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Feeder Wire Addition

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Feeder Wire Addition
Posted by GNMT76 on Friday, January 3, 2020 8:45 PM

One section of track on my DC layout, which serves as a siding, is gapped at each end (on the south side) and wired to a SPDT toggle switch so I can pause or park a train there while another passes by on the adjacent mainline.

If I add feeder wires from the main power supply bus wires to that section to improve current flow, will that at all interfere with the pausing/stopping function of that section of track?  Or, am I good to go?

Thanks!

 

 

 

 

Kerry

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Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, January 3, 2020 8:55 PM

Good to go!!
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, January 3, 2020 10:11 PM

RR_Mel
Good to go!!  

Hi Mel,

Doesn't it depend on where the feeders are coming from? If the feeders are coming off of the main power supply wouldn't that bypass the toggle switch? Wouldn't the feeders have to be routed through the switch too?

I'm no expert on DC (or anything else for that matter) so I could be out to lunch here.

Dave

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Posted by GNMT76 on Friday, January 3, 2020 10:16 PM

hon30critter

 

 RR_Mel
Good to go!!  

Doesn't it depend on where the feeders are coming from? If the feeders are coming off of the main power supply wouldn't that bypass the toggle switch? Wouldn't the feeders have to be routed through the switch too?

I'm no expert on DC (or anything else for that matter) so I could be out to lunch here.

Dave

 

 
Good point, Dave and one I should have mentioned.  The feeders will come off the bus wires (main power supply).

Kerry

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, January 3, 2020 10:31 PM

Hi Kerry,

The purpose of the toggle switch is to interrupt power to the siding. If the feeders are coming from the main power directly to the siding then the switch will have no effect because the siding is still connected to the main bus regardless of which way the switch is thrown.

If you run the new feeders to one side of the toggle switch, and then from the other side of the switch to mid way down the siding, the track should be isolated and fed properly. It might be easier to use a DPST switch so that you don't have two wires on the same switch terminal, but electrically it shouldn't matter.

At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Dave

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Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, January 3, 2020 10:41 PM

I guess I didn’t under stand the question.  The track power has to go through your switch, bypassing the switch does just that.  I assumed you were going to run the additional feeders from the same wires from the switch to help eliminate some power drop.
 
Unless the siding is quite long I wouldn’t worry about a voltage drop.  You could solder the joiners in the siding which would most likely carry more than enough current, probably more than the feeders.  The rails are probably much larger than your feeder system.
 
 
EDIT:
 
As you are running in DC mode you could use a DPDT center off switch wired for reversing and add the ability to reverse the direction on the siding without disturbing the mainline.  Forward-Off-Reverse.
 
 
Mel
 
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, January 3, 2020 10:44 PM

GNMT76

One section of track on my DC layout, which serves as a siding, is gapped at each end (on the south side) and wired to a toggle switch so I can pause or park a train there while another passes by on the adjacent mainline.

If I add feeder wires to that section to improve current flow, will that at all interfere with the pausing/stopping function of that section of track?  Or, am I good to go?

Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

Why do you think you even need additional feeders?

How big is your layout? Do you have any other blocks than the one parking siding you described?

Do you solder any/all of your rail joints?

I have built several large DC layouts with verious cab control systems and had blocks as long as 50-70 feet and never found any need for addtional feeders or any kind of track buss wiring.

I have a trottle buss for each throttle, but that is different and is part of the multi train wiring, not done for current flow or voltage drop.

I do solder all my rail joints within each control block.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Track fiddler on Friday, January 3, 2020 10:50 PM

I'm going to buy about $250 worth of wire feed track connectors.

I'm a heck of a welder.  But when I soldered track as a young buck I always melted the ties.

I'm going to put wire feed connectors on every track joint on my whole layout with No Ox Especial ID conductive lubricant applied in every joint.

This should work good, Overkill is my middle nameLaugh

 

 

TF

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 3, 2020 11:05 PM

 Don't do that. Buy regular rail joiners, and some wire.

Make them yourself. There's no ties to melt soldering a piece of wire to the bottom of a rail joiner. That Atlas charges as much as they do for a single pair of terminal joiners borders on criminal, especially since the wire they use is really poor quality. 

