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N8131 Assembly and installation
Connecting the N8101 & N8101B:
Using the N8101 is very straightforward. Its tiny size will allow it to be placed nearly anywhere. Solder points #1 and #2 are the power input connections. Power input to the N8101 can be up to 16-volts and can be up to 25-volts for the N8101B, and can be either analog DC, DCC. AC voltage can also be used but is limited to the RMS equivalent value. Solder point #3 is –DC output (or ground), and solder point #4 is +DC output. See figure 1.
Also included on the board is solder point #5. This is an optional connection point provided for +DC resisted voltage output to a polarity sensitive device such as an LED. Figure 2 below shows the back side of the board.
Shown are the two solder pads provided for either an 1/8-watt or 1/4-watt surface-mount type resistor. When a resistor is installed, the circuit through to solder point #5 is completed so the resistor is in series with the +DC output #5. Connecting a device such as an LED between #5 and #3 will provide power for the LED. Note: For proper LED operation, resistor selection must be calculated based on maximum expected input and LED voltage. If you need help to determine proper resistance, please go here.
When connecting an LED to the module, proper polarity must be observed. LEDs are “polarity sensitive” and will not function if connected backwards. Connect the LED cathode (the – connection) to point #3 on the module and connect the LED anode (the +) to solder point #5.
Important note: A low-wattage iron with a pointed tip should be used for connection of wires. Too much heat or solder can easily damage the wires, or the module and void its warranty.
When soldering a resistor to the pads shown in figure 2 above, pay particular attention to the left pad (closest to solder points 3, 4 & 5). This solder pad also connects to the filter capacitor on the front-side of the board. Excessive heat during resistor soldering on this pad could conduct through the board and cause the capacitor to partially desolder from the circuit.
Also, all wires should be pre-tinned before soldering them to the N8101. This will make connection quick and easy and ensure excessive heat is not applied to any solder points.
Included in this package are tantalum polarized capacitors. Tantalum capacitors are superior to other polarized capacitors because they have a larger storage capacity for their size and do not “age” like other, electrolytic polarized capacitors do. In modeling where small scale factors dictate available space, these little jewels can be very useful for storing an electrical charge and releasing it when input power is momentarily interrupted. In model railroading, dirty spots on the track are a common source for tiny power interruptions.
Polarized capacitors have a plus DC connection, and a minus DC connection. By wiring them in parallel (all pluses connected together, & all minuses connected together), their storage capacities (uf, or microfarads) are added together.
NEVER wire them in series with each other (end to end).
Because of their “boxy” shape and tiny size, they can be stacked strategically to utilize the least amount of space possible. These capacitors have a stripe and an angle at one end that identifies the plus (+) DC connection. Figure 3 below shows an example of 6 capacitors stacked and soldered in parallel. You can use the #26 solid wire in this package for that purpose.
Putting it all together:
Since the capacitors are DC devices, they cannot properly function with any other type of input voltage. As a result, they must be connected “behind” the N8101/B DC Power Source module at the output solder points 3 & 4. Input from the track pickups connect to solder point 1 & 2. See figure 1 on the front of this instruction for more detail.
We recommend using the two 4” segments of #32 black super-flex wire for connections to points 1 & 2, because this wire is designed for repeated flexing and can easily withstand the rotation of trucks on rolling stock as they negotiate curved track. This flexing is what this wire is designed for.
The red and black #32 hook-up wire can be used to connect the N8101/B output solder points 3 & 4 to the capacitor “bank” connections, then on to whatever device(s) you will be providing power to. Simply just cut these wires into whatever lengths work for your project and strip and tin their ends before attaching them to the N8101/B or the capacitor bank. Figure 4 below shows a typical wiring diagram for connection of one of our Lighting Effects Simulators.
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