But...I'm a dunce! I took a small night-lite bulb. There's only one contact point at the bottom of the bulb where it screws into a socket.

Just can't figure out how two wires would connect to the bulb so that I can touch them to the track.

Sorry, Guys. And again, thanks for hanging in there with me.
 

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If you mean a nightlight bulb that is used with house power, I doubt that will work. It needs to be a car bulb.

The actual metal case of the bulb is one connector, and the isolated contact at the bottom is the other.
 

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The typical night light bulb uses your 120 volt house
current as Tom says.

Your track will have less than 20 volts so a nite light
would not burn brightly if at all.

You must use a 12 volt auto tail light bulb. Wrap one
wire around it's metal base, and hold the other wire
against the metal tip on the bottom. Those are your two wires to the track. Be sure to strip the plastic insulation from the
wire ends.

Don
 

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You actually only need one wire. You can just touch the bottom contact on the bulb to the rail, with the wire touching the other.
 
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