Power connector between baseboards

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InterCity125
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Power connector between baseboards

Postby InterCity125 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:51 pm

I am building a layout, but I'm not sure what connector to use between the baseboards. Can anyone help?

Thanks
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Bufferstop
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Re: Power connector between baseboards

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:11 pm

There's somebody somewhere using just about every sort of connector that you can find. If you are competent with a soldering iron computer type D series plugs and sockets are readily available. Whether you layout is portable or permanent makes a difference in your choice. My own layout is semi-permanent and on top of bookshelves so access from below is difficult. I use screw connector strips (choc block connectors) and concealed them in a grounded van body, a pig sty, under a bush and in an old coach serving as a loco-men's mess.
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carnehan
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Re: Power connector between baseboards

Postby carnehan » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:13 am

I am looking for a solution to this problem too. For me soldering is something I don't want to have to do which maybe rules out the D connectors. I have found click connectors on Amazon but these are £5 each before shipping and I need 10 of them!!

The choc blocks may be the way to go. I want easy dismantling but I guess a couple of screws on each of these isn't to big a problem over a £40 or £50 connector outlay.

My other thoughts were to use male and female phono jack connectors - like you have on an extension cable to headphones or docking station. Would this work? Seems an inexpensive way of doing it at £1 each on Amazon. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

b308
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Re: Power connector between baseboards

Postby b308 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:03 am

I'd learn how to solder, it would make your life a lot easier, not only could you solder the connectors but you could also solder your wires to the track, giving you a lot better connections than the **** that Hornby and the like sell! It's not difficult, main thing is making sure everything is clean. Learning how to solder wires is the easiest soldering to start with btw!

Back to topic, all my layouts are portable so I've used several ways... D connectors or some other computer ones are usually the best (and cheapest) way to go. Audio connectors can be used if you don't have many wires but get expensive compared with computer stuff if there's lots. If there's only two wires then even the baseboard bolts can be used! If the layouts are "stand alone" and not sat on top of a table then it doesn't matter what you use but if they are flat on a table then bear in mind that the connectors will foul the underside of the board and make the layout have a hump in the middle (or you can put them on top as John has done)!

I've looked at the choc box connectors but if you use a strip of them then strictly you'd have to tighten each one up when joining to ensure a proper connection, ok if the layout is permanent or semi permanent like John's but a pitta if it's moved regularly like mine!

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alex3410
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Re: Power connector between baseboards

Postby alex3410 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:28 am

I use terminal blocks - about 45p each from Wilko

If you have a portable layout you can still use these (especially with DCC ) to connect everything up so only the two bus wires need to run between the base boards

You could then either run these to terminal blocks on the end of the next board or even use something like crocodile clips to connect each baseboard up so that its quick and easy to put together

Because my layout is not portable i have connected my track feeds together in 4 areas of my layout and then am simply running a single large cable between each point to create my bus

Not sure what the large wire spec is but it's similar to normal extension cord cable - Wilko sell it by the metre or on pre cut loops (cheaper per metre)

If your interested I can take some images as I still have an area left to wire up tonight if I get time

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Roger (RJ)
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Re: Power connector between baseboards

Postby Roger (RJ) » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:46 am

There are terminal blocks available which can be plugged together. Link
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alex3410
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Re: Power connector between baseboards

Postby alex3410 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:12 am

Roger (RJ) wrote:There are terminal blocks available which can be plugged together. Link


they would be ideal for connections between baseboards


edit:
just dug out these images from last time

the first thing i did was connect the terminal blocks up like this
Image

this means that when connected to the 'bus' on a single port on the left side all of the ports become connected on the right side.

I then connected these up to the bus - the white cable you can see below which in turn means that all of the ports on the terminal block are now connected to the bus. The group of red and black wires are connecting the terminal strips up to the track feeds.
Image

the bus wire then routes to the next baseboard (drilling holes in the framework as shown keeps things tidy) meaning that between each baseboard there are only 2 wires (within the white casing) you could then connect these two the pluggable terminal blocks as suggested by roger to span the baseboard joint and make it easy to connect up when moving your layout.

alternatively Wiko do a connector that looks like the old plugs that might be more durable - i used a set to extend the cord on a desk lamp

edit2:
This time around i am making sure to use the came colour of wire (last time i had a few using opposite or different colours all together) which helps to keep things simple :lol:

Also the terminal blocks have a hole between each section which can be cut to separate them into smaller sections or used with a screw to secure them into the framework to ensure its all kept neatly underneath the boards
Last edited by alex3410 on Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dad-1
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Re: Power connector between baseboards

Postby Dad-1 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:29 am

I have used 3 or 4 methods ..

