Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Building a layout on a rotisserie

19305 views
490 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 8,457 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, July 27, 2020 5:58 PM

If the table will not rotate a full 360 degrees, why are plugs and connectors needed?

Is there not enough slack in a multi-conductor cable to allow the table top to rotate?

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,714 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, July 27, 2020 10:04 PM

snjroy
Your dilemma about the powersource is an interesting one. Where will you put your actual DCC station? I would be tempted to install something at one of the ends where the table pivots, some kind of little station that would not move when turning the roast. Then you only need a few wires to plug/unplug to the layout.

Hi Simon,

I haven't quite figured that one out yet. There is a perfect solution and that is to go with wireless throttles so there will only need to be two wires for the power bus running from the end supports to the layout (plus the other buses of course). The problem there is that I want to use NCE products but I just discovered that NCE cannot export their current radio systems to Canada!Bang HeadAngryGrumpy That comes directly from NCE. They are developing a new radio system which will be compatible with Canadian regulations but they don't have a release date yet.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,714 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, July 27, 2020 10:23 PM

rrinker
 Instead of worrying about wires moving and plugs, why not just put it all on the layout? You don;t have to reach under the layout to turn things on and off - you plug the power strip into one of these types of things:

Hi Randy,

Mounting everything under the benchwork was my first thought, but I figured it might be easier to mount everything on shelves on one of the end supports and run the wires to the layout, using the plugs to allow me to separate the wiring when I want to rotate the layout. I could do without the plugs but that would require a fairly long wiring harness between the layout and the end supports in order to allow full rotation (3 ft.+). I'm worried about the wire becoming trapped as the layout rotates. That will be a non issue if everything is under the benchwork.

I was not aware of the remote control switches. That addresses the issue of being able to easily turn the power on and off, and that steers me back to putting everything under the benchwork. Hmmmm....

Thanks again Randy for taking so much time to help me with my layout!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,714 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, July 27, 2020 10:29 PM

SeeYou190
If the table will not rotate a full 360 degrees, why are plugs and connectors needed? Is there not enough slack in a multi-conductor cable to allow the table top to rotate?

Hi Kevin,

As I said to Randy, it would take at least three feet of extra wiring harness to allow the benchwork to rotate fully. I'm concerned that it might get snagged between the end supports and the benchwork. I'm leaning back towards mounting everything under the benchwork so there won't be any plugs or excess wiring. All I will have to do is run a power cord to the benchwork with the remote off/on switch that Randy suggested.

Thanks for your input!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,428 posts
Posted by rrinker on Monday, July 27, 2020 10:30 PM

 There's a WiFi adapter now available for NCE, so you cna run WiThrottle compatible devices without having a computer. That would allow you to use the TCS UWT-100 throttle. It even sort of looks like an NCE throttle. Both of these should be legal in Canada, as they use standard WiFi bands.

                                           --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,714 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, July 27, 2020 10:34 PM

snjroy
when I built my framework, I drilled holes every 8 inches in all the cross-beams for my wiring. I still had to drill a few extra holes, but the bulk was there when I installed my wires. 

Hi again Simon,

Sorry, I missed your suggestion about drilling holes in my first response. Drilling holes is certainly one option, and it has the advantage of allowing the main bus wires to be separated by a few inches. I'm not averse to drilling the holes. However, I was looking for other cleaner options like RRMel's cable hangers.

Thanks for your input!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,714 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, July 27, 2020 10:44 PM

I have decided to stay with the 2" foam despite the additional height that it adds to the layout. One reason is that I already have it on hand, but the main reason is that it will allow me to get some depth to some of the scenes like the small river.

I have also decided to hold off installing the 1/4" plywood and the foam until all of the bus wiring is done. It will be much easier to run wires when I can get at both the top and the bottom of the benchwork. This kind of negates part of the need to rotate the layout, but when it comes time to mount the Tortoises and the terminal strips, being able to rotate the benchwork will be great.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 8,457 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 1:46 AM

hon30critter
I'm leaning back towards mounting everything under the benchwork so there won't be any plugs or excess wiring. All I will have to do is run a power cord to the benchwork with the remote off/on switch that Randy suggested.

Not sure I 100% understand what you are saying, but it sounds like the solution that will meet your needs.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,714 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 3:29 PM

rrinker
There's a WiFi adapter now available for NCE, so you cna run WiThrottle compatible devices without having a computer. That would allow you to use the TCS UWT-100 throttle. It even sort of looks like an NCE throttle. Both of these should be legal in Canada, as they use standard WiFi bands.