 Do it assembly line fashion. THere is a red and white loosely twisted pair wire for alarms you cna get at Home Depot and/or Lowes, it's something like #20, solid. Step 1 - pull off lengths and cut them. Step 2, pull them apart into two piles, one red wire, one white wire. Step 3, strip insualtion off one end of every wire. The automatic strippers like the Idea or Klein make this go fast. Step 4, get a pack of regular Atlas joiners and cut them apart. Step 5, bend the stripped end 90 degrees and solder to the bottom of a rail joiner. Use one of those "helping hands" with the alligator clips to hold the wire and joiner. Use 63/37 solder, NOT 60/40. In an hour you'll have a couple dozen pairs. In less than an afternoon you can make the quivalent of $250 of the Atlas ones, and it MIGHT cost you $50 depending on how much the wire costs these days. And they will be BETTER than the premade ones.

                                        --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, January 3, 2020 11:20 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Why do you think you even need additional feeders?

Sheldon asks a very good question. I believe that doctorwayne, who runs a fairly large DC layout (a beautiful layout mind you), only uses one set of track feeders and solders all of his rail joints.

However, if there is a possibility that you might convert to DCC at some point in the future, then installing the feeders now as you lay the track would save you a lot of work later on.

Dave

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, January 4, 2020 12:43 AM

GNMT76
...If I add feeder wires from the main power supply bus wires to that section to improve current flow....

My first question is why you've bothered with bus wires on a DC layout? 

Like Sheldon, I solder all my track together, and power the entire layout with two wires from my ControlMaster 20 to a piece of nearby track.

Like you, I have passing tracks in every town, and DPDT - (Centre Off) switches to control both the main and passing tracks at those locations.  These switches are powered off the rails of the single track mainline which runs from town-to-town (which are always powered), beyond the ends of the track sections controlled by the switches.  All the areas controlled by the DPDT switches have rail gaps (I use common rail wiring, which is very simple - just like me), so no long runs of wire required, nor much under-the-layout soldering, either.

I have approximately 260' of mainline, not counting staging yards, double track, or industrial spurs, and have run over a dozen locos at one time - mainly to amuse my grandkids. 
For regular operations, most trains require two locomotives due to the many grades and curves, and some trains also require pushers.  I run only one train at a time, as I am the sole operator, and therefore did not bother to wire the layout for block control.

GNMT76
...will that at all interfere with the pausing/stopping function of that section of track?...

Yes, unless you run those wires through the switch.  Running them directly to the controlled track eliminates the control offered by the switch.

Wayne

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, January 4, 2020 8:21 AM

Kerry
 
You didn’t mention the scale or size of your layout only that it’s DC.
 
I operate in both DC or DCC modes.  My layout is an HO scale 14’ x 10’ twice-around mainline with 120’ of Atlas flex track, code 83 where it is viewable and code 100 in hidden areas.
 
It was originally built and configured (1988) as a DC block controlled layout with individual home run wiring to each block. 
 
Used #19 AWG twisted pair wire (Bell Wire) from a DPDT center off toggle on the control panel.  It has a total of 24 blocks, 16 blocks on the 120’ mainline.  The same as what you are proposing for your layout, individual power control to a section of track with a switch.
 
I did not solder my rail joiners.  I went with Walthers 948-841 Code 83 Nickel Silver Rail Joiners which fit very tight on the rails.  I haven’t ever had any joiner connection fail in 32 years.
 
DC power is a MRC 7000, I bought my DCC controller in 2006.  I use a DPDT relay to switch between DC and DCC so that they are unable to connect to the rails simultaneously, one or the other.
 
#19 AWG bell wire is rated at 1.8 amps and has a .09 volt drop in 10 feet at 1.8 amps.  It would be hard to draw an amp and a half in my 8’ average block, the largest voltage drop I’ve measured on my layout with multiple locomotives is under .06.
 
Nickel Silver rails are at best very poor compared to copper wire as shown on this chart.
 
 
 
So for those that run high current trains on long sections of track a power buss is needed.  My layout is relatively small and my longest track block wiring is 12’ with a max current of 1½ amps per block so a single pair of #19 bell wire works great.
 
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
  • Member since
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  • 103 posts
Posted by GNMT76 on Saturday, January 4, 2020 11:20 AM

RR_Mel

Unless the siding is quite long I wouldn’t worry about a voltage drop.  You could solder the joiners in the siding which would most likely carry more than enough current, probably more than the feeders.  The rails are probably much larger than your feeder system.
 
