Installation of track power pick up wipers

In 2004 I submitted an article to Model Railroader for the simple installation of resistors for train detection.

Based on the same method, Brass pick up wipers will be installed across the axles of each truck on the car.  The insulator of each axle will be on the same side of each truck. So that each truck picks up power from one rail.

The brass wipers are gently bent around the axles on each truck.  Position the wipers so they are on the side of the axles that do not have the insulator.  Holes are drilled through the frame of the car so attachment wires can be soldered on to the brass pick up wipers.

A slight S bend will reduce the stiffness of the wire that passes through the frame of the car allowing better movement of the truck.  Insert the wires through the frame of the car and attach to the desired equipment you want powered from the rails.

This section will list materials of clinics presented during conventions and seminars

Operational Model Railroad


Metal Wheels;  Metal Axles;  Plastic Truck

1000 Ohm Resistor

Installing Signals

Wiring signals from above instead of underneath the layout is simple and much easier.  This method allows for future repair and removal.

First drill 2 holes at the position you are mounting your signal.  The small one is the size of the signal mast and the second is much larger for the wiring to easily pass through.

Insert the control wiring through the larger hole and make the connections to the signal wires, solder these connections and secure them with a spike so the wires do not touch. 

CAUTION IF THE SIGNAL REQUIRES A RESISTOR IN THE WIRING DO THIS BEFORE TESTING.  Install the control method for your signals and cover the wiring with tape.

Install the desired ground over top of the tape to hide the installation.