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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Just joined the forum and I am looking for some help. I am new to the hobby. Right now I have a N scale layout, thats about 60% complete. The track is layed and ballast. All wires are hanging below, ready to be terminated. I have 4 Turnouts, the layout is about 2X4. Very compact, I have some feed wire soldered to the tracks and there hanging below as well.

Here is where I need your help. How is this all tied together? Do I tie in all feed wires to a terminal strip then link it back to the power pack? How are the turnouts wired? 3 wires are coming out of them (red, green, black)

also, I want to star putting lights into the buildings in the future, how do I go about doing this? Are the wires tied into the power pack?? If so, what kind of power pack would I need

I know these are newbee questions and I probably left alot of questions unanswered, if so let me know and I'll get back to you with the answer. Thanks so much... if there is a website with this information,please direct me to it. Thanks again!:confused:
 

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Plasticman, welcome to the forum! Nice to have you with us, and newbie questions are all good questions. Let me suggest you identify what manufacturer of train you have, what transformer, etc. That makes it easier for those with similar equipment to help you. You either have a very basic transformer with a single hot (variable output, with the speed controll ever) and single ground post, or you have one with one hot that is variable and another that is costant-voltage.
If you have only the one hot (variable) post, let me suggest getting another transformer to power your turnouts and accessories, or a better transformer with both kinds of hot posts. You need constant voltage for your turnouts, lights, etc. to work well.
Assuming you have a transformer with both hot posts and a ground, use the variable-voltage for the track, only, and consider running an extra set of leads to the opposite side of the track while you're still building. From the constant-voltage hot pole, run a main lead under the track, and tie your accessories into it. The idea is to have a single, main hot line that all non-track items tie into, instead of 30 separate wires all running back to the transformer. Run all the ground wires from them to a common ground, as well. As you add additional accessories in the future, just tie them into your mains. In the end, you have a common ground back to your transformer; you have one major hot line from the variable post to the track (with a feeder to the other side); and you have a constant-voltage hot line circling under the center of the layout with all your accessory feeders tied into it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Reckers,

My transformer is an MRC 200 Tech 4. On the back it has one pair of screws (Variable DC) and another pair of screws (Accessories AC)

The trains are mostly Bachmann (switcher,EMD, Steam Loco, F7) nothing special about them. The tracks and turnouts are Atlas
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh...one last thing - the output is 15.5 VDC and 18.5 VAC Total 17VA. And the input is 120VAC 60HZ. Would this be plenty of power to run 4 turnouts and about 7-8 lights?? Thanks again
 

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you have a solid supply. (the And the input is 120VAC 60HZ piece of info is meaning less , i hope you understand that) since you have very small layout and few turnouts you probably will get away with using just one.
but i still would use a separate one to drive the turnouts. perhaps a cheep toy one. since they are 3 wire chances are they are twin-coil ones. you connect them to a twin coil turnout controller which in turn connects to some supply. there are different controllers available starting with bad looking atlas to nice capacitor discharge units (CDU's).

as far as more lights later, you can always power LED's with old cellphone charger or other brick power supply.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the reply tankist, I know what to do now. Great layout by the way, going to look really good when finished im sure! Keep us posted!!:thumbsup:
 
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