Wiring Terminal Blocks

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I bought some terminal blocks from radio shack to help sort out the power to my track but I am having trouble figuring out how to wire it up. Do you connect the power to one of the connections and the tracks to the rest or do I need something differnet.
Can you give a better idea of what you bought. Are you trying to turn off a section of track or make it so you can switch from one transformer to another or from a transformer to DCC?

I want to attach all the block leads then run one line to the power box.


In Training Down Under.
Wire the bottom two to your power pack, then make loops from the bottom two up the row so you have 4 identical blocks +- / +- / +- / +- Then on the other side the terminals go the the track blocks.



Registered Member
Staff member
I believe he means something like this. You could get 6 output leads from one input lead or any other configuration you might be able to dream up. The terminal strips are just a convenient means of joining wires for length or distribution.
I see what you are saying. I have two blocks so I need to set up one for the positive leads and one for the negative leads, is this correct?


In Training Down Under.
Yes that would work, the loops between screws could be just soldered short lengths of wire, cheaper and easier than crimping terminals on.



Or: If you don't have that many, you can make your jumpers to every other one. One run of jumpers for positive and one for negative then connect your power neg to one of the end terminals and the pos to the one beside it. This way you only need one terminal strip. (I think this is what NZRMac suggested)


Coal Shoveler
I use these blocks to wire up my home phone system. Before, the previous owner just crammed as many wires as he could get onto a big metal stud, and crushed them down with the nut. Now, I have a separate block for each wire, with a jumper to each pair. Each wire coming from a phone location has one wire going to each block. Easiest way to keep track of what's what.

I plan on doing the same thing when wiring my layout in a more proper way, whether it's the DCC Command bus, or the leads to the switches.



Central Indiana & Ohio RR
You best bet would be a "Power Distribution Block"
You can get them at hobby shops for around $12-15 range. They are worth it.
I bought a few several years ago and still use them. There isn't the drastic power loss that you get when you hop wires either.
I've got TONS of terminal strips and don't really recommend using them for the task you want to.

You can, don't get me wrong, but I would suggest the PDB.


I hate to tell you this, but that is the same thing as the examples only wired/solder tracked by the factory and at 3 times the cost.


You are more correct to say,"...what he wanted". All the other examples would work just fine at much less cost ($3.29ea/12 pos. strip), but does require a little effort to build.
I'm not sure how you measured your "current drop" at the terminals or in the circuit, but current is dependant on the load. It is unlikely that any terminal strip would have so much resistance that it would affect the operations of that circuit. If you are saying that it has a resistance that affects the maximum current in the circuit, then you should have been able to read a voltage drop across it. However, it is nothing more than the electrical equivalent of a straight piece of wire.


Wannabe Engineer
Honestly with very good quality materials you can use terminal blocks without worrying about current loss. A company that I worked at last year did naval radar units and the power supplies in thoses used a lot of nice wire and terminal blocks like you would see at radio shack. It was all just very nice quality material, hence the unnecssarry need to worry about power loss.


To be exact, copper 18 awg has 7.7ohms resistance per 1000feet. How much is that for about 4 inches? Not much to worry about! But, I won't argue with you either. I will just throw away my 40 years field experience in electronics/electrical along with my engineering degree and forget it.
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