Re: Droppers to bus

Jerry Michels

I am not trying to stir the pot, but we have used both AWG 20 and 22 stranded wire for drops that are over a foot long, depending on the specific location/situation. We use either AGW 12 or 14 for buss wiring (modified extension cords). For over six years these drops have operated flawlessly. We can reliably deliver power to six sound-equipped locomotives per block without problems. If we get over six sound-equipped locomotives in a given block, there is a problem with in-rush current after a derailment; the locomotives will not always reset. Not good form during an open house. This is something we can easily avoid if our members are up to snuff when running trains.

I should mention that we prefer to run our busses in a chase at roughly chest level. A lot of us are starting to have trouble soldering drops to busses while lying on our backs under the layout and dodging molten drops of solder. In some cases, especially large towns with a lot of sidings, we bring the drops together to a terminal block and them to the buss.

My thought is that it is important to 'stress test' a given block to determine its limits. No doubt that drops should be kept as short as possible, but sometimes the drops should be kept as short as 'feasibly' possible.

Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum

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