BUS wiring

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by jjqgenesis, Apr 24, 2003.

  1. jjqgenesis

    jjqgenesis Member

    I have installed bus wiring under the layout, attached Zephyr set and am running trains.
    The bus wiring is 14 guage and consists of 2 wires, a black and a red and they run parallel to each other down the center of the layout. I did twist them together every now and again.
    I connected the Zephyr to these bus wires at approximately mid point.
    My question: The ends of the wires (both ends) are connected to
    small terminal blocks which have no connection to anything on the layout. I did that because I just didn't want the ends of the wire "exposed". Since everything is running well I assume this is okay. Any comments.
    I assume they do not have to come back together in a complete circle?
    John Q
  2. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Hi John, What you described is fine, you can branch off or complete a loop or whatever and things will be fine. This is not the case with the "loconet" cable however. If you have a large layout and run a loconet cable to accessories such as UR90 or 91, UP5, DS54 etc., then you want to make sure the loconet never comes back to itself. In other words, no circle for the loconet wiring. You can branch or tee off it all you like, just don't bring it back on itself.

  3. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Nup jjqg,

    Just imagine the wires are water pipes. You want some water? you tap into the pipe. Sure, if you joined the pipes all the way round, it wouldn't make any difference. if you'd joined the wires on at the ends instead of the middle..... same as the water pipes, it would not matter. Just don't go taping into the "water" pipes to much. You may run outa water! :):)
  4. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    The April Model Railroader mag has an article on power buses.
    Page 104.

    Bill S
  5. jjqgenesis

    jjqgenesis Member

    Thanks for the replies. I appreciate it.
  6. jjqgenesis

    jjqgenesis Member

    Hi, I'm back again with another question.
    I have the Zephyr temporarily attached to Bus wires at about 1/3 the length of the Bus from one end. (12 guage)

    I'm thinking of moving the Command Control unit to one end of the bus wires as I will have a terminal/yard there.

    I suppose I could just try it but thought I would ask first.

    I have soldered rail joiners. I have feeders to every other section of flextrack and sometimes closer than that. (18 guage)

    I am modeling in N scale.

  7. jjqgenesis

    jjqgenesis Member

    OOPS.I meant 14 guage Bus and 18 guage feeders. Sorry.
  8. tomgschilling

    tomgschilling New Member

    John, I'm just getting started as well in N-gauge DCC but it seems to me that 18 gauge feeder wire is bigger than you need. I use 26 gauge feeders on the advice of my local hobby shop expert and they work fine. The advantage is that the smaller wires are a lot easier to connect to the track. ...Tom
  9. jjqgenesis

    jjqgenesis Member

    You're right I am sure but after reading how important getting electricty to all sections of the track is for DCC, I chose this path.
    Interestly though, I gave presentation on DCC at club last Tuesday night using slides & material borrowed from Digitrax and at one point they (Digitrax) say: quote "DCC is more tolerant of dirty track than some other command control systems because of the fact that DCC commands are sent over and over to the decoders."
    Go figure.
  10. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    In the electronics business that's called the "shotgun approach". It's easier to hit a target with a shotgun blast than a single bullet. The more signals you send out in a hostile environment (dirty tracks), the better chance you have of it getting received and decoded. Oh, they forgot to mention, they still need to get power to the motor somehow through those same dirty tracks. Now I know very little about DCC, but this seems to me to leave someone with dirty tracks no better off than with a DC system.

  11. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    My experience so far is DCC doesn't tolerate dirty track any better than DC. I use a track cleaner (one of those rolling ones with the pad soaked in Goo Gone) and everything works well.
  12. jjqgenesis

    jjqgenesis Member

    Me too and also the "eraser pad" track cleaner.
    John Q
  13. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    We found that with dirty track or wheels, the decoder goes back to zero speed when the circuit breaks and starts accelerating all over again from there.
    There's supposed to be a decoder out now that's tolerant of dirty track, but I haven't used one.
    As for moving your command control unit, is the control wire so short that you have to have it near? It shouldn't matter where. Consider being in the middle as two sets of busses going off in different directions.
    Having too large a bus wire will not affect you as much as too small, at least until you get to trolley wire size. (0000) :D
  14. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    Hi All:

    We use 14 and 16 gauge buss wire for our AC "S" gauge modules. We pull a lot more amps than you N & HO guys, and our current layouts are in the 48'x 36' foot range. A big donut with a cross connection in the "middle". I guess that actually makes it a figure eight but that's not how it is run.

    Anyway, we make a continuous loop with the buss. That way the furthest point in the layout from the transformers is only half way 'round rather that the full 168'. That would be a lot of voltage drop. With some of the Flyer stuff pulling better than 2 amps it's something we have to pay attention to in order to keep 'em rollin'.

    Some of the accessories pull a lot of amps as well, so we run a separate loop for them.


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