Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Electrical Block Wiring

I’m waiting for a few last parts to come in for my control box, so I’ve instead been working on wiring the underside of my bench-work. I purchased 3 - 10 position terminal strips off eBay and attached them to the main support frame. I then connected all of the different power blocks to the corresponding terminal connector. All of the switch machine and turn-table controls were also wired to the terminal strips. The common DC and common AC grounds terminate on the strips as well. The wires from the control box will come through the large hole to the right of the terminal strips, and will attach to their appropriate terminal position screw.
Terminal stripsTerminal connector wiring

I tried to keep the wires as organized as possible; however, since I wired the layout in stages, the final wiring resulted in lots of connection in the individual leads. For these connections, I used high quality male & female connectors, wrapped in electrical tape to prevent loose connections.
Electric block wiring

I have also decided to build my own track signals from scratch. I purchased the small LED lights and black display faces off eBay for a very reasonable price ($5.00 for all of the LEDs and 8 black display faces). I used super glue to attach the LEDs to the display faces. I then soldered all the grounds together, and ran one common ground to all 3 LEDs. I then soldered individual wires to each LED.
Lit scratch built trackside signalScratch built trackside signal

These wires will then go to the control box and their corresponding relay switch, which will control what LED is lit up depending on the turnout position. I used standard telephone cable for my leads, which worked perfectly as there was a black, red, yellow, and green wire which matched perfectly to the LED light colours. I still need to figure out how I’m going to construct the rest of the signal structure, but I’ll save that for the new year!
Scratch built trackside signal