Date   

Re: Electrical Code for Train Layouts

Richard Sutcliffe
 

One of our local modellers prints the circuit identification on an Avery lable, applies the lable to the end of the wire, then shrinks a piece of clear heat shrink tube over the lable. Can use colour printing for extra identification.

Wish I had thought of this 40 years ago. But my wiring is still working. :>)

On Mar 15, 2020, at 9:43 AM, Carl <carl.blum@...> wrote:

One option that is approved is to mark the ends of a conductor. So if you have only black wire you could use colored shrink wrap to mark the code color. 



Re: Non-terminal snubbers

Daniel Brewer
 
Edited

Hi Allan,

I've added a .pdf of the two wiring schemes I've considered to the Files/Non-terminal snubbers Thread. As I'm coming to understand, I think example one is the wrong one to use if I need snubbers, and also need detection. Please comment as warranted.

Dan
Granger, IN


Re: Electrical Code for Train Layouts

Carl
 

Hi Gang:

One option that is approved is to mark the ends of a conductor. So if you have only black wire you could use colored shrink wrap to mark the code color.

I don't have the printer, but once I found a load of shrink wrap on carriers for printing. So you could print what you wanted on the wrap and then shrink it on the wire!

I also like terminals that allow me to remove one wire at a time, makes trouble shooting much easier.

The block on the left is for signals, the yellow/green terminals are connected to the DIN rail, notice the small green strip in the center of three terminals, connects six screws to the same circuit. The black terminals are fuses for turnout controls, one for each town. Track power is farther down.

As I have changed my power plans three times: Lionel AC to Lionel DMCC to Digitrax DCC these terminals made the changes possible.

Carl.

On 3/15/2020 12:01 PM, thomasmclae via Groups.Io wrote:
Just a reminder, there is a difference between Electrical Code and Electrical Standards.
Electrical Code prevents fires. DO NOT cut corners on this, as it prevents fires and electrical damage.
Electrical Standards make maintenance easier. Standards include:
Gauge of wire for applications. bus wire, track drops, etc.
Color code of wire. Track drop outside rail red, inside rail black, arduino power red/white, signal wires green/white, etc. Every wire should have a color assigned.
Connector types used. Suitcase, spade lugs, molex, etc. Especially critical for modular and sectional, but relevant for any layout. 

The more you document, the easier it is to fix something next year. (In my case, next month!)
You can set any rule you want, but follow that rule every time. Consistency is key.

Standards seem like a pain, but you are trading short term irritation for long term pain.
The first time you find a green wire dangling under the layout, and you have no idea what it was connected to, you will embrace standards.

Thomas
DeSoto, TX


Re: Electrical Code for Train Layouts

thomasmclae
 

Just a reminder, there is a difference between Electrical Code and Electrical Standards.
Electrical Code prevents fires. DO NOT cut corners on this, as it prevents fires and electrical damage.
Electrical Standards make maintenance easier. Standards include:
Gauge of wire for applications. bus wire, track drops, etc.
Color code of wire. Track drop outside rail red, inside rail black, arduino power red/white, signal wires green/white, etc. Every wire should have a color assigned.
Connector types used. Suitcase, spade lugs, molex, etc. Especially critical for modular and sectional, but relevant for any layout. 

The more you document, the easier it is to fix something next year. (In my case, next month!)
You can set any rule you want, but follow that rule every time. Consistency is key.

Standards seem like a pain, but you are trading short term irritation for long term pain.
The first time you find a green wire dangling under the layout, and you have no idea what it was connected to, you will embrace standards.

Thomas
DeSoto, TX


Re: Non-terminal snubbers

wirefordcc
 

Hi Jim,

 

There is a lot to be said about living down the street from NCE!

 

The snubbers need to be at the ends of your buses.  If you bus leaves in two directions from your booster, you need one at each end.  Your snubbers need to be before your block detectors as they would cause false occupations otherwise.

 

Locos that stop running in a consist may have poor power pick up.

 

Power pick up could also be a problem for your cars that you are relying on for block occupancy.  I moved before I got signaling installed on my last layout.  I’m going to try again in my new home.

 

Can I use your question in my new MR column?  If so, please provide your city and state. 

