electrical blocks question

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by pooka2hot4u, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

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    My First Layout

    [​IMG]

    hey guys, im kinda new at all this and have some questions about electrical blocks on my layout.

    above is the track plan for a 3x5 layout im planning on making, which i got from this site: http://users.iafrica.com/c/ca/caroper/tutorial/
    its basically a tutorial on how to plan a N scale layout and mine is the second stage of it. heres a link to my exact one: http://users.iafrica.com/c/ca/caroper/tutorial/operations.htm
    its the third image down.
    now i can see that in that layout its been split into several blocks, but thats because at that point it was meant to run 2 different trains.
    i plan on only running one train for now. so i need to know wether i will need to seperate the track into any blocks or can i just plug the whole thing straight to the power pack? will those dead ends cause any short circuits or anything?
    id like it if you guys could tell me where i have to put insulated rail joiners and how i should wire the thing.

    PS: eventually it will get expanded a little to run 2 trains and thus be blocked up.
    once i get to 3 trains then im going to rewire this thing for DCC. but for now this is my first layout so i just wanted something simple, thats why i just copied one off the net.
  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Theoretically you should be able to wire the whole layout as one and forget about blocks if all you're going to run is one train. But, in practicallity, you may want to at least block off the sidings. They won't cause any shorts, but you might want to back a train into one of those sindings and leave it while you're running another train. If so, you'll need to at least be able to turn off power to those tracks. It also doens't hurt to block things now, even if you don't plan on running more than one train for a while. It'll just save you the trouble of tearing up track just to get some additional wiring and insulators in place.

    Just my take on things....
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Pooka, I have built this layout, but in ho scale. It's a lot of fun to operate. Good choice for a first layout.
    My reconmendation would be to follow the original plan and instructions. The author lays it out step by step on how to do everything. For a beginner, thats the best way to go. Saves a lot of headaches. Later, when you go to dcc, you still would not have to rewire.:)
    Loren
  4. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

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    well for now i dont want to make block for several reasons:
    1. im broke so i dont want to buy all the switching stuff to turn them on or off
    2. once again im broke so i really wont be buying any new locos any time soon
    3. i have a sort of short interest span. if i want to really keep myself involved in this i gotta get it running quickly with as little work as possible otherwise im gona end up giving up, as i have done with many things before. so i just want to quickly set it up so i can atleast use it and then worry about scenery and extra trains

    but ok assuming i do follow the directions. since i only run 1 train, then i will also only need to hook up one power pack to the tracks and the thing that switches between which block i control right?
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    You can still make blocks, insulated rail joiners will cost you about a dollar for all you'll need, just connect all the wires together at one point and connect them all to the power pack. You can do like most of us, buy what you need when you can afford it, but at least you'll be prepared and don't have to rework anything when you do decide to control your blocks.
  6. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

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    ok so i just follow the wiring plans shown in the tutorial on the second page, second image (ofcourse the extra sidings will be included in that plan as in the third image) and just leave out the second controller and the black and red wire that connects it to the track and block switches. is that right?

    also you guys think these will all work together?

    controller: http://www.manhattantrains.com/viewProduct.cfm?category=5&subcategory=41&ParentProductID=169
    above the image theres a drop down list to select the model, its the 260

    and block switches (i dont know what to properly call them):
    http://www.manhattantrains.com/viewProduct.cfm?category=2&subcategory=72&ParentProductID=82
    once again in the drop down pick selector. i will need 2 of these to cover all the blocks
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Pooka, you hit it right on the nail!:D Mrc is a great product. So are the Atlas switches. I used the Mrc 260 and still use the Atlas switches. They are easy to wire and very reliable.
    Loren
  8. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

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    thanks for all the help guys, im really kind of electrically challenged ( i cant even tell the difference between a Volt a Mah and an Amp ). now to make sure everything will work good, will this loco and rolling stock work well on my curves, and what do you think about the quality of the engine?

