Re: do I need new bus wires

Brian Williams <brianw1138@...>
 

David,

It isn't strictly necessary to get an Accurate voltage reading (within
a few percent), although that is certainly possible. If the rails are
out of polarity, any AC meter will read something, maybe not steadily,
but it'll bounce around near, say, 10v (I'm making that number up),
While if the rails are in polarity, the reading may bounce around near
.1V. I hope you get the idea.

A simple test fixture would be a 16v (or 20 or 24) light bulb
connected to two aligator clips. Attach one clip to each side of the
rail and turn on the juice. If the light lights, switch the wires off
the booster (The branch line booster), and try again. Of course, you
turned the power off before you disconnected the feeder bus, right? If
the light still lights up, then I need to turn in my Electrical
Engineering Degree (Which will upset my mother no end!).

DCC Specialites.com makes and Tony's and Walthers sells, is a thing
call the RRAmpMeter, which can measure True RMS voltage, A thing you
need for DCC. It's not necessary for this project, but if the boosters
are too far out of amplitude with each other, you may want to set
your booster's output voltage. It is unclear to me whether Motor
Starting voltage is in actual volts, or a relative range. For a given
system, the two are indistingushable(sp?) from each other. However, if
MY system is set at 12.2v and YOURs is set at 18.7v, will our Locos
run significantly differently? Does it matter? But I digress.

Another thing that will tell you if the rails are in polarity or not,
is to run a loco over the gap. If its stops, you have a problem. :-)

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