How do you wire 1/4" phone jacks for loco-net panels? : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

I want to build my own loco-net panels for a Digitrax Chief system. Is any special circuitry required between a 1/4" phone jack and the RJ12 jack loco-net connectors? Or, stated otherwise, since the tip and ring segments of a 1/4" stereo phone plug wipe over the sleeve and ring contacts in the jacks during mating and unmating, does this cause shorting problems that requires some type of circuitry to overcome?

-- jack consoli (, March 24, 1998



Yes the 1/4 stereo plug will short the LocoNet as it is inserted and removed..

The Digitrax UP1 and UP2 have the required circuitry to overcome this.

I know the 1/4" plug and jack is very strong, but I might note we have had very little trouble with the RJ phone jacks. Both on our own home layouts and on the clubs layout. And the RJ has one advantage over the 1/4" and DIN plugs and jacks. They do not pull out when the cable is streched out..

-- Don Crano (, March 24, 1998.


If you are as skeptical as I was about the phone jacks, you may have a hard time believing Don's response. Before my club put in Digitrax, I thought the phone jacks were doomed. I was sure they would have to be replaced by the phone jacks.

No one hung themselves on the cables and not a phone jack was broken in the year and a half before I moved away. Somewhat surprisingly, no one ever forgot to keep an eye out for the tether. This was a 15 or so member group with tight quarters.

While I can't promise no one ever has a problem. It definitely isn't the problem you would think. We finally gave up worrying about changing to 1/4" phone jacks.

-- Allan W. Gartner (, March 24, 1998.

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