How to connect CDA 2 panel mount Controllers & 4 Amp Power Supply

 
  Jayse00 Station Master

Hi everyone.

I have just purchased 2 x CDA panel mount 2 Amp Controllers and a 4 Amp Power Supply for my new layout, being new to model railway can someone please tell me the correct way to connect them? I only have my lighting connected to the AC and no idea how to connect the controllers.

Thanks in advance

Jayse

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  viaprojects Chief Train Controller

Hi everyone.

I have just purchased 2 x CDA panel mount 2 Amp Controllers and a 4 Amp Power Supply for my new layout, being new to model railway can someone please tell me the correct way to connect them?
Jayse00




you should get an info sheet with the Controllers - two wires to the track and two wires to the power supply.

However you may wish to talk to your hobby shop an ask for help and pick up a book . as we keep track and lighting on separate power supplies.

note: keep the cda gear for the trains and use the cheaper power plug packs for your lighting.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Hi everyone.

I have just purchased 2 x CDA panel mount 2 Amp Controllers and a 4 Amp Power Supply for my new layout, being new to model railway can someone please tell me the correct way to connect them? I only have my lighting connected to the AC and no idea how to connect the controllers.

Thanks in advance

Jayse
Jayse00
This is actually a more technical question than it looks, I am not totally familiar with the CDA controllers and how they are constructed internally. That said, I would be fairly certain that if you have wired your layout with common rail style wiring then you absolutely cannot do what you are planning to do (as some members of my club are going to find out). If you have common rail wiring and two controllers then each controller needs it's own power supply, the use of a common supply is not an option to you.

The topic is actually much too advanced for this essentially text only forum, but I would be having a chat to the people that sold you the system and talking to them about how you have your track wiring configured and be expecting to buy a second transformer.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Hi everyone.

I have just purchased 2 x CDA panel mount 2 Amp Controllers and a 4 Amp Power Supply for my new layout, being new to model railway can someone please tell me the correct way to connect them? I only have my lighting connected to the AC and no idea how to connect the controllers.

Thanks in advance

Jayse
This is actually a more technical question than it looks, I am not totally familiar with the CDA controllers and how they are constructed internally. That said, I would be fairly certain that if you have wired your layout with common rail style wiring then you absolutely cannot do what you are planning to do (as some members of my club are going to find out). If you have common rail wiring and two controllers then each controller needs it's own power supply, the use of a common supply is not an option to you.

The topic is actually much too advanced for this essentially text only forum, but I would be having a chat to the people that sold you the system and talking to them about how you have your track wiring configured and be expecting to buy a second transformer.
Aaron
I did a quick google, neither of these properly outlines the actually electrical physics of why such a wiring configuration is precluded, but nonetheless they go close enough to describing it and have better diagrams than I could be bothered to draw quickly.

See text associated with figures 1 and 3:
http://rail.felgall.com/crw.htm

See 'Short Circuits 4' - Even if the line about about halving the wiring is actually a great furphy.
http://www.eastbank.org.uk/circuits.htm#04
  miktrain Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide SA
I would also add to the words from Aaron by pointing out that if you have common rail and later change up to DCC there are much worse problems waiting for you like fried decoders and control problems.

Tony
  Jayse00 Station Master

Thanks for the advice guys. I bought the set (2 x panel mount controllers & 1 × 4 Amp Power Pack) secondhand on Ebay and contacted the manufacturer as they had no fact sheets or online manuals, they told me that the controllers can be run from the 17 Amp AC or the DC , which has me confused because I thought AC is only for Accessories and trains are run from DC and the controllers can be daisy chained to one another.

I took your advice and decided to use my cheaper Jouef controller/power pack to run the lighting. I was originally using the Jouef with a Cyclops controller attached to it to run the the two separate tracks until I had seen the CDA set thinking it would be easier cause I could mount the controllers rather than have two bulk controllers sitting on my layout.

Is there ever a tidy way of wiring layouts? I have resorted to labeling my wires so I know where they run to as under my layout looks like a hornets nest of wiring.

Jayse
  Jayse00 Station Master

Another question. If I do decided sometime down the track when finances allow to change from DC to DCC how difficult will it be to convert the power to track and the lighting and signals?

Jayse
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Thanks for the advice guys. I bought the set (2 x panel mount controllers & 1 × 4 Amp Power Pack) secondhand on Ebay and contacted the manufacturer as they had no fact sheets or online manuals, they told me that the controllers can be run from the 17 Amp AC or the DC , which has me confused because I thought AC is only for Accessories and trains are run from DC and the controllers can be daisy chained to one another.
Jayse00
Firstly, this is important, you cannot typically 'daisy chain' the power into your controllers. Under some circumstances you can, the first website I linked to earlier IIRC outlines the very specific case in which you might be able to, it's always best not to though. One transformer per controller, and you'll always be pretty safe.

AC means 'Alternating Current' in lay terms, it basically means that the elctrons in your wires are pushed along a bit and then pulled back a bit as the voltage swings between + and - volts. It's similarity to 'ACcessory' is mere coincidence, but it's often used with accessories with good reason. It's actually nice and efficient, and in some cases, your accessories actually require the alternating voltage.

