Transformers and Controllers - Old and New. Show us what you got!

Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
2,212
587
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
Wow, just read up on "ring circuit" which is supposedly the proper term for "ring main".... more difficult debugging to save a bit of copper.

Your wires are thinner than ours already since you need 1/2 the current for the same wattage as us.

Interesting development, reminds me of telling people how to locate and debug one bad joiner in a loop, just like a broken ring.

Greg
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
21,797
2,673
Tamworth, Staffs.
Your wires are thinner than ours already since you need 1/2 the current for the same wattage as us.
I thought you tended to use '110' for your small domestic appliances, and room-outlets?
Then you used (what we call) three-phase, to get '220' for big appliances, like AC and cookers?
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
23,475
3,286
North West Norfolk
Radial wiring is straight from the fuse board to the socket.

Ring Main is a loop via several sockets....
............. and is based around Mr Diversity

You can have any number of sockets on the ring, on the basis that only a proportion can be in use at any one time (domestic wiring that is).

It also has, as its basis, one of the fundamental principals of UK mains electricity, that either by having a grid or a ring, you have a supply from both directions.

Which is why I'm a tail chaser :devil::devil::devil::devil:
 
Monty

Monty

[Ian Lamont]
16 Apr 2018
23
23
Australia
I use a LGB setup for my current G1 track my historical offering from the mid 1960’s are genuine Hornby Dublo, the A3 unit was brought out from England by a very obliging relative [it wasn’t fitted with a plug initially but I used a piggyback one so I could use both controllers in the one outlet] and the Marshal II unit was bought in Australia a few years later. Both still work [they are tested reasonably regularly] but don’t get much use.
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Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
2,212
587
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
I thought you tended to use '110' for your small domestic appliances, and room-outlets?
Then you used (what we call) three-phase, to get '220' for big appliances, like AC and cookers?
Yes, 110v most stuff, and that is why I stated that for the wattage, the wiring, even if you used "Radial" wiring, would be 1/2 the current capacity we have. With the ring, you derate the system to 2/3 of the current. So, I would think compared to how the rest of the world does it, you would no longer need the "ring main"... there are also other limitations.

We do not use 3 phase in homes, only commercial buildings. 220v is used for water heaters, stoves, ovens, home heat, clothes dryer, any really high wattage devices although in general we use gas for these because it is cheaper... ovens tend to be electric though, since gas is really of no "convenience" benefit...

Greg
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
2,212
587
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
............. and is based around Mr Diversity

You can have any number of sockets on the ring, on the basis that only a proportion can be in use at any one time (domestic wiring that is).

It also has, as its basis, one of the fundamental principals of UK mains electricity, that either by having a grid or a ring, you have a supply from both directions.

Which is why I'm a tail chaser :devil::devil::devil::devil:
Well, it's something that is definitely a double edges sword, since you have to be aware of the power you are using. In the US, it's normally engineered so that everything can be on at the same time, so to speak.

The ring has a serious flaw though, if part of the ring breaks, you won't know it until you overheat the other part of the wiring if you are running near maximum load, i.e. the wiring can only handle 2/3 of the power rating if the ring is broken.

Also, how do you debug and find the break? It's just like the railroad issue, a single bad joiner in a loop of track is difficult to find.

Purely done to save money, not any other real advantage (because of the power derating).

Greg
 
Hutch

Hutch

G Gauge, Raising Peaches, Apricots
1 Feb 2012
330
107
Southwest Oklahoma, USA
Well, it's something that is definitely a double edges sword, since you have to be aware of the power you are using. In the US, it's normally engineered so that everything can be on at the same time, so to speak.

The ring has a serious flaw though, if part of the ring breaks, you won't know it until you overheat the other part of the wiring if you are running near maximum load, i.e. the wiring can only handle 2/3 of the power rating if the ring is broken.

Also, how do you debug and find the break? It's just like the railroad issue, a single bad joiner in a loop of track is difficult to find.

Purely done to save money, not any other real advantage (because of the power derating).