Mel
 
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
 

 
Mel,
 
It's a short siding (three feet plus), and I'm beginning to think that simply soldering the rail joiners will do the trick.

Kerry

  • Member since
    October 2017
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Posted by GNMT76 on Saturday, January 4, 2020 11:22 AM

I'm going to buy about $250 worth of wire feed track connectors.

I'm a heck of a welder.  But when I soldered track as a young buck I always melted the ties.

I'm going to put wire feed connectors on every track joint on my whole layout with No Ox Especial ID conductive lubricant applied in every joint.

This should work good, Overkill is my middle name.

TF

???

Kerry

  • Member since
    October 2017
  • 103 posts
Posted by GNMT76 on Saturday, January 4, 2020 11:28 AM

rrinker

 Don't do that. Buy regular rail joiners, and some wire.

Make them yourself. There's no ties to melt soldering a piece of wire to the bottom of a rail joiner. That Atlas charges as much as they do for a single pair of terminal joiners borders on criminal, especially since the wire they use is really poor quality. 

 Do it assembly line fashion. THere is a red and white loosely twisted pair wire for alarms you cna get at Home Depot and/or Lowes, it's something like #20, solid. Step 1 - pull off lengths and cut them. Step 2, pull them apart into two piles, one red wire, one white wire. Step 3, strip insualtion off one end of every wire. The automatic strippers like the Idea or Klein make this go fast. Step 4, get a pack of regular Atlas joiners and cut them apart. Step 5, bend the stripped end 90 degrees and solder to the bottom of a rail joiner. Use one of those "helping hands" with the alligator clips to hold the wire and joiner. Use 63/37 solder, NOT 60/40. In an hour you'll have a couple dozen pairs. In less than an afternoon you can make the quivalent of $250 of the Atlas ones, and it MIGHT cost you $50 depending on how much the wire costs these days. And they will be BETTER than the premade ones.

                                        --Randy

???

 

Kerry

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    January 2009
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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, January 4, 2020 11:45 AM

Kerry
 
Most of use solder to attach a wire to the rails, #20 to #24 solid works great.  I but a dab of soldering paste on the bottom of the rail in a gap between the ties then a quick in and out with the soldering iron and it’s done.  After ballasting the wire isn’t seen.  You could solder a wire to the bottom of a joiner before installing it, I do that at my turnouts.
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
 
  • Member since
    October 2017
  • 103 posts
Posted by GNMT76 on Saturday, January 4, 2020 12:12 PM

RR_Mel

Kerry
 
Most of use solder to attach a wire to the rails, #20 to #24 solid works great.  I but a dab of soldering paste on the bottom of the rail in a gap between the ties then a quick in and out with the soldering iron and it’s done.  After ballasting the wire isn’t seen.  You could solder a wire to the bottom of a joiner before installing it, I do that at my turnouts.
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
 

 
Mel,
 
It's a long-established layout.  The problem - slowdown at the juncture of the mainline and the siding - has only cropped up this week.  I think that soldering the joint will chase away the demons.

Kerry

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, January 4, 2020 1:29 PM

 TF is talking about doing what I did on my last layout - EVERY rail joiner, excpet where insulated ones were required, were power feeds. Even when the joiners and the track being connected were soldered together. I don't solder every track joint, I don't trust that some movement (usually the benchwork) would cause issues if every joint were soldered up tight. But, soldered or not, I feed power to them all.

 TF was talking about buying the Atlas premade terminal joiners. They are expensive. I made my own, dozens at a time, by using plain metal joiners and soldering my own wire on. For a fraction of the price, and with better wire to boot. TF is afraid of melting ties by soldering feeders right tot he rail - making up terminal joiners yourself, there is nothing to melt because you make them at the workbench, and if you hold the heat on too long, the rail joiner isn;t goign to melt, and since there's no plastic around, there's no plastic to melt, either. So even if you aren't an expert at soldering, you can do this, and save a ton of money.

                         --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

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Posted by GNMT76 on Saturday, January 4, 2020 2:29 PM

rrinker

 TF is talking about doing what I did on my last layout - EVERY rail joiner, excpet where insulated ones were required, were power feeds. Even when the joiners and the track being connected were soldered together. I don't solder every track joint, I don't trust that some movement (usually the benchwork) would cause issues if every joint were soldered up tight. But, soldered or not, I feed power to them all.

