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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys,

When wiring a track, is there an accepted, or standard, practice as to whether the positive or negative wire goes to the controller? In other words, does the positive go to the controller and the negative go directly to the track, or vice-verse?

Is there a standard for whether the positive/negative sides are wired to the driver or passenger side rail? I assume there isn't as this is what would determine the direction of travel.

Also, if there are only two wires from the controller (no brakes), does it matter whether the wire from the power supply is connected to the wiper or the resistor? Is there an advantage in either method?

Also, what is meant by the terms "positive gate" and "negative gate"?

Thanks...Joe
 

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It really doesn't matter with resistor type controllers but you want your + power feed to go from the power pack to the controller then the track. I've seen diagrams online with + feed going to the track and having the controller make the ground. That's a no-no.

Positive gate is with the negative lead on the left rail in the forward direction.

Positive gate is the standard on commercial tracks. Reasons are for gearing and direction, and also electronic controllers are wired for one polarity which is positive gate. Some electronic controllers are switchable.

If you want to include directional switches in your layout make sure they are after the controller hook ups.
 

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Hiya Scott :wave:

I've seen diagrams online with + feed going to the track and having the controller make the ground. That's a no-no.
That's a negative gate. :)

In simple terms Joe, the controller is the electrical "gate". So in a positive gate system, the controller is on the + side of the car, in a negative gate the controller is on the - side of the car. As to the reasoning and/or advantages of each, the answers will depend on who you're talking to, an electrician or an electrophysicist.

Hey Scott you have alot of old literature...isn't there some old tale that the negative gate setup came about due to a wiring mistake on one of the first king tracks or something like that?

Another little factoid Joe...Tyco terminal tracks are negative gate, so's Tomy if you run it in the same direction cuz the polarity switches before the controllers.
 

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Generally it's safer to switch the "hot" or positive lead. You cannot have a ground fault or short the ground.

i guess this is the electrician's perspective. i don't know what an electophysicist might think!
 

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I have no idea where the "gate" terminoloy in slot cars came from because it is fairly meaningless and non descriptive to anyone who is electrically inclined. I suspect it's a British/England/UK thing since it makes no sense to the rest of the world where the English language has sufficiently evolved to serve as a somewhat tolerable basis for interhuman communication.

Mind the gap old chap.
 

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Slot V, Doesn't power go from black controller post to drivers' side rail in desired direction of travel? Common wire would then go from passenger side rail. This would be from plan view, looking from above.
I'm not in the electrical field, but Polarity simply states the sides of being
either Positive or Negative.
There is a reference to "gate" as applied to electronic circuits.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Guys,

Is there a standard for whether the positive/negative sides are wired to the driver or passenger side rail? I assume there isn't as this is what would determine the direction of travel.

Also, if there are only two wires from the controller (no brakes), does it matter whether the wire from the power supply is connected to the wiper or the resistor? Is there an advantage in either method?

Also, what is meant by the terms "positive gate" and "negative gate"?

Thanks...Joe
Guys,

Thanks for those replies. I had assumed that the term "gate" meant the side which had the mechanism for varying the electric flow. So in a positive gate system, it is the positive wire which goes through the controller.

As to the other questions above, does it matter which side of the controller is wired to the power supply - wiper or resistor?

And the wires to the rails determine the direction of travel and can be wired either way. Correct?

Thanks...Joe
 

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Dom: Yes! I was borrowing a drawing from the Professor Motor page; That shows the correct terminal post wire colors from the post to the track. What's funny is if you look at a Parma controller box they have the wire colors wrong. :freak:

Negative gate: I think a couple of 1/32 tracks run that way.

My first home track with lane stations had the reversing switches before the controllers. Some guys preferred to run the axle flipped so depending on how the switches were set for each lane, you could end up with a situation where you have live current in one rail and the direct ground on an adjacent lane without touching a controller, meaning some rails were hot all the time. I found this out the hard way when I left a metal cookie tin laying on my track. The track power was on the wall switch with the room lights. I ended up with blown wall packs and the shorted rails actually melted the track near the tin and the heat turned the rails pretty colors. :drunk:
 

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Guys,

Thanks for those replies. I had assumed that the term "gate" meant the side which had the mechanism for varying the electric flow. So in a positive gate system, it is the positive wire which goes through the controller.

As to the other questions above, does it matter which side of the controller is wired to the power supply - wiper or resistor?

> For resistor type controllers using only the black and white leads, not it doesn't matter.

And the wires to the rails determine the direction of travel and can be wired either way. Correct?
> Correct

Thanks...Joe
.....
 
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