Greg
A lot of the pre-1900 houses in the mid-west had ring wiring, referred to here inaccurately as "knob and tube" wiring. It was cheaper to install because an entire house could run on 4 fuses or, if they blew, 4 nickels. Diagnosis was done just like your RR, move a 1000 watt resistive heater from outlet to outlet measuring voltage drops along the way. Great fun for my Great Uncle, the service rep.
 
trammayo

trammayo

Interested in vintage commercial vehicle, trams, t
24 Oct 2009
20,436
3,277
70
Co. Mayo
Ha ha - Ring Mains story.

My brother, who lives in the next Townland to us, did some work on a neighbour's wiring. He was told that "upstairs" was on a Ring Main. He pulled the fuse but, like a safety conscious person he is, he just checked the circuit before beginning to cut the wires. It was still live! The ring main was wired from one fuse and back to a different one!

Things are improving out here in the wild west!
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
13,857
3,264
70
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Radial wiring is straight from the fuse board to the socket.

Ring Main is a loop via several sockets....
Hm not sure that I get that still. So like a Spur from the Fuse Board with more than 1 Socket/Light etc but not looped back? Lots of Spures from 1 fuse board?
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
23,475
3,286
North West Norfolk
Well, it's something that is definitely a double edges sword, since you have to be aware of the power you are using. In the US, it's normally engineered so that everything can be on at the same time, so to speak.

The ring has a serious flaw though, if part of the ring breaks, you won't know it until you overheat the other part of the wiring if you are running near maximum load, i.e. the wiring can only handle 2/3 of the power rating if the ring is broken.

Also, how do you debug and find the break? It's just like the railroad issue, a single bad joiner in a loop of track is difficult to find.

Purely done to save money, not any other real advantage (because of the power derating).

Greg
Ah, you'll have to speak to the techies, but when the 13amp ring main was introduced, it was hailed as a safety factor.

Currently ('scuse the pun) we've just moved on to the 18th edition of the wiring regs - from 1st January 2019 :nod::nod:
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
21,797
2,673
Tamworth, Staffs.
Radial: Like spokes on a wheel.. All go back to the 'hub'. - There analogy breaks-down, as there cna only be so-many sockets on a radial feed, so you can have several individually-fused radial power circuits.
Ring: Like the rim/tyre of said wheel.. A socket for each 'spoke' position. - There is a finite number of sockets you can have, else the occasional load will exceed your fuse/breaker.

I have three ring-mains in the house: Ground floor. !st floor (upstairs, in a two-floor building for our Us readers), and the kitchen on a separate ring. - Means if there was a serious fault, can still get power / use temporary lighting etc. A kitchen fault should not kill the whole of the ground-floor.
Also, two lighting circuits.. Ground floor + light on upstairs landing as one, and remaining upstairs lights on the other..
Means you can see to get downstairs if upstairs trips. - Tend to trip when a bulb fails, quite often as you turn it on.

Well, it made-sense when I did it, anyway.
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
23,475
3,286
North West Norfolk
Well, it's something that is definitely a double edges sword, since you have to be aware of the power you are using. In the US, it's normally engineered so that everything can be on at the same time, so to speak.

The ring has a serious flaw though, if part of the ring breaks, you won't know it until you overheat the other part of the wiring if you are running near maximum load, i.e. the wiring can only handle 2/3 of the power rating if the ring is broken.

Also, how do you debug and find the break? It's just like the railroad issue, a single bad joiner in a loop of track is difficult to find.

Purely done to save money, not any other real advantage (because of the power derating).

Greg
Aha, found an interesting Wiki page - now I know that even Wiki needs to be taken with a pinch of salt sometimes ..................

Ring circuit - Wikipedia

Whatever the pros and cons - we have 'em and they're a part of the Building Regs since 2005 :nod::nod: (prior to that they were just the wiring regs)
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
13,857
3,264
70
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Also, how do you debug and find the break?


