Topics

new member w/questions

harfrompa2@...
 

Hi Everybody,

I have been a model railroader for a long time now and am currently building a new layout and I want to use DCC. I have a lot of questions. What I do know about DCC I have read in magazine articles or on-line groups. The biggest question I have right now is -- The layout I am building now is multi-level (three in all) and consist of 3/4" plywood supported by metal shelf brackets. Obviously I need to keep the wiring, etc from one deck so you dont see it on the lower level. I understand I shouldnt have a bus wire longer then 30'. I could run the bus wire under the plywood, and at each bracket drop it down, under and across. This would use up 5-6" of wire for each bracket. A 15' long section of the bench work has 11 brackets so I have used up over 5' of bus run. The best idea I have is to cut a groove in the plywood to allow the wire to run over the bracket and not lose any bus lenght. I did think about drilling hole, grommets, etc-- cutting a groove is much easier!. I would run the wire thru a short piece of rubber hose to prevent any contact between the bracket and the wire as well as wire supports in between each bracket. My question is this-- will running the bus wire thru metal brackets cause a problem of any kind? The brackets on the lower level extend out to the end of the plywood, the upper two level's brackets will be shorter to allow the lighing to be attached to the underside of the plywood. Thanks for any info and Im sure I have plenty of other questions.

Harry

Skip Barber
 

Henry,
Welcome aboard. That is probably what I would do.  Take a router with a 1/4 or 3/8" bit and route about 1/4 deep. I would run two grooves the entire length of the baseboard probably 1 1/2 to 2" apart. Then you would not have to be precise when you come to a bracket.  I would not expect any chaffing problems as long as the groove is deep enough. I don't know your track plan, but putting it in the center should shorten the length of the feeders. You might also think about any other wiring you might want in the future (building lights, signaling, detection, etc). 

Skip Barber


On Feb 15, 2014, at 9:49, <harfrompa2@...> wrote:

Hi Everybody,

I have been a model railroader for a long time now and am currently building a new layout and I want to use DCC. I have a lot of questions. What I do know about DCC I have read in magazine articles or on-line groups. The biggest question I have right now is -- The layout I am building now is multi-level (three in all) and consist of 3/4" plywood supported by metal shelf brackets. Obviously I need to keep the wiring, etc from one deck so you dont see it on the lower level. I understand I shouldnt have a bus wire longer then 30'. I could run the bus wire under the plywood, and at each bracket drop it down, under and across. This would use up 5-6" of wire for each bracket. A 15' long section of the bench work has 11 brackets so I have used up over 5' of bus run. The best idea I have is to cut a groove in the plywood to allow the wire to run over the bracket and not lose any bus lenght. I did think about drilling hole, grommets, etc-- cutting a groove is much easier!. I would run the wire thru a short piece of rubber hose to prevent any contact between the bracket and the wire as well as wire supports in between each bracket. My question is this-- will running the bus wire thru metal brackets cause a problem of any kind? The brackets on the lower level extend out to the end of the plywood, the upper two level's brackets will be shorter to allow the lighing to be attached to the underside of the plywood. Thanks for any info and Im sure I have plenty of other questions.

Harry

Flash Gordon
 

Hello Harry,

Welcome to the group.

This link will answer all your questions about DCC.

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

Basically you will want to twist all the DCC main buss and put terminators at the end of the long ones. See the article above for more info.

That is how I am handling it on my new layout and it will have three levels. Some will say over-kill but I think it is worth the extra effort to eliminate variables.

Keep us posted on your progress or questions.

Ed S

At 09:49 AM 2/15/2014, you wrote:


Hi Everybody,

I have been a model railroader for a long time now and am currently building a new layout and I want to use DCC. I have a lot of questions. What I do know about DCC I have read in magazine articles or on-line groups. The biggest question I have right now is -- The layout I am building now is multi-level (three in all) and consist of 3/4" plywood supported by metal shelf brackets. Obviously I need to keep the wiring, etc from one deck so you dont see it on the lower level. I understand I shouldnt have a bus wire longer then 30'. I could run the bus wire under the plywood, and at each bracket drop it down, under and across. This would use up 5-6" of wire for each bracket. A 15' long section of the bench work has 11 brackets so I have used up over 5' of bus run. The best idea I have is to cut a groove in the plywood to allow the wire to run over the bracket and not lose any bus lenght. I did think about drilling hole, grommets, etc-- cutting a groove is much easier!. I would run the wire thru a short piece of rubber hose to prevent any contact between the bracket and the wire as well as wire supports in between each bracket. My question is this-- will running the bus wire thru metal brackets cause a problem of any kind? The brackets on the lower level extend out to the end of the plywood, the upper two level's brackets will be shorter to allow the lighing to be attached to the underside of the plywood. Thanks for any info and Im sure I have plenty of other questions.

