Frequently Asked Questions
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Catenary Systems FAQs
Catenary Mast Spacing?
Q: I am planning to add overhead "catenary" to my garden railway. What is the standard spacing for the 56400 masts and for the 56200 masts?
A: Every catenary installation is different -- with different curves, different grades, different locos and different rolling stock -- and so it is difficult, if not impossible, to offer any standards.
If you`re using the "Model" catenary system with the 56200/56300 masts, you can space the masts almost the full length of the 56201 catenary wire (680 mm). The 56202 support wires and hangers offer enough strength to keep the wire roughly level for that distance. However, if there are any irregularities, like curves, along that length, you`ll likely need additional masts to account for those irregularities.
If you`re using the "Standard" catenary system with the 56400 masts, you`ll likely need at least one additional mast to support one 680 mm length of catenary wire, but the key issue is often cosmetics. The pantographs on LGB locos can handle a relatively wide range of wire heights, but a wire that dips several centimeters is just going to look bad. Start with a spacing of about 300 mm (about 12 inches) and then make any necessary adjustments.
Indeed, be prepared to make adjustments in either case, and do lots of testing with all your locos and rolling stock. It will take some time, but I think you`ll be pleased. Real catenary wiring is really impressive.
Remember that the catenary wire should not be in a straight line, but should zig-zag back and forth as on the prototype, for more even distribution of the wear on the locomotive pantographs.
Faq No: 1021
How do you fit LGB catenary wire into the catenary clips?
The catenary clips are used to connect two catenary wires. The have two slots, one for each catenary wire. (These are not the hangers that suspend the catenary wire from the support wire.)
The fluted catenary wires are friction fit into the clips, and so, the fit is tight. Here are some tips to make the job easier:
1. If the catenary wire is bent, kinked or marred, you`ll need to pull it through the clip using pliers. Try finding a good set of pliers that won`t mark the wire. Avoid pliers with knurled jaws. Any imperfections that change the cross-section of the wire will make installation more difficult.
2. Use a small file to remove any imperfections from the catenary wire.
3. Use a very small amount of LGB 51010 Graphite Paste or equivalent as a lubricant in the clip.
4. If installation of one end of the catenary wire is very difficult, try feeding the wire from the opposite end. In other words, pull the wire all the way through the clip.
5. Typically, the clips do not need to be loosened or otherwise adjusted. However, once both catenary wires are in place, the clips can be tightened by squeezing them.
Faq No: 1233
I'd like to install an overhead catenary system. What's the difference between the two LGB catenary systems?
The "Standard" system is a simple overhead wiring system based on catenary used on streetcar lines around the world. The "Model" system is a more complex system based on catenary used by modern Swiss railroads.
Both LGB catenary systems can be "powered." However, do not use a powered catenary system together with the LGB Multi-Train System on the same layout. A short circuit between the track and the catenary could produce a dangerous high voltage.
Faq No: 1072