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Protecting bus to feeder connections

Greg Smith
 
Edited

I am new to DCC, although I have been accumulating 'stuff' for 20 years - HO scale, so I have lots of questions, most pretty basic.  Since the bus to feeder connection is a 'T' and precludes the use of shrink tubing, is liquid electrical tape appropriate for this use?  Do most of you use some form of protection for this solder junction?

I am using solid 14 AWG for the main power bus and solid 18 AWG for the feeders.  I am using the 14 solid wire from Romex because I have several hundred feet left over from when I wired my equipment building/shop.  

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

vincent marino
 

I have a small layout with about 100 feeders and 6 power districts.  I'm not accomplished at soldering. No way I could solder that many feeders working overhead under the table. I used suitcase connections and haven't had any regrets. The only advice I would give at this time is to use a proven track and turnout system. I used EZ track and regret that decision. Good luck. 


On Sun, Oct 20, 2019, 4:35 PM Greg Smith <gcscls@...> wrote:
I am new to DCC, although I have been accumulating 'stuff' for 20 years - HO scale, so I have lots of questions, most pretty basic.  Since the bus to feeder connection is a 'T' and precludes the use of shrink tubing, is liquid electrical tape appropriate for this use?  Do most of you use some form of protection for this solder junction?

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

Carl
 

Hi Greg:

An other option are "suit case" connectors, no stripping, already insulated, $0.05 each.

If you want to use shrink tubing, instead of a butt joint, strip all three wires, twist, solder, and slip the tubing over the end.

Then there are PVC terminal strips for insulation displacement screws:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Insulation-Displacement-Screw-Terminals/

I use them on my friend's layout and they worked great.

Carl.

On 10/20/2019 4:35 PM, Greg Smith wrote:
I am new to DCC, although I have been accumulating 'stuff' for 20 years - HO scale, so I have lots of questions, most pretty basic.  Since the bus to feeder connection is a 'T' and precludes the use of shrink tubing, is liquid electrical tape appropriate for this use?  Do most of you use some form of protection for this solder junction?

Virus-free. www.avast.com

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

Larry Moray
 

Bachman EZ-Track?  What r ur regrets?  Thx

Larry J Moray, DDS, MS
President, The Happy Tooth Dental Group
‘Changing People’s Lives
through Affordable, Accessible Smiles’
Dr.LarryMoray@HappyToothNC.com
919.259.2280

On Oct 20, 2019, at 5:09 PM, vincent marino <vmarino2009@...> wrote:


I have a small layout with about 100 feeders and 6 power districts.  I'm not accomplished at soldering. No way I could solder that many feeders working overhead under the table. I used suitcase connections and haven't had any regrets. The only advice I would give at this time is to use a proven track and turnout system. I used EZ track and regret that decision. Good luck. 

On Sun, Oct 20, 2019, 4:35 PM Greg Smith <gcscls@...> wrote:
I am new to DCC, although I have been accumulating 'stuff' for 20 years - HO scale, so I have lots of questions, most pretty basic.  Since the bus to feeder connection is a 'T' and precludes the use of shrink tubing, is liquid electrical tape appropriate for this use?  Do most of you use some form of protection for this solder junction?

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

Paul O
 

Greg, I simply offset the solder connections to the bus by a couple of inches to prevent shorts. Since it’s under the table there hasn’t been a problem.

Paul O._,_._,_

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

Al Silverstein
 

Greg,
 
There are several methods used to connect feeders to bus wires: the two that seem most common is the soldering of the feeder to the bus and the other is using a “Tee” connector to connect the feeder to the bus. You need to be careful in both cases to insure a good connection. Poor solder connections can cause trouble while improper “Tee” connector can cause a poor connection. Good tools are required in both cases to insure a good connection.
 
I use stranded 14 awg wire for my main bus. It works for me as none of my bus runs are more than 20’ from a booster or the command station.
 
I use solid 22 awg wire for my feeders. Keep in mind I am a N scale model railroader.
 
I purchased a tool the opens and spreads the insulation on the wire bus. I use a wire stripper to strip the feeder. I remove enough insulation so that I can wrap the feeder wire around the bus at least twice. I then carefully solder the connection using a temperature controlled soldering iron. When the connection cools I use red or black finger nail polish to seal the connection.
 
The above works for me.
 
Al Silverstein

From: Greg Smith
Sent: Sunday, October 20, 2019 4:35 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] Protecting bus to feeder connections
 
I am new to DCC, although I have been accumulating 'stuff' for 20 years - HO scale, so I have lots of questions, most pretty basic.  Since the bus to feeder connection is a 'T' and precludes the use of shrink tubing, is liquid electrical tape appropriate for this use?  Do most of you use some form of protection for this solder junction?
 

