Topics

Layout power requirements

Stephen Silver
 

I am building out part of the unfinished basement in a new house to accommodate the Silver Creek & Mellow Gulch Railway.  The room is 22ft X 17ft.  Loop to loop from one 22 ft wall to the other (19 ft of usable benchwork) with a peninsula on the short wall.

I won;'t be running any big tools, just the DCC layout and all the little things that make it sparkle, the overhead lighting, and the tools at the bench.  Add an occasional shop vacuum use, air brush compressor and booth fan, HVAC is on a 220 circuit.

I am going to get a sub panel installed for this space.  Any ideas on how many amps I should plan for?  There are too many things to be acquired in the future it seems hard to make a list and add it all up.

Thanks in advance.
Stephen

Life is mostly attitude and timing

Wes Garcia
 

Hi;

 

How many Amp service do you have on your main panel? I would go with at least 100 amps on the sub panel and that may be cutting it short if you add other power hungry devices or tools. Plan on have the room lights on 15 amp circuits and everything else on 20 amp circuits.

 

Those are my thoughts.

 

Wes    

 

From: HOn3@groups.io <HOn3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Stephen Silver via Groups.Io
Sent: Saturday, December 21, 2019 9:14 AM
To: HOn3 Group <hon3@groups.io>
Subject: [HOn3] Layout power requirements

 

I am building out part of the unfinished basement in a new house to accommodate the Silver Creek & Mellow Gulch Railway.  The room is 22ft X 17ft.  Loop to loop from one 22 ft wall to the other (19 ft of usable benchwork) with a peninsula on the short wall.

 

I won;'t be running any big tools, just the DCC layout and all the little things that make it sparkle, the overhead lighting, and the tools at the bench.  Add an occasional shop vacuum use, air brush compressor and booth fan, HVAC is on a 220 circuit.

 

I am going to get a sub panel installed for this space.  Any ideas on how many amps I should plan for?  There are too many things to be acquired in the future it seems hard to make a list and add it all up.

 

Thanks in advance.

Stephen

 

Life is mostly attitude and timing

Stephen Silver
 

I have 200 amps at my panel.  For running the layout, what other power hungry devices might I anticipate beyond my DCC system?
Power hungry tools are located elsewhere.  Outside of the soldering iron and heat gun, the chop saw is probably the most power hungry thing I will use in this room.
Well, perhaps a small dorm frig.

Thanks Wes.
S

Life is mostly attitude and timing


On Saturday, December 21, 2019, 08:25:34 AM PST, Wes Garcia <wesgarcia@...> wrote:


Hi;

 

How many Amp service do you have on your main panel? I would go with at least 100 amps on the sub panel and that may be cutting it short if you add other power hungry devices or tools. Plan on have the room lights on 15 amp circuits and everything else on 20 amp circuits.

 

Those are my thoughts.

 

Wes    

 

From: HOn3@groups.io <HOn3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Stephen Silver via Groups.Io
Sent: Saturday, December 21, 2019 9:14 AM
To: HOn3 Group <hon3@groups.io>
Subject: [HOn3] Layout power requirements

 

I am building out part of the unfinished basement in a new house to accommodate the Silver Creek & Mellow Gulch Railway.  The room is 22ft X 17ft.  Loop to loop from one 22 ft wall to the other (19 ft of usable benchwork) with a peninsula on the short wall.

 

I won;'t be running any big tools, just the DCC layout and all the little things that make it sparkle, the overhead lighting, and the tools at the bench.  Add an occasional shop vacuum use, air brush compressor and booth fan, HVAC is on a 220 circuit.

 

I am going to get a sub panel installed for this space.  Any ideas on how many amps I should plan for?  There are too many things to be acquired in the future it seems hard to make a list and add it all up.

 

Thanks in advance.

Stephen

 

Life is mostly attitude and timing

lloyd lehrer
 

Stephen, my layout is a little smaller(22×11.5) and I recommend three 20 amp circuits. One for overhead lighting, one for dcc and one for tools, stereo, mini fridge. If you have other intentions for other activities, add more. 

lloyd lehrer, (310)951-9097


On Sat, Dec 21, 2019, 8:14 AM Stephen Silver via Groups.Io <ssilver996=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I am building out part of the unfinished basement in a new house to accommodate the Silver Creek & Mellow Gulch Railway.  The room is 22ft X 17ft.  Loop to loop from one 22 ft wall to the other (19 ft of usable benchwork) with a peninsula on the short wall.

I won;'t be running any big tools, just the DCC layout and all the little things that make it sparkle, the overhead lighting, and the tools at the bench.  Add an occasional shop vacuum use, air brush compressor and booth fan, HVAC is on a 220 circuit.

I am going to get a sub panel installed for this space.  Any ideas on how many amps I should plan for?  There are too many things to be acquired in the future it seems hard to make a list and add it all up.

