Model railroad wiring for DC control systems can be confusing for the model train beginner. This is because, unlike DCC, you have to create electrical sections of track to run 1 locomotive at a time.
The majority of model train layout problems come from a lack of sufficient electrical power on certain parts of the track. This is usually caused by a power pack that is too small for the model railroad track you have built.
Most starter train sets are manufactured to achieve an entry level price. The power packs in these starter train sets have just enough power to drive the train around the track supplied. As soon as you expand the track, that power pack has to drive the power a longer way and this is where the problems start.
If the power pack is not strong enough, you may have a very low voltage at the furthest point away from the power pack. This results in your engine running slow or stalling at that point. You also run the risk of burning out your power pack, or it overheating, by doing this. This can be dangerous and should be avoided.
Another common model railroad wiring problem is using electrical cables that are too small. By using wiring that is too small, it restricts the electricity flow getting to the end of the wiring. This results in a voltage drop at the end of the cable. It is important to check what current you will be drawing at full load and use the electrical wiring that is designed to carry that full current with some extra capacity.
I have many other model railroad wiring tips which I’ll share in other articles.
Further Model Railroad Wiring Information:
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