Harry

David Heine <davesn3@...>
 

Hi Harry,

 

You can cut a groove in the plywood with a router or a dado blade in a table saw.  Actually, the kerf from a single blade may be enough for the wires.

 

You can drill a hole in your bracket, which I assume are made of steel.  You shouldn’t have any problem with running wires through them, but make sure you run both bus wires through the same hole.  Otherwise you will make a little induction heater.  I remember seeing one Sn3 layout with welded steel framework and he didn’t seem to have any problems.  I have also seen references to people using metal strut like Unistrut to build layout framework.  I use aluminum shapes for framing on my lift-ups.   Buildings with steel studs have wires running through them, which seems to be most commercial buildings, at least around here.

 

Will there be a fascia on the front hiding the brackets, lighting, etc.?  

 

Dave Heine

Easton, PA

 

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of harfrompa2@...
Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2014 9:49 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] new member w/questions

 



Hi Everybody,

 

I have been a model railroader for a long time now and am currently building a new layout and I want to use DCC. I have a lot of questions. What I do know about DCC I have read in magazine articles or on-line groups. The biggest question I have right now is -- The layout I am building now is multi-level (three in all) and consist of 3/4" plywood supported by metal shelf brackets. Obviously I need to keep the wiring, etc from one deck so you dont see it on the lower level. I understand I shouldnt have a bus wire longer then 30'. I could run the bus wire under the plywood, and at each bracket drop it down, under and across. This would use up 5-6" of wire for each bracket. A 15' long section of the bench work has 11 brackets so I have used up over 5' of bus run. The best idea I have is to cut a groove in the plywood to allow the wire to run over the bracket and not lose any bus lenght. I did think about drilling hole, grommets, etc-- cutting a groove is much easier!. I would run the wire thru a short piece of rubber hose to prevent any contact between the bracket and the wire as well as wire supports in between each bracket. My question is this-- will running the bus wire thru metal brackets cause a problem of any kind? The brackets on the lower level extend out to the end of the plywood, the upper two level's brackets will be shorter to allow the lighing to be attached to the underside of the plywood. Thanks for any info and Im sure I have plenty of other questions.

 

Harry




Carl
 

Hello Harry:

If you run your wires through the metal brackets, be sure you use Insulated wire. I know of many bus wires that are bare! Also as you work think of future maintenance. Wire joints under tables or scenery can be hard to find later.

If you have several "blocks" be sure to put an On/Off switch on each for trouble shooting. I used industrial circuit breakers on my layout. They do trip sometimes!

Tell us more of your layout plans.

Thanks, Carl.

harfrompa2@...
 

Hi Everybody, 

I posted a question earlier, regarding running power bus and metal shelf brackets. To clarify- I would like to cut a groove in the plywood to run the wire over the brackets and use a piece of rubber hose to prevent any chaffing of the wire's insulation against the top of the bracket. I just think it will be alot easire to cut the groove then drill all of those holes. The 15 brackets I mentioned are only on one section of that level of a three level layout and each bracket is a "U" shape so each hole has to be drilled thru both sides. Thats alot of drilling! 

I now have more questions--- My plan is/was to run these grooves directly under the main line, but a few inches apart. If I do that I could drill down for a feeder wire and hit the bus wire. I can take each section of plywood (all 8' or shorter) and turn them over and not work so much from underneath. Each section of plywood will be a sub-bus with a terminal strip and shut off switch (block). It is not meant to be portable. My "plan" is this- lay the track and turnouts on a section, drill the hole for the feeder wires, turn the section over and solder the feeders on to the sub-bus, put a short piece of hose on the bus as needed at each bracket, pass the feeders thru the plywood to the top of the layout, use wire clips between each bracket and tape the wire temporaly in place so it does not get pinched between the plywood and the brackets, wire up the Blue Point turnout controls, turn the section over and solder on the feeders. It seems like everything on a multi level layout is done in reverse!!

And yet, another question-- how far apart should feeders be kept? Not each section of rail but under thae layout?  If I run a bus under the main line and have a passing siding on both sides of the main the feeder wires will have to cross. These wires will be run between the brackets and can be attached directly to the bottom of the plywood, not in a groove cut into the plywood. 

Thanks again

Harry 

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

Harry,

You may later regret threading your wiring through holes or notches in any layout supporting materials, as it becomes a pain to modify. Pushing wires between the metal bracket and a notch in the overhead wood it is holding up does just that. You are far better off using an open S-hook or something similar and passing the wires under the brackets, or perhaps locate all the wires to between the outer end of the bracket and the fascia of the layout shelf. Add a small 2-3 inch fascia edge to the layout to hide not only the wiring but perhaps also the lighting means for the lower layers.

