Power loss

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Dashdriver, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. Dashdriver

    Dashdriver Member

    I am planning on having a permant set large enough that power loss may occur with a single point DCC system. What can I do to make sure I have no power dips 30-40 feet out from the main power DCC source....additional booster or wire twisting perhaps? Also, what size wires would y'all recommend on a DCC set-up for bus lines and feeder lines to assure the proper power and cut down on short-circuit and heat problems?
  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member


    You want to run thick 14AWG bus wires along your layout, and solder thinner 18AWG feeder wires (max about 12 inches long) from the bus wires to the track every few feet.

    This will ensure reliable power and DCC signal delivery to all segments of your track on a large layout.

    Hope this helps!
  3. nhguy

    nhguy Member

    Most DCC instructions say solder a feeder wire to evey piece of track. This is fine for flex or hand laid track but if you are using snap track this may be a bit overkill. If you are using snap track then you should either solder the joints or solder jumper wires (more work) between the track joint sections. This is always the weakest point for electrical continuity. Dirt, corrosion and bad mechanical connections (loose joiners) are the usual culprets.

    About every 3 feet is the standard I use. I use 18-20AWG feeders from a 14AWG power buss. 30-40 feet of power buss really won't be affected that much. But I am a strong believer in track feeders. They work and power loss is a thing of the past on my New Haven 26' x 35' layout. I use NCE Power Pro 5 amp system and have no problems.

    After about 50' sometimes 'noise' can be an issue on the power buss. This interfers with the way DCC commands are sent to the decoders. If you do not have any running problems or run-a-ways you can probably do without them. A simple capacitor and resistor across both power buss wire cures this problem.

    Are you having hesitation or loss of control problems at all?

    Bill S.

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