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Power Taps, Jumpers OH My

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  • Power Taps, Jumpers OH My

    I’ve made the jump to Digital from analog, and I’m up and running . Now to my question, should I run wire to each rail and not use a jumper to feed the other lane? (Four individual wires per track)
    I will be running my wires from the CU to terminal blocks and feeding all the power tap track pieces. I will be using a Tek-Slot digital/analog setup.
    Tony

  • #2
    Tony

    I had originally done only 2 wires like you described but changed to 4 to be able to split lanes for digital and analog. Double check with Joe at TekSlot and take a look at the sticky thread on the dual mode switch box... it would also be good to plan for a separate power feed for digital accessories like lane changers, position tower, driver displays, etc.. you're asking the right questions..

    Ed

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    • #3
      I’m nit sure I understand your question, but if you use the aforementioned lane gates, you will need jumpers to each section between lane changes, as part of the setup includes an intentional break in the inside rail.

      hope this is helpful.

      Comment


      • #4
        If your going to be running the analog and digital setup you have to run individual wire to the lanes (4 wires) if you don't the track will be all digital. The 1st time I set my jumpers I was running only digital so I just jumped across the lane running jumpers. When I did the analog/digital conversion I had to take my track apart and separate all the jumpers. A lot of wire but worth it.
        Attached Files
        Dave
        Saginaw Valley Raceway
        Only Rule: Just enjoy who you are racing with.

        Comment


        • Scatman
          Scatman commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks Dave. Yes, I’m running both A/D. One of the main reasons I made the switch to digital was the easy using Tek-Slot adapter. Ordered a couple more terminal blocks yesterday. Had some from my wood track but they were smaller. I have 10 taps to install, fun. My track is powered from a power supply instead of the wort, can I power my terminal blocks straight from the power supply? Or, do I have to send the power to the blocks from the CU? Thanks

      • #5
        You know to be honest I don't have answer to that. I don't believe it's just the voltage that's needed. I think it needs power from the rails because it also sends signals. Also you don't need to tap into the CU, you can go to the next piece track rather than open up all the wiring in the CU.
        Dave
        Dave
        Saginaw Valley Raceway
        Only Rule: Just enjoy who you are racing with.

        Comment


        • #6
          I was wondering about the signals sent to the cars, like when you run fuel in real mode, Slower speed with a full tank and less braking. Dumb question here, do I only need to pull voltage from one lane to supply my terminal blocks? Thanks
          Tony

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          • #7
            The power on the rails of the track has to come from the CU. The CU encodes throttle and braking information in the voltage stream. If the power on the rails doesn't come from the CU- the cars won't respond to the controllers.

            Comment


            • Scatman
              Scatman commented
              Editing a comment
              So, it’s ok to send the power from the rail to my terminal blocks and distribute from there?

            • Scatman
              Scatman commented
              Editing a comment
              Going back to your answer, isn’t the power from the CU still present even though I’m feeding the Power taps from the power supply?

            • b.yingling
              b.yingling commented
              Editing a comment
              You definitely don't want power coming straight from the power supply and from the CU at the same time. That's going to smoke components. Dave gives you the right procedure below. Power supply connects to CU, CU connects to track.
              Last edited by b.yingling; October 19, 2020, 12:56 PM.

          • #8
            Tony you got it right in your 1st response to Bruce. You run one power tap from each lane to a terminal block (or blocks ) and then branch out from there making sure to keep each lane separate.
            Dave
            Saginaw Valley Raceway
            Only Rule: Just enjoy who you are racing with.

            Comment


            • #9
              Thanks. So, here’s what is on my to do list. Chip my lane changing track with Lane Gate. Followed by power taps using the rails from the CU or the track next to it, sent to my terminal blocks and feed each lane. Thanks everyone. On a side note, I’m so happy I’ve made the switch. Thank you all for your advice.
              Tony

              Comment


              • #10
                Here’s some of the latest additions to my drivers area.
                Tony

                Comment


                • #11
                  Update. The track is wired/power tap, constant power all the away around. Yes, I had one mistake, positive on the wrong rail. I can actually blame my wife, she distracted me. The CU and the Lap counter was not happy. Turned the thing off really quick.

                  Early observation. Before I started, I checked voltage from my CU, it read 16.8 volts. Also, removed it from the track to read the voltage, same. I checked the power supply and the plug going to the CU, it read 18 volts. To get the CU to read 18, I cranked my power supply to read 20 volts. Now I’m reading 18.1 volts, all the way around. Any ideas? I do have a Tek-Slot device wired to the CU, could that be the reason?

                  Ran several laps, the extra voltage has woken the 1/24 cars. All the lane changer work also.

                  Issue that I need help besides the power from the CU, one of my 1/24 cars started acting up like it was shorting the track. The CU and other devices did not like that car. It ran several laps before it started acting up. It happened when I put the car in ghost mode, it did run some laps before it did it’s thing. Tried other cars, no problem.

                  Time to go to bed. Tomorrow, lane gate the changeovers. Again thanks for the help.
                  Tony

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Originally posted by Scatman View Post
                    Early observation. Before I started, I checked voltage from my CU, it read 16.8 volts. Also, removed it from the track to read the voltage, same. I checked the power supply and the plug going to the CU, it read 18 volts. To get the CU to read 18, I cranked my power supply to read 20 volts. Now I’m reading 18.1 volts, all the way around. Any ideas? I do have a Tek-Slot device wired to the CU, could that be the reason?
                    The 1.2- 1.4 volt drop for the CU is pretty typical...remember that the voltage you read on the rail side of the CU is not really a straight DC voltage like the input from the power supply. It is PWM with the messages for the digital overlaid on top of the DC voltage....a voltmeter isn't fast enough to see the voltage variations from this - it looks a lot more interesting on an oscilloscope...

                    Comment


                    • Scatman
                      Scatman commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Should I drop my power supply back to 18 volts?

                    • b.yingling
                      b.yingling commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I would not recommend going above 18 volts on the power supply. Some people do, but there's no guarantee that all components will live as long with that extra voltage. And to my mind, D124 cars are plenty fast enough at 18 volts from the PS (with 16.? on the rails).

                  • #13
                    I dropped it back to 18. The cars are fast enough on my layout. Weird running cars with magnets, it has been a long time. Right now I’m spending time working on the track and running cars in between. No time for tuning. Magnets will be coming out. Cars feel more predictable
                    Tony

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