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> wiring, new build
John Tinsley
post 23 Feb 2021, 01:21
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I'm new to this hobby and have decided to build a layout. I'm at the planning stage and looking at having up and down, fast and slow.
Would I need to wire a bus to each of these or would one bus power them all question.gif
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madon37s
post 23 Feb 2021, 10:10
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If you are going the DCC route then you only need to have two bus wires, one for the + wire and one for the - wire.

I tend to have dropper wires on every single piece of track that is connected by fishplates to another.

Other members might well do it differently but that's the way I do it.

My bus wires are household socket wires which are good for 32 amps.


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Best day of my life = Getting married to Sue my wife. Second best day! = Riding behind 37429 in Regional Railways livery thrashing away on the North Wales Coast line.

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34C
post 23 Feb 2021, 12:25
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QUOTE (John Tinsley @ 23 Feb 2021, 02:21) *
... looking at having up and down, fast and slow...

I take it from this description you mean a four track main line?

Before considering wiring, there's the space available to think about, and the track you intend to use. This is a large layout by most standards and the space required is significant. So the next question is what space you have available?

A large layout means a lot of track, and for economy the way to go is with Peco flexitrack. Quite simply if you will need a box of 25 yards of flexitrack - or more - to construct a layout plan, then it is half the cost in flexitrack, compared to set track. The 'bonus' is that the flexitrack system has a greater choice of superior pointwork available, so your layout both looks and performs better.

Good layout thread in the sort of space that would work well for what you plan. https://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/index...3537&st=300

QUOTE (John Tinsley @ 23 Feb 2021, 02:21) *
... Would I need to wire a bus to each of these or would one bus power them all...

As described above, for a larger layout, DCC really pays off by considerably simplifying the track power wiring.

DC control is still fully possible, but a large layout typically needs switched sections to enable flexible control, with a controller for every major route or section that is to be operated independently. This was the way large layouts were controlled before DCC was available, and there are plenty of sources of information on how to achieve this.
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John Tinsley
post 23 Feb 2021, 12:56
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Thanks Paul, I'm relieved to hear that!! I'm trying to think of the most cost efficient way of doing this. With a dropper from every length of track, thats app every 915mm. Quite a few more where the points are. I then have the problem of connecting to the bus.

My room is 16' x 10' and I hope to go around 2 levels. At four lanes wide thats a lot of droppers at 915mm. If I use the "scotchlok" type connectors its quite a cost and to strip part of a continuous loop and solder at each dropper would be really awkward. I could use the chocolate block type, bus in and out on one side and a piece of bare wire looped at the other, which I could then solder the dropper to.

I'm going to make the boards in 4ft sections, so what I'm considering is soldering the track together at 915mm and picking up the droppers in the board connections (which I have to do anyway)
If anyone has any other suggestions I'd be grateful to hear them.

Regards
John
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John Tinsley
post 23 Feb 2021, 13:12
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Thank you 34C. You posted while I was replying to Paul. I've been buying flexitrack for a while now and have probably got in the region of 360 ft and some electro frog points.. I will be going DCC but will run DC at first just so that I can run something until I have settled on a track plan. I'm waiting for a Peco book to be delivered.
As I say, I'm hoping for two levels, inclines between the two (1/100) and with a fiddle yard and MPD. My stock will be a mixture of steam and diesel as this was my trainspotting era. (Deltic, 10000/1). I'll have a look at your link later but, once again ,thank you.
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34C
post 23 Feb 2021, 14:28
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Excellent, you have the required space.

Good plan to start with DC, and to retain a simple DC controller with no feedback. This because the locos are 12V DC, and DCC is 'an overlay': for DCC to work optimally the loco must first perform well on a simple DC supply. Also very helpful should there be a need for subsequent troubleshooting on a loco.
QUOTE (John Tinsley @ 23 Feb 2021, 13:56) *
... I'm trying to think of the most cost efficient way of doing this. With a dropper from every length of track, thats app every 915mm. Quite a few more where the points are. I then have the problem of connecting to the bus...

Soldering is cheapest. With planning it is possible to run the two bus wires stripped of most insulation (I too use old 30A ring main cores, salvaged from my previous house when the wiring was renewed). Soldering on the track feeds 'anywhere' is then simple and quick. If you intend to control the points with DCC, I would suggest fitting a separate dedicated DCC bus for point supply, so that the points will throw when the rails have a short on them.
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kristopher1805
post 23 Feb 2021, 15:41
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OK well I run a 4 track main line, if starting again I would try code 75 bullhead but once you invest in a system you are stuck with it, also I run a lot of older Wrenn wagons with pizza cutter wheels so I went for code 100 Peco and it is mostly streamline. Your curves matter so I used a R4 inner curve and then using flexi made the other lines R5, R6, R7 that way all locos can use the outer lines as there are some that are really picky such as anything from Heljan, Bachmann is good but Hornby has the best track manners and will tackle anything.

