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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a request for advice and assistance with my 110 foot 2 lane AFX layout.

I am attempting a 2 power source setup using 2 laptop batteries, one for each lane.

I have 2 separate terminal tracks - one for "lane 1" and one for "lane 2" with the appropriate metal tabs cut on the bottom for power to the particular lane.

I have traced my wiring thoroughly however i have power for both lanes from each controller.

My basic wiring is obviously creating a problem but I cannot figure out how. When you look at the bottom of each terminal track I cannot for the life of me see how power is reaching lane 2 with the metal tabs cut.

Please go easy on me with your responses - I fear I am in for a rough time :)

thanks in advance for your time and thoughts,
 

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Can you provide a photo of the bottom of the terminal tracks (one should do it, I assume they are both the same).

Slotforum is generally a good place to be for questions, no worries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
here is a photo of the bottom. Please note that the black electrical tape is not allowing the metal tab to touch that lane. We have actually tested the track with it not even on the table, the tab floating free and we still have power to both lanes.
Light Wood Font Metal Door
 

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Hi Willy,

I would be suspicious of the bridge. Can you remove the tape just for a photo and give a close up of the bridge please?

Cheers,
Ken
 

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Ya got both feeders on the same side (lane).

One needs to be outside and one needs to be inside.

Both common shunts must be snipped. The feeders must be opposed to separate the supplies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am not sure I follow. By feeder i assume you mean the tab running from the power plug terminal.

I am anxious to snip them, please help me to snip the right ones!

thanks !
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I may be able to help with words.
In the photo you will see both terminal tracks.
Call the top one A and the lower track B.

You see in photo track A has a controller strip to inside rail and power strip to outside rail. Note that the strip to outside rail in no way touches the lane it jumps over. In addition that strip is not snipped it is just insulated with the tape.

You also see in photo with track B the controller strip to the inside rail and the power strip to the outside rail.

Hope this helps,

thanks again for the feedback
 

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That is... the negative from the power supply is basically wired to one rail.

The positive from the power supply goes to one side of the controller, and the post-resistor side of the controller goes to the other rail.

On a two wire setup, don't get too hung up on the "lane one pos & lane one neg (etc)" as depicted on the right side of the above diagram. Switch 'em and the cars run the other direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good info and much appreciated. The diagram utilizes a bus board setup. Many others have successfully done what i am attempting with the two terminal tracks. I know the bus board is a cleaner setup, one that I will likely go to once layout is more complete.

In one post above it is mentioned that "both common shunts need to be snipped". What exactly does that mean?

If I am only a snip away from it working I will go that route to get things moving.

thanks guys, appreciate it very much.
 

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Forget/ignore the bus board thing it was just part of the graphic I copy/pasted and should be ignored. Remember, the important thing is... the negative from the power supply is basically wired to one rail.The positive from the power supply goes to one side of the controller, and the post-resistor side of the controller goes to the other rail.
Look again at the graphic. Imagine one "power supply" --depicted by the large black and red wires on the left (presumably your wall wart transformer wires) wired to one of your lanes. Negative goes to a rail, positive goes through your controller and then to the other rail. Nothing is to touch the other lane's rails.

I think that is tyco track, and I think that the power pack plugs in on the right hand side of the terminal track. Typically two controllers and then the power pack on the right. That puts the spot that the power pack plugs in on your pictures on the "bottom" of the terminal tracks, correct?
 

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Slope Rectangle Electrical wiring Wood Map




Gas Electric blue Electrical wiring Door Machine


So, in each photo, I believe the negative does go to one rail, as depicted by the blue arrow.

Further, it looks to me like the positive from the power pack does go to one side of the controller, as depicted by the red arrow denoted "1". Annnnnnd the post-controller positive does in fact go to the other rail, as depicted by the red arrow "2".

Therefore, I would be suspect of the strips headed across the "inside" rails on their way to the "outside" rails in the top pic. Specifically, that they are touching those rails and creating your problem.

Perhaps un wire that one entirely and try only the setup on the bottom. Does that work correctly?

(disclaimer--I favor things mechanical, not electrical, and while I get by in this dept., it is not my specialty and, of course, may be incorrect)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I will begin trouble shooting.

two things to confirm for discussion

1) i am using AFX track, speed lock to be exact
2) i have tested this with the track off the table, meaning the bottom of the track is not on the table, the tab completely separated, not touching in any way shape or form, and still power to both. My original thought was that when the track was pressed down onto table it was pressing the tab down onto the underside of the rail. So i then tried my experiment with actually looking at it from below to confirm whether it was touching. Thats when i went to you guys as I just was at wits end knowing it wasnt touching the other lane.
 

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Thats a confusing mess.

Take the tape off.

#1, Both terminal tracks must look like the one at the bottom of the first photo.

Get that far please.

Standing by ...
 

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"Both terminal tracks must look like the one at the bottom of the first photo."--MM

Agreed, that would simplify things. Presumably the second terminal track would have to be turned around so that it powered the "other" lane.

I still would like to know what happens when the "top" (and possibly problematic) terminal track has the power removed completely. Does the other lane work?
 

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Thanks for taking the tape off.

MM knows what to look for out of experience. I would like to see what's going on because I'm still a newbie and I have not seen the under side of those power tracks before. I would like to learn too.

Ken
 

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No sworries Ken. Bob and I have been through this a number of times over the years.

Slotbob:

As I suspected, the terminal in question, no longer hidden by tape, is not snipped the same as the other, ergo you cant use our mirror image terminal trick to simply power each lane.

We gotta add lib here, in order to get Wiliy going! Im pretty sure I'm on it, but a dyslexia check on me sure wouldnt hurt.

***

To fix:

Number pin sets pictured 1-6, top to bottom.

#1 gets power supply
#2 is not used
#3 gets a controller
#4 is not used
#5 gets a power supply
#6 gets a controller

Note: Ordinarily the common shunts are cut between the inside and outside lanes. We do this so we dont have an open shunt flapping around underneath, requiring insulation, and less intuitive wiring to be sorted. Spot welded shunts are more reliable when they are short/firm.

Please let us know how you progress Willy
 
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