Z Scale Module Setup & Debugging

I've been only to a few shows so far, so I'm still a newbie. But, there are some things that really need improvement, and are simple to do.

There is always a rush to connect the modules. Unfortunately, the "standard" can make electrically debugging modules (AFTER they are physically connected) almost impossible!

The Big Freight Yard (BFY) presented some real challenges, and it's not the type of thing to pull apart and put back together often.

When it was first used, there appeared to be a short somewhere in it, and the debugging technique used was rampant use of wire cutters!

After coming up with a procedure to "fire up" the BFY, it came to me:

The biggest problem in isolating shorts or other electrical problems is because we have 2 paths of continuity, through the DB25 power connectors AND through the expansion tracks linking modules.

Once you have the modules linked with expansion tracks, then it's impossible to isolate modules electrically, and if there is a short somewhere, you may have to pull the expansion tracks.

So, why not equip every expansion track with a set of insulated joiners ONE end only?

Now you force the electrical power to follow the DB25 connectiors, and you can isolate ANY module easily, and in fact can isolate just one "side" of a module.

Wow, that's simple!

There are added benefits:

  1. you ensure the DB25 connectors are present (don't laugh!)
  2. they work
  3. you find unpowered sections of track, like on either side of a switch
  4. you ensure that the power flow is not dependent on the well-worn joiners on the expansion tracks

I'm thinking we need to do this.


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