Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Woodland Scenics Just Plug Clinic Changes

So after I gave the clinic on lighting your layout in January I proceeded to finish mine. It quickly became apparent however that either I was doing something wrong or the system didn't work according to Woodland Scenics' instructions. The problem was:
When connecting 2 expansion hubs (blue box), with an on/off switch connected to hub 1 and the switch in the off position, all lighting connected to hub 2 came on and stayed on when the system was plugged in. Lighting connected to hub 1 turned on/off according to the switch position. Not good!!
I called the company and was lucky enough to reach one of the engineers that designed the system. After explaining the problem there was a pause of about 10 seconds and then a barely audible "Oh oh" came across the phone. He said, "Will you be at this number for a while?", saying my phone number. I told him I would be. He said he'd call me back. About 20 minutes later my phone rang, it was the engineer. "John, the system doesn't exactly work the way you have yours hooked up."  He then went on to explain what the change had to be.

Instead of jumpering the hubs from the out port of hub 1 to the in port of hub 2, connect 1 of the hub 1 ports that normally goes to a light hub to the in port on expansion hub 2. This surrenders 4 lights but then all of the lights are controlled by 1 switch.
Look at the green connection line in figure 1.
Figure 1

I have another solution that is simpler:

Don't use switches!!

Run the connecting wire from the out port of expansion hub 1 to the in port of expansion hub 2 (and so on), plug your lighting system in and all the lights come on. Unplug it and they all go off and you won't lose 4 lights on an expansion slot. What do you think? Whatever you do is up to you. Regardless, have fun!

If you have an idea for a blog post here for the club, let me know. If I can comment on it, I will or I'll see if someone else can and post it.

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