 

Thank you

 

Allan

Wiring for DCC

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Jim Zarnick
Sent: Saturday, March 14, 2020 11:29 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Non-terminal snubbers

 

Congrats Allan!  I subscribe to several HO Facebook groups and when people start asking DCC type wiring question I habitually reference wiringfordcc.com J Looking forward to reading you in MR.

 

I’ve been paying close attention to this dialog as I wonder if my own snubbers are in the right place.  So I’ll ask.

 

I have NCE DCC hardware on the track circuits. (I used to live 2 miles from their shop so I’m loyal, J

 

Layout is multi deck  around the walls with a helix connecting one end of the wall based decks and a platform in the center of the room that connects the 2 decks, allowing continuous running.  Mainline is double and 267 feet long.

 

2 NCE Boosters

12 gauge stranded buses from Boosters. Boosters are wired together for common ground.

5 locations exist around the layout connecting  the buses to 6 NCE Circuit Breakers.

Each circuit breaker is connected to a multi terminal distribution panel like the Micro Structure product.  2 sides 10-12 terminals each side.

My snubbers sit on the bottom of these panels, so 1 snubber per circuit breaker protected district.

From the distro panels after the circuit breaker each block, which have insulation joiners on both rails, have a twisted pair of 18 gauge wire running to them.

One of the block wires runs through an NCE block detector.

Each piece of track has 22 gauge feeders connected the 18 gauge block wires (IDCs everywhere!).

 

So my snubbers are not at the end of runs, as technically the end of my runs are at the end of each block. But my snubbers are before the block detectors.

 

In general I have very few electrical issues but:

  1. I do have the occasional runaway, 
  2. I do have the occasional locomotive that stops and restarts while the other loco in the consist does not, and
  3. I do have an occasional issue with the block detectors not picking up the resistor wheelsets, which is annoying to the signal system and crossing gates.

 

Lots of info here, but welcome knowing if I have my snubbers in the best place?

 

Thanks for the great dialogs in this group!

 

Respectfully,

 

Jim Zarnick

 

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io [mailto:w4dccqa@groups.io] On Behalf Of wirefordcc
Sent: Saturday, March 14, 2020 10:18 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Non-terminal snubbers

 

Hi Dan,

 

One common snubber at the end of the district that ties all the lines to it should work.  Do not put them after the block detector CT (current transformer) coil as you might get a false occupied block.

 

Starting in January, I will be writing the DCC Corner column for Model Railroader.  Can I use your question?  If so, please provide me with your city and state.

 

Thank you

 

Allan


Re: Electrical Code for Train Layouts

Jerry Michels
 

We have had no problems doing this. As long as the rules for wiring 120v AC are followed.  We haven't have a need for switches along the extension cord, we have one at the beginning to disable the AC.  Our AC runs (in conduit and boxes) has multiple duplex outlets.  That is the reason for the AC in the first place, to distribute the AC to points on the layout where it is needed.


Jerry Michels

Amarillo Railroad Museum


So what’s everyone’s thoughts on adding a switch in an extension cord and replace end connector with a metal box and 2 duplex outlets?

 

Wyndell


Re: Non-terminal snubbers

Jerry Michels
 

Regarding snubbers and Team Digital BlocD8 current detectors.  We did install snubbers a few years ago, but the always caused the BlocD8's to give a false positive.  We took all the snubbers out, and as far as DCC operation, have not noticed any ill effects.  We have a Digitrax DCC system.

Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum


Re: Electrical Code for Train Layouts

 

Wago makes two similar types.  The older type is good but the newer one  is best.  They are the type 221.  Here is a listing on Ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Wago-221-Electrical-Lever-Connector-Terminal-Block-221-412-221-413-221-415/253063317158?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

The Wago parts are UL rated for household wiring as well.  Beware of the Chinese imitations.  They are not UL rated and may be fine for your low voltage stuff but don't wire them to 120V circuits.  I have used them professionally and on my layout and they are great.

Best,

Ken Harstine


Re: Electrical Code for Train Layouts

Don Vollrath
 

Wyndell, you will not meet the safety intention of the (120V) electrical code by simply adding (cutting in) a switch and terminating the end of an extension cord in a duplex outlet box. Use electrician installed code compatible wiring, especially for club installations... permit and all.
DonV


Re: Non-terminal snubbers

Don Vollrath
 

Jim, sounds like you have the wiring well in hand.
1. Be sure every loco decoder is set run on DCC only. Not DC.
2. Intermittent pickup on one loco in a consist is annoying. Clean wheels and pickups. Verify no broken internal wiring. Provide track wiring (or common KA device) connections between fixed consist units (?).
3. Wire Snubbers at the input side of occupancy detectors. Not on the wires to track.
4. Test sensitivity of occupancy sensors by using an 8-10K resistor across the track rails. Be sure wheels to resistors on rolling stock are clean. Use a time delay on occupancy release to prevent ‘blinking’.

