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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't do spaghetti
Besides... I stink at 'tricity.


A friend asked for help with his wiring... after the fact!

"Nothing works," he said.
So I grabbed my ohmmeter, (the only thing I could think of) and paid him a visit.
Nice layout... on top.
Underneath, it was a sloppy mass of spaghetti, and all the same color. Nothing was labeled.
Twisted bunches were wire-tied like licorice Twizzlers.

After about 35 minutes of poking around, I gave up, and told him it was above my pay grade.
I hated to disappoint him, but it was just too much of a mess.
I know I'm gonna' have dreams about it. Probably in the form of alien tentacles.
 

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Been there, done that

I don't do spaghetti
Besides... I stink at 'tricity.


A friend asked for help with his wiring... after the fact!

"Nothing works," he said.
So I grabbed my ohmmeter, (the only thing I could think of) and paid him a visit.
Nice layout... on top.
Underneath, it was a sloppy mass of spaghetti, and all the same color. Nothing was labeled.
Twisted bunches were wire-tied like licorice Twizzlers.

After about 35 minutes of poking around, I gave up, and told him it was above my pay grade.
I hated to disappoint him, but it was just too much of a mess.
I know I'm gonna' have dreams about it. Probably in the form of alien tentacles.
Latestarter;

That sounds familiar! Several model railroads I've seen have the same wiring "system." Way "back in the day" Some of the F-4 phantom aircraft in my squadron were sent to a shore facility in Italy to have new wiring installed. They all came back with 400 volts shorted to ground and every wire in the miles of wire harness was white! That's one reason I'm a bit OCD about wiring. I spent years trying to unravel the mysteries of why this or that machine wasn't working right, and often that involved tracing my way through a labyrinth of wiring. I really, really don't want to do that anymore! Notice the color-coded wiring
and labeled terminal strips, in the photos.

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:



Scale model
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
[Example]:
The first few feet of feeders were like this. All one color.

White Black Cable Wire Technology
 

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Wow TF, love the pictures of your? layout. Shows a lot of work whomever built it. But the red house on the hill......reminds me of the house in Psycho, Needs to be black or dark gray with Tony Perkins lurking in a window. Construct the Bates motel just down the cliff. :)

And LS, spaghetti describes what's under my layout.

I'm a neatnick at heart but I just let it rip when I wired my layout with intentions of cleaning it up later. To bad for me, it all works and I'm not messing with it.

Three power supplies, 20 turnouts, four reverse loops and 3 mainline blocks makes for interesting times. If I concentrate I can run three trains at the same time in interconnecting loops without collisions IF I concentrate.
 

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Friends have asked for help of wiring before (not railroad, generally boats) and it was a mess like that. Best friend i could be was to tell them exactly what i thought (nicely, well sorta but they know me) Then explained the fix.

I don't mind wiring, and generally ended up trading my time for food/drink lol
Was actually talking to a guy i did a quick fix for ("doesn't have to last, i'll change it this winter) on some lights, He said they are still working great. i asked how he got on fixing them, he laughed and said he didn't it was 6-7 years ago.

I've had them complain about cost, but Good switches, terminals, wire, shrink, grommets, ties and miscellaneous stuff add up. I Solder and shrink it all, yes it takes more time but it still works years later.

Digikey is great for this stuff, good price, Exactly what i want, and its here next day from Thief River Falls, MN. always sent fedex priority as i always order enough stuff to get the free shipping
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Truth be known, the majority of us have some spaghetti under our tracks.
Whether it's a trial that worked out, and never got 'finalized', or an addition that just got crammed-in... it's a good bet that there's spaghetti under there somewhere. It was under my first layout for 15 years.

But if our spaghetti is all one color, and/or it's twisted into spiral bundles, and it's not tagged or labeled... well, we sorta' deserve the expected result.

In this instance, my friend somehow got lucky... his outer loop has power, and he just runs trains on that one track. It's not 100% shorted out, (which totally escapes me).

It'll have a happy ending however.
Two gurus at the club are going to his house, and devoting their time to rewire his layout.
But first, they've given him a comprehensive shopping list.
 

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Yes, of course its mine and I built it.

Wow TF, love the pictures of your? layout. Shows a lot of work whomever built it. But the red house on the hill......reminds me of the house in Psycho, Needs to be black or dark gray with Tony Perkins lurking in a window. Construct the Bates motel just down the cliff. :)

And LS, spaghetti describes what's under my layout.

I'm a neatnick at heart but I just let it rip when I wired my layout with intentions of cleaning it up later. To bad for me, it all works and I'm not messing with it.

Three power supplies, 20 turnouts, four reverse loops and 3 mainline blocks makes for interesting times. If I concentrate I can run three trains at the same time in interconnecting loops without collisions IF I concentrate.
rsv1ho;

Thanks for the compliment on my layout. Yes, it is mine, and I built it. If you mouse click a couple of times on the lower right the photo will expand to show the wiring neatness.
I'll take the Bates Motel suggestion under advisement. :laugh: The structure your referring to is a commercial kit of a mansion. I like the red brick color so I don't think black or dark grey is likely. Besides the movie "Psycho" was filmed sixty years ago, in black & white, so the Bates home could have been any color. Some company actually makes a kit for the Bates Motel, but probably only in HO-scale, and my layout is N-scale. Good suggestion though!

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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You would need a remote cable tester. Then isolation is next. whats track feeds, whats turnout control, hopefully that it. If its cluttered with signal and lighting, I think I would also just give up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You would need a remote cable tester...
All I had was my little black 1980's multitester.
I didn't stand a chance.

And yes, there were about a dozen switch machines, 3 or 4 signals, and some industrial & street lighting.
 
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