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Building a Loconet Star Configuration
By Paul Anderson
This web page was last updated on April 15th, 2012
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The purpose of this tutorial is to show how to wire the LocoNet in a Star Formation for a module section (a module may be made up out of multiple sections each having its own independent wiring). This configuration makes the most efficient use of the wiring adding the least amount resistance and capacitance to the LocoNet system. This wiring method can be adapted for module sections containing one or more LocoNet Panels on the front or back.

This tutorial shows the process for a module containing a LocoNet Panel on both sides of the module section. For a module section with only one LocoNet Panel eliminate one of the short leads. The assumption for this tutorial is that the LocoNet Panels are in line with each other on opposite sides of the module section. If the panels are offset then you may have to lengthen the cable running to the panels. If they are offset by more than 12” I would recommend doing a separate splice for each panel.

This tutorial was developed for a 4’ module section. If your module section is longer or shorter than 4’ adjust the length of the cables accordingly and leave yourself lots of length on the ends for your final connections. You can always trim off excess length but it is more difficult to add to short wires. Also think about possible future repairs and leave a little excess length available for the future.

 

You will need four lengths of LocoNet cable. Two will be 36” for the through cables and two will be 18” to go to the LocoNet Panels.

 With an Exacto knife slit about 3/8” of each edge of the cable on one end. Repeat for the other cables

 Peel back both sides of the cables about 2”. It is best if all cables are peeled back the same length.

 Trim off outer casing.

Strip off about ” of insulation on each wire in all the cables.

 

 Stack the 4 cables together. The bottom cable should be a long through cable, the next cable a short one for LocoNet Panel, then a long cable, then a short one on the top of the stack. This order aids in final installation, no cable has to pass over another. Ensure the ends of the wires are all lined up. Use a short piece of Heatshrink tubing to hold the cables together.

 

 Start at one side and twist all the wires of one colour together. Apply flux and solder. Repeat for each group of wires. It is beast work across the cable in the order the wires are in.

Insulate each group of wires with Heatshrink tubing.

 Apply a piece of Heatshrink tubing to enclose all the wires.


Fold back the bottom long through cable and tie it to the bundle. The two shorter cables for the LocoNet Panels will come out at right angles and the other through cable is straight.

Carve slots for the cables and splice in the foam. I used a Hot Wire Cutter to do this but it can be done with an Exacto knife

 

 The cables and splice are now inserted into the foam. If the slots are not too big then it will all hold by friction. I like to use white glue for locking cables in place. It will flow in around the cable holding it in place but can also be removed with out damaging the foam or cables.