Thursday 30 November 2017

First Stages of Powering Main Level of Layout

Bus # 5 

Main Level of Layout where the helix at the top of the pic feeds elevated blue track to main level and receives trains exiting the main level to return to the staging yards. 

Bus # 5:  Power added to yellow part of track which includes the lower most located lane ( in the pic)  to the passenger terminal, part of the elevated track to the bridge at the lowest part of the pic, and a portion of the commercial freight yards.  

One transformer powers this isolated segment of track. 

Red dots: Insulation points
Black dots: Power...feeder wires to distribution strip
Dark Green Marks: Contact track to the S88 

Why one transformer to this area?  At least one rail bus will occupy the passenger lane, perhaps two. At least two working steam locos will be in this maintenance area, and then there will be transiting freight trains.  So given that power draw, one transformer was selected. 

Contact tracks will be added to both the entry and exit of each isolated "block". 

Recommendation:  check each block or section of track powered by a single transformer to make certain that the track insulators are working properly.  I always test the insulators to make certain that current does not "bleed" into the next block section.  I actually did find a "bleed" into another section of track. The insulators were placed properly...I I replaced them with another set...problem solved. 


Review of Contact Tracks:

"Business" end of contact track:  blue wire soldered to "O" terminal and insulator placed on that side.

 Adjacent C track with the insulator on the same side as the soldered contact to the S88
Used a Dremel to cut the "O" connection on each end of the C track contact track to isolate the outer rail.


Find the "short"....!!!

Ok, so now we have a short in the layout.  We have 5 transformers connected to the layout, each powering a segment of track, and several turn outs.  How to find the section of the layout to begin locating  the electrical short? 

IF the transformer plugs are numbered according to their powered bus sections, we can isolate the area in question.  Unplug all the transformers except those powering the CS's....I have a transformer for each CS ( not connected to track) .   

With the system booted up, plug in the Bus transformers one at a time till the layout shorts out with the last one plugged in.....then search that section for the culprit.  In my case I found that a feeder wire paddle had detached from the C track.  I soldered that feeder wire!!!  ( must have happened with taking apart track to add the contact track)  

On to the next section.........Auf Wiedersehen....

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