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I have an LGB Lake George and Bolder set with a Stainz engine that purchased about 20 years ago. I'm currently refurbishing the set, which also includes a PH Hobbies S1001S Digital Steam Sound System. Everything is working pretty well.

As you probably know, at the rear of the Stainz engine there are two holes used to connect accessories, such as the sound car I mentioned above. One has a positive symbol, the other has a negative symbol.

However, I am somewhat confused about one thing. How should the LGB transformer be connected to the track. In other words, which rail (inside or outside) should be positive and which is negative? Also, what is the forward direction of the train (clockwise or counter clockwise) and which dial direction on the transformer (clockwise or counter clockwise) should correspond to forward direction.

I'm sure all of this is very simple, but since the train is of German origin I can't assume that everything works the way it would in the US. Thanks for your help.
 

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I do think know if there is a "correct" way to hook up the wires, the engines can run either way around. Hook it up and give it a try, no harm will come to it.
 

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Eric, is right. Hook it up and when you change the direction everything reverses. With DC it doesn't matter.

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. That's what I thought as well, but I was curious as to why LGB chose to label the accessory leads on the engine positive and negative. Also, the PH Hobbies sound board has a similar designation on the circuit board.
 

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LGB is opposite of the NMRA standards, left rail positive for forward.
Also left rail for bell magnet.
THe horizontal sockets are aligned to the rail, left socket is left rail.
 

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Yes. This means that the engine is running in a clockwise direction. In this case, the engineer is on the right side, inside rail and the fireman's seat is on the left, outside rail.

It really only matters when you have LGB track magnets to activate the bell and whistle.

Chuck
 

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As Dan stated, the NMRA convention is that if the locomotive is on the track and you apply a + voltage to the rail on the right side, then the locomotive will move forward. This is followed by almost all manufacturers, with the exception of LGB who are consistently backwards. If using a Bridgewerks power controller, just flip the power connector that plugs into the back of the unit over - and you will reverse the polarity.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's interesting.

So if it really doesn't matter, why does the Stainz engine have a positive and negative output for accessories?
 

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I think we need Dan Pierce here, but I would guess that the loco sets the output polarity of the connector.... it's a pretty simple job with a full wave bridge to convert different polarities to a fixed polarity which could be routed out the rear.

Greg
 

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I think we need Dan Pierce here, but I would guess that the loco sets the output polarity of the connector.... it's a pretty simple job with a full wave bridge to convert different polarities to a fixed polarity which could be routed out the rear.

Greg
I was just going to ask why they couldn't have put a full-wave bridge on the output to make sure the + is always positive and the - negative.

Presumably there was something that could be plugged in that cared. Like a sound system? ;-)
 

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I was just going to ask why they couldn't have put a full-wave bridge on the output to make sure the + is always positive and the - negative.

Presumably there was something that could be plugged in that cared. Like a sound system? ;-)
Well, those plugs are also used to connect the loco to the powered tender, which improves power pickup because the two motor blocks have the pickup potential of all their skates/brushes. So a Stainz and powered tender have 12 pickups--it makes them run better on dirty track. Since the plugs are connected to the power pickups, the "polarity" does matter.

If you connect the + plug on the loco to the - plug on the tender (because you re-wired the tender backwards) you'll have a short circuit. Just don't ask how I know :)
 

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Then the plus and minus really mean nothing, since the polarity MUST change with the track polarity.

But connecting them properly has to be done, i.e. the right polarity between the loco and the tender.

It would have been clearer if it was "R" and "L" for right or left rail.

Greg
 

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Then the plus and minus really mean nothing, since the polarity MUST change with the track polarity.

But connecting them properly has to be done, i.e. the right polarity between the loco and the tender.

It would have been clearer if it was "R" and "L" for right or left rail.

Greg
Yah, "polarity" is probably the wrong word. "Handedness" would have been better.

L and R might have been clearer, sort of. But keep in mind that the plug on the tender is in the front...

So, say the plug on the back of the loco on the "inside" is "r": if the loco is running clockwise around a loop, I'd say that looking forward from the back of the loco it was on the right. So label it "r" and anyone looking from the rear of the loco (the logical place to look at the plug) would see the "r" on the right.

But the other plug is on the front of the tender. Anyone looking from the front of the tender (the logical place to look at the plug) the inside plug would be on the left, but it would have to be labeled "r" to make it match up with the "r" on the loco. I think that if I looked at the front of the tender, where the plug is, and the one on the left was labeled "r" I'd be confused. But I'm easily confused :confused:

My guess is that's why it's labeled + and -, to avoid that complication.

And I guess we've thoroughly hijacked this thread. Sorry to the OP :)
 

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One needs to remember that LGB used these connections on the powered tender to tie engine and tender together electrically and the marking of + and - was to keep from creating a short. I use these cables all the time for my 2017 sets (American stainz and powered tender). Newer engines and tenders have a polarized 2 pin connector.
And these are track power connections and can be used to feed sound cars or lights in passenger cars. (Note that some USA Trains engines have the same round socket connector, 20 tonner for one).
 

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Riderdan, R and L does not work in all countries but + and - does, and remember that these were originally made in Germany so what is Right and Left in German and would you and the rest of the world remember that?? I would not remember, canhardly remember my name sometimes. :) :) I am old school emotions!!
 

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L and R works in German, "links" and "rechts". If my German is remembered correctly. Spelling could be wrong.

It doesn't work in French.

Chuck
 

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As Dan stated, the NMRA convention is that if the locomotive is on the track and you apply a + voltage to the rail on the right side, then the locomotive will move forward. This is followed by almost all manufacturers, with the exception of LGB who are consistently backwards.
The last part is actually not true.
All G scale manufacturers follow the LGB convention (which is backwards from the smaller scales).
Bachmann often includes a switch in their G scale locos to reverse polarity but USA Trains and Aristocraft as well as the European G scale manufacturers follow the LGB convention as far as I know.
 
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