DonV  

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of harfrompa2@...
Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2014 8:49 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] new member w/questions

 



Hi Everybody,

 

I have been a model railroader for a long time now and am currently building a new layout and I want to use DCC. I have a lot of questions. What I do know about DCC I have read in magazine articles or on-line groups. The biggest question I have right now is -- The layout I am building now is multi-level (three in all) and consist of 3/4" plywood supported by metal shelf brackets. Obviously I need to keep the wiring, etc from one deck so you dont see it on the lower level. I understand I shouldnt have a bus wire longer then 30'. I could run the bus wire under the plywood, and at each bracket drop it down, under and across. This would use up 5-6" of wire for each bracket. A 15' long section of the bench work has 11 brackets so I have used up over 5' of bus run. The best idea I have is to cut a groove in the plywood to allow the wire to run over the bracket and not lose any bus lenght. I did think about drilling hole, grommets, etc-- cutting a groove is much easier!. I would run the wire thru a short piece of rubber hose to prevent any contact between the bracket and the wire as well as wire supports in between each bracket. My question is this-- will running the bus wire thru metal brackets cause a problem of any kind? The brackets on the lower level extend out to the end of the plywood, the upper two level's brackets will be shorter to allow the lighing to be attached to the underside of the plywood. Thanks for any info and Im sure I have plenty of other questions.

 

Harry




Flash Gordon
 

Harry,

Bus wires are to be twisted  3 turns per foot as I recall. #14 1irw minumum.....    Just cut a bigger groove.

Most folks will hang this wire from hooks. Easier to fix or change.

You untwist the bus at the point you add feeders, which could also be twisted. 

Ed S


At 02:39 PM 2/15/2014, you wrote:
 

Hi Everybody,

I posted a question earlier, regarding running power bus and metal shelf brackets. To clarify- I would like to cut a groove in the plywood to run the wire over the brackets and use a piece of rubber hose to prevent any chaffing of the wire's insulation against the top of the bracket. I just think it will be alot easire to cut the groove then drill all of those holes. The 15 brackets I mentioned are only on one section of that level of a three level layout and each bracket is a "U" shape so each hole has to be drilled thru both sides. Thats alot of drilling!

I now have more questions--- My plan is/was to run these grooves directly under the main line, but a few inches apart. If I do that I could drill down for a feeder wire and hit the bus wire. I can take each section of plywood (all 8' or shorter) and turn them over and not work so much from underneath. Each section of plywood will be a sub-bus with a terminal strip and shut off switch (block). It is not meant to be portable. My "plan" is this- lay the track and turnouts on a section, drill the hole for the feeder wires, turn the section over and solder the feeders on to the sub-bus, put a short piece of hose on the bus as needed at each bracket, pass the feeders thru the plywood to the top of the layout, use wire clips between each bracket and tape the wire temporaly in place so it does not get pinched between the plywood and the brackets, wire up the Blue Point turnout controls, turn the section over and solder on the feeders. It seems like everything on a multi level layout is done in reverse!!

And yet, another question-- how far apart should feeders be kept? Not each section of rail but under thae layout?  If I run a bus under the main line and have a passing siding on both sides of the main the feeder wires will have to cross. These wires will be run between the brackets and can be attached directly to the bottom of the plywood, not in a groove cut into the plywood.

Thanks again

Harry

William Teeters <cozyflyr9398@...>
 

I have 460' of main and a helix. Not one inch is twisted. RR runs perfect. Can be seen on rockrail.org. Featured as Chicago Peoria and Western RR Run with Digitrax, JMRI Decoder Pro, Loconet checker, Ptb100 for setting up those pesky sound engines ect. Trying to twist wire, especially 14G stranded is not an easy job. Do your self a favor and just run straight wire. Bill Teeters



From: Ed S
To: WiringForDCC@...
Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2014 3:53 PM
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] RE: new member w/questions

 
Harry,

Bus wires are to be twisted  3 turns per foot as I recall. #14 1irw minumum.....    Just cut a bigger groove.

Most folks will hang this wire from hooks. Easier to fix or change.

You untwist the bus at the point you add feeders, which could also be twisted. 

Ed S

At 02:39 PM 2/15/2014, you wrote:
 

Hi Everybody,

I posted a question earlier, regarding running power bus and metal shelf brackets. To clarify- I would like to cut a groove in the plywood to run the wire over the brackets and use a piece of rubber hose to prevent any chaffing of the wire's insulation against the top of the bracket. I just think it will be alot easire to cut the groove then drill all of those holes. The 15 brackets I mentioned are only on one section of that level of a three level layout and each bracket is a "U" shape so each hole has to be drilled thru both sides. Thats alot of drilling!

