Topics

Wiring Setup

John
 

I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to wire. My HO gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and 15 feet long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my track feeders usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg). The block bus then feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is where the detector sits. (Not sure what a Detector means)

So would a Block Bus follow the lines meaning my power bus is pretty short? Any input would be welcome. Thanks...Johnny J

Flash Gordon
 

Johnny,

Welcome to the group. You are on the right track,... so to speak....

My input would be to do a little reading on the subject, much clearer that way, then you can ask  more questions.

There are a lot of sites with info. Here is a site I use all the time when I have a question:

This is part one on wiring:

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

Part two:

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/track_2.htm

Ed S






At 08:01 PM 1/1/2014, you wrote:
 

I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to wire. My HO gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and 15 feet long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my track feeders usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg). The block bus then feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is where the detector sits. (Not sure what a Detector means)

So would a Block Bus follow the lines meaning my power bus is pretty short? Any input would be welcome. Thanks...Johnny J

Paul O
 

Welcome to DCC Johnny.

When you say ‘detector’, are you meaning a device to detect a train in a block, or are you referring to a circuit breaker to isolate your 3 lines in case of a short on one line?

 

If you would upload a drawing (to the PHOTOS or FILES area) of your track plan showing how you plan to do your blocks and busses we would be happy to offer our suggestions. (Not that you’d have to follow them of course. J)

 

Paul O

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of John
Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2014 8:02 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Wiring Setup

 

 

I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to wire. My HO gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and 15 feet long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my track feeders usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg). The block bus then feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is where the detector sits. (Not sure what a Detector means)


John
 

I was in the NCE group and realized it probably wasn't the right place to be asking this question. There they had recommended using a detector like NCE's BD20 on the main bus,and stated the following advantages:

1. Total isolation of the track circuit and the signal circuit.
2. Generally easier installation.
3. Ability to have the coil remote from the electronics connected by
26awg phone patch panel wire.
4. NO VOLTAGE DROP due to the detector. So any undetected track, like
industry sidings have the same voltage as the mains.
5. Easier to retrofit a layout than the diode detectors.

They said it would detect a train in a train block. So since I'm only going to be running 2 to 3 trains at a time I'm thinking I wouldn't need this. How would a circuit breaker work in DCC? I'm very familiar with house wiring since my dad was an electrician.

--- In WiringForDCC@..., "Paul O" <pomilian@...> wrote:

Welcome to DCC Johnny.

When you say 'detector', are you meaning a device to detect a train in a
block, or are you referring to a circuit breaker to isolate your 3 lines in
case of a short on one line?



If you would upload a drawing (to the PHOTOS or FILES area) of your track
plan showing how you plan to do your blocks and busses we would be happy to
offer our suggestions. (Not that you'd have to follow them of course. J)



Paul O



From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On
Behalf Of John
Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2014 8:02 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Wiring Setup





I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to wire. My HO
gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and 15 feet
long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my track feeders
usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg). The block bus then
feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is where the detector sits. (Not
sure what a Detector means)

John
 

Ed, Thanks for the links. I have just started reading but from what I have read so far this site will answer most of my questions. It's a great reference.

Mark Gurries
 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of John
Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2014 8:02 PM

I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to wire. My HO gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and 15 feet long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my track feeders usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg). The block bus then feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is where the detector sits. (Not sure what a Detector means)
On Jan 1, 2014, at 9:55 PM, John wrote:
I was in the NCE group and realized it probably wasn't the right place to be asking this question. There they had recommended using a detector like NCE's BD20 on the main bus,and stated the following advantages:

1. Total isolation of the track circuit and the signal circuit.
2. Generally easier installation.
3. Ability to have the coil remote from the electronics connected by
26awg phone patch panel wire.
4. NO VOLTAGE DROP due to the detector. So any undetected track, like
industry sidings have the same voltage as the mains.
5. Easier to retrofit a layout than the diode detectors.