DonV


Re: Non-terminal snubbers

mgj21932
 

I too look forward to Allen’s column in MR.  I learned so much about DCC from the website that I’m sure we will all benefit from the new column.  
Bill D


On Mar 15, 2020, at 5:03 AM, Jim Zarnick <jameszarnick@...> wrote:



Congrats Allan!  I subscribe to several HO Facebook groups and when people start asking DCC type wiring question I habitually reference wiringfordcc.com J Looking forward to reading you in MR.

 

I’ve been paying close attention to this dialog as I wonder if my own snubbers are in the right place.  So I’ll ask.

 

I have NCE DCC hardware on the track circuits. (I used to live 2 miles from their shop so I’m loyal, J

 

Layout is multi deck  around the walls with a helix connecting one end of the wall based decks and a platform in the center of the room that connects the 2 decks, allowing continuous running.  Mainline is double and 267 feet long.

 

2 NCE Boosters

12 gauge stranded buses from Boosters. Boosters are wired together for common ground.

5 locations exist around the layout connecting  the buses to 6 NCE Circuit Breakers.

Each circuit breaker is connected to a multi terminal distribution panel like the Micro Structure product.  2 sides 10-12 terminals each side.

My snubbers sit on the bottom of these panels, so 1 snubber per circuit breaker protected district.

From the distro panels after the circuit breaker each block, which have insulation joiners on both rails, have a twisted pair of 18 gauge wire running to them.

One of the block wires runs through an NCE block detector.

Each piece of track has 22 gauge feeders connected the 18 gauge block wires (IDCs everywhere!).

 

So my snubbers are not at the end of runs, as technically the end of my runs are at the end of each block. But my snubbers are before the block detectors.

 

In general I have very few electrical issues but:

1)      I do have the occasional runaway, 

2)      I do have the occasional locomotive that stops and restarts while the other loco in the consist does not, and

3)      I do have an occasional issue with the block detectors not picking up the resistor wheelsets, which is annoying to the signal system and crossing gates.

 

Lots of info here, but welcome knowing if I have my snubbers in the best place?

 

Thanks for the great dialogs in this group!

 

Respectfully,

 

Jim Zarnick

 

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io [mailto:w4dccqa@groups.io] On Behalf Of wirefordcc
Sent: Saturday, March 14, 2020 10:18 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Non-terminal snubbers

 

Hi Dan,

 

One common snubber at the end of the district that ties all the lines to it should work.  Do not put them after the block detector CT (current transformer) coil as you might get a false occupied block.

 

Starting in January, I will be writing the DCC Corner column for Model Railroader.  Can I use your question?  If so, please provide me with your city and state.

 

Thank you

 

Allan


Re: Non-terminal snubbers

Max Maginness
 

The BOD-8 adjustment range is 1.3-7mA
A snubber pulls about 40mA but surely it goes upstream from the detectors - that is closer to the main bus.

Max

-----Original Message-----
From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Puckdropper via Groups.Io
Sent: Saturday, March 14, 2020 1:27 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Non-terminal snubbers

Has anyone tried using the coil-style adjustable block detectors with snubbers? Something like the Team Digital BOD-8?

Puckdropper


Re: Non-terminal snubbers

Jim Zarnick
 

Congrats Allan!  I subscribe to several HO Facebook groups and when people start asking DCC type wiring question I habitually reference wiringfordcc.com J Looking forward to reading you in MR.

 

I’ve been paying close attention to this dialog as I wonder if my own snubbers are in the right place.  So I’ll ask.

 

I have NCE DCC hardware on the track circuits. (I used to live 2 miles from their shop so I’m loyal, J

 

Layout is multi deck  around the walls with a helix connecting one end of the wall based decks and a platform in the center of the room that connects the 2 decks, allowing continuous running.  Mainline is double and 267 feet long.

 

2 NCE Boosters

12 gauge stranded buses from Boosters. Boosters are wired together for common ground.

