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Help with Wiring

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  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: NE Pennsylvania
  • 291 posts
Help with Wiring
Posted by KlickyMobster on Saturday, March 8, 2008 12:29 PM

Hi everyone,

Its come to the point where I need to start wiring my layout for dcc.  My layout is a 10x10 foot shelf layout.  I plan to put the DCC system in the middle of the layout, and I predict I will need 3-4 feeders in each direction.  The thing is, I'm not quite sure how to wire this.  What size wire should I use for the main wire?  I was planning on using the feeders from Atlas that are already attached to rail joiners.  I'm probably going to use suitcase connectors to splice my wires.  Would these feeders simply attach to the main wire? 

Thanks! 

-Derrick
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • 3,312 posts
Posted by locoi1sa on Saturday, March 8, 2008 1:24 PM

  Do not use the joiners with feeders. Solder to the rail and you wont have issues later on. Try this site first and then ask questions if you have any.

www.wiringfordcc.com/track.htm

 Great site. Loads of info.

       Pete
 

 I pray every day I break even, Cause I can really use the money!

 I started with nothing and still have most of it left!

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 9,961 posts
Posted by dehusman on Saturday, March 8, 2008 6:32 PM

I would put my command station at one spot and then run a bus wire around the room, and drop feeders to the bus wires.  I use one feeder per piece of rail.

Dave H.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Colorful Colorado
  • 8,639 posts
Posted by Texas Zepher on Saturday, March 8, 2008 9:55 PM

 KlickyMobster wrote:
My layout is a 10x10 foot shelf layout.  ...  What size wire should I use for the main wire?
How many locomotives will be on the track at any given time?  Do you have lighted passenger trains?   Lighted caboose?  Power drawing freight cars?  These are factors in answering your question.

Is the track a once around (eg. 40 feet of track), a twice around (e.g.) 80 feet of track, or other? 

I was planning on using the feeders from Atlas that are already attached to rail joiners.  I'm probably going to use suitcase connectors to splice my wires.  Would these feeders simply attach to the main wire?
I think the Atlas rail joiner wires are way too small to use suitcase connetors on. 

In general most will agree 14 gauge is a pretty good size for the main wires (often called a bus), and 20-22 gauge for the connections to the track (often called feeders).  Basically if you want to use suitcase connectors you will have to get wire gauge that matches the suitcases.  I prefer soldering so that the gauge(s) I choose is irrelevant.   The more frequent the feeder wires the lighter gauge you can use.   I always calculate how far away from power the train will be.   On a 40 foot loop of track with just two feeder wires the train will never be more than 10 feet from a power connection.  With four feeders the max distance would be 5 feet. 

  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: NE Pennsylvania
  • 291 posts
Posted by KlickyMobster on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 5:46 PM
Thank you very much for your help.  I'm going to use 16 gauge wire for the bus.  I'm also going to solder my feeders, rather than use the Atlas joiners and the suitcase connectors.  Have a good night!
-Derrick

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