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Detecting shorts?

Robert Wilson
 

Hi - many sites recommend using a homemade short circuit detection buzzer while laying track. I’m wondering if a continuity setting on a multimeter would accomplish the same thing? In other words, if you connected a lead to each rail and you had crossed your wires, would the continuity beep on the multimeter indicating that you had a flow of current from one rail to the other? Or would that not work?

Paul O
 

Yes Rob, that will work.

Paul O

On Jun 19, 2018, at 4:50 PM, robwwilson@... wrote:

Hi - many sites recommend using a homemade short circuit detection buzzer while laying track. I’m wondering if a continuity setting on a multimeter would accomplish the same thing? In other words, if you connected a lead to each rail and you had crossed your wires, would the continuity beep on the multimeter indicating that you had a flow of current from one rail to the other? Or would that not work?

Dennis Cherry
 

Yes, I use that method. One point you also have to know is some DVM’s have a timer and will turn the DVM off after a given time of none use.

 

A buzzer and battery is a better chose for long periods of time between making polarity connection checks.

 

Dennis Cherry

 

Created on my Desktop PC.

 

Glenn
 

Are you using the meter intermittently? Leaving it on will run down the battery quickly.

I recommend making the buzzer and clipping it to the rails or better, the main track connection with alligator clips. It will always be "on" so when a short occurs you will be notified immediately. Additionally you would not have move from where you might be to check.

An alternative would be a battery and a lamp/LED. It's passive, you would need to check it when each connection is made, not listen.

Glenn

-----Original Message-----
From: robwwilson@...
Sent: Jun 19, 2018 4:50 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] Detecting shorts?

Hi - many sites recommend using a homemade short circuit detection buzzer while laying track. I’m wondering if a continuity setting on a multimeter would accomplish the same thing? In other words, if you connected a lead to each rail and you had crossed your wires, would the continuity beep on the multimeter indicating that you had a flow of current from one rail to the other? Or would that not work?
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wirefordcc
 

One more thing about using digital voltmeters with audible continuity checking.  For some reason, some have a delay before beeping.  The delay can be several seconds before sounding.  My meter is like this.  While this isn’t the end of the world, it can be annoying.  I want to know the instant that I am about to make a shorting connection than after I’m have done the connection.

 

The meters also have some sort of visual indication that a short has been made, but the beauty of using a beeping device is that you can be wiring anywhere on your layout without having to be able to have a clear view of the meter.

 

Food for thought!

 

Allan Gartner  WiringForDCC.com 

 

Robert Wilson
 

Thank you all for the responses.  Appreciate it!