Electric connections between cars

Coastal Titans

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New to the forum and still pretty new to model railroading. I have a Piko starter engine (0-4-0) and a Bachmann tender that I want to put some electronics in and a speaker so I want to be able to connect the DCC/sound card in the engine to the tender (so basically the reverse of putting a battery in the tender to drive the engine). I think I have the separate systems working OK but I'm having trouble figuring out how to run the cables between the engine and tender. The should disconnect and connect reasonable easily as I don't yet have a place to store the train on the tracks. And something that doesn't look too ugly is preferred. I have hook and loop couplers but willing to change those out if that helps. My first attempt ended up having the cable so long to make it easy to plug in that it dragged on the rails one the tender was coupled to the engine. So any help or even pointers to existing systems is appreciated.
Bryan
 

Greg Elmassian

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I shop for connectors on all-electronics.com (he is in the usa folks)

there is always the tradeoff between current carrying vs reliability vs size.

here's a page with some of the different connectors I have used:

Greg
 

Paul M

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Welcome to the forum Bryan, any small connector will do, as long as it isnt too loose. Most electronic shops will stock some, it'll be just a case of finding some you like
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
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A good selection here, if using some of the possibility is that the wire may become dislodged by regular use. A wrap of Sugru on each of the ends will help in this regard.

 

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
A good selection here, if using some of the possibility is that the wire may become dislodged by regular use. A wrap of Sugru on each of the ends will help in this regard.

Jon, some nice connectors there, however I did find the title confusing, "Miniature connectors with solder terminals" as a number of the connectors are JST (Japanese Solder-less Technology), which obviously contradicts the title.
 

Coastal Titans

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thanks everyone for the suggestions. I'll definitely look at some of these options but I do have a connector right now.
I'm looking for good ways to arrange the connection. The tender has a male end glued onto the bottom of the car so I tried wiring the female connector into the engine and leaving the end loose. But then it tended to drag when I connected it to the tender and there isn't really any place to "store" it on the engine if I'm not running with the tender. I was wondering if there was a "typical" way of running the connectors that people have. I'll try to post a picture or two tonight.
Bryan
 

Greg Elmassian

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he is in the USA guys, even put it in the first response... first line.... :rolleyes:, the link given is in the UK...

Bryan:

put the socket on the loco, and leave the "pigtail" coming from the tender.

clearly that solves the issue of running the loco alone.

the other issue is that the tender wire, that hangs free, won't have exposed contacts, so that if placed on a powered track AND it touches the rails it cannot short.

have you determined how many connections you need?

There are other places for smaller connectors, but again need to determine the current max...

Greg
 

Coastal Titans

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Thanks Greg. I think I can picture what you are saying. I'll give it a try later in the week and I'll post a picture to let you guys know.
 

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
I have few photos on here with connection on the rear:

Connection on the back of a Stainz, the "error" was the connection was too low for the inside connection
View media item 3572
Connection on the back of an Otto, this leads to a power wagon
View media item 3842
Connection on the back of the "sound wagon", powered from the Stainz
View media item 3846
 

Greg Elmassian

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I'm suspecting he wants a number of circuits, that is why I keep asking how many pins he needs.

The multi pin connectors can get pretty large, and as I said trying for smaller can limit current handling.

In the case of the Bachmann c-19, they wound up using 2 connectors, and they are a pain, because there are 2 and they are a bit hard to hold to put into the loco:
(loco end first)

20210223_075109.jpg

The decoder is in the tender, so many wires from the loco to the tender

here is the tender:

20210223_075143.jpg

Again, as you mentioned, I would have done it the opposite way.

I have found some nice compact "JST style" 8 pin connectors: (wires already attached)

20210223_074933.jpg
 

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
I'm suspecting he wants a number of circuits, that is why I keep asking how many pins he needs.
Greg, it would be nice to know more about the requirement to understand the solution, however taking the OP title "Electrical Connection Between Cars" my assumption would be mainly for lights, what else would connect between cars !!
 

Coastal Titans

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Thanks some more Greg and Jimmy. My tender actually looks a lot like Greg's and it has an 8-pin adapter already installed. The tender had a sound card when I bought it off eBay but I couldn't figure how to use it and I wanted to add DCC so I've pulled that out and put a card in the loco. The tender definitely has a bigger speaker so I plan on using that and adding a light in the back. I am also adding an Arduino board to be an odometer and am thinking open the option to trigger that through the DCC. So a minimum of four pins if I take out all of the old wiring or go with 8 pins and use what's there.
Here a few pictures of tender and engine. I could probably doing something like Jimmy's Stainz engine.

train wiring 03.jpg train wiring 02.jpg train wiring 04.jpg train wiring 01.jpg
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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I would use the Keep It Simple principle...

You already have a connection between the two, so use that..
You could paint the wires black. - To make them disappear a little?

2 wires speaker.
2 wires rear light.
2 wires track (extra pickup is good)
Leaves you 2 wires for your extra electronics..

PhilP
 

Paul M

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Bryan, I would use what's already there, but I'd definitely tone down the wires!
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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Thanks some more Greg and Jimmy. My tender actually looks a lot like Greg's and it has an 8-pin adapter already installed. The tender had a sound card when I bought it off eBay but I couldn't figure how to use it and I wanted to add DCC so I've pulled that out and put a card in the loco. The tender definitely has a bigger speaker so I plan on using that and adding a light in the back. I am also adding an Arduino board to be an odometer and am thinking open the option to trigger that through the DCC. So a minimum of four pins if I take out all of the old wiring or go with 8 pins and use what's there.
Here a few pictures of tender and engine. I could probably doing something like Jimmy's Stainz engine.

View attachment 281212 View attachment 281213 View attachment 281214 View attachment 281215
If you want to continue with what you have then hear shrink will tome it down nicely with possibly black Sugro on the connectors, it is waterproof and electronically isolating.

If you go for different and your needs of power appear pretty low then these are great, the white dot helps to get the connections right and very small. Used in 00 or H0 locomotive connectors and yes that is a Uk 5p (17mm diameter) piece in the picture.
 

Bynggi

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I shop for connectors on all-electronics.com (he is in the usa folks)

there is always the tradeoff between current carrying vs reliability vs size.

here's a page with some of the different connectors I have used:

Greg
Thanks Greg, Do you have favorites? Are you train experts standardizing connections? I am new to the hobby, I will start with a trailing car with just running power & lights to the loc.. Byng
 

Greg Elmassian

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This picture is my favorite for 8 pins... rugged, locks together (but you can remove the lock if you don't like it) and nice heavy wires, so it will handle motor current and the track pickup current. Under load locos can run 2 to 5 amps, you cannot use light gauge wire and light gauge contacts. I strive for reliability, I only want to wire a loco once!

412218_20210223_074933.jpg