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Unknow wiring part - What is it?

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  • Unknow wiring part - What is it?

    I am going through my boxes and I found this part and did not know what it was used for. It is from the 70's and used on an Aurora AFX track. Any insights and explanations on how it is used is appreciated.

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  • #2
    It is a terminal block


    • #3
      What you have is a terminal block. Also called a terminal strip. It is a way to join one set of wires to another. One reason to use it might be that you have a number of sensors with short wires that you want to hook up to much longer wires. The short wires get screwed down on one side, the long wires on the other. The metal strips between the screws bridge the connections.

      You never need to remove the screws. They are actually designed to resist coming out entirely. All you need to do is unscrew them enough that you can slip a wire underneath. Better yet if you can hook the end of the wire around the screw clockwise so it tends to wrap tighter around the screw when you fasten it down.

      Terminal blocks are commonly used inside electrical boxes. All of the wires going into or out of the electrical box get screwed down on one side. The wires connecting to components inside the electrical box get screwed down on the other. It allows the electrical box to be easily connected or disconnected to/from equipment outside.

      One good use for this terminal block might be to connect individual driver's stations to the track. It would make it easy to install the drivers' stations as modules. Less confusing to wire, and easy to pull a driver's station for repair or replacement.

      You can do yourself a big favor and label each pair of screws to mark which wires go where. Again, it takes a lot of the confusion out of installation and repair.

      Professionals often install spade terminals on the end of each wire, for a more solid connection under the screws. They'll also apply labels to the wires themselves for reasons I think are obvious.

      You might be able to find terminal blocks and spade terminals at a really good hardware store. Or you can go online and shop at sites like mcmaster or mouser. They are all common parts and relatively inexpensive.

      The tools you need to apply spade terminals to wires run from dirt cheap to very expensive. Spending a bit more for a better tool is recommended. Cheap tools may not make good connections. The best tools have a ratchet action that forces you to fully crimp the terminal before it will let go.

      Ed Bianchi


      • #4
        Awesome video. Thank you.


        • #5
          You are welcome Wolf.


          • #6
            But you have a terminal strip that has installed jumpers. The bars on one end connect the strips together. They can be removed if necessary.


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