SWARMTRAK Module Wiring Practices Anderson Power Poles

A brief article describing the module, and bus wire wiring practices that we've adopted as a T-TRAK organization,
allowing us to 'play well' with other T-TRAK groups across the US and beyond, but with a look ahead to further growth, creating what we feel are more reliable connections to power supplies, both physically and electrically.

by Bruce M. Arbo

After purchasing our first module kits from Terry Nathan, of T-Kits, I noticed that he had included Anderson Power Pole accessory plugs and wiring in his products page. being somewhat familiar with these (from N-TRAK experience) I was glad to see these as a module wiring possibility for our T-TRAK modules. I like the Power Pole connections for their very positive physical connections (much less prone to disconnect as the previous Cinch Jones connectors), but especially for their reliable transfer of electrical power through the plugs.


The T-TRAK standard has always specified the Tamiya-style Mini Molex connectors/plugs; these are the same plugs adopted by Kato for their electrical connections and it's quite easy to wire a module by just using the Kato terminal unijoiner set, arranged in the BWWB configuration (Blue-White and White-Blue track wiring with Blue wire always being to the outside of each track)
These standards have just been confirmed (re-affirmed) in the most recent (3/2017) document of proposed 'official' T-TRAK standards.


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SWARMTRAK modules are wired with Kato Terminal Unijoiners spliced into Anderson Power Poles encased in a fascia mount that snaps into the rear fascia of the module; the colors are red and yellow, corresponding to the track colors: red for the frontmost track (when viewing the module from the spectators point of view), and yellow for the rearmost track.
This creates a very tidy, self-contained powered module, with no loose wires, or Kato connectors hanging out the back of the module.


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The Bus Wire is a pair of 12ga wires, connected with large Power pole housings, letting us quickly and easily connect bus wiring for larger setups.
Tap wires are arranged anywhere along the bus wire, but we like to use them every 18" along the bus. Our regular taps terminate in a 'male' Power Pole set.

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The plugs insert into the receptacle on the back of the module.

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However, the T-TRAK standards dictate the Tamiya/Kato connector/plugs as module connections to a bus wire, so, as a group, we want to make sure that we're able to interface with other clubs that may be adhering to the T-TRAK standards.
We've acquired transition pigtails ( Power Pole-to-Tamiya/Kato) that will plug into the rear of our modules AND plug into a bus wire equipped with Tamiya/Kato plug taps. We have one of these pigtails for each of our powered modules.

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These plug into the Kato Three-way hubs, allowing, with the use of Kato extension cords, the connection of up to three modules to one hub.

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We store these pigtails with each powered module; by the use of adhesive clips on the inside wall of the module. This keeps the pigtail out of sight, but ready if we need to use them.

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I hope this has been helpful to any and everyone with questions about the use of the Power Pole connectors for module wiring.
~Bruce

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