Electrical Standards

  1. Basic Wiring

    1. Track Feed Lines

      1. Track power is carried under modules using 18 gauge (or heavier) two-conductor brown lamp cord, type SPT only. Accept no substitutes for this type. These cords shall be called feed lines.

      2. Track feed lines shall be firmly attached to the under surface of each module, and shall have at least one connection from the feed line to its track on the module. This connection is called a drop wire, and is to be no smaller than 24 gauge. The length of drop wires is to kept to a minimum. The feed line ends shall be able to extend one foot past the end of the module. Feed lines shall pass through, not under, any crossmembers under a module.

      3. If an outside passing track passes through, or begins or ends on a module, a feed line for that track shall be installed. The feed line shall be double-ended if the outside passing track goes through the module. Otherwise, it shall be single-ended. See Passing Tracks.

      4. The plugs used to interconnect mainline and outside passing track feed lines are TRW-Cinch #P306-CCT (Male) and #S306-CCT (Female) or other manufacturer's equivalents.

      5. Local control of mainlines must be approved by asking for a variance at a club meeting.

      6. A method of securing the ends of the feed lines under the modules for transport shall be provided (Safety cup hook, Velcro, string, ties, etc.).

    2. Power Supply Feed Lines

      1. Layout power is carried under modules using 16 gauge (or heavier) two-conductor white lamp cord, Type SPT only. Accept no substitutes for this type. The ribbed conductor shall go to pin 1 of the connectors.

      2. The feed line ends shall be able to extend 12" past the end of the module.

      3. The plugs used to interconnect module power supply feed lines are TRW-Cinch #P302-CCT (Male) and #S302-CCT (Female) or other Manufacturer's equivalent.

      4. All taps off this feed line for power to wiring on modules shall be fused.

    3. Electrical Connections

      1. All electrical connections shall be soldered and taped or otherwise insulated. Terminal strips of the barrier type may be used in place of soldered connections.



      Figure 1 - Basic Wiring


      1. Drop wires connecting rails mainline tracks to feed lines. Rail closer to the front of the module is connected to the ribbed wire of the feed line cord. Use 22 or 24 gauge wire for drops.

      2. Drop wires are soldered directly to the side of the rails.

      3. Solder and insulate connections between drops and feed lines.

      4. Use 18 gauge brown lamp cord for mainline feed lines.

      5. Male 6-pin connector on left side looking at the front of the module. Pin 1 is the rail on outside passing track (if used) closest to module edge. Pin 2 is the inside rail of the outside passing track. Pin 3 is the outside rail of the outside mainline, and so forth.

      6. Female 6-pin wired as above.

      7. Use 16 gauge white lamp cord for main power cord.

      8. Male 2-pin connector on left side when facing the front of the module. Pin 1 is connected to the ribbed wire of the cord.

      9. Female 2-pin connector wired as above.

      10. Allow for one foot of slack past the ends of the module. Use Velcro or other means to secure the ends during transport.

      11. Staples hold the wires to the bottom of the module.

  2. Throttles

    1. Standard Throttles

      1. Throttles are used for control of the mainlines and local control of trains on member's modules. The throttles are designed around the LM317 voltage regulator, and must have a direction switch with a center-off position. These throttles draw power from the power supply feed line. The plug on the throttle is to be a TRW-Cinch #P304-CCT (Male) or other manufacturer's equivalent.

      2. Sockets on modules or control panels for throttles are to be TRW-Cinch #S304-AB (Female) or other manufacturer's equivalent.

      3. Pins 1 & 3 of the throttle sockets and plugs are DC output from throttle. Pins 2 & 4 are power from the power supply feed line to the throttle.

    2. Non-Standard Throttles

      1. If you must use a 115V AC powered throttle pack, its output (track voltage) is connected to pins 1 & 3 of the plug which will go into the corresponding 4-pin socket on the layout. No connections are made to pins 2 & 4 of the plug.


    3. Throttle Feeds

      1. Mainline throttles connect to the mainlines via a throttle feed fixture (spider). The spider has 2 and 6 pin male and female TRW-Cinch connectors to allow it to connect into the mainline and power supply feed lines, and also 4-pin sockets for the mainline throttles to plug into. See Figure 2 for construction of the spiders.