5 locations exist around the layout connecting  the buses to 6 NCE Circuit Breakers.

Each circuit breaker is connected to a multi terminal distribution panel like the Micro Structure product.  2 sides 10-12 terminals each side.

My snubbers sit on the bottom of these panels, so 1 snubber per circuit breaker protected district.

From the distro panels after the circuit breaker each block, which have insulation joiners on both rails, have a twisted pair of 18 gauge wire running to them.

One of the block wires runs through an NCE block detector.

Each piece of track has 22 gauge feeders connected the 18 gauge block wires (IDCs everywhere!).

 

So my snubbers are not at the end of runs, as technically the end of my runs are at the end of each block. But my snubbers are before the block detectors.

 

In general I have very few electrical issues but:

1)      I do have the occasional runaway, 

2)      I do have the occasional locomotive that stops and restarts while the other loco in the consist does not, and

3)      I do have an occasional issue with the block detectors not picking up the resistor wheelsets, which is annoying to the signal system and crossing gates.

 

Lots of info here, but welcome knowing if I have my snubbers in the best place?

 

Thanks for the great dialogs in this group!

 

Respectfully,

 

Jim Zarnick

 

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io [mailto:w4dccqa@groups.io] On Behalf Of wirefordcc
Sent: Saturday, March 14, 2020 10:18 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Non-terminal snubbers

 

Hi Dan,

 

One common snubber at the end of the district that ties all the lines to it should work.  Do not put them after the block detector CT (current transformer) coil as you might get a false occupied block.

 

Starting in January, I will be writing the DCC Corner column for Model Railroader.  Can I use your question?  If so, please provide me with your city and state.

 

Thank you

 

Allan


Re: Electrical Code for Train Layouts

Wyndell "Wingnut" Ferguson
 

So what’s everyone’s thoughts on adding a switch in an extension cord and replace end connector with a metal box and 2 duplex outlets?

 

Wyndell

 

Cognitive Thought & Oppsable Thumbs (CTOT) RR

DCC on N Scale

 




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Re: Non-terminal snubbers

Mark Cartwright <marcdecapri@...>
 

Thank you Alan
Your page answered many questions I had not yet begun to know I had.
:)) Mark


Re: Non-terminal snubbers

Puckdropper
 

Has anyone tried using the coil-style adjustable block detectors with snubbers? Something like the Team Digital BOD-8?

Puckdropper


Re: Electrical Code for Train Layouts

PennsyNut <pennsynut@...>
 

If I may? That's why I love those WAGO lever nuts. They are rated for AWG 28 to 12. So they hold and connect two or more wires and leave nothing exposed. What I did was strip the wires so that the insulation goes right up to the WAGO. And the reason I tried these in the first place was that I had two 22 AWG wires twisted together with "wire nuts". Again, carefully trimmed so no exposed wire. But they don't hold if you accidentally tug the wires. WAGO's do hold. I am not affiliated with them. Just a happy customer. They are a little pricey, but IMHO it's a good example of "you get what you pay for".  Morgan Bilbo, about one year with very basic DCC


Re: Electrical Code for Train Layouts

wirefordcc
 

On Fri, Mar 13, 2020 at 08:42 AM, Tim wrote:

I will need 120V receptacles on a couple of peninsulas on my layout. That will all be in EMT and metal boxes.

Tim Rumph
Lancaster, SC
Everyone has been giving prudent advice.  Let me just add a couple of things.  

Route your 120/220 VAC wiring away from your bench top so that you don't accidentally drill through it some day.

No exposed wiring or terminals like on transformers or fuse holders!  Even the low voltage output terminals on transformers should not be exposed; especially if the transformer is not fused.  Otherwise, if something metallic should short the output terminals of the transformer, a fire could result.

Allan Gartner
Wiring For DCC


Re: Non-terminal snubbers

wirefordcc
 

Hi Dan,

 

One common snubber at the end of the district that ties all the lines to it should work.  Do not put them after the block detector CT (current transformer) coil as you might get a false occupied block.

 

Starting in January, I will be writing the DCC Corner column for Model Railroader.  Can I use your question?  If so, please provide me with your city and state.

 

Thank you

 

Allan


Re: Non-terminal snubbers

Tim
 

Don't use a snubber on leads with current sensors, it will trip them and look occupied all the time.

Tim Rumph
Lancaster, SC