They said it would detect a train in a train block. So since I'm only going to be running 2 to 3 trains at a time I'm thinking I wouldn't need this.
You have not clearly stated what your desired intention is for the use of occupancy detection. To address the question about detectors, one must take a step back and ask why you need any detector at all. Normally people add detection to the layout because they want to add signaling to the layout or some subset of that such as setting up some working crossing gate animation. To be clear, there is NO DCC requirement that says you must install signals or animation. These are all options you can add if you desire.

If YES you need a track occupancy detectors and the track elecrtrically broken down in to signal blocks. One detector per signal block and each signal block should be longer than the train. Even if you are not ready right now to install the signal system, planning the layout wiring to support it is a good thing to do BEFORE you build your layout. Otherwise there will be a big rewiring later. Beware the cost of installing a signaling system can cost as much as the what you spent on the layout before you added signals. Cost is the biggest reason why it is not done most of the time. Of the types of occupancy detectors the monitor track current, there are two types. Diode based and transformer/coil based. The NCE occupancy detector mentioned is transformer/coil based. Compared to the diode base detector, the list provided is correct in terms of the advantage over the diode type.

If NO, there is no need for any occupancy detectors at all and the question about detectors can be dropped.

How would a circuit breaker work in DCC? I'm very familiar with house wiring since my dad was an electrician.
DCC circuit breaker work just like they name but have some additional features. At a minimum, they detect current draw above a set level and trip as in enter the off state. To understand the need for them is to first understand the problem they fix.

Like a DC PowerPack/Throttle, DCC booster shuts down when there is a short on the track. This is because all DC Powerpack and DCC boosters all have a circuit breaker function built in and it self resets itself when the short is removed. The current trip point is the same the DC throttle or booster current rating. With DC, this was not a big problem because there was only one DC Powerpack per train. Only one train was effected. However, with DCC the single booster is running multiple trains and when the booster trips due to a short, all power is lost and ALL of the trains stop running. If there is only one operator, it not so bad. But if you have lots of operators, the other that did not cause the short will not be happy for they must wait on the operator with the shorted train to fix the problem. With a global short, the biggest advantage of running multiple trains with DCC becomes it biggest detractor when you have more than one layout operator and running multiple trains.

The 2nd issue that pops up with multiple train running is that during the fixing of the short, the short will come and go and OTHER running train will start and stop in a jerky fashion potentially creating more derailments. This generates even more displeasure.

Like a house with its multiple circuit breaker protecting certain equipment or areas of the house, a short at a given outlet will not cause the entire house to lose power because the main breaker tripped. Likewise if you device the layout into what is called in the DCC word "Power Districts" created by DCC circuit breakers, you can control how much of the layout is effected by a given short.

The DCC circuit breaker worked because it is designed to shutdown BEFORE the booster does. Most DCC circuit breakers have a Auto-Reset feature turned on by default. In this mode, the DCC circuit breaker return power to the track once the short is removed. The key point is that if you choose you power districts carefully, everyone else can still be running trains while you fixing your own short. Everyone is happy other than guy fixing the short.....which most likely he cause by himself running against a turnout....a self inflicted wound.

So the need for DCC circuit breaker depends if you have
1) more than one person running you layout
2) the layout designed to allow multiple trains to run safely unattended.

If the answer is yes to any of the two question, then you can benefit from the use of DCC circuit breakers.

Keep in mind that most DCC circuit breakers are designed to be used with 4 to 5Amp boosters which are normally found on large layouts.

You should also again plan you layout wiring to support Power districts which by the way are not necessarily the same as signal blocks but have almost the same impact on the wiring design.

Best Regards,

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

John
 

Paul,
I only have my layout on a drawn form and it's very ugly. What digital program can
be used to draw the tracks? Input on how to layout the wiring would be extremely helpful. Johhny J

--- In WiringForDCC@..., "Paul O" <pomilian@...> wrote:

Welcome to DCC Johnny.

When you say 'detector', are you meaning a device to detect a train in a
block, or are you referring to a circuit breaker to isolate your 3 lines in
case of a short on one line?



