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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

Now that the layout and baseboard are 90% there, I've started to put some thought into the electronics side of things. I have a NCE Power Cab, which I may add the PB5 Booster later.

All the points are electrofrog and will have their only power supply and controlled with a control panel. Same with the lighting, it will have it's own power supply.

The layout will not be computer controlled, so what other electronic gadgets should I be considering, Arduino comes to mind, do I need voltage and amp meters.

Really not sure, I have seen a lot on underside of layouts, but found no real explanation of what is being used or for what.

Cheers
 

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You do not "need" anything - whether you might desire to know how much current was being drawn at any moment is a different matter, most I would suggest do not, and at the end of the day such unnecccesary extras simply add complications.
 

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... I have seen a lot on underside of layouts, but found no real explanation of what is being used or for what.
The copious wiring on many layout undersides was a direct result of two factors on DC layouts, with 'cab control' connected to multiple switched sections to enable independent operation of locos, and parking locos in isolated sections; and operation of point motors with track supply switched on the live crossing. This was the typical standard to which club exhibition layouts and ambitious private layouts were constructed before DCC conquered the world.

The two factors leading to the copious wiring on such DC layouts.
Firstly, the necessary switched power supply to every layout section and point motor.
Secondly, the inability of many to implement common return wiring, to the extent that some declare it impossible.

A relatively modest forty sections and sixty point motors DC layout, requires 40+60 supply wires and 1 common return, or 80+120 wires if common return is not utilised; running from the source of power and control around the layout.

On a DCC layout four wires, two for track power, two for point motor busses. (These can be wired common return for just three wires, but in practise the physical routing of the two busses is often more conveniently arranged well separated.) There are then many small 'droppers' connecting the track power bus to the rails, and 'fans' of local wiring from accessory decoders to point motors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What beats me is why anyone post's the same question on more than one forum.
I figured that since one forum is UK based the other US based, we are in the middle, I'll get two different points of view. That way I can get a broader knowledge base of what might be best for me.
 
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