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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am about to revive my railway layout in the loft , unused for many years. I am using the dcc system ,my question is about wiring the controller to several points around the track.
Can I run heavier duty cable under the baseboard and tap into it where necessary, or what would be the correct way. I want end up with a much neater system than I had before.
 

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Short answer is yes. The simplest way is to run a pair of heavy "bus" cables round the layout and link each track section via short "droppers" which can use lighter cable. It is usually recommended to connect each piece of rail to the bus as rail joiners are not always reliable conductors.

There are several means of wiring and connecting up such an arrangement, but the thing to remember is that for a large layout the bus wire needs to have a rated current considerably higher than the output of your command station. This is to avoid problems with voltage drop.
 

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QUOTE (dennis1 @ 14 Dec 2008, 09:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I am about to revive my railway layout in the loft , unused for many years. I am using the dcc system ,my question is about wiring the controller to several points around the track.
Can I run heavier duty cable under the baseboard and tap into it where necessary, or what would be the correct way. I want end up with a much neater system than I had before.

Hi Dennis.
What size is your layout as this will decree what size wire to use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Tony, the layout is quite large in my loft , probably an area covering the parimiter of the loft of about ten by four metres.
 

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Dennis, I have done the same, my layout was wired for DC and a house move that never happened saw all the wiring removed for transport. I had decided to go DCC and all I did was to run single strand 7/029 cables for feed and return as a pair through holes in the framing. A pair of wire strippers cut small lengths of the insulation away local to the original droppers and all soldered up. Turned on the DCC unit and could run anywhere, the only thing that causes trouble is if I forget to set the road correctly and a loco going over the insulated joint can short out. It soon make you check the point and signal setting before you start to move the train, same as the real thing so DCC is like driving the real thing, I think.

regards

mike g
 

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QUOTE (dennis1 @ 14 Dec 2008, 15:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Tony, the layout is quite large in my loft , probably an area covering the parimiter of the loft of about ten by four metres.

Hi Dennis.
That's some size of layout. You could run the entire British rail network on that.

If you are running OO gauge run two bus wires around under the layout. At the size of your layout I would use house wire, one red & one black wire. Use 16/0.2 wire for droppers & keep them 1ft maximum length. Put the droppers at least every 3ft. You don't have to break the layout into sections but at the size of layout you have I would strongly suggest that you do otherwise a short will bring the entire layout to a halt & you could be looking for the short for weeks. If you break the layout into sections & you get a short, only the section where the short occurred will be stopped. Wiring size & wiring methods are very important in DCC. If someone suggests that you use bell wire or something similar, Don't do it. If you do it properly it will stand the test of time. If you skimp on wiring it will break your heart.The main thing is to take your time & test everything as you go along. You can make a cheap tester with a 9volt battery,A buzzer & a few bits of wire. It's easy to make & will save you a lot of bother when testing.Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Tom, thank you for your most enlightening reply, I intend to follow your advice to the letter as I must get it right. A major benefit of doing a complete rewire is that I can get rid of the mass of cables with the old system. Track cleaning will be a nightmare, Regards, Dennis
 

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Hi Dennis, I agree with most that Tony Daly said, in particular what wiring to use, I personaly use copper tape and had no problems with it.
DO NOT use any old wire from that scrap box that most of us have, and certaily not Bell Wire it can contain all sorts of corrupt signals. As tony said its important to get the wiring right its going to last you along time. Leon.
 
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