Wiring the Roadshow modules

Grab a coffee or cold beverage and join Chris Abbott and myself as we wire up my S Scale Workshop modules on this week’s episode of “The RoadShow” on TrainMasters TV.

 photo Roadshow-Wiring-01_zpsxtruo1ef.jpg

Chris knows more about wiring than anybody I’ve ever met. He’s explored many options, and he’s come up with some great answers to make the wiring of modules (or stand-alone exhibition layouts) stand up to the rigours of transport and storage, as well as some tricks to minimize the chances of error when the pressure is on and you’re trying to set up and test a layout before the train show opens.

Not just a “here’s what we did” video – but also a lot of information on why we did things and some of the things to definitely avoid. The segment runs just over an hour and there’s a lot of information conveyed.

Click on the image above – or follow this link – to start watching. You need to be a subscriber to TrainMasters TV to see it, but membership is quite reasonable.

Thanks, Chris, for coming out and helping with this: the wiring worked out beautifully as a result, and it was a grand day out at the TrainMasters TV studios!

6 thoughts on “Wiring the Roadshow modules

  1. Excellent video Trevor! You guys did a great job covering the wiring down below… I do have one question, regarding the DCC cable that will run between the modules. Why does it need a F/F coupler on the end of the cable?? Doesn’t it plug into the back end of the other module’s Digitrax board that is mounted into the facia? Seems like the way you are setting things up, there will only be one DCC cable per module, which will loop under to it’s neighbor and plug into a socket – so why would you ever need a coupler? What am I missing??
    Keep up the excellent work!
    -eb

    • Hi Eric:
      Thanks for the positive feedback. I’m glad you enjoyed the video.
      The F/F coupler is there because with Free-no, every set-up could be different. One time, the next module might have a panel within a foot of the interface. The next time, a different module might have a panel that’s five feet from the interface. By using the F/F coupling and requiring each module to provide a DCC cable that reaches the interface end of the module, we never have to worry about not having a cable that’s long enough to connect the throttle bus.
      I hope that helps…
      Cheers!

      • Sigh, here I was thinking ” complicated”, when the reason was “simple”! Geez… makes sense, now! I guess you probably carry an extra cable or two along as well, eh?
        The end connections you use look great, much better than the rubber booted automobile style ones I have used before. Lots of good info in that video!

        • Hi Eric,

          As Trevor points out, you can’t count on the next module’s throttle panel being within reach of your cable end. Ideally (as you point out) having the minimum number of connection points is the best way to reduce chances of failure. Bringing along spare cables of various lengths is preferable to having several F-F couplers inline. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best!

          There are, of course, many more topics and deeper rabbit holes to go down on the subject of wiring and control. Keep in mind that when the Workshop adopted this method, Digitrax had not yet released full-duplex throttles, so multiple throttle panels to acquire and dispatch (and catch runaways) were an absolute necessity.

          The Anderson Powerpoles tick all the boxes; higher current rating, lower mating force, more contact cycles, cheaper contact price & genderless connectivity.

          Chris Abbott

  2. You flatter me, Trevor. It was indeed a grand day out. I had a lot of fun doing the video. Maybe Barry will let us come back and do it again :-).

    There were points in this video where I would have liked to expand on the reasons behind a few statements, but it was already running long. Maybe if a discussion starts on the MRH forum…

  3. I watched the whole thing yesterday. It was an awesome video, just jammed packed with stuff. I really liked all the discussion about the tools employed. Speaking of which, is there a list of the materials and tools used? Great work Trevor.

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