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SCX Digital Power Jumper Track Mod

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  • LDFan
    started a topic SCX Digital Power Jumper Track Mod

    SCX Digital Power Jumper Track Mod

    This is a post I created on SCX Worldwide that I thought I'd share here since more questions have come up regarding how a jumper can be made for the SCX Digital System.

    __________________________________________________ _________________________________


    Disclaimer: What you are about to read is not meant as a "how-to" post and thus I do not recommend anyone to perform this mod unless you feel absolutely comfortable w/ the concept of how it works. Any mistake made in how the wiring is applied will cause damage to the Control Unit / Pit Box which will in turn not be covered under the SCX two year warranty.

    Hey everyone,

    I thought I'd share some pics of my latest mod for my SCX Digital track. This is a power jumper wiring harness I've created to help transfer power to the furthest point of a layout to compensate for any power lags. I will be implementing this on my next layout which is going to about about 111 linear feet in length (so it will be mounted about 55 ft from the main terminal to hit the midpoint).

    I have created two tracks (one for transferring the power and the other to receive). Let's check out the pics.

    The Power Transfer Track (to be located near the terminal track)



    The different colored wires you see soldered onto the connection points of the track represent the following:

    Red = Track Rail (+)
    Black = Track Rail (-)
    Yellow = Powerline

    If you notice, I'm also using what are called molex plugs as an interface for the actual wire jumper that would go between the tracks. I did this for the convenience of being able to unplug the jumper whenever I did not need it or to provide the flexibility of make varying length wire jumpers dependent on my track size.

    Now here are some close up pics of my soldering job to the different jump points.







    The Power Receiver Track (to be located @ the remote point)

    This track is really no different than the first. However, what I did differently was to add two sets of molex plugs for the purpose of allowing the jumper wire to come out of either side of the track depending on what direction the track was facing. (Note that on both tracks I have a piece of yellow tape w/ an arrow. It is crucial that the tracks be facing the proper direction of travel when setting up any jumper assembly. By not doing so, it will damage the Pit Box or Control Unit.)



    In addition, another benefit of the two sets of plugs would be to provide a "daisy chain" option one day if I wanted to route another jumper to a 2nd boost point. I doubt I would ever have the need to do so but it's prepped just in case.

    Now here is a view of the Receiver Track from the side showing the "exposed" Powerline. (Note that this is an "older version" of an SCX Digital track section that was designed to have the Powerline run under the slot. The "newer version" now runs the Powerline "under" the outer power rail in the form of a shielded copper wire.)



    And thus, if you notice closely in the pic above, the Powerline on the left has been insulated with what is called "liquid electrical tape". I perform this procedure on all my older SCX Digital track w/ the exposed Powerline as a safeguard against possible shorting. And of course, I had the right side insulated shortly after this pic was taken.

    Now here is my final pic showing how the jumper wire looks like and connected between the two tracks.



    The jumper utilizes an 18 gauge wire which I feel is adequate for this job (any thicker and I would not be able to crimp them to molex pins). I should note that the wires soldered under the track is a 'fairly thick" single stranded copper wire. I'm uncertain of the exact gauge but it is normally used as phone wire.

    So that's really it. I have done some tests to see if it works properly and it certainly does deliver. The ultimate test, however, is when my next layout is built and then we'll see for sure how the system responds (I am expecting improved response and more even power).

    If anyone has questions about it (because I never meant this as a "how to" post), feel free to reply and I'll do my best to fill in any information I left out.

    Later,

    Dave

  • LDFan
    replied
    Of course not.

    Think of the logic; you don't connect the current power supplies "directly" to the track for a reason because the track needs to receive power that is mixed w/ control data. Not only that, adding a "foreign" power source that bypasses the power coming out of the Control Unit / Pit Box will surely cause damage to the system. This is true also w/ analog.

    In addition, the concept of a power jumper is not about "adding power" but just providing a more "even distribution" of power. If you think of it in that manner, then I think you'll find how all this makes sense.

    Dave

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  • shady14u
    replied
    Can you just connect the 18V Transformer directly to these track sections?
    Last edited by shady14u; 05-09-2014, 04:55 AM.

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  • LDFan
    replied
    It makes no difference.

    The intent of the transmitting track is to be near the terminal track so that it gets the highest amount of power to transmit to an area that is much weaker (which is the furthest point).

    Dave

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  • Bartie1967
    replied
    Hi , last question . Is it of any importance that the transmitting track is after or before the starting grid? My configuration would be that the transmitting track is just before the powerbase


    Greetings from Belgium
    Bart

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  • Bartie1967
    replied
    Well I took the single track from the chicane to extend the power to , only one track to make the power jumper. Will try it out in a couple of weeks


    Greetings from Belgium
    Bart

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  • LDFan
    replied
    You don't really have to since the distribution track will probably be close to the terminal track and it's jumped already @ that point for both lanes.

    Still, I do it anyway just to be consistent and you never know if there might be a need to move the distribution track to a location where both lanes should be jumped.

    Dave

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  • Bartie1967
    replied
    Hello , just one question . On the track that distributes the power , do you have to take power from both lanes? I see in the pictures that the wires are connected from both lanes. On the receiving track I understand that the power needs to be distributed to both tracks! Any comments please.

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  • kidvoltage
    replied
    Good job, John!

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  • JCZPT
    replied
    It works!!!

    Well thanks to all who responded, i backchecked the connections and the power poles were the culprit, i redid them and noiw get the voltage where i should.

    Thanks again for having a outlet to share with others.

    John

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  • kidvoltage
    replied
    Did you check for a short between the wires?

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  • JCZPT
    replied
    Lets try again

    this is from a small 12v power supply, just to test the track.

    This is my track, with one set of power pole connections and leads to the track
    when i tested the continuity of the connections it came out ok, when i tested the connecting wires from here to the next track, no voltage, but continuity in the wires.

    I'm stumped,

    John

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  • LDFan
    replied
    I would suggest doing a continuity check between the two jumped tracks (no power connected) to verify that the signal is making it from one track to another. You might have a cold or loose solder connection that is preventing proper transfer and if that is the case you just need to re-heat the solder to make sure they stick to the track connections and wiring.

    Anyway, if it was wired correctly, you should have the same voltage on each end.

    Dave
    Last edited by LDFan; 02-15-2012, 09:49 AM.

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  • kidvoltage
    replied
    Do you get the same reading on each lane?

    And what are you using for a power supply? Mine delivers 18.3V at the track.
    Last edited by kidvoltage; 02-14-2012, 08:00 PM.

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  • JCZPT
    replied
    track jumper using anderson power poles

    Hi Dave i tried making the jumpers using anderson power poles, but i havent got the same results, I checked the voltage at the track with a power supply, 13.21, then after connecting the wires i dont get the same reading, any help?


    Thanks John

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