ONLINE
STORE
"ASK THE BACH MAN"
FORUM
PARTS, SERVICE,
& INFORMATION
CATALOGS AND
BROCHURES

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
December 05, 2020, 05:33:47 AM
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Check out the photo gallery link above or >click here< to see photos of recently announced products!
+  Bachmann Message Board
|-+  Discussion Boards
| |-+  HO
| | |-+  Using feeders with Bachmann Digital Commander
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: Using feeders with Bachmann Digital Commander  (Read 6941 times)
The Old Man

View Profile
« on: August 20, 2008, 12:11:16 PM »

Can someone help me understand how to do this?  I have a 4x8 layout.  I am using EZ Track and the Bachmann DCC Digital Commander.  It has an AC adapter that goes into the controller. The power goes to the track from a miniplug into the controller to a special plug that goes into the EZ track rerailer/terminal.  What is the procedure to add  two or three feeders into the track?

I am a novice, please be specific.

Quick link for picture of unit:

http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/products.php?act=viewProd&productId=1453
Logged
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2008, 05:58:30 PM »

I am assuming you want the extra feeders for reliability, not for control.  If this assumption is wrong, let us know!

Buy two or three extra terminal/rerailer tracks.  I believe these come with a cord with a flat plug on one end and spade lugs or a round plug on the other end.  Also buy two or three extra of these cords and some lamp cord or two wire bell wire to use as extension cord.

Install the terminal/rerailer tracks on your layout.  Then wire them, starting at the one nearest to your original terminal/rerailer track.  Let's call your original terminal/rerailer track number 1 and the new terminal/rerailer track closest to it number 2.  Cut two cords in half and use only the ends with the flat plugs.  Plug one into terminal/rerailer track number 1 and the other into terminal/rerailer track number 2.  Terminal/rerailer track number 1 should have the cord from you E-Z Command plugged into its other side.   Connect the shortened cords together with a length of lamp cord or bell wire.  For neatness, you may want to drill holes through your table top and hide the wiring underneath.  Remember that one wire of your shortened cord goes to one of the wires of your extension cord, and the other shortened cord wire goes to the other extension cord wire.  The insulation must be stripped off the wires so that they have metal to metal contact.  If you have the equipment, it is best to solder these joints, but if not, you can use Wire Nuts, available from the hardware store.  The soldered joints must be taped individually to keep them from touching and causing a short circuit but with wire nuts, this is not necessary as long as all the bared wire is hidden inside the nuts.

Now wire the other shortened cord to the other end of your extension cord in the same manner.  Do not wire any more extension cords at this time.  Instead, fire up your E-Z Command and make sure it is not shorted.  If it is, lights will flash and trains will not run.  If it is shorted, clear the short by reversing the plug in terminal/rerailer track number 2 - simply unplug it, turn it over, and plug it back in.  Turn your E-Z Command back on and check things out by running a train.

Now it is time to wire a second extension cord.  This one will go from terminal/rerailer track number 2 to terminal/rerailer track number 3.  As before, add only the one extension, then test for shorts.   Repeat until you have all of the terminal/rerailer tracks connected, being sure to test each one as you wire it up.  The reason for doing them one at a time is that will a total of 4 terminal/rerailer tracks, there are 8 different ways of connecting them and of those 8 ways, 7 are wrong.
Logged

Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
The Old Man

View Profile
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2008, 06:41:57 PM »

Jim, you are exactly correct in what I'm trying to do.  And I know the info is in your post.  Now I'm trying to be clear on it.  When you say, "Cut two cords in half and use only the ends with the flat plugs", what do you mean?  Are you saying that I should take two red power cords (as Bachmann calls them) and cut off the mini plug end?  Or why are you saying, "in half"?

In the end is this what I wind up with: The standard red plug power cord goes to the #1 terminal/rerailer (TR#1).  Then there is another red power cord plug into the other side of TR#1.  The other end of the cord is bare.  It then goes under the layout with both of its wires are wired to and end of lamp cord...no, now I think I'm getting lost.

Thank you for any help you can give me.  If there is any way anybody can draw and post a diagram it would help.

I really appreciate the time you are giving me.

Update--I just reread your instructions and I think I have it.  To clarify.  All the TRs will have a plug in both sides except TR#4.  Each TR#1 is connect to TR#2, TR2 to #3, and #3 to #4.  There is no master buss wire (whatever that is) just a length of lamp cord so that each TR can reach the other.  Also note that the DCC Commander came with one power cord with a plug and one with just wires.  So that I should only need 5 more to do a total of four TRs.

Yes?

Thanks again.

PS, what would be the best number of TRs for a 4x8 plan.  I am working on Woodland Scenics' Grand Valley layout.

