Re: edge connectors vs. terminal block

Max Maginness

And the main reason the edge connectors are flaky is that the tortoise edge is not a standard width for 8 pin connectors. Consequently lots of slop, misalignment and bridging from contact to contact. Easily fixed by a piece of styrene at each end of the connector slot to center it up.


From: [] On Behalf Of Mark Gurries
Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2012 2:23 PM
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] edge connectors vs. terminal block

Being involved in the construction or debugging of many large
layouts, Tortoise edge card connectors are a serious potential
electrical failure point. I have seen it over and over that
the edge card connection used with the tortoise fail. The idea
here is fear that the tortoise itself will mechanically fail and
by making it an easy unit to replace will allow one to keep the
layout up and running with minimal down time. The problem is
the Edge Card connector fails first. If you ever had to clean
the contacts or played with the edge connector due to some
intermittent electrical issue or found that moving the wiring
around the tortoise seem to fix it, then the Edge Card connector
is the problem. Tortoise fail so rare that the cost and time
involved in using the edge connector is simply not worth it. It
cause more problems than is solves. Solder the wires and do not
worry about the tortoise.

On 8/2/12 at 8:04 AM, <> (Vollrath, Don) wrote:
Your choices of connecting schemes depends greatly on what you
intend to do in the future, how flexible or reliable you want
it to be, your skill set and how much time, effort and $$ you
are willing to put into it. For example I simply solder #22
wires directly to the tortoise machines. They are so reliable
there is no need for a costly connector. Smaller gage wire like
telephone wire or flat cable will work also for tortoise motor
power or signaling, but not frog power switching. However,
smaller wires are somewhat fragile and may require mechanical
strain relief to unsure that the wires won't break off. A full
wrap of tape or zip-tie around the body of the Tortoise secures
a loop of wires in place. A spot of Gorilla glue or hot-melt
glue works great to tack misc wires to the underside of the
layout. Adhesive tape usually doesn't stick. Running those
wires 15-30 ft to a central accessory decoder is no problem.
Make sure you have plenty of wire length to allow for bundling
without making additional wire splices. [Use the proper gage
insulated crimp-on butt-splices and a good crimper for that
purpose if required.] Neatness isn't absolutely necessary but
does help to keep wiring organized and somehow held out of the
way so that you don't end up snagging dangling wires.


-----Original Message-----
From: <>
[ <> ] On Behalf Of <>
Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2012 9:11 AM
To: <>
Subject: [WiringForDCC] edge connectors vs. terminal block

Are there any recomendations, suggestions, comments for using
edge connector cards vs. terminal blocks for Tortoises? Any
discussion of benefits vs. pitfalls of one over the other?
Regarding blocks... how far away (what's the longest length)
from a device can a feeder wire be &/or what suggested guage...
20, 22, ??? It seams that terminal blocks would aloww mulitple
similar devices to be connected to a neaby individual block,
ie: 3 Tortoise machince & their related LEDs (&/or other
devices) to a single block... right? Or not? Thanks,


http://www.WiringForDCC.comYahoo! Groups Links


http://www.WiringForDCC.comYahoo! Groups Links

Best Regards,

Mark Gurries
Electrical Engineer
DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics:


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