 TF was talking about buying the Atlas premade terminal joiners. They are expensive. I made my own, dozens at a time, by using plain metal joiners and soldering my own wire on. For a fraction of the price, and with better wire to boot. TF is afraid of melting ties by soldering feeders right tot he rail - making up terminal joiners yourself, there is nothing to melt because you make them at the workbench, and if you hold the heat on too long, the rail joiner isn;t goign to melt, and since there's no plastic around, there's no plastic to melt, either. So even if you aren't an expert at soldering, you can do this, and save a ton of money.

                         --Randy

 

 
???

Kerry

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Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, January 4, 2020 3:17 PM

GNMT76
???

??? maybe you should restate your question Huh?

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

HM7
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Posted by HM7 on Thursday, January 30, 2020 3:43 PM

WinkWink

BigDaddy
 
GNMT76
???
 
 
I wonder just how one restates a question to which the only possible answer is either "yes" or "no" - with the optional follow-on addition of an explanation to support that answer.  Either one would have satisfied the question. 
 
I, as I imagine the OP also did, had to groan upon reading the three replies to which he responded with a question mark, all three being irrelevant to his situation and the simple question asked.  He wasn't, after all, seeking information on buying feeder wire connectors or soldering or how to make rail joiners to save a few bucks, only asking if his idea will work or not for his expressed purpose. Those three replies - all good and valid for other questions and problems - are misplaced here and serve not to address the query.  Sadly, we regulalry see such responses across every model railroad forum, a phenomeon we call the "Facebook syndrome."  That is, "Hey, look at me."  A groaner every time.
 
I think it's safe to assume that OPs know their situations best and what they're trying to do, particularly with such basic and direct questions as the current one.  If not, the OPs will so state.  "Innocent" until proven "guilty", your Honor! 
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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 30, 2020 5:20 PM

 There;s not one "hey lookie me" post in this thread. There is some question (unasked) about what someone posted - a response with "??" doesn;t exactly help anyone know what part of the psot the OP didn;t get - and then when I explained TF's post it was AGAIN questioned. It's pretty darn self explanatory if you ask me. TF said he is a really good welder, but not good at soldering track. Thay weren;t even replies to his question. Nor are they irrelevant to the issue of a loco slowing down on a siding. More feeders, OR solder the rail joints, or both - those are the answers.

 In fact, it was clearly a case where a yes or no answer was NOT the answer. THe siding is supposed to be isolated via the toggle switch, and adding additional feeders to the bus might fix the stalling problem but it's going to defeat the switch installation. More information was definitely needed.

Plus it's rather rude netiquette to quote a post and then just post ?? after it.

                                        --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, January 30, 2020 6:48 PM

I'm here to learn and I'm here to help.

HM7
I, as I imagine the OP also did, had to groan upon reading the three replies to which he responded with a question mark, all three being irrelevant to his situation and the simple question asked.

It wasn't a yes no question, it was get off my lawn kid answer.

It's the Internet.  It's been like that since when there were newsgroups instead of forums and Zuckerburg hadn't yet gone to his high school prom.  When you ask a question the thread can go anywhere and usually does.

Someone asks a question and people here answer the best they can. Everyone is trying to be helpful.  Some people misread the question, some people add peripheral information to the question asked, which they feel would be helpful to someone reading the thread.  Others want to know why the OP is asking the question (which is sometimes very relevant) or why they are doing it that way and where were that the night of January 5th?   Others chime in with their own questions, which may be related or totally unrelated to the OP's issue and the thread morphs into something else entirely.

If I posted something nonsensical because I was Roseanne Barr posting on Ambien I deserve a ???   If what I've posted isn't relevant to your question, then just tell me, I'm a big boy. I have done all of the above at one time or another. 

HM7
I think it's safe to assume that OPs know their situations best and what they're trying to do,

Sometimes, other times, it's like a Perry Mason show around here.  We have to send Paul out to find that the track plan the OP posted doesn't show the reversing loop that is causing the short.

 

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, January 30, 2020 9:49 PM

Well obviously, Mr. HM7's arrogent post/reply has nothing to do with the OP's original question, so I don't get his point, other than the fact he feels it necessary to belittle a few that did contribute to the OP's thread.

So, what's your point?  Anything at all to answer the OP's original question?

Mike.

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