Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Building lights for an electrical dummy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Athens, Texas, USA
    Posts
    287
    Thanks
    293
    Thanked 256 Times in 78 Posts
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Building lights for an electrical dummy

    Okay - I'll display my ignorance once again.

    I just tore apart my old layout which had quite a few building lights, yard lights, etc, and all worked fine. Now I'm attempting to wire the buildings on my new layout and can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. It's got me totally stymied ! (and holding up my progress)

    On the new layout, I had wired 7 buildings in series so as lower the brightness of the bulbs (filament) like I did on my old layout. But - this time there wasn't even enough "juice" to light them beyond a small orange filament. Same power source.

    So. . . I tried a different approach and reduced the number of bulbs to 2. They lights were a little brighter but not much . . . .

    Final experiment - I even unsoldered my Molex connectors (which I love) to see if that was drawing down the current. Wire to wire no increase in brightness.

    As you can tell I don't know electrical. So I'm open to any tips you could provide in "Layman's terms".

    BTW - I hope to have 5 lights on my "town circuit"; and 5 lights on my "yards circuit" - 3 of which are very small bulbs on poles - grain of rice if I remember right. Can't find my records to determine their voltage.

    Thanks a million
    Ralph

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,362
    Thanks
    4,668
    Thanked 1,794 Times in 803 Posts
    Mentioned
    95 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    What is the voltage output of your power source? And what voltage are your bulbs spec'ed at?

    I would use a meter and measure the voltage out of your power source.

    Also, does your power source have multiple terminals? Could it be you hooking up to wrong terminals?

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to kingmeow For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Athens, Texas, USA
    Posts
    287
    Thanks
    293
    Thanked 256 Times in 78 Posts
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    KIngnmeow I think the voltage is 14. It's the same power source I used on the old layout with no problems. (MRC Tech II 2800)S The bulbs and the standard "screw in" that everyone sells. I'm sure they're 12-16V. I've double and triple checked - I'm hooked up to the correct terminals. Baffling to say the least.
    +

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,362
    Thanks
    4,668
    Thanked 1,794 Times in 803 Posts
    Mentioned
    95 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Ah ha! It sounds like you hooked them up in series vs. in parallel. Take a look at your wiring and make sure they are in parallel.

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to kingmeow For This Useful Post:


  7. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,093
    Blog Entries
    2
    Thanks
    1,272
    Thanked 4,764 Times in 732 Posts
    Mentioned
    82 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Wire length can have some effect on brightness.

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Ender For This Useful Post:


  9. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    339
    Thanks
    1,457
    Thanked 336 Times in 151 Posts
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Hi Ralph, here is a quick drawing of series vs. parallel
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Jim
    My build thread: Link (Sold to new home)

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to jimbo.0455 For This Useful Post:


  11. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    5,410
    Blog Entries
    4
    Thanks
    8,980
    Thanked 9,857 Times in 3,074 Posts
    Mentioned
    266 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    When wiring up lighting for buildings, streets etc I wire them separately using one (or more) of these:



    The board is connected to a DC Power source and the lights are connected to the board. I also use toggle switches so I can turn each light on and off individually.

    If you are using LED's for lighting, I am led to believe that using the above will allow you to wire in a Resistor between the Power Source and the Board instead of having to use Resistors on each light. I have not tried that as I err on the side of safety and use a resistor for each light; however, the need for only one resistor between the power source to the board does seem to make sense to me.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

  12. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to wombat457 For This Useful Post:


  13. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,362
    Thanks
    4,668
    Thanked 1,794 Times in 803 Posts
    Mentioned
    95 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Hey Wombat, where do you get one of these? I've been tasked to redo our club's DCC cabinet and I need something like that to split out different DCC branches.

  14. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to kingmeow For This Useful Post:


  15. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    5,410
    Blog Entries
    4
    Thanks
    8,980
    Thanked 9,857 Times in 3,074 Posts
    Mentioned
    266 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    @kingmeow

    These are an "MTH 50 1014 Terminal Block, 12 port". I bought mine from MB Klein. MTH has various sizes if 12 ports aren't enough, they also have a 24 Port Block as well. I have two of the 12 port blocks and a 24 port block and they have been excellent, although a little pricey.

    https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/mth-...erminal-block/

    https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/supp...lter:brand:MTH
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

  16. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to wombat457 For This Useful Post:


  17. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Athens, Texas, USA
    Posts
    287
    Thanks
    293
    Thanked 256 Times in 78 Posts
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo.0455 View Post
    Hi Ralph, here is a quick drawing of series vs. parallel
    Jimbo - Guess I unknowingly wired by old layout in parallel rather than series, but I don't remember that "ladder" wiring configuration. I definitely had the new layout wired in series. Thought it would be more organized /neater way to do it. . . . Told you I didn't know electrical

  18. The Following User Says Thank You to Ralph For This Useful Post:


  19. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Athens, Texas, USA
    Posts
    287
    Thanks
    293
    Thanked 256 Times in 78 Posts
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Tony - Wow - that would be a nice way to do it for sure. I see the name on it but what is actually called? How big is it? I might look into it.
    Thanks.
    Ralph

  20. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    5,410
    Blog Entries
    4
    Thanks
    8,980
    Thanked 9,857 Times in 3,074 Posts
    Mentioned
    266 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    @Ralph

    See #9 for links to MB Klein re the info on them. The size of the 12 Post is 5.5" long X 3.5" wide X 7/8" high. The 24 post version is a little larger but is around 1 1/8" high (tall).

    It is called an MTH 50 1014 12 Post Terminal Block.

    I first came across these about 10 years ago and have never used anything else. They are well built, rugged and VERY easy to wire up. They ca also be connected in series if you needed to. The biggest plus with them is you can locate close to where the bulk of your lighting will be and have just two wires running back to your power source not to mention NO NEED for any soldering.

    I have used everything from 14 Gauge down to 25 gauge wires with them without an issue.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

  21. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to wombat457 For This Useful Post:


Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 20
    Last Post: 6th Feb 2018, 03:46 AM
  2. Resistor size for LED Building Lights?
    By wombat457 in forum General Wiring
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 13th Nov 2017, 09:42 PM
  3. dummy plugs and dummy boards
    By trainstrainstrains in forum DCC
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 14th Jul 2015, 01:36 AM
  4. A different type of buss for building lights
    By Michael Whiteman in forum General Wiring
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 21st Jul 2012, 07:10 AM
  5. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 11th Aug 2006, 11:52 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •