I discovered the wire I was using was too thin for the distances it needed to travel. Going to 18 gauge wire is an expense I am not pleased with, but what expense does please me? I am glad I discovered my error before more wiring work had been completed. My cat Hobbes is not terribly interested in the construction of the railroad, but he is very, very interested when it’s time to run a train!
From the main blocks (located above Hobbes’ fuzzy noggin in the first photo) the common rail bus is insulated in red. From the common rail bus, the circuit connects to the loop that feeds the positive track (orange for the common rail at that point). The negative feed from cab 1 is yellow and from cab 2 is blue. These connect to the negative bus from a SPDT switch (photo 2) which feeds the bus wire in grey. Of course, the larger gauge wire won’t fit through the switch connections, so I now require smaller jumper wires. The loop that feeds the negative track is black at that point. Even though it sounds confusing …actually it is! But this wiring scheme allows me to know what any wire is for at any point on the layout without tracing it.
The terminating blocks (last photo) also allow me to isolate any segment for troubleshooting purposes. I’d like to think that won’t be necessary, but I know it will be essential.
I’ve replaced some Micro-Engineering switches with Atlas Code 55 switches, as they seem to perform better. I may replace more if the need arises. I have to tell you that the Atlas switches are easier to install and operate very smoothly.
Next step is to wire up the staging yard block and get back to laying track!