minimum wire requirements

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by farmer ron, May 3, 2006.

  1. farmer ron

    farmer ron Member

    What is the minimum wire requriements for the downleads and the bus wire using the digitrax system?
    We are presently building ourlarge club layout and at the stage of putting in the wire for our digitrax system. There seems to be a discussion going on amongst the members at to what the minimum requirement for the guage of wire that is to be used on both the down leads, which are going to be put in about every six feet ( two lengths of flex track) and the bus wire. It would be greatly appreciated to hear from the people that are already experienced in this department as I, and most of the members of the club, are not.
    Thanks in advance for your replys..Ron..
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Check our standards at . We often have long runs - sometimes 100 feet, as all our digitrax systems are centrally located at set-ups. Also see and look for the DCC/modular how-to pages. Bob has some good info and tips on wiring in there.

    If you want to be absolutely bomb-proof, you might consider feeders for every section of flex track.

  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The module standards for the modular club I belong to require the buss wire to be 16 ga. or larger. The drops must be 22 ga or larger, and as short as possible. I personally like to use Romex for buss wires. It is cheap and the individual wires are easily removed from the loom. Every piece of track must have a drop wire to the buss. Rail joiners are used for mechanical connection only, drop wires are soldered directly to the rails. The only exception to the rule of every piece of track having a drop wire soldered to it are the 4" joiner tracks at each end of the modules. We use EZ DCC wireless dcc system for control and have found these minimums to work very well. If your club doesn't solder drops to every piece of track, you may get bad connections through some of the rail joiners over time as they loosen with use. Dcc is very fussy about having clean track and good connections. Even if you solder the joiners to the flex track between the drops, there is enough stress at the joint to crack the solder over time. Even in ho scale trains are surprisingly heavy and put a lot of stress on rail joiners. The drop wires soldered to the flex track should not see any stress, so should last forever.
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Russ's specs sound good. The only thought I have is if you plan to run trains with many powered units. If you are doing to have 5 or 6 units in two lengths of track, you might go up one gauge in the drop size. Of course, you will probably have some current feed from the next sections, but if it's in a section between a pair of switches,...
  5. farmer ron

    farmer ron Member

    Thanks everyone for the valuable information..Andrew will definately go to those sites..many thanks again..Ron..

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