Thanks Randy,

I'll have a look.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,714 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, July 31, 2020 12:01 AM

rrinker
 There's a WiFi adapter now available for NCE, so you cna run WiThrottle compatible devices without having a computer.

Hi Randy,

I couldn't find anything about a WiFi adaptor on either the NCE or TCS websites. Can you tell me who supplies them?

Thanks,

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 10,409 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Friday, July 31, 2020 1:01 AM

hon30critter
I'm not averse to drilling the holes. However, I was looking for other cleaner options like RRMel's cable hangers.

There are several places on my layout where I used PVC wire trough to route cable and such. It comes in several HxW dimensions and can be slotted or solid. You could possibly mount it to your "backbone" there?

Just an idea — Good Luck, Ed

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,714 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, July 31, 2020 2:19 AM

gmpullman
There are several places on my layout where I used PVC wire trough to route cable and such. It comes in several HxW dimensions and can be slotted or solid. You could possibly mount it to your "backbone" there?

Thanks Ed,

I was hoping to find the 'D' hangers that RRMel used but I haven't had any luck. These are what they look like:

The advantage over the channel style of cable holder as I see it is that once a wire is slipped into the 'D' ring it isn't likely to fall out, whereas with the channel style, the cover has to be in place before the wires will stay in the holder. Just drilling holes would solve that issue, but I like the ease of wire installation that the 'D' rings offer. No 'pulling' of wires.

Mel!!! Where did you get those hangers???

Dave

 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    August 2013
  • From: Richmond, VA
  • 1,878 posts
Posted by carl425 on Friday, July 31, 2020 10:54 AM

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,428 posts
Posted by rrinker on Friday, July 31, 2020 12:46 PM

 Dave,

 The WiFi interface for NCE is made by WifiTrax:

http://www.wifitrax.com/products/product-WFD-30-detail.html

Supports 4 WiFi throttles at a time (same as the Digitrax device that does the same for their system), but if you need more, you can link it through your home WiFi. Their instructions even show an example of configuring the TCS throttle for it, along with the usual EngineDriver/WiThrottle phone app setup.

                                       --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,714 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, July 31, 2020 12:55 PM

carl425
https://www.amazon.com/10-3-00-RING-CABLE-MGMT/dp/B00FCZPBHA/ref=sr_1_3?crid=4AM6S3J8XQ8E&dchild=1&keywords=cable+management+ring&qid=1596210466&sprefix=cable+management+r%2Caps%2C134&sr=8-3

Hi Carl425,

Those would work, except that the 'ring' needs to be 90 degrees to the position shown in the picture in order to have the rings line up when they are screwed to the bottoms of the 1x4s.

I found some brackets from an American supplier that actually worked out cheaper than buying them in Canada:

Thanks for your suggestion.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,428 posts
Posted by rrinker on Friday, July 31, 2020 12:57 PM

 The cable hanger Mel pictured is the Siemon S146. Not sure about availability in Canada, but I found them on Anixter, $5.37 each. Graybar has them for $7.29. Anixter Canada shows them but won't show me the price unless I request a quote.

                                       --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,714 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, July 31, 2020 1:06 PM

rrinker
The WiFi interface for NCE is made by WifiTrax: http://www.wifitrax.com/products/product-WFD-30-detail.html

Thanks Randy.

The WiFi adapter and the TCS throttle look like a great combination. I really like the looks of the throttle. Unfortunately, by the time I get the wireless throttle system set up, I'm looking at more than $800 Cdn., and that is before buying a command station and power supply(s). For now I'm going to stick with my tethered Power Cab and I will wait to see what the NCE Canadian compatable wireless system costs when it comes out.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,714 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, August 1, 2020 5:15 AM

I have to apologise to everyone for not posting some layout progress photos over the past few days. Truth is that I'm stuck trying to answer the questions that I have posted earlier. I do need to buy more wood to do the elbow rests on the layout and the shelves in the end supports, but I haven't had the gumption to go out and get the wood. Part of the reason is that my back has been miserable and I won't pop a couple of pain killers and then go driving. That is not a good combination. So, please be patient. I will get my butt in gear sometime soon.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2015
  • From: Ludington, MI
  • 601 posts
Posted by Water Level Route on Saturday, August 1, 2020 9:26 AM

Patiently waiting Dave.  Take your time.  No deadline for this.  Thanks for being smart about pain killers and driving!

Cheers!

