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Text Box: Whartson Hall - A Major Wiring Project!
  (A Model for The Poverty Stricken)






Text Box: Block

This piece of intelligent prose is the result of a call by our Dave who appeared at the front door seeking to discover whether or not I was still alive. He obviously hadn’t read the last opus in Website 50 called “The Missing Member”.


So how did this start?


I’ve always said that Whartson Hall was merely a “kit” for the club members to do with as they would once the base, legs and fiddle-yard/traverser operated reasonably. Things were almost complete when I was stricken. The worse problem was the alignment of the traverser, but that had been largely overcome and I was thinking more of controllers and wiring when fate lowered the boom. Whatever the “boom” is?


The problem: the model has three tracks the centre of which is bi-directional and the two outer East and West respectively. Logically the operation should require 3 controllers, one on each track, but then I remembered the subtitle on the layout name.

We have double controllers available but a threesome is not on the menu and a double and a single would not fit in the space available for the controller and switches.

I reasoned that as one line is bi-directional it therefore affects the other two and only on very rare occasions would all three be in operation at the same time. The Western line to Birmingham would normally have a train pull up to the lights and stop awaiting the passing of a train on the other two and therefore only two controllers would be required under normal circumstances.


Wiring Nothing strange here, 2 live wires, and 2 common return (negative) to power 3 tracks (3 live and 3 common return).


Equipment - 1x block for collection of common return wires.

                     2x On/Off switches.

                     1x SPST On-Off-On switch.


The 3 Common (return) rails are wired directly to the block connector  and the 2 wires on the far side of the block go to the controller inputs.

The power (live) wires connect to the two on/off switches with an additional lead being taken to one side of the SPST switch. One lead to the top and one to the bottom contact. The three output leads are then wired to their respective tracks. The output from the SPST switch being the centre contact to the centre bi-directional track, which should allow the centre line to be operated by either controller.


Normal operation by BR, NR or whoever calls the shots ensures that normally only 2 trains are operating at any one

Controller Output

time, while as much as 4 can be held around the junction area waiting a vacant path, ergo only 2 tracks are moving at any one time except on very rare occasions, which could be covered by some swift stop and go train controller use disguising the fact that one train had actually stopped as the other rushed through.


Well Dave, I hope that this explains my thinking and gives an idea of the very basic wiring I have in mind, less wires than DCC.