Re: Best ho switches


Good/Great question, Greg. The answer here makes an important difference in identifying the real issue.

If the headlight simply blinks off, motor stops or a sound loco recycles it is an intermittent connection. If the booster or circuit breaker actually trips off it is a true short circuit. Two different problems with two totally different solutions.

Various brands of turnouts have their own version causes of intermittent electrical connections. One cannot totally rely on the points or the point rail pivot to always make a good electrical connection. Use separate rail feeder wires to point rails to keep things powered. Also look for vertical rail height bumps that lift truck wheels above the rails.

True short circuits should be rare, but are usually caused by 1) oversized wheels bridging across frog closure rails of near frog isolation gaps or the back side brushing against an opposite polarity point rail, or 2) powered frogs being at the wrong polarity, or 3) power switched frog rails not being isolated from other rails beyond the turnout. Watch out for unwanted closure of cut but non-insulated rail gaps.  


---In WiringForDCC@..., <gregw66@...> wrote :

What do you mean by a "short"? This term is confusing sometimes because some refer to a loss of power as a short but a short is actually a short circuit where the controller goes into a protection mode. So what exactly happens on the turnouts? Does the loco loose power or does the power supply (DCC? DC?) go into a short protection mode?

Greg Williams

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