Thanks in advance.
Stephen

Life is mostly attitude and timing


--
lloyd lehrer

Russ Norris
 

Steve, I have my layout in a space roughly the same as yours, with a slew of LED track lights and half a dozen recessed lights (also LED) and I have the room on a standard 15 amp breaker, and have never had a problem.  I use an NEC 5 amp power supply.  I don't know what power tools you have.  That might make a difference.


On Sat, Dec 21, 2019, 11:14 AM Stephen Silver via Groups.Io <ssilver996=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I am building out part of the unfinished basement in a new house to accommodate the Silver Creek & Mellow Gulch Railway.  The room is 22ft X 17ft.  Loop to loop from one 22 ft wall to the other (19 ft of usable benchwork) with a peninsula on the short wall.

I won;'t be running any big tools, just the DCC layout and all the little things that make it sparkle, the overhead lighting, and the tools at the bench.  Add an occasional shop vacuum use, air brush compressor and booth fan, HVAC is on a 220 circuit.

I am going to get a sub panel installed for this space.  Any ideas on how many amps I should plan for?  There are too many things to be acquired in the future it seems hard to make a list and add it all up.

Thanks in advance.
Stephen

Life is mostly attitude and timing


--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/

Railroads
 

When I did the same thing in my house I had them add a 100A panel.  I believe it is a 10 position (which could hold 10 dual breakers for a total of 20 ckt bkr’s max).

Allen Farnsworth

On Dec 21, 2019, at 10:14 AM, Stephen Silver via Groups.Io <ssilver996@...> wrote:


I am building out part of the unfinished basement in a new house to accommodate the Silver Creek & Mellow Gulch Railway.  The room is 22ft X 17ft.  Loop to loop from one 22 ft wall to the other (19 ft of usable benchwork) with a peninsula on the short wall.

I won;'t be running any big tools, just the DCC layout and all the little things that make it sparkle, the overhead lighting, and the tools at the bench.  Add an occasional shop vacuum use, air brush compressor and booth fan, HVAC is on a 220 circuit.

I am going to get a sub panel installed for this space.  Any ideas on how many amps I should plan for?  There are too many things to be acquired in the future it seems hard to make a list and add it all up.

Thanks in advance.
Stephen

Life is mostly attitude and timing

Steve Hatch
 

What are you guys planning?????
  I'm running a 46x20 foot S  and Sn3 railroad in a separate building with 30 overhead lights
and 7 operators  with multilash-up and I'm not using 10 amps yet.
  My goodness one wall plug  ONE  is good for 15 amps minimum.
  yes run it's own circuit but my gosh 100 amps???
  Are you planning on an electric melt steel furnace?
Stephen

 

Stephen,
My layout is 13 x 35' ... half my basement. I had 27 40 watt incandescent light bulbs on a dedicated 15 amp line for layout lighting. 15 amp line for track power and everything else. I'm using NCE Power Pro and some Tortoise switch machines. Plenty of power for everything including a power hungry dehumidifier during the summer and small space heater during the winter. Shop vac, airbrush compressor and fans should be no problem.

Gordon Spalty

drgw169
 

Hello Stephen,

What Lloyd said!    In my case I have a large 200 Amp box with lots of room for breakers located in the garage with the layout room just behind it, so I could simply add breakers for the circuits needed in the layout room.  If you need to run to a subpanel, the 100 amp would be a good choice.   You never know when you might need the extra space in the box for another circuit.

I have one 20 amp circuit for the ceiling lighting, but have that switched as two circuits so I am not burning lights on the other side of room if I am only working at the bench.  The bench lights them selves are run from an unswitched house power circuit.

I have another 20 amp circuit feeding duplex receptacles around the room at locations where I thought  would need "house power" which is not switched.    I put in more receptacles than the electrical code requires (and also met code spacing) as they are inexpensive and I wanted the power where I thought I would need it for things like soldering tools, portable lights for working under the layout, small power tools and a mini fridge.

I have a third 20 amp circuit that is switched that runs around room to feed duplex receptacles for powering up all the railroad electrical and electronics in addition to the power supplies for the LED light strips that illuminate the lower deck.   Again, I put in more receptacles than the code requires.

The two circuits powering receptacle are distinguished by one set being ivory colored and the other white colored.    Switches for the overhead lights and the layout power are all located next the entrance door to the room.

Experience has shown the unswitched power circuit has worked out well.    However, experience has proved that while I thought I included plenty of switched layout power receptacles, I did not include near enough and have had to resort to "outlet expanders" and power strips.   It is amazing how the number of things on a layout that need electricity keeps growing.    I should have put in quad boxes for each of the layout receptacle locations with two duplex receptacles each.   The other item to be aware of is that some wall warts want to occupy more space than just the receptacle they are plugged into, preventing use of other receptacles adjacent to it.