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

David Klemm
 

Paul O’s method is the same I use. Off setting the connections is sufficient. Not like the buss wires will move!  :)

David Klemm
11 PRO Max


From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> on behalf of Paul O <pomilian@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 20, 2019 7:53:56 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Protecting bus to feeder connections
 
Greg, I simply offset the solder connections to the bus by a couple of inches to prevent shorts. Since it’s under the table there hasn’t been a problem.

Paul O._,_._,_

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

thomasmclae
 

Our club is 3000 square feet.
The only soldering we do is in control panels. switchmaster turnout motors, and track drops with solid wire.
Every other connection is with either spade lugs or molex connectors (Crimp connectors).
track drops are about 6 inches to a terminal block.
I have several good photos of how we did these if you are interested.

BTW, we have been using this wiring since 1990, with no issues.
Thomas
DeSoto, TX

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

Joseph A. Correro, Jr.
 

I would like to see your pics.

Thank you,

Joseph Correro
Cleveland, Mississippi



"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!"


On Mon, Oct 21, 2019 at 9:35 AM thomasmclae via Groups.Io <mclae5-lists=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Our club is 3000 square feet.
The only soldering we do is in control panels. switchmaster turnout motors, and track drops with solid wire.
Every other connection is with either spade lugs or molex connectors (Crimp connectors).
track drops are about 6 inches to a terminal block.
I have several good photos of how we did these if you are interested.

BTW, we have been using this wiring since 1990, with no issues.
Thomas
DeSoto, TX

Re: Protecting bus to feeder connections

Puckdropper
 

There's a spring-style stripper you can get that will strip the wire and push it aside just far enough to solder a feeder to. The one I use has multiple holes for the various gauges of wire. I've tried the "automatic" styles and have been disappointed with them. The insulation will actually be compressed with this tool, so after you make the connection it may creep back up tight. That will help protect your connection, but it's not a big deal if it doesn't. A 3" or so offset has been all I've needed to keep bus wires from shorting.

If you can't avoid having some connections close to each other, liquid electrical tape or even just normal tape can protect them. A wrap of electrical tape on either side of the T'd wire should be good enough to protect things for a long time.

If you're soldering, remember a good physical connection turns into a good soldered connection. I usually use solid wire and wrap my feeders around it so that they're tight, then flux and solder.

Puckdropper

Book on DCC wiring

monty cunningham
 

Sort of new to DCC.  Older and retired and building for the first time a larger layout in spare bedroom.  Have benchwork half done.  Maybe I should think about wiring.  My only experience with DCC is a 5' X 4' layout using NCE with simple wiring. 
My question being what is a good book on wiring for someone with limited experience.
Thanks
Monty

Re: Book on DCC wiring

Rex
 

Monty,

I am in a similar situation. I will comment on two books I purchased for self education, both from Model Railroader -

Basic DCC Wiring for Your Model Railroad and DCC Projects & Applications, both by Mike Polsgrove. Both informative and neither left me feeling comfortable.

I also downloaded installation and instruction manuals from several different manufacturer, also helpful but not completely useful.

Asking local model railroaders in groups started more "warm discussion" between the individuals than helpful answers.

If you find a good book, post the info.

Thanks, Rex

On November 3, 2019 at 9:04 AM monty cunningham <lamont7777@...> wrote:

Sort of new to DCC.  Older and retired and building for the first time a larger layout in spare bedroom.  Have benchwork half done.  Maybe I should think about wiring.  My only experience with DCC is a 5' X 4' layout using NCE with simple wiring. 
My question being what is a good book on wiring for someone with limited experience.
Thanks
Monty


 


 


Thanks,
Rex

Re: Book on DCC wiring

Richard Sutcliffe
 

Our list owner has an excellent website.
http://www.WiringForDCC.com

Re: Book on DCC wiring

Larry Moray
 

Also great info on YouTube and Larry Puckett’s numerous DCC Wiring books through Kalmbach Media

Larry J Moray, DDS, MS
President, The Happy Tooth Dental Group
919.259.2280

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On Nov 3, 2019, at 4:09 PM, Rex <raschildhouse@...> wrote:

Monty,

I am in a similar situation. I will comment on two books I purchased for self education, both from Model Railroader -

Basic DCC Wiring for Your Model Railroad and DCC Projects & Applications, both by Mike Polsgrove. Both informative and neither left me feeling comfortable.

I also downloaded installation and instruction manuals from several different manufacturer, also helpful but not completely useful.

Asking local model railroaders in groups started more "warm discussion" between the individuals than helpful answers.

If you find a good book, post the info.