DC means 'Direct Current' the 'electricity' always flows from + to - (that's not actually true, and the current actually flows from - to +, but it's easier to think of it + to -).

Some circuits are capable of accepting either AC or DC power into them, typically, if you have the option to use AC use it, if your device is DC input only, you'll of course be using DC input.

I took your advice and decided to use my cheaper Jouef controller/power pack to run the lighting. I was originally using the Jouef with a Cyclops controller attached to it to run the the two separate tracks until I had seen the CDA set thinking it would be easier cause I could mount the controllers rather than have two bulk controllers sitting on my layout.
Jayse00
That's entirely sensible.

Is there ever a tidy way of wiring layouts?
Jayse00
Yes and no, the neatest wiring is usually achieved by having only the minimum required length in wires, the excess hanging look being particularly ugly. This however for a layout whilst neat is the most pain in the butt thing to do.

The trick is to keep your wiring a bit longer than required so that for example you can remove your controllers from the layout, flip them upside down or whatever and get to the circuit without having to disconnect everything or worse still, break wires in moving it.

Where possible, keep wires that run in similar directions bundled together, fold up and tie up the excess lengths to help keep neatness. Both Tony and I are fans of cable ties, I must keep a small chinese family well funded making the cable ties I use on all of my work (not just model railroads). Do them up so that they'll keep your cabling neat, but if you leave them with a little extra space around your wiring bundle, when you later want to run some wires you only can feed the wire through your existing ties and you don't have to cut them off and replace them.

I have resorted to labeling my wires so I know where they run to as under my layout looks like a hornets nest of wiring.
Jayse00
In industry we call this documentation, it is the most tedious, horrible, annoying, pointless waste of time to do... Until you run into a problem, and suddenly, you pull out the documentation and tracing the fault is easy... Yes, ALWAYS document! In the long run it will save you infinite amounts of time and energy.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Another question. If I do decided sometime down the track when finances allow to change from DC to DCC how difficult will it be to convert the power to track and the lighting and signals?

Jayse
Jayse00
Your lighting and signals will not need to change, the change to the track is not too involved and quite easy.
  Jayse00 Station Master

Those photos are neater than my beginners wiring. I have 2 x spotlights, 3 x station lights, 3 x goods she'd lighting and 1 x lighthouse all running from the same Jouef Power Pack and have taped the dangling wire to the under side of the layout the gaff tape and built a little platform for the power pack to sit on out of sight.
  Jayse00 Station Master

I looked at every and photo you shared and just wonder how you guys know what is for what and which direction they go.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Documentation...

Actually, it's not as bad as it looks, you can't see it in the photos but we have things well labelled and we go to great lengths to only use individual wire colours. When you've been involved in the project you know what to look for too and it gets easier.
  miktrain Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide SA
Oh, and be under no illusion, I generally wire messy!

Tony wiring:
https://ozfreemo.com/members/index.php/Aaron/Electronics/Rear-End-of-Potentiometers-etc
Tony wiring(?):
https://ozfreemo.com/members/index.php/Aaron/Electronics/Transformer-Box1
Aaron
I'm glad you picked some of my neater bits Smile

Tony

Edit to update link locations
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
So tonight I was going through my dropbox and uploading some photos to my club gallery and in my search I found some photos of the mimic panel for the NMRI Club's small tram/streetcar track that I made.

Here's panel front, it's quite unassuming
http://noarail.com/members/index.php/Aaron/Electronics/Tram-Control-Panel/Tram-Panel-4

I also managed to take time out during the wiring to take a photo early on of the electronics going in, as you can see by the power supplies, breadboard and DCC system on the table it was still being prototyped during production, and yes the TV remotes, there's always time for a Cold War doco when working on wiring
http://noarail.com/members/index.php/Aaron/Electronics/Tram-Control-Panel/Tram-Panel-Wiring-Begins

It's not complete, but here's how it looks today. It still needs some functionality built in, so there's some development still underway. Note that I have sort of bundled the depending on where they're going and labelled some of the boards and points that they connect
http://noarail.com/members/index.php/Aaron/Electronics/Tram-Control-Panel/Overview-of-Rear-of-Tram-Panel

http://noarail.com/members/index.php/Aaron/Electronics/Tram-Control-Panel/Point-Control-and-Feedback-Boards-With-Some-Mimic-Panel-Wiring

http://noarail.com/members/index.php/Aaron/Electronics/Tram-Control-Panel/Feedback-and-Panel-Control-Boards

The board on the left here is going to be replaced by something else, the fucntionality is not perfect, and it's just not as elegant as I want it to be. It takes the status of the user controls on the panel and 'latches' them so the DCC system can remember what's happened
http://noarail.com/members/index.php/Aaron/Electronics/Tram-Control-Panel/Isolation-Relays-On-Left-DCC-Interface-Board-On-Right

I guess the take home lesson is that you can get good at neatness and stuff with practice, it's not always possible to get it right the first time and sometimes it's just impossible to be neat...

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