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Placement of feeders to power bus

2088 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Beekay
I'm new to both DCC and these forums and have a question that I hope might be simple but it driving me insane: where do I add my feeders so that all tracks are powered without shorting out?

Here is my layout (thumbnail):
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From all the videos I've watched I want to add a power bus so that all my tracks, turnouts, and future lights, etc. can connect to it for both power and control. I'm concentrating on the track first (naturally) and I think I have understood correctly, but could really use some advice from experienced railway modelers.

In the image I posted, I've marked where I think I can add feeders, connecting using suitcase connectors to my power bus. Also, I plan to run my locos mostly clockwise, in case that makes a difference to where red and black wires go.

To cut the question short(er)... am I right, and will this work?
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Hi, How big is the layout ?
Your "feeders" look to be ok, as long as you keep the same polarity (red and black) on the same track (inside or outside) consistently around the layout all should be fine.
I say, around the layout, as, if this is a DCC system, I suggest you add several more droppers around the layout to ensure a good electrical and data flow.
Some people like to "feed" every piece of track individually, but in my experience, every couple of feet (60cm) or so is sufficient. Some get by on less without issues, its your call, but I would definitely say do more than one feed point per circuit.
Thanks for the feedback. My layout is about 9' x 5' (US measurements <g>). I just added my power bus around the table (1' in from each edge), so maybe I should add 'droppers' with one in the southeast corner, middle at the north side for those two tracks, and again two on the east side tracks? Makes sense, especially given that I just found out my bus need to be a loop, not just wires that don't connect. Still learning!! :)
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Thank you all for your feedback. I have indeed already laid the track, and my existing soldering iron was, well... quite old. I ordered a new one so I'm hoping my joints will be better going forward. Without locos I see 17.1 volts on each track but with two locos it drops to around 11v. Not great, but it works. I did add another connection from the bus to my furthest track but saw no benefit in the voltage, so clearly I'm still learning.

Next? Smail point controllers. Yikes! That looks complicated.
I'm using the NCE Power Cab "starter set" placed at the bottom of my layout, close to the R/B points in the thumbnail above. My locos are a DCC fitted LNER 8011 and a DCC adapted Flying Scotsman 4472 (if that helps). I did my 'feeders' as per that thumbnail, and another feeder in the top-right and outer track corner. I think I have about 1.5A but not confirmed. Both locos run, I'm just concerned about adding small motors and whether they have enough juice. I can always add more power for lights, etc. later.
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