dcc track bus length question

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by ChadYelland, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

    if i have a 14ga solid copper track bus can i power it with my digitrax 5amp Ps and comand station (empire builder) from one end? or should i make it central. I'd like to have it at one end for closeness to my programing track otherwise i have to run another pair of wires from the center to the programming track at one end. any recomendations
  2. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    How long is the bus going to be? With 14ga, I'd try to keep the length less than 30 feet.
  3. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

    its about 40ft from end to end, feeders on every 6ft or so and every siding and all soldered connections and nearly all track joints are soldered as humidity and indoor temp change very little here in canada. So what do you think? i could isolate a section right in the center of the route,, maybe even a bridge and use it to program...?
  4. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    You are probably OK at 40ft with 14 gauge wire, especially if you are not drawing the full 5 amps most of the time. Checks are a voltage drop under load of less than 0.7 volts from one end to the other, and the quarter test. Lay a quarter across the rails at the far end, and ensure you get an immediate indication of a short circuit.

    If either test fails, I would simply parallel a 2nd 14 gauge bus wire rather than rip out and rewire with heavier gauge. Just tie the 2 parallel bus wires together with jumpers (similar to feeder wires) every 10 feet or so.

    hope this helps
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If your total length is 40 feet, you could also tie in to your buss wires in the center in which case neither end would be more than 20 feet from the command station.
  6. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

    I think i have an idea worked out. ill let you know

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