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All good points, Don, I'll keep that list in mind as we dig
deeper. Many of the joints are crimp butt-splice connectors, good
in theory but prone to weak-hand syndrome.
The size of the wire might not be the real problem. #18 can
easily carry enough current to pass the coin test. Look at all
the power wiring splices. Many non-electrician types tend to
simply twist the wires together and thereby making a poor
electrical connection which can get worse over time. Verify that
the joints are either soldered or are correctly using wire nuts.
Also verify the soldering of feeder wire connections to the
rails... especially at those sections that don't pass the coin
test. Do not rely on track feeder wires connected to rail
joiners as the joiners to rail connections are the problem. If
that is the case, be sure to solder the joiner to the rail.
Debugging another friend's layout. His bus wiring is not up
as the coin test fails in many sectors. It's clear to me that
wires, 16 and 18 ga speaker wire with numerous butt-splice
is the root of the problem; it's an old DC layout, with the
rewired. Runs are in the 25' range, so I'm not worried about
He's reluctant to completely rewire, as he did put feeders in
section of rail.
I think he could improve performance by running a parallel
buss pair, interconnecting the Rail A to Rail A' wires, and
the Rail B
to Rail B' wires, at regular intervals (say 5'). Think of
each buss as
beginning to look like a ladder, with the rungs being the
and the feeders running from one side of the ladder to the
really, this is an extension of the rails-parallel-to-the-bus
anyway, now we just have three parallel paths.
Does anyone see a serious gotcha with this? I don't see one,
as long as
the A and A' wires, and the B and B' wires, stay in reasonable
proximity. It's not ideal, but it is a lot less work than a
rewiring, especially as some of his feeders are darn near
Thanks for any suggestions