Mostly designed for rapid portable interconnection. The first pair needed no soldering as wires are
clamped under the screwed down components.

On a folding layout I took the track power link through 4 hinges that joined the two halves together.
On my large layout all track power is taken through the snap latches that lock boards together.

Two other layouts have the power carried through bolts that hold boards together. On these the wires are soldered
onto large 'penny washers' that are located under the bolt head & nuts.

Being rather lazy I have even used wires just twisted together and taped, easier than choc-bloc, but when twisted
and folded before being taped are surprisingly good !!

I have also taken lighting & track point motor power through pressure pads. In these a good quality large headed
drawing pin is put into one face of a joint beam then bolted together. This left a dent in the adjoining beam when
bolted together, drill a very small hole through the centre of this dent and another 5 - 6 mm away. Bend a paper
clip into a square horse shoe at one end that allows the long leg to be fed through the central hole, with the other
square horse shoe end being fed into the other hole. Attach (Solder best) a lead to the other deep inside end and
bend at 90 degrees to secure. Then drill a small hole alongside the large drawing pin head on the other side. Bring
a wire through and solder to the side of said drawing pin head. Then when bolted together the drawing pin is firmly
pressed against the paper clips loop - it can't spread as both ends are in holes. Done correctly it works very well
and is surprisingly reliable.

I love trying to dream up labour saving ideas and not put off by those who can only think conventionally.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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carnehan
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Re: Power connector between baseboards

Postby carnehan » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:28 am

Roger, The terminal block strip solution looks elegant inexpensive and simple. Will try and source some of these.

TheObserver
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Re: Power connector between baseboards

Postby TheObserver » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:00 am

carnehan wrote:Roger, The terminal block strip solution looks elegant inexpensive and simple. Will try and source some of these.
Hi All

Here's a thought,

Some months ago in the local B&Q's "£1 Bins" there was a poly pack containing: 2x choc blocks, a screwdriver, with built-in continuity tester and a small roll of black insulating tape.

As I was at the start of a big'ish project I purchased a handful, to discover there was an additional 3-for-2 promotion running as well! The purchase was just right for my needs and the excess of handy sized screwdrives has been a boon!!

Admittedly it was some months ago, maybe your local branch carried the same promotion and might still have some left in the 'rummage bins'.
Regards, John, TheObserver,
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Flashbang
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Re: Power connector between baseboards

Postby Flashbang » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:50 am

Hi
You need to determine how often the connection is to be broken and remade. If frequently then terminal blocks wont be ideal. Cheapest place I have found for these is Screwfix, sold in packs of ten 12 way strips.
The screws will cause the wire ends to fracture if continually tightened and released.

Plug together terminal blocks will work but their physical size where many cross board connections are to be made is their main down fall.

Multipin plug/sockets like DIN or Sub D connectors are more suitable for disconnection reconnection use on a frequent basis.

More up market and reliable but equally more expensive are military spec'ed multipin plugs and sockets.
Broken? It was working correctly when I left it.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Power connector between baseboards

Postby Bufferstop » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:59 am

A good solution if you can find them are fully wired communication grade ( not PC computer) RS232 25 way cables. one end male the other female. A pair of these make an excellent interconnection (except for your DCC bus). You cut one in half and mount each part onto the boards, and use the other to connect them. You may find them in computer junk disposals as the gear which used them is about life expired and the standard isn't used so much these days.
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Dad-1
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Re: Power connector between baseboards

Postby Dad-1 » Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:14 pm

I forgot to mention that these plugable choc-bloc are ideal.
No soldering as the leads are screwed in, but the bloc is plugable.
Trouble is I can't remember what they are called and how much they cost.
I use for connecting two sets of crossover points from the boards with my point
decoders.

Image

Image

Easliy hidden under some removeable scenic lump.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

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alex3410
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Re: Power connector between baseboards

Postby alex3410 » Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:56 pm

Roger (RJ) wrote:There are terminal blocks available which can be plugged together. Link


More info on them here

Groundhog
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Re: Power connector between baseboards

Postby Groundhog » Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:54 pm

alex3410 wrote:
Roger (RJ) wrote:There are terminal blocks available which can be plugged together. Link


More info on them here


I use some of these on my non-portable layout and have no trouble so far after3yrs in use. The ones you have flagged up seem good value for money, I paid £14 for two strips, but they are very solidly built and fit together very tight, recommend them.

Colin :)


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