Powering a long run of track

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  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: N. Calif.
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Powering a long run of track
Posted by Boonter on Thursday, August 09, 2012 5:38 PM

I recently completed a large loop, approximatly 70 linier feet in legnth.  The largest transformer I have is a VW 150 watt.  Without additional lock on it will move a test engine about ten feet beyond the lock on.  All the track is new, including two 45 degree crossovers.  I am limited in toy train electrical systems so here are a couple of questions:

Would a ZW 275 with extra lock ons possably move one train of medium legnth properly ?  Would two VBW 150 in phase do it ?  What other options might I consider ?

Any suggestions, instructions, or far out ideas will be most welcome !  Thanks/

Cheers & Talleyho !
  • Member since
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  • From: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
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Posted by balidas on Thursday, August 09, 2012 6:00 PM

I would add two or three more lockons equidistant from each other and see how that works first. And you can wire one from the other. Also make sure the connections between each track section are tight and secure, even with new track.

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  • From: Charlotte, NC
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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Thursday, August 09, 2012 6:44 PM

All you need are more electrical connections to the track.  I would do one at least every ten feet.

Dave

Lackawanna Route of the Phoebe Snow

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  • From: Columbia, S.C. 29203
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Posted by rtraincollector on Thursday, August 09, 2012 7:11 PM

Boonter

I recently completed a large loop, approximatly 70 linier feet in legnth.  The largest transformer I have is a VW 150 watt.  Without additional lock on it will move a test engine about ten feet beyond the lock on.  All the track is new, including two 45 degree crossovers.  I am limited in toy train electrical systems so here are a couple of questions:

Would a ZW 275 with extra lock ons possably move one train of medium legnth properly ?  Would two VBW 150 in phase do it ?  What other options might I consider ?

Any suggestions, instructions, or far out ideas will be most welcome !  Thanks/

I think you might be having another problem there as I have a loop that is 16' x 14' so my loop is about 60' and I use just one lock-on ( yes I know I really need more) and I run 2 dual motor engine pulling 8 18" lighted passenger cars and a boxcar with no problem. Now I do use a zw but then again its mainly because of running 2 dual motors and all the lights in the passenger cars. I have run single motor engines on it and they fly around the track the dual will to actually. If your engine will only go about 10' feet you have some serious connection problems I would think. Something just doesn't sound right to me as my train is over 20' in legnth and I have no problem with just one lock on. I'am using gargraves track but I haven't done any soldering of joints yet or adding jumpers between connections.

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KRM
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Posted by KRM on Thursday, August 09, 2012 7:31 PM

Boonter,

What size wire are you using to feed your lock on and you need more lock ons. I ran a same size loop with a RW 110 watt with no problems.

 Also are you using single straights or the 3' long ones? more connections=more problems

 Kev

Joined 1-21-2011    TCA 13-68614

Kev, From The North Bluff Above Marseilles IL. Whistling

 

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Posted by stebbycentral on Thursday, August 09, 2012 9:21 PM

You didn't mention if this is a permanent arrangment on a layout table, or not.  If it is you might consider a wiring "bus".  A bus is a long length of heavy guage wire that parallels the track under the table.  Every couple of yards or so you solder smaller guage feeder wires off of the bus and run them up through the table top to the track connectors. 

The electricity then mainly travels through the wire, rather than the track, as it is the path of least resistance.  Of course if you wish to isolate a section of track, you don't connect it to the bus.  Rather you have to provide a separate wiring path for that section.

I have figured out what is wrong with my brain!  On the left side nothing works right, and on the right side there is nothing left!

  • Member since
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  • From: N. Calif.
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Posted by Boonter on Monday, September 03, 2012 3:16 PM

OK !  PROBLEM LOCATED !!  When I got hold of a tester tjhat would help me trace track voltage, AND someone who knew how to use it we located the problem.  A new 40" section or track  was the culpret.  O mid-location cross tie had no insulation and stopped the whole circut.  After changing that section a test train traversed the whole 80' atspeed setting on a good ZW 275 transformer.

Thanks to all who responded with sugestions and input.

Cheers & Talleyho !

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