Shorts

Let's talk about electical shorts!

There is a tendency to call any electrical interruption a SHORT. This is NOT TRUE.

In the following examples, we are looking at the rails and pickup wiring.

There are two forms of electrical interruption: a short or an open.

A SHORT

Think of a wire or a tool falling across the rails - that is a short! If you short a DCC system, the system will shut down or an external circuit breaker to open and isolate the short to a small portion of the layout.

What causes a short?

  • Internal wiring touching each other or the chassis or shell
  • Wheels touching metal body parts
  • Wrong wheels in tender or lighted car trucks where one truck picks up from each rail

An OPEN

Think of a wall plug that is loose in the socket. If it is seated fully, your appliance works. If it shakes loose, the appliance does not work. When it shakes loose, that is an OPEN CIRCUIT!

What causes an open?

  • DIRTY WHEELS or TRACK
  • Internal wiring broken or cold solder joints
  • Wheels wipers not contacting correctly
  • Wrong wheels in tender or lighted car trucks where one truck picks up each rail - all wheels picking up from the same rail
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