Electrical Hookups ~ Thursday, September 13, 2007
I want my new micro layout to be convenient to hook up to a power supply. I considered building in phono jacks, and putting phono plugs on the leads from the power supplies. But I ended up with something home-made that lets me hook up bare wires pretty easily:
There are four screw contacts made out of machine screws, washers, tee nuts, and wing nuts. Inside wiring it attached with the machine screws and washers on the inside of the frame; wires from power supplies are attached on the outside, held on tightening the wing nuts.
The four contacts are for outside (of the loop) rail, overhead wire, inside rail, and layout lighting. This will allow separate supplies to be connected to three possible train-powering circuits: two-rail, overhead to inside rail, and overhead to outside rail, as per NCat practices.
Particularly, what I have in mind is to run pole-equipped cars two-rail, some pantograph-equipped cars on the overhead/outside-rail circuit (the two sidings on the layout are inside the loop, so the outside rail is continuous, and there's less chance of hitting dead spots this way), and use the overhead/inside-rail circuit for lighting of both types of equipment (if the lights flicker off and on again while the car rolls through "interesting" trackage and overhead, I can assure you that this is entirely prototypical).
One of the four contacts will (arbitrarily) double as the return for the layout lighting circuit.