    The engine is an Atlas H16-44: http://www.manhattantrains.com/viewProduct.cfm?category=1&subcategory=1&scales=3&brands=5&ParentProductID=871
    hows the quality of this? i heard that atlas was over all a good company and this one seems to have some nice (or atleast nice-sounding to me) features, but id like your opinion, doest it have fly-wheels? i heard those are good to have. Im going for a sort of early diesel look to my railroad but still havent decided exactly when and where.
    The rolling stock will be several Atlas tankers and 40' reefers, some micro trains 40' box cars 33' hoppers and an atlas NE-6 caboose. I dont think cars of that length should have any trouble on my turns but i just like to be sure.
  9. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    The minimum radius on this plan is 9.75". All 4-axle diesels will run fine, and all cars up to 50'. Some larger equipment will run, but that is a "test for yourself" situation.
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Pooka , I wish I could help you more, but I know nothing about N scale itself. I am strictly ho.
    Loren
  11. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

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    its ok grewsome. i think i pretty much have the rest figured out. all i need now is to see wether that loco is good, but ill just go and find some reviews for that, i wont bother you guys about it.

    thanks alot guys, i should start slowly bumming together some cash to start buying up equipment and start building this thing
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Good luck and let us know how your doing.:thumb:
    Loren
  13. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

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    well good news, due to a measuring error in my favor i now get 3 more square feet to work with bringing my layout to 3'x6' :D

    ofcourse being the way i am i wanted to utilize the extra space and put an extra siding there which will most likely be a loading/unloading dock for some large industry.

    so heres the new plan (the different color track represents different electrical blocks):

    [​IMG]

    it will all be made from atlas code 80 sectional track (simply because thats how the article does it and i just wana stick to it for the sake of simplicity, and i dont like the fake roadbed of the kato unitrack)

    what i will need is:

    *42 - 5" straights
    4 - 2.5" straights
    1 - 1.25" straight
    *6 - 9.75" curves
    *14 - 11" curves
    10 - 19" curves
    7 - Left switches
    5 - Right switches
    the * means i already have those. i went out today to buy some track, so i have officially started on this layout.

    theres a bit of a mix up with the 19" curves though. instead of taking the 19" curves i just took another 10 11" curves by mistake, i wasnt paying attention to the labels on the box :oops:. so tomorrow i have to go buy the 19" curves instead. no big deal, it'll run me only $3 and atleast now i got 10 extra curves lying around.
  14. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Pooka, congrats on getting your layout started:D . And the extra space! That's what I would have done, put in more track, you can never have enough!. So don't worry about the extra track you bought, you will use it someday.
    Loren
  15. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

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    got the 2.5" and 1.25" straights yesterday (those are a pain to work with,the rails keep sliding out of the ties if you press too hard on the end to put a joiner on), and some insulated rail joiners for the blocks. now i just gota get the switches, which i was planning to get a couple of but they were all out of stock, and roadbed which was also....out of stock. but luckily the switches come with 19" curves so i wont have to buy any of those, should save me some money on that. still waiting for my dad to bring me a 6x3 sheet of plywood for the base from work (he works as a carpenter and makes custom furniture and stuff, so i always have a healthy supply of lumber whenever i need any :D) as i understand plywood is the best to use for a base board right?
    also which is the preffered roadbed cork or foam?

    thanks for all the help guys, ill be sure to put up pictures once i start building all of this, for now im sitting here in amazement wondering how they got such small rails and trains to actually work sign1
  16. Boilerman

    Boilerman Member

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    Another option would be to run your trains with a DCC system and that would eliminate the need for blocks and the wiring that is associated with them:wave: .
  17. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

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    well dcc gets expensive and i just dont have the amount of locos to justify dcc. im thinking of hooking it to dcc once i get any more than 2 locos.

    besides i just wana learn basic wiring and keep it simple for now so im kinda hesitant with the whole dcc thing. i want to make sure i will stay with this hobby before dumping money on a dcc system
  18. Boilerman

    Boilerman Member

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    OK,

    I understand your position as I also started with DC:thumb: .
  19. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

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