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> Feed wires, Bus feed wires
Joe Sull
post 28 Dec 2015, 22:43
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Hi I am just about to wire my new baseboard layout, And would like to know. 1. what size and type bus wire should I use. 2 can you have one complete run around the base board. without any break ?. 3 The drop wires can you have both wires facing each other when you solder them on to the track. that's the positive +. and negative -.. 4 And should all tracks have power feeds ?. cheers .
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Mr N. Ladd
post 29 Dec 2015, 00:34
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Obviously the idea is not to let the positive and negative to touch! If using DCC it is a good idea to run bus wires that will handle around 8 amps or at least 5 amps. (Unless using a smaller output system where most produce 2 to 3 amps. Best use 5 to 8 amp wire anyway. I use 8 amp myself. General old DC rule was to wire the toe end of a point but on DCC one wants all tracks live and hence the bus wire. Really all one needs to wire is to ensure all tracks are live regardless of which way the points are set. (On a DC layout one wants to isolate etc). On DCC there is an advantage to dividing the layout into seperate zones with a booster feeding each zone as if an overload in one zone happens (Short circuit etc) it only shuts the one zone. Also easier for fault finding. (I have read that there are cheaper ways to run as zones then using seperate boosters).
Another way is to wire as a DC layout in sections but having bridge wires at points so they don't isolate. The idea is one can isolate a section at a time for easy fault finding. On a large layout an almost invisible strand of wire or something metal left on the track can be frustrating to find (Even on a DC sectioned layout!), but by sectioning it, at least one knows what section one needs to look at.
Those into the more modern DCC items may know far more about zones and what is available as I have what is now an old fasioned system (But still good in my eyes! A Lenz system 2.7? Set 01 with add ons!)
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Mr N. Ladd
post 29 Dec 2015, 00:43
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To further reply. A complete run without a break. Yes one can. Are you using DCC or a traditional 12volts DC controller? Both systems need looking at when a reverse loop or reverse triangle is used in the track plan. DC needs an isolated section with a reversing switch (DPDT changeover) and DCC has the advantage of a reversing automated module to do the same. There are good books to help both for DC (The old PSL guide to model railway wireing was excellent) and for DCC. Peco do cheap guide pamphlets on such subjects. They were 20p but may have gone up a bit these days.
I hope your plans are successful. Go for it. And remember. Mistakes are just as important to success as success. If we made no mistakes we'd never learn!
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Joe Sull
post 29 Dec 2015, 01:12
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Thank you. Mr N Ladd. Just starting out so a pure novice here, Do not have a DCC controller yet, just going to put the wire in place with nothing connected cheers.
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Robert Stokes
post 29 Dec 2015, 09:23
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I have read that it is best not to have a complete circuit with the DCC bus wires. For these I use stripped house mains cable (not lighting cable) as it's a reasonably cheap way of doing it. On a small layout you don't need zones - my layout is 5.7m by 1.7m and I have it as one complete circuit. Ideally every single piece of track should have droppers but on a small layout you can probably get away with 5 or 6 connections spaced around it. I have made connections on every piece of track and point on my latest layout, but on my previous one I had connections about every third piece of track and it worked all right.

I find that the different colours of mains cable is useful. I then take the droppers, which can be thinner wire, knowing that the inner rail must be connected to blue and the outer rail to brown all over the layout. Try to solder the droppers underneath before the track is laid and they will be invisible. If you can't do that then try to solder them on the outside of each rail and as low down as possible using the smallest amount of solder which will work. Don't forget to use isolating track joiners on the rails coming from the frogs of points. This is essential with electrofrog points and probably a good idea with insulfrog ones as well.

Robert

P.S. Perhaps one of the administrators will move this to the DCC section.


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"Little Salkeld" is my late 1950's midland region layout with Settle and Carlisle flavour.
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RFS
post 29 Dec 2015, 12:26
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QUOTE (Robert Stokes @ 29 Dec 2015, 09:23) *
I have read that it is best not to have a complete circuit with the DCC bus wires


It makes no difference. AFAIK no one has yet proved so on a small layout. If your track plan is circular, then the rails themselves form a continuous loop and hence a continuous DCC bus unless you align the track with the break in the bus and put IRJs on every rail that crosses that point. My layout is 30ftx9ft and the bus has always been circular with no problems.



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Joe Sull
post 29 Dec 2015, 17:25
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Thanks Robert, and RFS. That's a great help to know that. Will get back to you about the isolating track joiners. Pure novice here. But reading a lot about the subject on the Net. and books from the library. There a lot to take in at the start but enjoying every minute of it. Just going to take it bit by bit and slowly . cheers Joe.
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Mr N. Ladd
post 30 Dec 2015, 13:58
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Just a little note about mains cable. It works fine. However as a general rule, it is not good practice to use mains cable on model railways for one reason (The only reson) is the mains cable handling mains current can be confused with low voltage current of a model railway and accidents can happen. Stripped mains cable is ok as it looks different. It is more of a case of an easy way to see what currents are in what cables so anything that looks "Mainsy" is handled with caution.
No other reason then above as it works well. It is more to prevent accidental electrocution by confusing a mains cable with ones model railway cable.

DCC can do more then DC but is more costly in general. Why many have stayed with DC and are happy. To get the most from either system it is best to buy a book about each subject as though books are not cheap, the information in them is priceless. The pamphlets about model railway wiring are very good though. Most model railway shops should sell them or get them.
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Joe Sull
post 30 Dec 2015, 23:35
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Thanks Mr N. Ladd I intent getting the right cable from Maplin for my bus cable. 32/0.2. which will be 8 amps. cheers.
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railstimulator
post 31 Dec 2015, 09:05
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There is no problem using mains 1.5mm cable for the buss. Take off the grey outer covering and twist the Brown and Blue cables together. Run them from the TRACK outlet on the controller to a series of distribution points. In my case this is tag board set a about 9 inch intervals. Feeders to the track are in 7/0.2 cable of RED and BLACK, which are fed up through the board to the middle of each section of track and soldered to the tag boards. The Buss is in two halves which radiate left and right from the first distribution.

If worried about what is flowing down the two cables voltages wise label them TRACK POWER LOW VOLTAGE so that some clown doesn't come along and push 240 Vac up them, but then how they would do that I don't quite see.

Happy New Year.
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Peter Armond
post 31 Dec 2015, 10:10
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I have a notice on a notice board in my railway room which clearly states the colours of all wires and cables used and the voltage and purpose. It mentions the only mains voltage is in the cable to the transformers. I use mains black and red cable for my bus. There is no danger of it being confused or used for mains supply
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Mr N. Ladd
post 31 Dec 2015, 19:56
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A good idea to have a plan or label the wires etc. I forgot to do this on my last layout, and though tracing faults was achieved ok, any easier approach for safety or to make things easier to trace is a very good plan.
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