Points are streamline and some are excellent such as the Peco curved points and the slips, springs are a bit weak but the longer the point the better it is and the easier the locos take it.

I use in visible areas underlay by Gaugemaster (Noch) and this looks quite good and suits my 1962 timeframe, as to the bullhead rail such underlay is not available.

Setrack is OK to use in goods yards and such can save space.

When it comes to the wiring this idea that droppers with every track piece is an odd idea, despite loops of about 14 metres I used one pair of feeds on each loop however as I converted to DCC and in particular to electrofrog points I had to add droppers and as such I have quite a few on each loop but the DC system will be OK, on a minimal basis DCC also and here I use Z21 by Roco, if you had to do this dropper exercise with such systems I suspect no one would buy them, of course nothing wrong if you overdo things just that you may find fault finding a pain.

I have 19 main 4 track loop storage sidings and the layout can handle 41 complete trains plus a few tramcars

As such I would recommend you have a section switch to each loop so again if a short shows up you can find it easily I use bulkhead switches.

So I have 230 metres of track and 8 loops plus about 100 points and it works fine, I use pretty well every outline steam loco used in the 50's and 60's and they all work well with notable exceptions. About 400 locos all told but there are about 230 on the DCC system the others being kit built from long ago and laid up.

A couple of photos to see what I have done to show the scope of things

Main station south exit


Uppy/downy loops (gradient 1 in 33 pair of circuits (max slope because of going down and transition gradients) the upper pair of circuits and approach to old passenger terminus and the below right the 4 track main line
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kristopher1805
post 23 Feb 2021, 15:49
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Who says trams cannot swim, 4 track main line crosses the Queen Alexandra canal bridge


Toton to Brent coal hoppers coast down the Brack Valley 4 track main line with the Bietschattel Brucke in the background which carries the Great Central avoiding line


Adolphus Square station downgraded about 1850 to a goods/parcels facility on the Great Central avoiding line loco shed lower left and the 4 track passes under Adolphus Square station
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John Tinsley
post 23 Feb 2021, 15:58
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34C. I bought an old Duette controller so that I could "run in" my new loco's as per manufacturers instructions. (rolling road) I've looked at the link you gave me, what a stunning layout, thank you. I had to smile when I saw his stock. To date I've bought 2 G2a'a, 2 4F's, a "Peak", 10001 and a 101 DMU.

Cheers
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John Tinsley
post 23 Feb 2021, 16:06
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Hi Kristopher, thank you very much for your reply. That's certainly some layout you have there! I'm very impressed by the points layout coming into the station. The track I've bought is code 100, but I am thinking of using code 75 on the scenic section. (I assume they are compatible) I plan to make my tightest curve rad 3 and , like you do it in flexitrack. You raise an interesting post in the "droppers", so I think that when I eventually get something built (I'm still in the process of reorganising my house to accommodate it LOL) I'll run a circuit without droppers and see how it runs. adding boosters and droppers as necessary. Thanks.
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kristopher1805
post 23 Feb 2021, 16:20
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Couple of points

1. Boosters and hex juicers are a waste of money, tried that, done that and gave up the idea. Z21 went into a huff.

2. You can use code 75 and code 100 together and there are specific joining rails for this, never tried it myself though

3. I should add that Peco make rail joiner connectors with wires soldered onto them, these are great and same masses of bother, I use them everywhere and they are especially useful in complex electrofrog point arrangements

4. Rad 3 is 505mm a bit tight except for anything Hornby

5. droppers are a fashion and an obsession on here, keep it simple

6. I have my railway in a garden shed

7. Tracksettas used for making curves are not the same radius as the setrack as they come in clean inches so I found it easier to use an actual R4 curve and take off with the red Peco gauge although I do use Tracksettas depends upon the situation.

8. Thanks for the kind comments, I had had all sorts over the years but as you say this is a bigger layout and it works and I am prepared to put my railway where my mouth is but there are alternative solutions for sure if you are near Devon you are welcome to come and be fat controller for a day
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kristopher1805
post 23 Feb 2021, 20:21
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As you liked the other end of the main station Towcaster then here is a seagulls eye view of the north end



In 1961 former GCR D11 Director (11F in GC classification) Butler Henderson was withdrawn from traffic and repaired at Gorton and reset to the original livery, I have one of these but this shows similar Mons at Ashby on the Hill GCR station on the high level

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kristopher1805
post 23 Feb 2021, 20:22
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Ah, more like this perhaps

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Robert Stokes
post 24 Feb 2021, 10:32
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That's very ambitious for a first layout. (Too ambitious?) Good luck with it. I hope that you don't get downhearted if progress is slower than you expect. I think that it would be a good idea to try to get one line finished before working on the others. Nothing perks you up more than getting something running.

Robert


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kristopher1805
post 24 Feb 2021, 12:50
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Good advice but do the most complicated bit first because it might not otherwise fit so a difficult junction takes some effort and start at the back as there is nothing in the way.
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