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Two ques for the forum, layout-related

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  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: MA
  • 52 posts
Two ques for the forum, layout-related
Posted by sully57 on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 11:11 AM
Hi. In the middle of my first HO layout (5x9). Have put down inclines for mountain/tunnel, and most of my roadbed. I will soon lay down track over it.

A) LAYING TRACK: Can some experienced modelers out there recommend to me the best way to adhere the track down? Nails (spikes) or some sort of cement? Reason I'm asking is that I have read about both ways of doing it, but because I am a 'rookie' (at 54), surely I will make mistakes. Then, if I need to remove some track, or re-arrange some (or even have a bad connection on one), I'd like to make the alterations as painlessly as possible. I can also see expanding someday, in which case I would have to disrupt some of the lines as well.

B) WIRING: purchased a Tech II 2400 DC power supply. I have run two-wire 14 guage romex all around perimeter, and up the middle, underneath the benchwork. Again, I have read differing opinions in the 'books' as to whether to cut away insulation underneath the feeders on the bus, and solder feeder wires to it; or use some sort of 'suitcase' splicer, which I guess is easier, cleaner, faster (more $$$). But seems all agree solder will ensure perfect connection 'forever'. Those are the books, now can I get some real life experienced modeler to give me his opinion?

Also on wiring, I was sold (by hobby shop) one of these terminal connectors. Just a panel of screws to attach wire to, and adhere it somewhere underneath benchwork. Is this connector necessary for accessories only? Assuming the answer is yes (for the moment), then I guess I bring accessory wire down through table, and attach its two wires to the connector. But where/how do I connect the AC from my power pack to this same connector? Do I just bring in the AC wire from power pack to any one pair of screws on the connector, as I would ANY accessory?

Maybe simple ques to most, and if I do this all correctly, I assume it will seem simple to me someday as well. Thanks all !
  • Member since
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 12:23 PM
If you do a search on the forum (at the top of the page) there was a method using adhesive caulking recommended for laying track. It can be lifted with a putty knife or other thin metal blade if necessary. You will find a pdf file about the same thing on the MR site. here:

http://www.trains.com/content/dynamic/articles/000/000/004/379dcjrm.asp - Click on the link.

Soldering is the best way to connect your bus to feeders, but the suitcase connectors are good too. You will find there are about 1/2 dozen answers to any given question, none of which are more right than others, although one might be "more right" for your situation. If you have time (or no money) then solder the wires. If you have money (or no time) get the suitcase connectors.

Your bus wire should approximately follow the track plan, and make sure you know which wire is which, so you don't create a short by connecting the feeders to the wrong side of the track.

The terminal block should have the sides insulated from each other. You can put the power "in" at one end, and then just connect the accessories to each of the remaining pairs. If you have a multimeter, you can confirm that the terminal block is set up this way.

Good luck, and have fun!

Andrew


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    October 2009
  • 129 posts
Posted by CP5170 on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 3:00 PM
With respect to the wiring, I used the terminal strips. I construct a square panel from 1/2" plywood, put a hinge on the top and connected it to the benchwork ( so that it can swing up out of the way). There are several placed around the layout. I run my bus wires to the strip and all feeder wires are connected to the strip. This allows me to sit in a chair and do my wiring. Also, if I have an electrical problem, I can quickly isolate sections of track to determine where the problem is.

I also run my wiring for switch machines to the same panel. Consequently, all my electrcial work is confined to five areas.

Hope this helps....Ken
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    September 2002
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Posted by ndbprr on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 4:45 PM
surely I will make mistakes

Count on it!!!! We are all ahead of you in that category and many more will follow. This is definitely a case of experience being the best teacher. Just don't beat yourself up over it.
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: MA
  • 52 posts
Posted by sully57 on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 5:43 PM
thanks all. very helpful response.
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: Guelph, Ont.
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Posted by BR60103 on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 11:21 PM
I don't know if you got the answer you wanted (needed?) on terminal strips. They are useful where you have items that you may want to detach from the wiring -- control panels, switch machines, accessories, lights in buildings. They are also handy for keeping the wiring straight if you label the terminals. They also provide an anchor point between the neat wire under the table and the loose wire that connects to the control panel.

--David

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 21, 2003 4:40 PM
G'Day,
Down under we have a sudden plague of "Discount shops" importing direct from SE Asia. They sell double sided tape (similar to 3m or carpet tape) VERRRRYYY cheap.

I have used this under a couple of wuickie layouts for friends children. It works well, and it is easy to slip a flexible sharp knife under it to remove if needed. Eucalyptus oil is useful if you want to clean the little bit of stickiness off track after pulling it up.

Have fun, make mistakes - this will NOT be your first and only layout, count on it

Regards

David Stokes

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