Greg
Disconnect both wires from the Circuit Breaker, now you can methodically debug one plug at a time disconnecting each one and using the Tewa at the end just disconnected as a test loop by joining them to test with a meter on continuity. Bit of a pain but in doing that you will more likely find the loose wire at whatever plug has broken the ring.
 
stockers

stockers

Trains, aircraft, models, walking, beer, travel
Staff member
GSC Moderator
24 Oct 2009
25,368
3,744
60
Nr. Ashford, Kent. England.
Easier than that Jon - you just remove one of the pair of wires and find where the ring 'ends' by just plugging something in each socket.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
21,797
2,673
Tamworth, Staffs.
Hmmm..
Would rather 'DC' test a dead circuit, then fiddle with an intermittent live one. :think::think:

You can immediately open up the box, to have a look. No potentially (no pun) loose live ends floating about. No chance of out-of-balance trip of the consumer unit.

Always supposing the ring goes in a logical route, without changes / additions / the odd 'spur' hung off-of-it.. :nod::(


Suppose I had better take a photo of a power supply, to get us back on thread?? :):nod::nod:
 
L

LGeoB

Registered
12 Dec 2017
43
24
Perth, Western Australia
Back to transformers and controllers... Here's my current set up.

Using a LENZ as the command station but not using it for power, using two DCC boosters (max 45 amps, but limited to 5 amps at the moment). These are powered by a couple of bench PSUs. The big board on the right is my capacitor discharge turnout controller. Lots of relays and an arduino for DCC control. I can use computer ribbon cable for the LGB turnouts with about 40 feet the maximum run to a point motor. I use LENZ controllers in the shed and touch cab on old iPhones in the garden. Works a treat!

BTW here in Aus, we have mains sockets in the bathroom and normal light switches. One of my mains sockets is above the bath! No cord operated lights as in the UK. Not heard of any electrocutions yet. My house is 3 phase with lights and other circuits on different phases.

Geoff
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PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
21,797
2,673
Tamworth, Staffs.
One of my mains sockets is above the bath!
Yeah, but... You don't have any water in Australia! ;):giggle::giggle:

Somewhere..
I have a H&M controller, and one of those blue ones, with just a reset button on the front. - I think it is badged Scalextrik (sp?).. :think:

I have a 0-30v 0-3.15A bench supply, for testing etc..
A Digitrax DCC unit for programming. - Kinder, and (so far) has never 'blown' a decoder.. :):nod::nod:

I do need a larger-current bench supply, and have been looking at a certain website.. There seem to be modern 0-30v units, which are hundreds of pounds. - Switched-mode, I assume??
Or I can get a 'Chinese' 0-30v 0-10A unit, which appears to be transformer-based?? - These can be got for as low as £40!

I am of the 'you get what you pay for' school of tool purchasing, but the big PSU is for testing some new kit, and will then sit gathering dust, most probably.. :think::think:

Decisions, decisions.. :rolleyes:
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

Registered
13 Jul 2015
1,419
627
Ascot
I started off g-scale with, believe it or not, a Hornby Elite R8214 controller and a P9300 4A transformer. It was designed for OO gauge and although it could only run at 15v it was enough for a small indoor layout.

Hornby R8214 Hornby DCC Elite Controller

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Hornby P9300 Digital 15V 4 Amp Transformer

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Then I got serious and now have a Lenz LZV100 command station.

Digital plus, Modell plus, Spur 0 - Lenz Elektronik für Modellbahn und Modelleisenbahner

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For power I have a regulated bench power supply unit which can deliver 100VA at any voltage up to 21v DC. It was a N93CX from Maplins which is no longer in business sadly. I run at 19v DC into the command station.

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For throttles I started with a Lenz LH01 which was a simple “turn the knob” controller with a small display and 3 function buttons.

Handregler von Digital plus: fahren, schalten, programmieren


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Then I got a Lenz LH100 which lets you program and supports 28 functions; this is my “default” controller.

Lenz USA - LH100

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I also use an app called TouchCab which runs on a very old iPhone 4s.

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It is connected via wireless to a Lenz 23151 USB and Ethernet interface.

TouchCab Support > Connecting

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