Re: Wiring Accessory Lamps to the DCC Bus

Mark Cartwright

In my travels under the wire so to speak, I have been buying other people's layouts, sometimes nearly completed ones, some running on DCC.
All on the cheap.
>>>People whether they are running DC or DCC = Often create a totally separate circuit for illuminating their buildings. For many people it is a near after-thought anyway, requiring all new wiring.
One guy had a bunch of very small Train Set Transformers. He had sold off his entire fleet/layout to a guy who was trying to resell it all piece by piece and had no full idea what each part was worth...So after a year of such sales...basically what I left him with was N Scale Bachmann Snap Track, a Command 2000 DCC controller and about 20 of these train set transformers.  I had him throw in three on my deal. I have yet to use them, except to test individual buildings.
Instead, I have also picked up in my travels HO/O Scale larger transformers, which I intend to use.
Here is why > I prefer to run low voltage wire instead of the higher voltage wire around LAN Systems; as much as possible > So multiple small transformers with their own separate 110 volt wiring won't do for me.
Too much interference.
Local area network - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


I worked in a Silicon Valley Company, circa 1989 which was attempting to install a LAN System. The building was full of electronic gizmo's. Besides an interconnected system of circa 1989 IBM computers, we had various Security and Fire Systems in operation, various types of Intercoms, various types of whole house music systems and In Home Theaters. We found...rather they found > That having any sort of higher voltages wire too near some of these other systems (12-18 volt transformers) caused feedback. Hence they began to measure distance between the wires and learned never to bunch up transformers.
They also learned never to put the transformer into the same box as the electronics.
Some of the things this company did was install Gate Systems. Where a trench was dug from the house to several (perhaps hundreds) of yards away down to the front gate.
In the trench was high voltage wire, low voltage wire, intercom wire, lighting controls, video....Perhaps even a method for the local fire department to call in or upon a fire signal, the front gates would be thrown open. Sometimes the gate itself was valued at over $100,000k. The gates too were often full of metal and in their own were like a giant antenna.
The company I was with was charged with making it all work. 
My job was to just sell it and assure the customer that our people could make it all work.
Guess what? 
Well I can say they favored twisted pair shielded wire, through separate tubing at least 6 inches apart all the time with the tops of the wire, if in the ground below 18 inches. So they would dig the trench 24 just to favor no mistakes.
Shielded Twisted Pair?
Which can become a whole other debate on these forums.
Also in my travels on the cheap, I picked up twisted pair bell wire (nearly antique and not shielded.)
My intention so far is to run this separate wire to many of my buildings for their own lighting. 
Individually controlled by simple toggle switches.
Some as in very few maybe further enhanced with arduino and netuino drives.
Again these will be on yet another separate system.
In this regard > Has anybody tried out the new product from Woodland Scenics ?
Which has four plug in LED/SMD lights, each with their own rheostat. 
They are listed as O Scale, but I am fitting them under N Scale Buildings under their sabot base.
Woodland Scenics BA5790 White Light Kit |


According to the description they already run on 16-20 VAC, so perhaps could be used as is on smaller layouts with DCC with a few buildings.
I tend to run three-five LEDS per building anyway > Even in N Scale. Or in Downtown Buildings which are close together and  if? ...> You don't do floors as I do....One could do four buildings.
In any event....Seems I will be upping my 12 volt lighted buildings to work on O Scale Transformers. 
Which somehow, I already own, again gathered in my cheap travels.
I was attempting to make my own individual circuit boards for each of my buildings when Woodland Scenics decided to offer a better design at cheaper prices to my Radio Shack components. 

Oops! again....Had I only waited just a few months.
Basically put, I don't believe in bunching up our various systems on one transformer on anything larger than what might be deemed as a train table or even the size of a coffee table.


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