If you would upload a drawing (to the PHOTOS or FILES area) of your track
plan showing how you plan to do your blocks and busses we would be happy to
offer our suggestions. (Not that you'd have to follow them of course. J)



Paul O



From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On
Behalf Of John
Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2014 8:02 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Wiring Setup





I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to wire. My HO
gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and 15 feet
long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my track feeders
usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg). The block bus then
feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is where the detector sits. (Not
sure what a Detector means)

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

I used Cadrail from Sandia Software and it worked well for me. Cadrail.com
DonV

-----Original Message-----
From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of John
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2014 8:02 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: Wiring Setup

Paul,
I only have my layout on a drawn form and it's very ugly. What digital program can be used to draw the tracks? Input on how to layout the wiring would be extremely helpful. Johhny J

--- In WiringForDCC@..., "Paul O" <pomilian@...> wrote:

Welcome to DCC Johnny.

When you say 'detector', are you meaning a device to detect a train in
a block, or are you referring to a circuit breaker to isolate your 3
lines in case of a short on one line?



If you would upload a drawing (to the PHOTOS or FILES area) of your
track plan showing how you plan to do your blocks and busses we would
be happy to offer our suggestions. (Not that you'd have to follow them
of course. J)



Paul O



From: WiringForDCC@...
[mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of John
Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2014 8:02 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Wiring Setup





I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to wire.
My HO gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and
15 feet long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my
track feeders usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg).
The block bus then feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is
where the detector sits. (Not sure what a Detector means)



------------------------------------

http://www.WiringForDCC.comYahoo Groups Links

bob_pombrio@...
 

Ok I know this is off topic but I am pulling out what little hair I have left.


Does anyone know of software that will help me design a control panel for my layout?  (It'd be extra nice if it could 'read' AnyRail plans)


Thanks,

Bob P.

Scott H. Haycock
 

The previously mentioned CadRail works for this. While it won't read you plan, you can import it and trace over it. You can draw electrical circuits and wiring diagrams. Use it to layout a control panel, and print out a template to drill holes for switches and lights. It can print out a track plan for the track diagram on your panel. In short, anything you can draw on a drafting board you can draw in CadRail, and more. They have a trial version you can play with to see how it works. There is also a Yahoo group to help with the program.    



Scott Haycock
Modeling Tarheel country in the Land of Enchantm
ent


 


Ok I know this is off topic but I am pulling out what little hair I have left.


Does anyone know of software that will help me design a control panel for my layout?  (It'd be extra nice if it could 'read' AnyRail plans)


Thanks,

Bob P.



Paul O
 

Johnny, I did a Google search with “model railroad track software” and came up with a number of hits.

Some are free, some are purchase.

 

The program I used was a freebee from Atlas called ‘Right Track’. It’s no longer available from their website.

I’ll send you a copy off-list.

 

Can’t give you any wiring tips without knowing the track plan.

 

Paul O

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of John
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2014 9:02 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: Wiring Setup

 

 

Paul,
I only have my layout on a drawn form and it's very ugly. What digital program can
be used to draw the tracks? Input on how to layout the wiring would be extremely helpful. Johhny J

Eric
 

Johnny, most programs are written for Windows. If you are using a Mac, there is a good little program called Empire Express by Hayden Software that I use. Fairly cheap ( less than $50). I found it very useful.

RicZ

--- In WiringForDCC@..., "John" <jwjj@...> wrote:

Paul,
I only have my layout on a drawn form and it's very ugly. What digital program can
be used to draw the tracks? Input on how to layout the wiring would be extremely helpful. Johhny J

--- In WiringForDCC@..., "Paul O" <pomilian@> wrote:

Welcome to DCC Johnny.

When you say 'detector', are you meaning a device to detect a train in a
block, or are you referring to a circuit breaker to isolate your 3 lines in
case of a short on one line?



If you would upload a drawing (to the PHOTOS or FILES area) of your track
plan showing how you plan to do your blocks and busses we would be happy to
offer our suggestions. (Not that you'd have to follow them of course. J)



Paul O



From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On
Behalf Of John
Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2014 8:02 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Wiring Setup





I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to wire. My HO
gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and 15 feet
long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my track feeders
usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg). The block bus then
feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is where the detector sits. (Not
sure what a Detector means)

ptj-mobile@sbcglobal.net <ptj-mobile@...>
 

Another good software option is XTrkCad, also free. Available on Sourceforge.net, and they also have a Yahoo group.