    Figure 2 - Throttle Feed Fixture (Spider)



    1. 6-pin Cinch P306-CCT (male). Rear view shown.

    2. 6-pin Cinch S306-CCT (female). Rear view shown.

    3. 4-pin Cinch S304-CCT (female). Rear view shown.

    4. 2-pin Cinch P302-CCT (male). Rear view shown.

    5. 2-pin Cinch S302-CCT (female). Rear view shown.

    6. All track feed lines are 18 gauge brown lamp cord. Power supply is 16 gauge white lamp cord.


  3. Control Panels

    1. All control panel switches shall be clearly labelled as to function, and if appropriate, positions.

    2. No control panel switch settings shall allow power from a module's local throttle to feed back into any outside passing or mainline track feed line.

    3. No control panel switch settings shall allow power from one main line feed line to be connected to another main line's feed line.

    4. Refer to figures 3 and 4 for recommended practices for control panel wiring and construction.



    Figure 3 - Control Panel and Module Wiring




    1. The master switch is a double pole, double throw, center off switch. The one depicted allows the module to be run from the throttle or "slaved" off of the inside mainline power.

    2. Socket for throttle, 4-pin Cinch S304-AB (female).

    3. Block switches are double pole, double throw.

    4. All connections to the power feed line must be fused.



      Figure 4 - Sample Control Panel Layout



    1. The master switch is a double pole, double throw, center off toggle switch. The illustrated configuration allows the module to be run from the throttle or "slaved" to the inside mainline power.

    2. Socket for throttle, 4-pin Cinch S304-AB (female).

    3. Track insulating gaps should be shown on the control panel diagram.

    4. Block switches are double pole, double throw toggle switches.

    5. Turnout controls should be located on the control panel diagram in the location of the turnout.


  4. Passing Tracks

    1. Modules which begin an outside passing track, or which have a crossover between the outside main and the outside passing track shall have a switch to control the outside passing track. This switch is to be mounted on the edge of the module opposite to the mainlines, directly across from the start of the section of passing track which that switch controls. Please see Figure 5.

    2. Outside passing tracks are to be wired and gapped as indicated in Figures 5 and 6.

    3. If an inside passing track comes to either end of a module, an interconnect wire is to be attached to the rails just before they stop at the end of the module or module group.

    4. Inside passing tracks are to be wired and gapped as indicated in Figure 7.


    Figure 5a - Outside Passing Track (top view)




    Figure 5b - Outside Passing Track (rear view)


    1. Gaps in rails to divide tracks into electrical blocks.

    2. Optional continuation of passing tracks.

    3. Switches are mounted on plates attached to the inside face of the 1x4" frame member on the rear of the module. This prevents damage when transporting the module.



    Figure 6 - Outside Passing Track Wiring


    1. Outside passing track feed line.

    2. "Drop wire" connecting track to feed lines. Drop wires should be kept to a minimum length.

    3. Outside mainline feed line.

    4. Gaps in both rails for insulation.

    5. All wiring to be brown 18 gauge SPT wire except drop wires, which are 22 or 24 gauge

    6. Double pole, single throw switch controlling power to outside passing track. Outside passing tracks will always have a double pole, single throw switch at their beginning.

    7. Double pole, double throw, center off switches controlling power to outside passing tracks. These switches allow the passing track to be run off the mainline current, the current from the preceding passing track section, or shut off.

    8. 6-pin connector at the ends of modules to carry current for the outside passing track, outside mainline, and inside mainline.



    Figure 7 - Inside Passing Track Wiring




    1. Inside passing tracks are optional.

    2. The connector is a 4-pin Cinch P304-CCT (male).

    3. The connector is a 4-pin Cinch S304-CCT (female).


  5. Other Electrical Standards

    1. RAIL ELECTRICAL GAPS

      1. Insulating material shall be used to fill rail gaps. No air gaps are allowed.

    2. LOCAL CONTROL

      1. If local control of mainline tracks or outside passing tracks is desired, and is authorized by vote of the members at a regular meeting, the section under local control shall be insulated at both ends with gaps in both rails. When such local control is being used, a flashing red light shall be clearly visible on the control panel involved.

    3. SPANNER TRACKS

      1. No sections of mainline or outside passing track shall depend on power being fed through a spanner track.