I also have sheet of load for load calculations of each circuit which was really important for lighting in the days of incandescent lighting.   Not needed with LEDs having replaced at the power hungry lighting.   The other circuit loads are no where near the code 80% of breaker ampacity planning figure.

FWIW,
Dave Adams
On3 Durlin Branch



  

Mike Van Hove
 

Steve is right.  You can way over do it on capacity.

My 8 ft X 30 Ft Colorado Midland layout was all on on 20 amp circuit.

Switch machine circuit, Digitracks Empire Builder,  plus soldering equipment, and in the winter, an electric heater,

Never kicked the breaker.

Only problem I ever had was if I had several people running trains at the same time, the DCC would sometimes shut down.

I found the  Heat Sinks on the back of the Empire box were getting fairly warm.

I bought a very small Muffin fan, mounted it on a homemade bracket so it was always aimed at the Empire DCC Box.

Turned that sucker on, the heatsinks cooled right down and no more problem.

And, the fan was on that same circuit.

Also had a Dorm Refrigerator (For soft drinks and to keep my ACC glues cold)  Those glues will last a LONG time, if they are kept cold.

Probably a good idea to have the lighting on its own circuit.  (I did)

Two or three circuits will be nice, but don’t go overboard.

I ran all my wiring with 12 Gage wire, so I could have 20 amp circuits.  Easy  to do at the beginning, and the cost difference is not very much.

Mike Van Hove

On Dec 21, 2019, at 12:00 PM, Steve Hatch <hatch@...> wrote:

What are you guys planning?????
  I'm running a 46x20 foot S  and Sn3 railroad in a separate building with 30 overhead lights
and 7 operators  with multilash-up and I'm not using 10 amps yet.
  My goodness one wall plug  ONE  is good for 15 amps minimum.
  yes run it's own circuit but my gosh 100 amps???
  Are you planning on an electric melt steel furnace?
Stephen

Robert Weaver
 

Check your local building codes to see if they have a minimum Amp requirement for a sub panel.  I did a 50 Amp sub panel for my garage and layout room.    Also think if you ever want to add anything it is nice to have extra possibilities (such as exterior lights).

In my layout room which is an extension off my garage (16x20, double deck) I divided up my circuits as:
  - 1 @ 15 amp for lights
         * overhead room lights
         * bench work lights
         * effect lights
  - 1 @ 20 amp for wall receptacles (North & West walls)
  - @ 20 amp for wall receptacles (South & East walls)

And I added receptacles in the peninsula from one wall. 

Each one of the circuits (lights and wall receptacles) within the train room are on separate wall switches so nothing stays live when not in use (aka when you leave), that way an accidentally left plugged in soldering iron or portable room heater doesn’t catch fire. 

Other circuits from the 50 amp sub go to my shop.   

Be sure to use the proper gauge wire/romex (and conduit if not dry walling) for your lines.  
    - 12 gauge for receptacles 
    - 14 gauge for lights (you can use 12 gauge for lights too, but don’t use 14 gauge for any receptacles circuits).

Have never had any issues. 

Rob Weaver


On Dec 21, 2019, at 10:00 AM, Steve Hatch <hatch@...> wrote:

What are you guys planning?????
  I'm running a 46x20 foot S  and Sn3 railroad in a separate building with 30 overhead lights
and 7 operators  with multilash-up and I'm not using 10 amps yet.
  My goodness one wall plug  ONE  is good for 15 amps minimum.
  yes run it's own circuit but my gosh 100 amps???
  Are you planning on an electric melt steel furnace?
Stephen

kevin b
 

to all.

in the U.S.:

if you add a sub panel to, say, a garage on your property, remember also to add a ground wire from the sub panel itself, you'll most likely have to add a ground lug in the panel, and drive a ground rod into the ground outside the structure.
use solid copper wire, not stranded.

when you add breakers to the box, DO NOT use the common bus to attach the ground wire to.
as I said, you'll probably have to add a ground lug to the box as they normally do not come pre installed.

unless you obtain 4 conductor cable, when you "power" your sub panel, you'll have 2 hot wires, and a common.
this is so you can have 220v circuits coming out of the sub panel.
remember, get your ground as I outlined above.

if you use only 1 hot and a common, only 1 half of your sub panel will be live.

before you ask, yes, it will work without a ground.
but it is not safe.

I can offer more detail should anyone wish to know more.

remember, anytime you mess with any kind of electricity, if you let the magic smoke out, it won't work anymore.
Merry Christmas.
Kevin.






Stephen Silver
 

Thanks all for the info. I am hiring all of this out to the professionals just FYI.


