Transformer Console Pictures?

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Transformer Console Pictures?
Posted by DJSpanky on Saturday, March 10, 2018 2:15 PM

Corey and I are working on our design for our transformer console. I'm trying to sell him on the idea of finishing it properly. Does anyone have pictures of a transformer console they built that I can show them? Thanks!

Spank


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Posted by ADCX Rob on Saturday, March 10, 2018 4:31 PM

Old school on our O-27 Layout:

Rob

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Posted by Penny Trains on Monday, March 12, 2018 6:25 PM

Not a control panel per se, but rather a "powerhouse" of sorts:

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

KRM
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Posted by KRM on Monday, March 12, 2018 7:41 PM

Here you go DJ!

Kids side

My side

,

 

Have fun!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kev, From The North Bluff Above Marseilles IL. Whistling

 

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Posted by dbaker48 on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 12:55 AM

Penny & Kev, Some really nice looking work!  Great job!

Don

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Posted by BigAl 956 on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 9:24 AM

KRM
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Posted by KRM on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 1:18 PM

Nice Al, lots of switches there.

 

I have one main switch that turns on everything at once. Nice because I can shut it all down and then with the flip of a switch go back to where it was. The dark side is when the grandson flips every switch on the console and then I flip on the main!!!!!    SurpriseBang Head     One may not want to do that.  Smile, Wink & Grin

 

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Kev, From The North Bluff Above Marseilles IL. Whistling

 

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Posted by BigAl 956 on Thursday, March 15, 2018 12:58 PM

KRM
I have one main switch that turns on everything at once. Nice because I can shut it all down and then with the flip of a switch go back to where it was.

I have that too. You cannot see it but on the side of what was a converted office desk, I built a switched power outlet that does just that, gives you one on-off for the entire system. The individual switches and breakers you see are used for the different blocks. I use house wiring switches because you can buy them in assorted colors at the store for pennies and they hold up to 15 amps. I also wire them as required to circuit breakers for circuit protection.

BTW, I have the above panel for sale cheap. We are moving and I had to dissasemble the layout. If you are in the Chicago area you can come by and pick it up.

Another view:

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Posted by traindaddy1 on Thursday, March 15, 2018 4:03 PM

No biggie! Simple but does everything. 

KRM
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Posted by KRM on Thursday, March 15, 2018 8:02 PM

TKS AL, I am 70 or so miles southwest of Chicago but have no plans of doing any more on the layout. Like you I am planning the next move in our lives. It has been a fun ride so far.

 

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Kev, From The North Bluff Above Marseilles IL. Whistling

 

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Posted by DJSpanky on Saturday, March 17, 2018 12:09 PM

Just curious, for those of you who have built consoles, what gauge wire have you used to wire your console to the track?

Spank


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Posted by lionelsoni on Saturday, March 17, 2018 12:52 PM

I use two type-Z transformers, which have 15-ampere circuit breakers.  Therefore I use 14-AWG.  Because the worst-case total return current is 30 amperes, I use separate 14-AWG wires in the umbilical cord for the two transformers' returns.  I could have used a single 10-AWG, but it is handy to have two identically wired transformers with interchangeable connectors for trouble-shooting.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by KRM on Sunday, March 18, 2018 12:14 PM

Spanky,

 14 Gauge is so big it don't hardly fit into a Lockon. I have installed 10 amp re-setting breakers and TVSs behind the transformers and use 16 gauge as feed to track. As for switches and other stuff I go as low as 20 gauge depending on how far and fuse to size in the Console with mini fuses. The transformer breakers never get a chance to trip. Newer trains never need 15 amp.

So in the end it is up to you.

 

 

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Kev, From The North Bluff Above Marseilles IL. Whistling

 

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Posted by BigAl 956 on Monday, March 19, 2018 11:50 AM

Agree with Bob, I run #14 solid from the transformer to termal strips and then run #14 stranded bus wires around the layout. I tap into them using 'tap splices' with #18 wires which connect to the the track.

Have a video of how i do it here: 

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Posted by traindaddy1 on Monday, March 19, 2018 3:26 PM

We use mainly 14 Gauge Stranded wire and 18 Gauge red/black Speaker wire.

 

 

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Posted by lionelsoni on Monday, March 19, 2018 5:29 PM

Eighteen-AWG is fine for any transformer that can put out less than about 8 amperes, or as a (short) tap from a heavier bus to the track, like Al uses.

I hoped to suggest in my earlier post that you have to be careful in connecting the returns of multiple in-phase transformers to the track through a single wire, because that wire carries the sum of all the individual transformer currents and should be sized accordingly.

The alternative to a single 10-AWG return wire that I use is simply to keep the transformer commons separate until they get to the track.  This way, the common wires don't need to be any heavier than the other wires in the circuit, that is, 14-AWG for a 15-ampere transformer like a type Z (without the supplementary circuit breakers that Kev describes above).

Bob Nelson

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Posted by DJSpanky on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 11:47 AM

I love threads like this, because the conversation morphs and, with everyone sharing their experience, you learn so much.

So, the console I'm looking to build will have 2 sections of wire. The 1st set will go from the transformers to the wire terminals. I intend to have each transformer with its own set of wires on permanent ring connectors so that I can plug-and-play with the transformers. The 2nd set will span between the wire terminals that the transformers plug into to the wire terminals on the back of the console that the wires from the track plug into. This set will be permanently soldered to the back tabs of each matching wire terminal.

So whaddaya thinkthe gauge should be for that? 14?

Spank


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Posted by BigAl 956 on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 12:48 PM

DJSpanky
So whaddaya thinkthe gauge should be for that? 14?

Yes, 14. It's commonly available at the store in up to 11 different colors.

Solid from the transformer to a terminal strip and stranded out on the layout for tapSplices to tap into.

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Posted by lionelsoni on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 4:45 PM

Here's the recipe:

For wires other than the common, use wire with an ampacity that is at least that of the overcurrent protection (circuit-breaker, fuse, or electronic current limiting) of the circuit.  For example, use 20-AWG for up to 5 amperes, 18-AWG for 7.5 amperes, 16-AWG for 10 amperes, 14-AWG for 15 amperes, 12-AWG for 20 amperes, 10-AWG for 30 amperes.  The ampacity doubles every 4 AWG sizes.

Find the worst-case common current for each transformer.  For a traditional transformer, that is the circuit-breaker rating, 5 amperes for a 1033, 10 amperes for a KW, 15 amperes for a Z or ZW.  If a transformer has individually protected outputs, add their current ratings.  If a transformer has both an overall protection and individual protections, use the smaller of the overall rating and the sum of the individual ratings.

Add together the worst-case common currents for each group of transformers that are all in phase with each other.  (That's just one group if all of your transformers are in phase.)  Select the greater of those two currents as the worst-case common current.

For any wire closer to the layout than the point where the individual transformers' commons are connected together, use wire with the ampacity just calculated.  For example, 2 type-Z transformers would need a 10-AWG common after the point where they are wired together.

There is no electrical difference between solid and stranded wire of the same gauge.  Stranded is simply easier to work with.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by DJSpanky on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 9:41 AM

I think for my purposes a spool of 14 gauge stranded wire should do the trick.

Spank


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Posted by V8Vega on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 10:33 AM

Wow I thought my wiring was complicated but it's a lot simpler than you guys above. I tried to keep it simple with ground throws and no accessories.

I have two ZW's and Cab Control like the HO guys do. Only one side of each ZW is used. They are plugged into a power strip in phase with a off switch. I have a diagram of my track plan with 9 toggles for 9 blocks.

I don't know how to post pictures.

Dennis  San Fernando Valley CA.  Joined August 2009

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