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entry 8 Jan 2012, 07:35
Awaiting a big shipment of points from the UK, so a little slowed now until I can link the various tracks together and form the loops. However, wiring goes on unabated ensuring the busses are in place and extensible for the future.

I am sure there are a million ways to achieve this, so here is my method. I have run 50/0.25 red and black wire around the inner supports of the layout structure under the board. I currently have two boards linked and so I have run two separate busses, one around each.

These come back to a 12 section terminal block at the front of the underside of the layout, roughly where I intend to mount the ECoS controller. Six of the blocks relate to positive and six to negative. The end block for each side is the controller/transformer connection which leads back to a little green 2-nog terminal block that plugs straight into the ECoS. The other five sets of blocks can be used to add busses to the layout. Power from the transformer is passed to each block by having a common wire piggyback across the top of the blocks. Theoretically this offers five busses, however I don't think I would fill the centre blocks just to ensure the positives and negatives remain very separated. In any event I only plan to have four boards, which suits a four bus setup nicely.

As you can see in the picture I have documented the links on the struts to ensure I dont forget what is going on (shocking memory). Likewise, I will shell out for some proper cable holders once everything is set in concrete, but bent nails suffice for the time being.

Spent last night soldering droppers (14/0.20 wire) onto rail sections in preparation for the imminent arrival of points and hookup. So with the busses now ready it is simply a matter of soldering the droppers onto the bus connectors, a job which I do not enjoy as previously mentioned. It is useful only having tacked the bus in place at this point as it is still possible to drop sections so the droppers dont have to be soldered from an upside down position.

Dying to drape some chicken wire and plaster cloth on and commence modelling, but must be patient grasshopper...
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dwb
post 8 Jan 2012, 11:46
Comment #1


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I use a similar method for my bus - chocolate blocks at 600mm intervals. I didn't bother with different colour wire, I use cable markers instead. Since I laid my bus, I have learned that it is a good idea to twist the +/- of a pair at four turns per foot. I've been doing that on new cable runs not that I've noticed problems with the two previous 20 foot arms but my single experience is not a good reason to ignore sound advice.

I look forward to watching your layout develop

David


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post 8 Jan 2012, 13:23
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David,

You are quite correct of course, I have been told that - well before I did mine I should add. These first two busses are less than 5 or six metres each so I am hoping it doesn't make much difference, plus the power supply is supposed to be 5amps and should have more than I need. I certainly haven't seen any indication of voltage drop, but then I also haven't put much much stress on it yet... I suspect in this paragraph I have shown some complete ignorance of the nature of electricity to which someone will put me straight.

Guess I should definitely twist for the longer ones that will be on either end of the current layouts, but having them separated makes it much easier to add connectors after the fact. Of course I will no doubt have forgoteen by the time I get to it.

Cheers
TC

QUOTE (dwb @ 8 Jan 2012, 19:46)
I use a similar method for my bus - chocolate blocks at 600mm intervals. I didn't bother with different colour wire, I use cable markers instead. Since I laid my bus, I have learned that it is a good idea to twist the +/- of a pair at four turns per foot. I've been doing that on new cable runs not that I've noticed problems with the two previous 20 foot arms but my single experience is not a good reason to ignore sound advice.

I look forward to watching your layout develop

David

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dwb
post 8 Jan 2012, 13:36
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Station cat
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The twisting affects the AC characteristics of the cable so it is being recommended to improve the DCC signal which is an AC waveform. The benefits to be had from twisting are probably only seen at towards the limits of the performance area, so the effect will be for the bus to work over longer distances and for "fussy" decoders to work with a larger operating margin - ie go wrong / do strange things less often or not at all.

David


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