Mike

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,428 posts
Posted by rrinker on Saturday, August 1, 2020 12:28 PM

 No worries. Health is more important than hobby. I'm beginning to realize how much it stinks getting old. I took a long weekend off so I could get away from work for a while (been working at home since March, so even after hours, I'm still 'at work' using the same computer at the same desk) and try to get moving ahead on my layout, although Monday is not going to be fun, another day without AC as the system gets replaced. At least it's cool in the basement. Part of the plan was to get a shelf up in the office to display other stuff and get it off my electronics and modeling bench, mount my electronics parts drawers on the wall to free up work surface space, and put up more standard type shelving over the modeling bench so I can whittle away at the pile in the garage and bring in my stash of unbuilt kits and such. And to keep going on the layout, I needed some more plywood, a few more 2x4s, and a bunch more masonite for the backdrops. So yesterday we went to Lowes to collect all the stuff - funny how every time I go, the total cost of the order is almst exactly the same. But by the time I got it all unloaded at home - I was done. Most of the stuff is light, but not the 3/4" plywood. Between walking all over Lowes (though I did go in order and didn't have to backtrack) and then carrying everything in to the basement, my hips and back had had enough, so instead of getting started on the shelves or anything, I just parked it the rest of the day. Maybe I'll get something done today.

                           --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,714 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, August 1, 2020 11:42 PM

rrinker
 The cable hanger Mel pictured is the Siemon S146. Not sure about availability in Canada, but I found them on Anixter, $5.37 each. Graybar has them for $7.29. Anixter Canada shows them but won't show me the price unless I request a quote.

Hi Randy,

The hangers I showed cost me $2.38 USD each. They are model # ICCMSCMPR5. Many suppliers offer them. I bought mine from the Computer Cable Store. They seemed to be the cheapest.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,714 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, August 3, 2020 3:27 AM

I just realized that it would be advantageous to have the wire hangers oriented in both directions. The first set of hangers that I ordered were oriented to have the wires parallel to the fascia. However, there will be many wires running from one side of the layout to the other side, so I have ordered a second set of hangers suitable for that purpose.

One issue that I need to decide on is the separation of the main bus wires. If I put them into the wire hangers they will be right side by side, which I believe may not be desireable. Therefore, I may drill holes in the benchwork to keep the bus wires distanced from each other and the rest of the wiring.

Opinions?

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    November 2013
  • 1,102 posts
Posted by snjroy on Monday, August 3, 2020 7:21 AM

Wiring on my layout is super simple, in part because I want to minimize the headaches if things break down. One of those headaches is rewiring or adding wires, which is always easier if the holes are nice and big and well separated. So yes, I agree with the multiple holes.

Simon

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,428 posts
Posted by rrinker on Monday, August 3, 2020 7:27 AM

 Well, there seem to be two schools of thought on DCC bus wires. One says keep them a few inches apart, the other says twist them together. About as opposite as you can get. On my last layout, I had the runs from the breaker to the far side of the layout loosely grouped - both wires went through the same hole in the benchwork, but they weren't twisted or bundled tightly like with wire ties at any point. Those went halfway down one wall and across the short side of the room to feed the track on the opposite long wall - no taps off of it until it got to the other side of the room. That was about a 15-18 foot run BEFORE it got to the track it fed. Reminder: this was my old layout:

 (1 foot squares)

I did not twist nor did I hold any of the track bus wires apart - there were 4 lines, booster and circuit breaker was under the layout almost exactly where the "A" is in the "Scene A" label. One fed the two staging tracks right behind there, one fed the yard, one fed the main track from the liftout clockwise around to the middle of the right side, and the fourth fed the main on the bottom side. 

I had no issues at all with this. #14 wire on that layout.

The club modular is just a little bit bigger (28x148 feet last time I participated). There are multiple busses run through each module, with PowerPole connectors on the ends. These busses are all twisted together - as in one big bundle cable - usually 2 DCC track power, one DCC accessory power, and either a DC or AC lighting power, I forget which. Taps are made to feed the block detectors - coil transformer detectors will report occupied if the wire between them and the track is sufficiently twisted, but otherwise the lines are all tightly twisted over the length fed by each booster. Apart fromt he bery first outing with DCC, when the common wire between boosters was left off, there haven't been any problems with this wiring arrangement either. 

 My feeling is that DCC is low enough frequency that twisting has minor effects. Possibly measureable over longer runs, but otherwise the effect of twisting vs not twisting is minor at best. Keep the runs short and use adequate wire to me are better than trying to make due with longer runs of smaller wire by applying twisting.

