Topics

NCE grounding

Bob Macionis
 

I've gotten myself confused about proper grounding of the command station & boosters.  I have an NCE command station with a separate power source, a PB105 booster with a separate power source, and a PB5 booster that includes a power source inside the box.  The separate power source cords have a ground wire.  Are those wires grounded to the command station & 105 booster (attached to a screw on the bottom of the booster box?)  The PB5 power cord has no ground wire, so none is needed?  I understand the command station & boosters should be grounded together.  So that means a wire from the command station box to a booster box then to the other booster box?

Don Vollrath
 

Bob,
You can verify if the actual ground prong on the 120Vac power plug is connected to the PB5 booster case or not with a simple ohmmeter check. Does the NCE command station also have an internal booster with a DCC track output? If so the case of that unit needs to be bonded to the cases of the PB105 and PB5.

DonV

Bob Macionis
 

The command station has a 5 amp booster.  NCE says to run a ground between the command station and all boosters (connecting to a screw on the bottom of the box).  But what should I do with the ground wires coming from the 5 amp power sources needed for the 105 and command station?  This is not the 110volt plug wire.  From the power source there are 3 wires- two screw into the booster, plus there is a ground.  Does this ground need to be attached somewhere?  The pb5 with the built in power source has no ground wire, so I guess it just needs a wire connected to the 105 and command station.
 
 

From: Don Vollrath
Sent: Friday, July 20, 2018 12:29 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] NCE grounding
 
Bob,
You can verify if the actual ground prong on the 120Vac power plug is connected to the PB5 booster case or not with a simple ohmmeter check. Does the NCE command station also have an internal booster with a DCC track output? If so the case of that unit needs to be bonded to the cases of the PB105 and PB5.

DonV

Steve Haas
 

>>>> The command station has a 5 amp booster.  NCE says to run a ground between the command station and all boosters (connecting to a screw on the bottom of the box). <<<<

 

Correct.

 

>>>> But what should I do with the ground wires coming from the 5 amp power sources needed for the 105 and command station?  This is not the 110volt plug wire.  From the power source there are 3 wires- two screw into the booster, plus there is a ground.  Does this ground need to be attached somewhere?  <<<<

 

No.  The third wire you ask about should _NOT_ be connected to any of the NCE boxes.  Doing so can cause a ground loop.

 

>>>> The pb5 with the built in power source has no ground wire, so I guess it just needs a wire connected to the 105 and command station. <<<<

 

Correct. The ground wire (Also referred to as a “bond wire” or “common” runs between the various NCE boosters. It typically comes into play when an engine moves over the gaps in the rails between booster boundaries.  In the case of engines (usually older, such as brass steam – there are others) where the pickup from the right rail is the drivers on the right side of the engine and the pickup from the other rail is via the tender wheels on the left side of the tender, the ground between these particular boosters is used to complete the circuit while the engine is straddling the gap.

 

Best regards,

 

Steve

 

Steve Haas

Snoqualmie, WA

 

vincent marino
 

Bottom of both has a ground screw connect them to each other. 


On Fri, Jul 20, 2018, 2:39 PM Bob Macionis <macionis@...> wrote:
The command station has a 5 amp booster.  NCE says to run a ground between the command station and all boosters (connecting to a screw on the bottom of the box).  But what should I do with the ground wires coming from the 5 amp power sources needed for the 105 and command station?  This is not the 110volt plug wire.  From the power source there are 3 wires- two screw into the booster, plus there is a ground.  Does this ground need to be attached somewhere?  The pb5 with the built in power source has no ground wire, so I guess it just needs a wire connected to the 105 and command station.
 
 
From: Don Vollrath
Sent: Friday, July 20, 2018 12:29 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] NCE grounding
 
Bob,
You can verify if the actual ground prong on the 120Vac power plug is connected to the PB5 booster case or not with a simple ohmmeter check. Does the NCE command station also have an internal booster with a DCC track output? If so the case of that unit needs to be bonded to the cases of the PB105 and PB5.

DonV

Gary Chudzinski
 

Bob,

The whole issue of ground can be confusing.  If I recall correctly, and I would need to look to be sure, but I have two vintages of power transformers for my NCE command station and 5 Amp boosters.  The earlier version has an electrical ground wire and plug (3 wires); the newer version has only two power wires.  The third wire (usually green) is the wire you do * NOT * want to connect to any part of your NCE boxes.  I cut mine back to make it unusable.  Otherwise, common ground only your NCE boxes together.  It was simple for me to run a DCC common ground wire around my layout as I have three booster districts.  I don't think it makes any difference whether your command station and boosters are in the same box. Just ground your NCE boxes together; but * NOT * your transformer ground wire!  I think it was Mark Gurries that had a very good  commentary on this topic many months back.  I seem to recall his explanation of the difference between earth ground (the ground in our household wiring), often called common ground, and the common ground for your NCE system, as well as the risk/dangers of connecting the two together.  I hope I stated this correctly without any confusion.

Gary Chudzinski