Date   
Re: Non-terminal snubbers

mgj21932
 

Of course Allan.  
Bill Demarest
Gainesville, Va. 

Neighbor of Marty McGuirk.  😃. Small world.  


On Mar 16, 2020, at 4:12 PM, wirefordcc <bigboy@...> wrote:

Hi Bill,

1.  With wires no longer than about 12 feet, you should be okay without snubbers.
2.  You should be able to twist sub bus wires downstream from the Hex Juicer.  For more "juicy" information on Juicers with block detection, see my block detection webpage.
3.  The reason for not twisting sub buses is for avoiding false occupancy indications if you were using block detectors.

I am now writing for MR.  Can I use your questions?  If so, please send me your city and state.  Thanks!

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

Re: Non-terminal snubbers

wirefordcc
 

Hi Bill,

1.  With wires no longer than about 12 feet, you should be okay without snubbers.
2.  You should be able to twist sub bus wires downstream from the Hex Juicer.  For more "juicy" information on Juicers with block detection, see my block detection webpage.
3.  The reason for not twisting sub buses is for avoiding false occupancy indications if you were using block detectors.

I am now writing for MR.  Can I use your questions?  If so, please send me your city and state.  Thanks!

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

Re: Non-terminal snubbers

mgj21932
 

Allen,

Sorry for confusion.  Was using "N/S" simply to indicate the "main" bus running down the middle of the layout parallel to the longest side (acting as a "spine"), and "E/W" to describe power bus "spurs" coming off the spine.  At this point I am not planning on occupancy detectors.   

Actually the 14 AWG main bus will be split at a centrally located Tam Valley Hex Juicer (being used as a AR switch), with the main bus powering the mainline (no AR) and two sub-buses running downstream from the Hex Juicer to provide track power to two AR segments.  TV circuit breaker is located upstream from Hex Juicer close to power supply.  

Outputs from Hex Juicer are short 22 AWG stub wires connected to 14 AWG power sub-buses.  I was planning to twist wires on all the power buses and use 22 AWG for track feeders.  Did not plan on using snubbers (or at this point occupancy detectors).  

With no wires longer than 12 feet or so, I didn't think I needed snubbers.  Is that a valid assumption?  

Plus I planned to twist the sub-bus wires downstream from the Hex Juicer.  Any reason not to do so?

Based on your previous reply, would the reason for not twisting those wires be to make later installation of occupancy detectors easier?

Bill D   

On Monday, March 16, 2020, 02:39:29 PM EDT, wirefordcc <bigboy@...> wrote:

Bill,

I figure you are trying to tell me something by your use of E/W and N/S busses.  I think if sub buses running in the same direction as your main bus, but being attached to one another with the intention of breaking up the main bus into sections to create blocks for block detection or electronic circuit breaker districts.

You don't want to twist your sub buses after block detectors because the twisting could cause false occupation indications.  You don't want to put snubbers after block detectors for the same reason.  Note:  Someone contributed to my website that twisting could come after a block detector if a capacitor is used.  I haven't tried that myself yet to see if it always works or not.  Let me know if you try it and it works for you.

Just in case anyone is wondering about Frog Juicers, don't put them after block detectors, either.  See the section on block detection in my website for more information.  BTW, I like Frog Juicers.  I have many of them.

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/blockdet.htm

FYI to all:  I have moved and am building a new railroad in which I will be installing block detection and at some point, signaling.  I'm going as fast as I can, but I have a long way to go.  Also, with the stock market crashing, I'm not spending money as freely on the railroad as I had been doing before.  Block detection may only be installed on a limited section of the railroad as a test section.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

Re: Non-terminal snubbers

wirefordcc
 

Bill,

I figure you are trying to tell me something by your use of E/W and N/S busses.  I think if sub buses running in the same direction as your main bus, but being attached to one another with the intention of breaking up the main bus into sections to create blocks for block detection or electronic circuit breaker districts.

You don't want to twist your sub buses after block detectors because the twisting could cause false occupation indications.  You don't want to put snubbers after block detectors for the same reason.  Note:  Someone contributed to my website that twisting could come after a block detector if a capacitor is used.  I haven't tried that myself yet to see if it always works or not.  Let me know if you try it and it works for you.

Just in case anyone is wondering about Frog Juicers, don't put them after block detectors, either.  See the section on block detection in my website for more information.  BTW, I like Frog Juicers.  I have many of them.

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/blockdet.htm

FYI to all:  I have moved and am building a new railroad in which I will be installing block detection and at some point, signaling.  I'm going as fast as I can, but I have a long way to go.  Also, with the stock market crashing, I'm not spending money as freely on the railroad as I had been doing before.  Block detection may only be installed on a limited section of the railroad as a test section.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

Re: Non-terminal snubbers

mgj21932
 

Allen,

Is there a reason for not twisting the sub-bus wires?  

I am planning a similar wiring pattern with a "N/S" main bus (twisted wires) and several "E/W" sub busses off the main bus.  I had planned to twist the sub-bus wires as well (until now).  

Given relatively short length of all buses, I was not planning on any snubbers.  Do you recommend omitting snubbers if all runs are less than 15 feet?

Bill D

On Monday, March 16, 2020, 10:29:14 AM EDT, wirefordcc <bigboy@...> wrote:


Hi Daniel,

You can put a snubber at the end of your undetected track.  You can't put a snubber after a block detector as it will likely give a false occupied signal all the time.

As I build my new railroad, I am planning to run a booster district about 23 feet in each direction from the booster. I will twist these wires and put snubbers at each end.  Along the way, I will have short sub buses that will have block detectors.  These sub buses will not be twisted or have snubbers.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

Re: Electrical Code for Train Layouts

PennsyNut
 

The identifying of wires is not all the difficult. You could use pieces of straw. Cut 1" long, slice it and place it over each end of a wire. If you don't think that will "last", put a piece of scotch tape on it. You can get straws at almost every fast food place. Different colors. And if you are there buying something, and grab a few straws and stick them in your pocket, they won't say anything as long as you aren't grabbing a bag full. If a typical Subway straw is 7" long, you get 7 pieces 1" long and you only need two - one at each end of the wire. And you can get straws in different colors or in different sizes. Even stirring sticks have holes through them - but may not be large enough for some wires. This is my frugal way of doing things. And if you are putting these on the ends of the wires, you may not even want to slice them, put them over the wire the same way you put shrink on. The use of shrink wrap is a great way, but does cost. My way is free. LOL Morgan Bilbo, about one year with very basic DCC

Re: Electrical Code for Train Layouts

Jerry Michels
 

Thomas, better words have not been spoken! "Standards seem like a pain, but you are trading short term irritation for long term pain."   At the Museum, we follow this not only for wiring but also for things such as rolling stock, sub-roadbed, track, curve radii, and even mixes for scenery groundcover. For example we always find that the members whose trains are a problem at open houses and such are those who sneak in cars with plastic wheels, low or high couplers, unweighted cars, and locomotives with dirty wheels.  I have actually seen a boxcar with so much crud on the plastic wheels that it was even with the flange!  

Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum

Re: Non-terminal snubbers

wirefordcc
 

Hi Daniel,

You can put a snubber at the end of your undetected track.  You can't put a snubber after a block detector as it will likely give a false occupied signal all the time.

As I build my new railroad, I am planning to run a booster district about 23 feet in each direction from the booster. I will twist these wires and put snubbers at each end.  Along the way, I will have short sub buses that will have block detectors.  These sub buses will not be twisted or have snubbers.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

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