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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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
 

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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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QUOTE (John Tinsley @ 23 Feb 2021, 02:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>... 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) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>... 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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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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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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) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>... 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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Robert and Kris, I realise it's a big project and going to take some time. Possibly more than I've got LOL! I have some health issues that curtail my mobility and this was something that I felt I could do that will keep me occupied for some time. I'm in the process of rearranging my house to accommodate it. (I live alone) My intention is to build the top board first and get one circuit running on DC. I can then experiment with various track plans. I don't intend to have a station, but I will have an MPD on this level. Access will be from a curve, hence my interest in your station points Kris. From there I'll do an incline at 1/100 and take it as far as I need to get it low enough for decent access to the lower level, were I will have my fiddle/ freight yard.
I live near the S&C and will base it roughly on this, mostly scenic.
I intend to run mostly freight (with the "twins" and Deltic occasionally diverted from the WCML.). It's certainly keeping me mentally occupied now, thinking about wiring and considering how to operate which type of couplings. I'm thinking of three link couplings on freight, with a kaydee on the first wagon and the loco's. I don't intend to continually change the consist.
Thanks for your interest.
Cheers
 

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QUOTE (John Tinsley @ 24 Feb 2021, 14:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>... I'm thinking of three link couplings on freight, with a kaydee on the first wagon and the loco's. I don't intend to continually change the consist...
Even used in this style, three link couplings are not reliable in OO unless some buffer locking prevention is also installed, because of the 'looseness' of the OO wheel and track 'standards' which allow short wheelbase wagons to skew on track. Simpler to reposition the Bachmann type miniature tension lock so the bumper bar is in the same plane as the buffer faces (and very simple to do if the NEM pocket is used). The train acts as loose coupled, buffering up and spacing out, but buffer lock is prevented. Doesn't look anything like as well as three link when examined up close, but the loose coupled effect is good when viewing an entire train.
 

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34C, your last post really interests me. My layout has a minimum radius of 2' or 610mm so I think that my wagons (nearly all swb ones) could be coupled closer than they are as bought. Please could you provide a photograph or diagram to show exactly what you mean.

John, sorry to hijack your thread with the above comment.

Also, if you want to model the S and C, then it should not be a four track main line. Since you don't intend to have a station, how having a double track main line and including the passing loops at Blea Moor.

Robert
 

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Hi 34C, thank you for that advice. I know what you mean but not sure how to achieve it. Hopefully your response to Roberts post will reveal all.
Robert, I'm thinking of having the four road along one side, a la WCML around Euxton, and on the other side similar to S&C around Selside, with Pen-y-Ghent in the backdrop, and two tracks disappearing behind the backdrop. MPD on one end and possibly a Ribblehead / Arten Gill type structure on the other, although seeing quality of Physicsmans efforts I may not LOL. All this is in my head of course, but I'm getting on with sorting the house out, not easy, being a hoarder and lived here for 45 years LOL.

Cheers
 

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On couplings I'd go with 34c I have tried all types and they all have advantages and disadvantages, in the end I wanted something universal that couples with my old Wrenn wagons and others with the big old tension locks and the newer small tension locks so it all works together.I am too lazy to modify these as 34c says but I have so many wagons litterally thousands of them its just too big a prospect to mess about with them whilst some of the Wrenn wagons are worth serious money now.

As a mechanical engineer I do subscribe to the mantra - if it works don't fix it!

As to gradient to get up and over nothing less than 80mm will do (Hornby viaduct) but here to climb 1 in 100 will take 8 metres

I climb 132 mm at 1 in 33 (Metcalfe viaduct height) takes over 4 metres and you have the transition gradients as well, ruling gradients in many places was 1 in 37 or better so it might be better to go with 1 in 50 and climb 100 mm so that is 5 metres should be a nice compromise, just my layout is 4 metres by 5.2metres which makes a gradient that is as steep as practical, coming down is the issue and watch for coupling locking, you find out such things with experience.

132mm is useful to get into the fiddle yard under the GCR station, my late fathers railway was 100mm and the hand of god had too many issues! for access.

The 132mm hole is here
 
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