Module Connection

Pie39 Dec 20, 2015

  1. Pie39

    Pie39 TrainBoard Member

    Hey guys, I've been making headway into a modular layout system, which is basically two "balloon" modules and a 2x8 in between. An oval essentially, but it looks like a double-track. I'll add more modules in between later.

    Anyway, I was wondering how people go about connecting the modules? Obviously I need the wiring to continue between modules, but they've also gotta be sturdy together.

    Anything simple enough to wrap my head around? ;)
  2. steamghost

    steamghost TrainBoard Member

    Why not use the basics of FreemoN or NTRAK module standards?

    Both groups just clamp modules together; you can bolt yours together. FreemoN has rails butt together at the joins, NTRAK uses a small track section to bridge modules using connectors/fish plates.
    -- note the endplate/end cap requirement. You want something as unwarpable as possible for the endplates, though a home-only layout can be built somewhat lighter than travelling modules.
    -- old NTRAK standards mention Cinch Jones connectors; that's old stuff now.
  3. retsignalmtr

    retsignalmtr TrainBoard Member

    My club uses BUTT hinges (used for doors) to join and hold together our HO modules. Each module has the opposing half of the hinge on the front and back of the modules at each end. The hinges are attached when the modules are being built. After leveling, the hinges are aligned and the pins inserted. Our N gauge T-Trak modules sit on tables, use Kato Unitrack and the Unijoiners hold the modules securely together.
    Electrical connections are made with Anderson Power Pole connectors which are replacing the old Cinch Jones connectors. Power Pole contacts crimp on the wires (no soldering) and the contact covers come in many colors.
  4. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    First thing to do is to realize that no layout is 'permanent'. Going with a modular or sectional layout that can be dismantled without destroying the layout or part allows it to be flexible in the event a relocation is necessary. But more importantly it permits one to change their mind and remove a section and replace it or add onto it with either little or no effect on the adjoining sections. Go with the Powerpole electrical connectors that Ntrak has adopted. I also like the Ntrak method of using joiner tracks between sections. I allows for more 'wiggle room' for the connection. The tolerances you are working with here are quite small and that extra 'wiggle room' does come in handy.
  5. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

    I also use Powerpole connectors, but I dislike the look of John near tracks, so I use butt-joints, with great success.

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