Life is mostly attitude and timing


On Monday, December 23, 2019, 05:17:44 AM PST, kevin b via Groups.Io <arcatruck13@...> wrote:


to all.

in the U.S.:

if you add a sub panel to, say, a garage on your property, remember also to add a ground wire from the sub panel itself, you'll most likely have to add a ground lug in the panel, and drive a ground rod into the ground outside the structure.
use solid copper wire, not stranded.

when you add breakers to the box, DO NOT use the common bus to attach the ground wire to.
as I said, you'll probably have to add a ground lug to the box as they normally do not come pre installed.

unless you obtain 4 conductor cable, when you "power" your sub panel, you'll have 2 hot wires, and a common.
this is so you can have 220v circuits coming out of the sub panel.
remember, get your ground as I outlined above.

if you use only 1 hot and a common, only 1 half of your sub panel will be live.

before you ask, yes, it will work without a ground.
but it is not safe.

I can offer more detail should anyone wish to know more.

remember, anytime you mess with any kind of electricity, if you let the magic smoke out, it won't work anymore.
Merry Christmas.
Kevin.






Russ Norris
 

Your comment about having a single cutoff switch for all circuits makes sense.  I have always regretted not doing that when we added the bump-out for the train room.  As it is, I always do a walk through when shutting down to make sure everything is off.  It's hard to be sure otherwise since the decoders all have keep alive and sound continues when I shut down.


On Sun, Dec 22, 2019, 9:43 PM Robert Weaver <robweaver36@...> wrote:
Check your local building codes to see if they have a minimum Amp requirement for a sub panel.  I did a 50 Amp sub panel for my garage and layout room.    Also think if you ever want to add anything it is nice to have extra possibilities (such as exterior lights).

In my layout room which is an extension off my garage (16x20, double deck) I divided up my circuits as:
  - 1 @ 15 amp for lights
         * overhead room lights
         * bench work lights
         * effect lights
  - 1 @ 20 amp for wall receptacles (North & West walls)
  - @ 20 amp for wall receptacles (South & East walls)

And I added receptacles in the peninsula from one wall. 

Each one of the circuits (lights and wall receptacles) within the train room are on separate wall switches so nothing stays live when not in use (aka when you leave), that way an accidentally left plugged in soldering iron or portable room heater doesn’t catch fire. 

Other circuits from the 50 amp sub go to my shop.   

Be sure to use the proper gauge wire/romex (and conduit if not dry walling) for your lines.  
    - 12 gauge for receptacles 
    - 14 gauge for lights (you can use 12 gauge for lights too, but don’t use 14 gauge for any receptacles circuits).

Have never had any issues. 

Rob Weaver


On Dec 21, 2019, at 10:00 AM, Steve Hatch <hatch@...> wrote:

What are you guys planning?????
  I'm running a 46x20 foot S  and Sn3 railroad in a separate building with 30 overhead lights
and 7 operators  with multilash-up and I'm not using 10 amps yet.
  My goodness one wall plug  ONE  is good for 15 amps minimum.
  yes run it's own circuit but my gosh 100 amps???
  Are you planning on an electric melt steel furnace?
Stephen


--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/

 

I have a red pilot light mounted in the fascia for each circuit that I can see from the top of the basement stairs. A glance and I know if I haven't turned everything off.

Gordon Spalty

Michael Dunn
 

Just because you have a 200-amp panel doesn't mean you need to use it.

Your most expensive cost in installing a sub panel will be your electrician, so there really is little reason other than the nominal cost of the box NOT to go with a 200-amp panel.

You can always ignore the excess capacity, but adding more later would be cost prohibitive... plus, none of us ever want to think about this, it will be a selling point when your home eventually needs to go on the market.

I have 400-amps (2x 200-amp panels) in my basement. Between the house, shop, indoor brewing and the charger for an EV; both panels are near their safe capacity. It doesn't take much.


On Dec 21, 2019, at 11:14 AM, Stephen Silver via Groups.Io <ssilver996@...> wrote:


I am building out part of the unfinished basement in a new house to accommodate the Silver Creek & Mellow Gulch Railway.  The room is 22ft X 17ft.  Loop to loop from one 22 ft wall to the other (19 ft of usable benchwork) with a peninsula on the short wall.

I won;'t be running any big tools, just the DCC layout and all the little things that make it sparkle, the overhead lighting, and the tools at the bench.  Add an occasional shop vacuum use, air brush compressor and booth fan, HVAC is on a 220 circuit.

I am going to get a sub panel installed for this space.  Any ideas on how many amps I should plan for?  There are too many things to be acquired in the future it seems hard to make a list and add it all up.

Thanks in advance.
Stephen

Life is mostly attitude and timing

kevin b
 

the most expensive cost in installing a sub panel will be your electrician, so there really is little reason other than the nominal cost of the box NOT to go with a 200-amp panel.


remember, if you think you're going to need 6 circuits, make darn sure to get box that'll handle twice that many.

Merry Christmas everybody.
Kevin.