 What you don't want to do is group high voltage AC lines in long parallel runs with low voltage wires. Or if you are going to use block detectors that allow mounting the sensor remote from the circuit (example, like the RR CirKits BOD-8), don't bundle the sensor wire with the DCC bus. Long parallel runs allow currents to be induced on the lower voltage lines. This can cause various electrical gremlins.

 With those rather alrge wire loops - you can use the reusable type of wire ties, or even a collection of twist ties (whenever I buy something, It usually comes with items like the power cord tied up with a twist tie - I save these all the time, have a pile in a drawer) so that all the wires through a given loop don't just fall together in one mass of wire - around a couple of wires and around the loop to hold different bunches of wire apart from one another.

                                           --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 8,457 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, August 3, 2020 9:39 AM

rrinker
 Well, there seem to be two schools of thought on DCC bus wires. One says keep them a few inches apart, the other says twist them together. About as opposite as you can get.

While I know nothing of DCC, I do have a lot of experience with similar control systems in the industrial world... so...

My thought is that either one of those two solutions would work equally well.

Personally I would go with a twisted pair of wires with a third grounded shield wire just for security.

Just don't use two wires running parallel right next to each other, like speaker wire or lamp cord.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,714 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, August 3, 2020 9:20 PM

Hi Randy,

I had forgotten about twisting the main bus wires together. That is what we did at my old club and it worked fine. I am considering drilling twin holes a couple of inches apart for the main bus wires only just to make feeder attachment easier.

rrinker
 What you don't want to do is group high voltage AC lines in long parallel runs with low voltage wires.

The only high voltage wire will be the one that feeds the power bar/surge protector and it will not be near any of the other wiring.

rrinker
With those rather alrge wire loops - you can use the reusable type of wire ties, or even a collection of twist ties (whenever I buy something, It usually comes with items like the power cord tied up with a twist tie - I save these all the time, have a pile in a drawer) so that all the wires through a given loop don't just fall together in one mass of wire - around a couple of wires and around the loop to hold different bunches of wire apart from one another.

Sounds like a plan!

Thanks,

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,714 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 12:45 AM

The idea of having a yard is stuck in my wee brain so I did some playing around with my 3rd PlanIt program and came up with the plan below. It would be free standing. In other words it would be a totally separate entity from the main layout which I would lock into place beside the main layout when needed.

The yard tracks range from about 50" to about 75". I realize that those aren't very long, but the layout won't accommodate long trains so I don't think that is an issue. I have built in a run around but I'm honestly not sure why I need it, other than perhaps to hold a couple of cabooses.

Just to be clear, I don't intend to build the yard just yet but I do want to make sure it will work properly whenever I get around to it. The track spacing is fairly wide so I can get my hands on any of the cars in the yard without derailing everything around them:

Please let me know what you think.

Thanks,

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,428 posts
Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 7:19 AM

 Not a bad idea. Built it on casters so you can roll it out of the way. Something like this sort of latch one the sides can pull it up tight: https://www.diyroadcasesstore.com/draw-latch-surface-mount-traditional/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4JTw88OB6wIVB43ICh04Ggt9EAQYAyABEgIpO_D_BwE

                          --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 12,010 posts
Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 7:32 AM

SeeYou190
Just don't use two wires running parallel right next to each other, like speaker wire or lamp cord.

Or wire in excess lengths of wire, or long pigtails 'for later', and neatly coil them up shipshape for storage.  That coil can act as an inductor...

As a peripheral suggestion: clearly color-code the wiring, even if inermittently, with dabs of fluorescent or glow-in-the-dark paint.  This will clearly distinguish wiring, including that with dangerous voltage, if you go underneath... and either you will, or you'll send someone younger who might not know better.

And tag all your wires near any connections.  Don't just use tape ... it falls off.  When we redid the patches and board wiring in WPRB's production Studio B in the late '70s, we used pencil on 'writable plastic' tags as all the wire was, like on the early DC10s, the same insulation color. You would not believe the benefits this simple little thing had for those who came afterward ... specifically including us on a couple of potentially awful examples, like emergency tracing potentially melted-together wires a la Brown's Ferry after pot-smoking Marxist reggae fans discovered how to burn out a 150W Crown amp shorting patch connections "to make the control-room monitors louder"   
  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 8,457 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 10:32 AM

To my mind, this would be the best DCC bus cable, but I do not recall anyone ever writing about using it.

Disclaimer: I really don't read that much about DCC.

It is 12 gauge, twisted pair inside a shield, with a seperate ground wire. It is only about $1.00 per foot, and it should be flawless in operation/performance.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!