Re: Large scale wiring/ code 332 rail

David Heine

I have a large scale garden railroad, but it is only 20' X 30' and is actually smaller than my basement Sn3/Sn2/S layout, which is my main layout.  I could look at the DCC waveform on it with a scope or a Fluke ScopeMeter, but it is buried in snow right now.

The large scale layout is my "relaxed" layout, so I used Code 332 sectional track (mostly LGB) with a simple trackplan.  Note to small scalers, although it uses sectional track, I have straight sections that are about 4' long, so it really doesn't have any more joints than a similar sized small scale layout using flextrack.  Some comments on wiring.  When I first started wiring it, I soldered #12 AWG feeders onto the rail.  I found my resistance soldering unit at maximum output (300 watt) worked the best for me; even better than a small butane torch.  I tried several methods except for a propane torch.  I didn't want to melt plastic ties and the wire insulation.  I since added the split jaw rail clamps to all the rail joints and found that using a fork terminal under the head of one of the clamp bolts seems to work fine for a power connection, and is a lot easier than soldering.

I ran my main wires in PVC conduit, that roughly follows the mainline.  The feeder wires are just buried in the stone/dirt.  The power source is in an enclosed porch that is adjacent to the railroad.  There is a PVC conduit from the porch that tees into the layout conduit for the power.  All my turnouts are manual.  

I haven't had any real issues with using track power with the brass rail.   I just need to keep the track clean of leaves, squashed bugs, etc.

Dave Heine
Easton, PA

On Mon, Feb 9, 2015 at 3:09 PM, len.jask@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:


You pretty much listed up the first 5 commandments of DCC very nicely!

As for decoders, one gets what one pays for. I personally have mostly all ZIMO except for 1 QSI. I started going cheap but realized all the drawbacks.

As for spikes a PC based O-scope is a good investment. I think most could learn how to use it without a painful learning curve, no matter what scale.

Hope some large scalers will add comments!

Len Jaskiewicz

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