A train toy is a key piece of any childhood. Thus, it is important to master the wiring of toy model trains to ensure they run as smoothly as possible. This way, your child can enjoy hours upon hours of great fun. Don't worry: Even if you have little experience with wiring, you can definitely master this with a little practice. The following includes a basic guide to wiring model train toy layouts.
Before you begin, you should know that the larger your model train track is, the more complex wiring and set-up will be. Additionally, you may need to use a heavy gauge wire as a bus for the track and may also have to run a number of feeders. Experts recommend that you fasten your train track to a foundation so that it is as secure as possible. Plywood is generally an inexpensive and effective material to use for this.
One of the keys to wiring model train tracks is to keep track of which wire is which. Using different-colored wire is a great way to keep track of your wiring patterns. For example, you could have the outside rail wires be red and the inside ones white to mark the negative charge.
Most experts agree that the right hand rule of wiring is integral to a successful track layout. Basically, you want the train to travel the track layout to the right or counterclockwise direction from where you stand at the power pack. When wiring, this means that the outside rail would be positive (+) and the inside rail would then be a negative (-) rail. It's important to keep in mind which rails are positive and negative so that wiring is made that much easier.
You can wire the toy train wires to the model's track in a number of ways. The most popular way is to solder feeder wires to the outer side of your rail. An 8 place terminal block is a great way to keep track of your wires. For example, you can connect all of the wires here and keep yourself from doubling up wires in a power pack. You don't want the vibration from the pack to result in loose or frayed wires. Attaching the wires from the pack to the block is easy: all you have to do is strip some of the insulation from the wire, loop it around one of the knobs or screws of the terminal, and match up the charges.
Beginners should start simple so that they can master the basics of wiring and soldering. Once you master a simple model train toy track layout and its wiring, you can start experimenting with more and more complex layouts and their wiring. Soon, you'll have many trains running on interlocking and reversing loops of track.
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Joe Kanooga is a father of two kids, a successful business owner and the author of numerous articles about train toy. Click here to download a free model train guidebook filled with hobby tips, ideas and information.
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