Basic Wiring Help

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#1
Those of you who have read my previous posts know that I model Chicago's Union Station. I have 6 tracks, and 3 platforms, and I was wondering about wiring. I run standard DC, and use 2 power packs, to allow for the capabilities to run 2 trains at once. I want to run all my lights, switches, and power packs to one control panel. I will have standard lighting for buildings, and simple red/green signals for each track to dispatch trains. What is the easiest and simplest way to wire all this together?
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
#2
Completely trying to wire someones layout thru a forum is often more trouble than its worth. There is limited space for diagrams and you often get conflicting answers. What one modeler considers the best way may be nothing but confusion to another. While simple wiring questions can and do get answered on here frequently, a complete how to on wiring is best served with books.

What you need are some reference books. Check with Kalmbach (MR) and Cartsens (RMC) Publishers. They both offer books on how to wire DC model railroads. These books should explain how to do the basic wiring you want.

Plus these books will answer most if not all additional questions you may have later on down the line.

Now watch someone come up with a diagram!
 
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#3
Completely trying to wire someones layout thru a forum is often more trouble than its worth. There is limited space for diagrams and you often get conflicting answers. What one modeler considers the best way may be nothing but confusion to another. While simple wiring questions can and do get answered on here frequently, a complete how to on wiring is best served with books.

What you need are some reference books. Check with Kalmbach (MR) and Cartsens (RMC) Publishers. They both offer books on how to wire DC model railroads. These books should explain how to do the basic wiring you want.

Plus these books will answer most if not all additional questions you may have later on down the line.

Now watch someone come up with a diagram!
I only need help with the LED signals and building lights. Switches are done-they just need to be installed, and the track is already wired to run trains.
 

tankist

Active Member
#4
your question is quite ambiguous. a very general answer to your general question would be 'wire your consumer (the LED with matching limiting reisitor) to power source via electrical switch".
but thats probably not what you wanted to hear.

so, what part were you interested? materials to use? wire organization and routing? techniques? ideas for control?
 
#5
your question is quite ambiguous. a very general answer to your general question would be 'wire your consumer (the LED with matching limiting reisitor) to power source via electrical switch".
but thats probably not what you wanted to hear.

so, what part were you interested? materials to use? wire organization and routing? techniques? ideas for control?
Mainly ideas for controlling all the lights and signals, and also what kind of switches to use?
 

tankist

Active Member
#6
if you going completely analog you probably will be using toggle or rocker switches. something like these. this particular auction is from China and will take about 2 weeks to get to you so if you want them faster look for US seller (bit more expensive though). old cellphone charger or any other wall-brick can be your power source. that's for static lighting.

as for signals, they can be as simple as red/green indicator depending on given turnout position. you will need however to have all your turnouts equipped with position detecting switches. i used limit micro-switches for this.

in more elaborate setups you would use block detection hardware in conjunction with signaling boards (team digital website). and the ultimate solution - PC driving all your lighting via specific hardware (my personal goal). well as they say, signaling is a hobby within hobby. something to strive for .


hope that answers some questions, but it sparks quite more, doesn't it ? :)




PS.
here is my signaling/switching contraption i just took out of commission. video of it in action in my sig.
going all digital now, future solution will be loads better :)



 
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Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
#7
Anton is quite right. There are many possible answers. Plus as I said one man's best way might be confusing to another, but he did make very valid points.

But for the building lights, simple SPST (single pole single throw), ie off/on switches for these. with two or three buildings tied into one switch. You could also tie different lights in each building to different switches so different levels of lighting would come up separately in each building.

As to led signals I would add these questions;
One, two or three aspect signals?
Are the signals for turnout indication or are they like mainline signals?
What kind of switch machines are you using?
Do the switch machines have separate contacts available?

If there are no separate contacts the wiring can get more complicated, but not necessarily harder to install, just more wires to run.
 
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#8
See, Anton is quite right. There are many possible answers. Plus as I said one man's best way might be confusing to another, but he did make valid points. But for the building lights, simple SPST (single pole single throw), ie off/on switches for these. with two or three buildings tied into one switch. You could also tie different lights in each building to different switches so different levels of lighting would come up separately in each building.

As to led signals I would add these questions;
What kind of switch machines are you using?
Do they have separate contacts available?
I am using Walthers switch machines, but my original plan was to operate the LED's independently of the switches, via toggle switches, so aren't the switch machines irrelevant? Now, I just need help wiring a red and a green LED into a toggle switch, so that when it is thrown one way it is red, and the other green. How do I go about doing this? Thanks for all the help!
 

tankist

Active Member
#10
well Carey, i guess i will be the first one with diagrams then ,lol.



here is simple DPDT switch reversal. instead of motor you going to have two LEDs connected in paralel, but connected reciprocally (one with anode facing the A pole, the other one with cathode). as switch changes polarity only one LED will glow. don't forget matching current limiting resistor.

but as Carrey said, it will get old quick. you really want at least control by turnout position







better yet, look through this guy page - http://home.cogeco.ca/~rpaisley4/CircuitIndex.html
lots of interesting and simple solutions
 
#11
Thanks for all the help! I realized in reading my original post that, I never mentioned the fact that the signals will dispatch trains from CUS. just because a switch is thrown to allow a certain train to depart, doesn't mean I want to dispatch that train. I will simply wire the red/greens to a switch so I can dispatch the train when I want to, not when the switch is thrown. I will then attach the switches to a control panel. Thanks for the help, diagrams, and pictures. By the way, the book I looked into about wiring only covered how to hook up terminal wires, and how to avoid short-circuiting a layout--I know, I need a beter book! :)
 

tankist

Active Member
#12
thats the problem with today's books. they are not written to teach anything. their sole purpose to make money for the publisher and author who is most of the time not knowledgeable enthusiast but an aspiring "entrepreneur". there might be couple good titles, but finding them among pile of garbage is near impossible.

i understand it is not right and not healthy, but i can't help to wish all the bad things to those people.
 



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