I now have more questions--- My plan is/was to run these grooves directly under the main line, but a few inches apart. If I do that I could drill down for a feeder wire and hit the bus wire. I can take each section of plywood (all 8' or shorter) and turn them over and not work so much from underneath. Each section of plywood will be a sub-bus with a terminal strip and shut off switch (block). It is not meant to be portable. My "plan" is this- lay the track and turnouts on a section, drill the hole for the feeder wires, turn the section over and solder the feeders on to the sub-bus, put a short piece of hose on the bus as needed at each bracket, pass the feeders thru the plywood to the top of the layout, use wire clips between each bracket and tape the wire temporaly in place so it does not get pinched between the plywood and the brackets, wire up the Blue Point turnout controls, turn the section over and solder on the feeders. It seems like everything on a multi level layout is done in reverse!!

And yet, another question-- how far apart should feeders be kept? Not each section of rail but under thae layout?  If I run a bus under the main line and have a passing siding on both sides of the main the feeder wires will have to cross. These wires will be run between the brackets and can be attached directly to the bottom of the plywood, not in a groove cut into the plywood.

Thanks again

Harry


Skip Barber
 

Seems to me that for every person/source that says "twist" there is one that says you don't have to.  At our large club layout, I did not twist, I just kept the bus wires about 1-2" apart. We have had no problems, but I can't say it wouldn't  be better if I twisted.  As the saying goes, "your mileage vary"  or something like that. 

He only thing I do know, is the shorter the feeders are from the track to the bus, the better.  Someone may even have reason to disagree with that and I will respect their opinion.

Skip Barber


On Feb 15, 2014, at 19:01, William Teeters <cozyflyr9398@...> wrote:

I have 460' of main and a helix. Not one inch is twisted. RR runs perfect. Can be seen on rockrail.org. Featured as Chicago Peoria and Western RR Run with Digitrax, JMRI Decoder Pro, Loconet checker, Ptb100 for setting up those pesky sound engines ect. Trying to twist wire, especially 14G stranded is not an easy job. Do your self a favor and just run straight wire. Bill Teeters



From: Ed S <eschwerkolt@...>
To: WiringForDCC@...
Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2014 3:53 PM
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] RE: new member w/questions

 
Harry,

Bus wires are to be twisted  3 turns per foot as I recall. #14 1irw minumum.....    Just cut a bigger groove.

Most folks will hang this wire from hooks. Easier to fix or change.

You untwist the bus at the point you add feeders, which could also be twisted. 

Ed S

At 02:39 PM 2/15/2014, you wrote:
 

Hi Everybody,

I posted a question earlier, regarding running power bus and metal shelf brackets. To clarify- I would like to cut a groove in the plywood to run the wire over the brackets and use a piece of rubber hose to prevent any chaffing of the wire's insulation against the top of the bracket. I just think it will be alot easire to cut the groove then drill all of those holes. The 15 brackets I mentioned are only on one section of that level of a three level layout and each bracket is a "U" shape so each hole has to be drilled thru both sides. Thats alot of drilling!

I now have more questions--- My plan is/was to run these grooves directly under the main line, but a few inches apart. If I do that I could drill down for a feeder wire and hit the bus wire. I can take each section of plywood (all 8' or shorter) and turn them over and not work so much from underneath. Each section of plywood will be a sub-bus with a terminal strip and shut off switch (block). It is not meant to be portable. My "plan" is this- lay the track and turnouts on a section, drill the hole for the feeder wires, turn the section over and solder the feeders on to the sub-bus, put a short piece of hose on the bus as needed at each bracket, pass the feeders thru the plywood to the top of the layout, use wire clips between each bracket and tape the wire temporaly in place so it does not get pinched between the plywood and the brackets, wire up the Blue Point turnout controls, turn the section over and solder on the feeders. It seems like everything on a multi level layout is done in reverse!!

And yet, another question-- how far apart should feeders be kept? Not each section of rail but under thae layout?  If I run a bus under the main line and have a passing siding on both sides of the main the feeder wires will have to cross. These wires will be run between the brackets and can be attached directly to the bottom of the plywood, not in a groove cut into the plywood.

Thanks again

Harry


Mark Gurries
 


On Feb 15, 2014, at 6:49 AM, <harfrompa2@...> <harfrompa2@...> wrote:

My question is this-- will running the bus wire thru metal brackets cause a problem of any kind?

Electrically no.  The brackets will not cause any problem.  This is independent of how you run you wiring between the brackets.

As was commented before, wiring modifications may become a problem._,_._,___

Best Regards,

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