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Author Previous Topic: Outlaws make drivers go blind, grinding down rails Topic Next Topic: Bowser - 6th Series H21a Hopper PRR Circle Keyston  

Hartok

Posted - 2005 January 16 :  8:55:55 PM  Show Profile
Well, i'm building a layout right now.. going to be DC until i can get the cash together for a Digitrax empire builder or chief system...

Layout isn't too big...i started it small and made it modular for dissassembly (i'm going to be moving within the next few months)so once i settle in to my new place, i can expand it more to fill the room i'll have for it.

but reguardless... My comprehension of the application of DCC is limited... just seeing what websites have content on it... (loys toys, wiringfordcc.com, the atlas DCC section, etc.)

Just to confirm what i'm doing... I'm soldering 22 awg solid core wire to the outside of each section of track, (my setup will have 80% or so flex) one wire to each track to be dropped through the roadbed and plywood. i can then run these to a common buss which will be connected to my transformer.

i'm going to solder wires to every piece of track i have...and then solder every other rail connection, leaving the switches disconnected for future work if needed.

Questions i have are:

When i get a DCC command set down the road, i should be able to use the existing DC connections, correct?

What i'm doing isn't going to bite me in the butt in the future, is it?

Two wires, one black, one red to each piece of track (excepting switches) correct?

Thanks in advance, guys. Just trying to get a grapple on the hobby. :)

Country: USA | Posts: 86

s40er

Posted - 2005 January 16 :  10:37:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit s40er's Homepage
Hartok,

You're right on the money for the documented DCC wiring installation. From experience (having to rewire a whole 24' x 26' club layout) here are some things to ponder first.
  • 22 or 24 gauge "stranded" wire is better to solder as feeders to the rail. The stranded wire is very flexable and forgiving (especially when you know the layout will be moving) where as the solid core wire when flexed will have a tendency to break.

  • If you dedice to add block detection down the road, plan a head now and use insulated rail joiners and wire the blocks separatly (think like your planning for DC operation with toggle switches) The wires can then all be connected to one common bus, but down the road if you plan to add a BDL16, you wont be stuck having to cut gaps or deal with a lot of re-wiring. Also, groups of these blocks can be connected to a PM4 for separate power districts, so if a train in district one shorts out on a switch, the rest of the layout will continue to function. (just food for thought)

  • If you are using electrofrog switches, or have reversing loops, plan ahead and use insulated rail joiners. You can always use more insulated and run more wires if neccessary (just easier than having to cut gaps in the track).

  • Last purchase an ohm/volt meter it can become an invaluable tool for DC or DCC in trouble shooting problems or learning the electrical properties of an insul or more complex electrofrog double slip switch



Have fun and always feel free to ask questions.


Yes it's true, I'm back, but I still have no idea where I went
www.n-scaler.com

Edited by - s40er on 2005 January 16 10:38:18 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 385 Go to Top of Page

s40er

Posted - 2005 January 16 :  10:37:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit s40er's Homepage
Hartok,

You're right on the money for the documented DCC wiring installation. From experience (having to rewire a whole 24' x 26' club layout) here are some things to ponder first.
  • 22 or 24 gauge "stranded" wire is better to solder as feeders to the rail. The stranded wire is very flexable and forgiving (especially when you know the layout will be moving) where as the solid core wire when flexed will have a tendency to break.

  • If you dedice to add block detection down the road, plan a head now and use insulated rail joiners and wire the blocks separatly (think like your planning for DC operation with toggle switches) The wires can then all be connected to one common bus, but down the road if you plan to add a BDL16, you wont be stuck having to cut gaps or deal with a lot of re-wiring. Also, groups of these blocks can be connected to a PM4 for separate power districts, so if a train in district one shorts out on a switch, the rest of the layout will continue to function. (just food for thought)

  • If you are using electrofrog switches, or have reversing loops, plan ahead and use insulated rail joiners. You can always use more insulated and run more wires if neccessary (just easier than having to cut gaps in the track).

  • Last purchase an ohm/volt meter it can become an invaluable tool for DC or DCC in trouble shooting problems or learning the electrical properties of an insul or more complex electrofrog double slip switch



Have fun and always feel free to ask questions.


Yes it's true, I'm back, but I still have no idea where I went
www.n-scaler.com

Edited by - s40er on 2005 January 16 10:38:18 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 385 Go to Top of Page

jdchamberlain

Posted - 2005 January 17 :  09:27:04 AM  Show Profile
S40er is absolutely right. I have decided to go back and install block detection in some places (in a tunnel, in a staging yard that is hard to see, and to control some signals). It would have been SO much easier to decide on that before laying track and to install insulated rail joiners at the time. Even if you don't ever use block detection, the insulated rail joiners will have no effect if you wire each side to the same DC or DCC bus. So put insulated rail joiners wherever you think you might want them in the future and then all you have to do is modify a wire instead of cutting your track all up. In fact, I would have put insulated rail joiners in both tracks (block detection needs only one insulated rail) in case I wanted to divide my DCC system into power blocks as S40er suggested. If you don't want to use power blocks for a while (many of us eventually go to power block managment), wire both sides of the insulated rail joiner on each rail to its respective bus. You are already planning to do that kind of power connection anyway so insulated rail joiners would have no adverse impact.

Best regards, John



Country: USA | Posts: 17 Go to Top of Page

jdchamberlain

Posted - 2005 January 17 :  09:27:04 AM  Show Profile
S40er is absolutely right. I have decided to go back and install block detection in some places (in a tunnel, in a staging yard that is hard to see, and to control some signals). It would have been SO much easier to decide on that before laying track and to install insulated rail joiners at the time. Even if you don't ever use block detection, the insulated rail joiners will have no effect if you wire each side to the same DC or DCC bus. So put insulated rail joiners wherever you think you might want them in the future and then all you have to do is modify a wire instead of cutting your track all up. In fact, I would have put insulated rail joiners in both tracks (block detection needs only one insulated rail) in case I wanted to divide my DCC system into power blocks as S40er suggested. If you don't want to use power blocks for a while (many of us eventually go to power block managment), wire both sides of the insulated rail joiner on each rail to its respective bus. You are already planning to do that kind of power connection anyway so insulated rail joiners would have no adverse impact.

Best regards, John



Country: USA | Posts: 17 Go to Top of Page

Powersteamguy1790

Posted - 2005 January 17 :  4:53:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit Powersteamguy1790's Homepage
Hartok:

You are thinking correctly.

I use 22 gauge solid wire for the feeders. You should also wire your turnouts as well.

The bus lines are 14 gauge solid copper wire.

You will be able to use your DCC command station to with no rpoblems.

Just hook up the two feeders from the command station to the bus lines and you'll be ready to roll with DCC.

Stay cool and run steam....


powersteamguy1790s Photos Of The JJJ&E


Country: USA | Posts: 4714 Go to Top of Page

Powersteamguy1790

Posted - 2005 January 17 :  4:53:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit Powersteamguy1790's Homepage
Hartok:

You are thinking correctly.

I use 22 gauge solid wire for the feeders. You should also wire your turnouts as well.

The bus lines are 14 gauge solid copper wire.

You will be able to use your DCC command station to with no rpoblems.

Just hook up the two feeders from the command station to the bus lines and you'll be ready to roll with DCC.

Stay cool and run steam....


powersteamguy1790s Photos Of The JJJ&E


Country: USA | Posts: 4714 Go to Top of Page
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