Thanks, Rex

On November 3, 2019 at 9:04 AM monty cunningham <lamont7777@...> wrote:

Sort of new to DCC.  Older and retired and building for the first time a larger layout in spare bedroom.  Have benchwork half done.  Maybe I should think about wiring.  My only experience with DCC is a 5' X 4' layout using NCE with simple wiring. 
My question being what is a good book on wiring for someone with limited experience.
Thanks
Monty


 


 


Thanks,
Rex


Re: Book on DCC wiring

vincent marino
 

Best place to educate yourself is to search DCC wiring on you tube. So much good information there. Just decide what you think the best way to approach it for your capability and strengths. Come to the group with questions once you familiarize yourself with the different methods. Since your benchwork is started I would definitely get your design three steps ahead of where you are right now. Otherwise you'll be dismantling it. I speak from experience. Good luck


On Sun, Nov 3, 2019, 1:40 PM monty cunningham <lamont7777@...> wrote:
Sort of new to DCC.  Older and retired and building for the first time a larger layout in spare bedroom.  Have benchwork half done.  Maybe I should think about wiring.  My only experience with DCC is a 5' X 4' layout using NCE with simple wiring. 
My question being what is a good book on wiring for someone with limited experience.
Thanks
Monty

testing soldering iron tip for voltage

Greg Smith
 

I have a Weller WES51 soldering station that is supposed to be suitable for electronics work.  Three prong plug.
I have been using it for several years but would like to check to see if there is voltage across the tip before I start installing decoders.  I know I have seen this somewhere, but just can't recall where.
Thank you
Greg

Re: testing soldering iron tip for voltage

Mark Gurries
 

Professional Soldering Iron used for professional electronics work will have a Earth Ground connection.  The Tip will be earth grounded for ESD reasons.   The voltage will be zero at the tip.   You will not have any problem with the soldering iron working on your decoders.

Regardless of what soldering iron you have, you should NEVER solder to a decoder that is powered by or connected to a DCC system.   You should take the engine off the test track if it on a test track or disconnect any test leads that go to the DCC system.


On Nov 3, 2019, at 5:10 PM, Greg Smith <gcscls@...> wrote:

I have a Weller WES51 soldering station that is supposed to be suitable for electronics work.  Three prong plug.
I have been using it for several years but would like to check to see if there is voltage across the tip before I start installing decoders.  I know I have seen this somewhere, but just can't recall where.
Thank you
Greg

Best Regards,

Mark Gurries
Electrical Engineer
DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics: www.markgurries.com



Re: Book on DCC wiring

Jerry Michels
 

I have to nominate Allan's website as the best source.  It is easy to read and use his tips and techniques.  I would be nice if it was a PDF for those of us who still like a good book, but it is unequivocally the best source for DCC beginners and advanced users.

Jerry Michels

Switch8 Mk2& Button Board Issues

Dennis DeGroff
 

Hey everyone.  I am wiring my control panels with six (6) NCE Switch8 Mark2/Button Boards in conjunction with SPST Switches and LED red/green lights and Tortoise Turnout Switches.  I have been successfully running the SW8 on my Digitrax DCC system for over 6 months without a problem.  In adding the Button Boards to have a manual switches on the control panels (I have 7 small panels distributed around the layout), however, I am having issues with the panels working consistently.  Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.

In order to reduce the power the SW8/BB is taking from the DCC Track Power, I have added a 12v 5a DC Power Supply to terminal block/wiring out to the various control panels and continue to experience the same issues.  When hooking the 12v DC adaptor directly to one of the SW8 input, most of the time I have to move the DC/DCC switch on the SW8 from DC to DCC and back to DC for the switches to work (this is with no DCC power to the SW8 unit).  It's almost like the unit forgets it is in DC mode.  

I watched Larry Puckett's DCC Guy YouTube on the Switch8 / Button Board video and thought his suggestion of putting a separate power supply to the SW8 units to be a good idea and would take care of my issues.  Unfortunately, it has not.  Are there subtle wiring tricks I need to be aware of?  Should a 12v 5a power supply be able to power all 6 SW8/BB units, as well as the 41 Tortoise Switch Machines and 82 led located on the various panels I have on the layout?

If you have installed the SW8/BB units to your control panels and have similar issues and have some suggestions on how I can eliminate the problem, I would appreciate hearing from you.  Or if you just have suggestions or questions, please let me know.  I am at a dead end and don't know where to go from here! 

Dennis DeGroff, Fort Wayne, IN

Re: Switch8 Mk2& Button Board Issues

Don Vollrath
 

Dennis
You might ask the SW8/BB question on the NCE group but many of those same folks are also here.
Be sure to avoid long distance wires between the actual PBs and the Button Board. Those wires can be sensitive to noise pickup. Ditto between the BB and SW8.
Let us know what you find.
DonV