Good luck,
Paul Jara

mckeevermichael@...
 

I would not use wire that is smaller than 16ga for the track buss. 22ga is fine for feeders, but make sure that each section of track has a feeder.

Regards,

Mac in SoCal, ATSF, SP, UP in Barstow Area, Transition Era

Bill Wilken
 

On 01/04/2014 11:37 AM, ptj-mobile@... wrote:
 

Another good software option is XTrkCad, also free. Available on Sourceforge.net, and they also have a Yahoo group.

Good luck,
Paul Jara

XtrkCad is very straightforward and also is available for linux.  I recommend it highly.

John
 

--- In WiringForDCC@..., "John" <jwjj@...> wrote:

I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to wire. My HO gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and 15 feet long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my track feeders usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg). The block bus then feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is where the detector sits. (Not sure what a Detector means)

So would a Block Bus follow the lines meaning my power bus is pretty short? Any input would be welcome. Thanks...Johnny J
All,
I know it has been a month since I first asked the group for wiring ideas but I finally got my layout in a digital form. I put it out there and would love wiring ideas. Should I have one power bus line with three block lines? Or three bus lines with track lines just coming off those bus lines? What is better? Thanks...Johnny

Flash Gordon
 

Johnny,

Where out there did you put you layout. I would like to see it.

Ed S

At 02:33 PM 2/11/2014, you wrote:




--- In WiringForDCC@..., "John" <jwjj@...> wrote:

I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to
wire. My HO gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and 15 feet long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my track feeders usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg). The block bus then feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is where the detector sits. (Not sure what a Detector means)

So would a Block Bus follow the lines meaning my power bus is
pretty short? Any input would be welcome. Thanks...Johnny J
All,
I know it has been a month since I first asked the group for wiring ideas but I finally got my layout in a digital form. I put it out there and would love wiring ideas. Should I have one power bus line with three block lines? Or three bus lines with track lines just coming off those bus lines? What is better? Thanks...Johnny

Paul O
 

Johnny, What is this ”detector” you referred to? Did you mean ‘booster’?

You mention a ‘block bus’; do you mean an isolated power district protected by a circuit breaker?

 

Are you to be the lone operator on the layout?

Are you wanting to divide the layout into separate power districts? How many?

(For example, the yard tracks and oval that runs off of it as a district?)

 

Where are you planning to put the command station? That will affect how to run the bus wiring.

 

Also you need to tell us where you put the file: FILES, “Wiring Setup”

 

I hope you don’t mind, I modified it to remove the track part numbers; makes it easier to follow the plan, and saved it as a jpg file so others that don’t have the Right Track software can see it.

FILES, “Wiring Setup”, “Jonny Junction.jpg”

 

Paul O

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of John
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 2:34 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: Wiring Setup

--- In WiringForDCC@..., "John" <jwjj@...> wrote:
>
> I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to wire. My HO gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and 15 feet long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my track feeders usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg). The block bus then feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is where the detector sits. (Not sure what a Detector means)
>
> So would a Block Bus follow the lines meaning my power bus is pretty short? Any input would be welcome. Thanks...Johnny J
>
All,
I know it has been a month since I first asked the group for wiring ideas but I finally got my layout in a digital form. I put it out there and would love wiring ideas. Should I have one power bus line with three block lines? Or three bus lines with track lines just coming off those bus lines? What is better? Thanks...Johnny

John
 

Thanks Paul for modifing the layout so all can see. The detector I was referring to is a circuit breaker. I was in the NEC group and they mentioned it there so I was trying to figure out what they ment. So I don't think I have anymore questions about how it works. I am the lone operator for now but I may buy another cab in the future. As far as power district I don't know. It seems that if it was broken up it would it would be easier to track down shorts since that seems to be the main issue but I don't know. What is best? Is the command station the same as what I am calling the cab? The main controlling unit that runs the locamotives. If so, that is going to be on the bottom (the side where the yards are located).

John
 

I put it under files and created a new subject calling it "Wiring Setup" just like my topic. Then I put the file under there.