« Last Edit: August 20, 2008, 06:50:25 PM by The Old Man » Logged
ajp3751


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2008, 07:06:11 PM »

The number of TRs used depends on the layout and how you want to wire it. You probably want to have one on each loop and maybe one in the yard. I looked at the layout plan for Grand Valley and it seems there aren't many straight track areas for a TR so you may need curved TRs. You are using DCC so you probably won't be wiring in blocks, but if you are, you will want a power source in each block. If you are handy with wiring and electrical work, you can just cut and strip the wires and solder them directly to the track if a rerailer won't fit. For advanced wiring there are some books like the one from atlas, but it seems you are good to go with what Jim said.
Logged
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2008, 08:39:50 PM »

You could cut off just the mini (round) plugs and throw them away.  This would even save a few inches of lamp cord or bell wire.  I suggested cutting the red cords in half so that you would end up with some usable mini plugs.  With some wire left on them, they are still useful.  With no wire, they are garbage.  For me, it is a knee jerk reaction to squirrel away anything that might possibly someday be of some use on the railway.  And it gives me some pleasure every time I can dig out most or all the parts I need for a project from my own "stock" (you may call it a "hoard" - some of my politer friends do.)  It gives me even more pleasure when I can help out another model railroader by magically producing some piece that he needs for his layout.   
Logged

Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
The Old Man

View Profile
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2008, 11:40:38 PM »

Thank you both, and especially Jim for his detailed post, for the information.
Logged
SteamGene

View Profile
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2008, 04:10:09 PM »

Old Man,
A buss wire - or bus wire - is the heavier gauge wire that runs from the power pack, through the layout with track feeders - lighter gauge - coming from it to the track to give the track power.  The feeders can run directly to the track or they can run through switches allowing power to be turned on or off to a track section. 
Gene
Logged

Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
The Old Man

View Profile
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2008, 12:27:52 PM »

So I got an inexpensive Radio Shack digital multimeter.  How is it used to check the continuity of EZ Track?
Logged
Running Bear


View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2008, 02:35:25 PM »

You could also do away with all those terminal tracks and wire your layout for DCC in the standard fashion. Run two 14 gauge buss wires beneath the layout, one for the left rail (make this wire red) and the other for the right rail (make this wire black). You would then solder feeder wires (18 guage) to the outside of the rails about every six feet. The feeders for the left rail should be red and those for the right rail should be black. These would passed through holes drilled through the layout so they can be soldered to the buss wires, red to red, black to black. The feeders shouldn't be more than six inches long. Once you do a couple of these it becomes easy.
Logged

Running Bear
The Old Man

View Profile
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2008, 03:08:12 PM »

I am going to use Jim's method using the EZ Track railer/terminals--it should be easier.
Logged
grumpy

View Profile
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2008, 01:08:30 AM »

The OLd Man
My whole layout is EZ TRack . I have have not added the buss wire or feeders to my track . I have not had any problems as a result and eveything works fine .The layout has been in operation almost 3 years.
Don
Logged
Joe Satnik


View Profile WWW
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2008, 08:04:43 AM »

Hi, T.O.M.

You wrote: "How is it (digital multimeter) used to check the continuity of EZ Track?"

Hopefully you can still take your track apart, ie, it's not glued down or buried in ballast. 

Since you are using DCC, you would set your meter to read AC volts, range 20 volts.   If it doesn't have a 20 volt range setting, choose the next higher voltage above 20 V.  If your meter comes with separate probe wires, plug the 2 probe wires into the meter jacks appropriate to measure AC volts. 

The idea is to have a single power source (DCC controller in your case) on one end of the track, and the load (DCC engine) on the other end.  To have only one source, you would temporarily unplug the wires from additional terminal re-railers.  Mark which side of the plug is "up" to maintain correct polarity when you plug them back in.  (This assumes they were properly polarized in the first place.)     

If you have a loop, break it by taking apart the track at one spot, either side of your (terminal re-railer) power feed.  Place the engine on the track on the other side of the break, which is now electrically "far from the controller". 

Turn your controller on.  Measure the voltage by touching the red probe to one rail of the terminal re-railer, and the black probe to the other rail.  You should read somewhere around 14 volts AC. 

Move the probes to the track under the DCC engine.  It should measure just a little less than what you read at the powered terminal re-railer, and be steady.   

If not, move the probes from the track under the engine back towards the controller, touching the 2 rails at each track piece.  If the voltage suddenly changes (higher or steadier), you have just jumped over the bad rail connector. 

To find which rail connector (north rail or south rail) is bad, probe the rails on each side of the north rail connector (red probe on one side, black on the other).  Repeat for the south rail.  The measurement across the good rail connector will read zero volts, the bad one something higher.

Turn off the contoller and fix the bad rail connection. 

New track shouldn't be corroded.  A VERY GENTLE squeeze on the top and bottom of a connector using small pliers should tighten it up.   

Repeat the process until all connections are fixed and you have steady power all along the line.  When making the later measurements, flex the next rail connectors (up the line towards the controller) a little by gently pressing on the track near the rail connectors. This will flush out intermittent connectors. 

Re-connect the track to the terminal re-railer (close the loop).  Re-connect the feeds to the other terminal re-railers, maintaining previous polarity.

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik
Logged

If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
The Old Man

View Profile
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2008, 11:40:55 AM »

Thank you for the info.  I will not have a chance to try this until next weekend (not this weekend).  I will report back.
Logged
Pages: [1] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!