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Topic: Electrical Wiring  (Read 698 times)

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Offline LGGVW

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Electrical Wiring
« on: February 25, 2019, 11:39:35 am »
Good Morning,

I was wondering whether it is possible to have a way to connect the + and the - droppers into the track in my AnyRail plan, as connected to a virtual Power Supply, and have a way of alerting for short circuits, maybe by highlighting sections of track in a different colour, or something like that.

It would be very helpful if the plan has the positive and negative clearly shown on it, to help preventing mistakes in the wiring and thus save time. Especially if wire droppers are used at spaced intervals along the tracks.

Many thanks  :)

Offline Tom Springer

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Re: Electrical Wiring
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2019, 07:00:06 pm »
Short circuits, as in reversing loops where the current doubles-back on itself, or where one makes mistakes in crossing the + and - feeders?  The latter probably can't be detected easily as it would occur during construction. The former can be seen by enabling the "reverse loops" option under the Show tab.

Or is there something else here?

Offline LGGVW

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Re: Electrical Wiring
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2019, 10:15:02 pm »
Short circuits, as in reversing loops where the current doubles-back on itself, or where one makes mistakes in crossing the + and - feeders?  The latter probably can't be detected easily as it would occur during construction. The former can be seen by enabling the "reverse loops" option under the Show tab.

Or is there something else here?

Hi,

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, I actually mean both, ie, reversing loops and mistakes.

The electrics are confusing for a lot of people, especially beginners. It is fairly straightforward on the long runs of track, but as the layout begins to develop into the turnouts, other track lines and so on, it gets harder to keep the +/- polarity right. I vaguely remember once someone saying he/she used a red marker, one of those thick point felt markers and used it to paint always the same line of track, thus in theory making sure to keep the polarity correct. But I am not certain the method is actually useful in more complex layouts.

So I wonder if the rules of electrical polarity can be translated into code somehow, so that when developing the track plan, Users could click on one of the rails to mark its polarity to say, + and keep doing this at regular intervals, for example marking the points in the layout where he intends to install droppers. The application would need to check in real time, whether the latest markers put on the track would comply with the rules of electrical polarity and if not, return an error message highlighting the offending marker the User put down on the track.

I do realise how hard this might be, from a coding stand point. I also realise that, no matter how complex the track is, installing a single feeding point on the track should provide a guide, by checking at intervals the polarity and then installing the droppers accordingly. But the trial and error process on the real thing takes longer, whereas resolving the electrical polarity at the planning stage will save Users a lot of trouble, I guess.

Kind regards

Offline Tom Springer

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Re: Electrical Wiring
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2019, 01:50:08 am »
LGGVW (sorry, don't know your name)

Is the issue of feeders because you need help in setting them up, or a way to keep track of them, or something else?

When I was new to AR, I thought wiring support should be there, but as time has gone on (and that I have my own scheme for wiring), I have come to realize that the list of needed items, in my mind, has a lot ahead of wiring support.  (3D user objects to make 3D view usable to me is my #1).

If you are worried about the + and - wiring getting 'crossed', choosing a wiring convention ahead of time and using a variety of colored wires, each with a specific purpose identified by a unique color and well-documented, would be a big help.  I have my own wiring scheme/convention/approach for all elements of the layout, and a specific convention for feeders, using colored wires separate from the buss wire colors, that prevents cross-wiring for me. I'll share it, if you want.

Offline LGGVW

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Re: Electrical Wiring
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2019, 11:47:26 am »
LGGVW (sorry, don't know your name)
Is the issue of feeders because you need help in setting them up, or a way to keep track of them, or something else?
When I was new to AR, I thought wiring support should be there, but as time has gone on (and that I have my own scheme for wiring), I have come to realize that the list of needed items, in my mind, has a lot ahead of wiring support.  (3D user objects to make 3D view usable to me is my #1).
If you are worried about the + and - wiring getting 'crossed', choosing a wiring convention ahead of time and using a variety of colored wires, each with a specific purpose identified by a unique color and well-documented, would be a big help.  I have my own wiring scheme/convention/approach for all elements of the layout, and a specific convention for feeders, using colored wires separate from the buss wire colors, that prevents cross-wiring for me. I'll share it, if you want.


Hi Tom,

If you don't mind sharing, yes that would be great. I have only just returned to the hobby since my days as a teenager [I'm 54 now lol...] and the electrics integrity in terms of polarity are a pain in the backside as you go along the track layout. My plan is to have 2 main wiring "backbones"; one is the track and will feed also the LED signals associated with the turnouts. The other stems from a separate power supply and will feed accessories, buildings, public illumination and road traffic lights. Strangely, it is the track wiring that causes most of the confusion... Go figure this lol.

Regards

Lewis

Offline Tom Springer

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Re: Electrical Wiring
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2019, 06:13:57 am »
Lewis,

I believe a layout should have a well-thought-out color wire convention before laying any track.  I follow the NTRAK wiring conventions where Black and Red are used for the main power buss, even though I don't have NTRAK modules; Black and Red have become a de facto main power buss convention, in my view.

I believe one needs 2 colors of choice for feeders, one color for the A rail feeder and a different color for the B rail feeder, colors that are never used for any other wiring anywhere on the layout.

For feeders, I first use wires that are a shade of gray and try to have them blend in/match the ballast on the roadbed. I solder them to the track where needed, drop the gray wire down through the baseboard, keeping it just long enough to drop below the baseboard level, then solder a Blue wire to the gray A rail feeder and a Pink wire to the gray B rail feeder. These colored wires then attach to the power buss wires; Blue attaches to the Black buss wire and Pink to the Red buss wire; this way when looking under the layout, I find it easy to tell which is which.

It helps that I have the 'track plan' drawn on the bottom of my layout's baseboard, so I know where the track is when looking underneath.  With that crudely drawn plan with the rails indicated in black and red, if by mistake I have the feeder wires with the colors reversed, I can "see" that because they would be coming through the baseboard on the wrong side of the track.  Learned to do this the hard way.

Offline BadBanana

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Re: Electrical Wiring
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2019, 08:39:53 pm »
It helps that I have the 'track plan' drawn on the bottom of my layout's baseboard, so I know where the track is when looking underneath.
That's a really helpful tip - thank you for sharing. 

I am also getting back into the hobby after pretty much 50 years away from model trains and the like.  Actually, I have no issue with electricals and electronics (that's been the day job since the mid 70s) but picking up ideas and tools that make life easier (and that includes AnyRail) are all part of my new adventure.