Re: Electrical Code for Train Layouts


Hi Gang:

One option that is approved is to mark the ends of a conductor. So if you have only black wire you could use colored shrink wrap to mark the code color.

I don't have the printer, but once I found a load of shrink wrap on carriers for printing. So you could print what you wanted on the wrap and then shrink it on the wire!

I also like terminals that allow me to remove one wire at a time, makes trouble shooting much easier.

The block on the left is for signals, the yellow/green terminals are connected to the DIN rail, notice the small green strip in the center of three terminals, connects six screws to the same circuit. The black terminals are fuses for turnout controls, one for each town. Track power is farther down.

As I have changed my power plans three times: Lionel AC to Lionel DMCC to Digitrax DCC these terminals made the changes possible.


On 3/15/2020 12:01 PM, thomasmclae via Groups.Io wrote:
Just a reminder, there is a difference between Electrical Code and Electrical Standards.
Electrical Code prevents fires. DO NOT cut corners on this, as it prevents fires and electrical damage.
Electrical Standards make maintenance easier. Standards include:
Gauge of wire for applications. bus wire, track drops, etc.
Color code of wire. Track drop outside rail red, inside rail black, arduino power red/white, signal wires green/white, etc. Every wire should have a color assigned.
Connector types used. Suitcase, spade lugs, molex, etc. Especially critical for modular and sectional, but relevant for any layout. 

The more you document, the easier it is to fix something next year. (In my case, next month!)
You can set any rule you want, but follow that rule every time. Consistency is key.

Standards seem like a pain, but you are trading short term irritation for long term pain.
The first time you find a green wire dangling under the layout, and you have no idea what it was connected to, you will embrace standards.

DeSoto, TX

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