Topics

Differentiating bus wires?


Dave Emery
 

I have some nice heavy (14 gauge) wire that I’m using for bus wires. The current plan is that the HO standard gauge will be DCC, while the HOn30 narrow gauge will, at least for now, be DC only. Does anyone have any good/clever ideas how to mark the DC-only wires? My layout is not so big that I’m likely to confuse them, -but- I don’t want to have a temporary Senior Moment when trying to work out a wiring problem down the line.

Thanks in advance!

dave


David McBrayer
 

How about a different insulation color set for the DC (+ and -) bus wires?   Just document whatever you choose to prevent the "Senior Moment" from setting you back.

Dave McBrayer

On 03/05/2020 11:19 AM, Dave Emery via Groups.Io wrote:
I have some nice heavy (14 gauge) wire that I’m using for bus wires. The current plan is that the HO standard gauge will be DCC, while the HOn30 narrow gauge will, at least for now, be DC only. Does anyone have any good/clever ideas how to mark the DC-only wires? My layout is not so big that I’m likely to confuse them, -but- I don’t want to have a temporary Senior Moment when trying to work out a wiring problem down the line.

Thanks in advance!

dave
--
Dave McBrayer
Castro Valley, CA


emrldsky
 

Hi Dave,

I urge you to do this. It will make your life much easier, especially when you are under your layout with bad lighting. The easiest way is to use wires with a different color insulation. If that is not feasible, or you have hundreds of feet with the same color insulation, at Harbor Freight they have colored tape that you can wrap every couple of feet to differentiate the wires. I would suggest that every wire have a different color, regardless oof use. It just makes trouble shooting and wire tracing so much easier.

Peace,

Mike G.


On 3/5/2020 12:19 PM, Dave Emery via Groups.Io wrote:
I have some nice heavy (14 gauge) wire that I’m using for bus wires.  The current plan is that the HO standard gauge will be DCC, while the HOn30 narrow gauge will, at least for now, be DC only.  Does anyone have any good/clever ideas how to mark the DC-only wires?  My layout is not so big that I’m likely to confuse them, -but- I don’t want to have a temporary Senior Moment when trying to work out a wiring problem down the line.

Thanks in advance!

	dave





AVG logo

This email has been checked for viruses by AVG antivirus software.
www.avg.com



Arthur Hammeke
 

Could also use a label maker


From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> on behalf of emrldsky <azMikeG@...>
Sent: Thursday, March 5, 2020 3:24 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Differentiating bus wires?
 

Hi Dave,

I urge you to do this. It will make your life much easier, especially when you are under your layout with bad lighting. The easiest way is to use wires with a different color insulation. If that is not feasible, or you have hundreds of feet with the same color insulation, at Harbor Freight they have colored tape that you can wrap every couple of feet to differentiate the wires. I would suggest that every wire have a different color, regardless oof use. It just makes trouble shooting and wire tracing so much easier.

Peace,

Mike G.


On 3/5/2020 12:19 PM, Dave Emery via Groups.Io wrote:
I have some nice heavy (14 gauge) wire that I’m using for bus wires.  The current plan is that the HO standard gauge will be DCC, while the HOn30 narrow gauge will, at least for now, be DC only.  Does anyone have any good/clever ideas how to mark the DC-only wires?  My layout is not so big that I’m likely to confuse them, -but- I don’t want to have a temporary Senior Moment when trying to work out a wiring problem down the line.

Thanks in advance!

	dave





AVG logo

This email has been checked for viruses by AVG antivirus software.
www.avg.com



Carl
 

Hello Dave:


McMaster-Carr has a good selection of wire markers. Colored electrical tape is OK. I've used the write on markers to ID turnout controls. In industrial wiring they just use numbers: 1&2 for bus A, 3&4 for bus B, 10-19 for yard controls, etc. Just come up with a plan and write the plan down in your log book so you don't forget.


Carl.



On 3/5/2020 4:39 PM, Arthur Hammeke wrote:
Could also use a label maker


From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> on behalf of emrldsky <azMikeG@...>
Sent: Thursday, March 5, 2020 3:24 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Differentiating bus wires?
 

Hi Dave,

I urge you to do this. It will make your life much easier, especially when you are under your layout with bad lighting. The easiest way is to use wires with a different color insulation. If that is not feasible, or you have hundreds of feet with the same color insulation, at Harbor Freight they have colored tape that you can wrap every couple of feet to differentiate the wires. I would suggest that every wire have a different color, regardless oof use. It just makes trouble shooting and wire tracing so much easier.

Peace,

Mike G.


On 3/5/2020 12:19 PM, Dave Emery via Groups.Io wrote:
I have some nice heavy (14 gauge) wire that I’m using for bus wires.  The current plan is that the HO standard gauge will be DCC, while the HOn30 narrow gauge will, at least for now, be DC only.  Does anyone have any good/clever ideas how to mark the DC-only wires?  My layout is not so big that I’m likely to confuse them, -but- I don’t want to have a temporary Senior Moment when trying to work out a wiring problem down the line.

Thanks in advance!

	dave





AVG logo

This email has been checked for viruses by AVG antivirus software.
www.avg.com



Mark Cartwright <marcdecapri@...>
 

Dave. 

My Kato Colors have kept me in trust; even If I begin to hand lay my track; which may cause me to loose my mind.
White with a Blue Stripe 
And 
Blue with a White Stripe.

I bought 250 feet of each 12 gauge copper stranded wire on eBay.
Then not wanting to cut that purchase..(I don't like to splice)
I bought 25 foot and 100 lengths as well.
===
For other things such as lighting - Yellow and Green
For general use 12 volt drop lines...Red and Black.
Then as necessary for alternative wiring such as for Animation - Think Halloween in Orange and Black.
I have been known to run Purple and Pink as well or Pink and Black and white as in Good N Plenty aka 3 wire applications DPDT.
I generally use the color brown as an Earth Ground (Brown is the Color of Dirt)
Or Green as in NEC Code but in general always 8 gauge or larger. (Green Foliage on top of the Brown Earth)
White is always my Common (not earth) ground.
Not always a wise thing to get Common confused with Earth.
NEVER RED as I once found on my 1959 House in San Jose !
> In some sort of weird common wire between two 110 circuits.
Plug in a source with more than one plug such as a Record Player and it's amplifier and oops..You just made a 220 circuit.
Yet This wire configuration had been approved by City Inspectors.
Houses in my neighborhood were catching on fire from confused wiring.
Red by Code is used by Fire Systems today.

I try not to run different wires through the same hole in cars, houses or layouts. And try to run them separately by at least 6 inches.
So I don't run Security Wiring through the same holes as Electrical. 

I always hand twist it and refrain from getting into any discussions which says this is not necessary.
Bad Luck
Twisted Wire Charms are an amulet from Ireland, as I understand, and are a basis for the Lucky Charms Cereal.
Twisted (Wire) Lucky Charms are as good a reason as any, I suppose.
And a Coat of Many Colors to my wires can't be a bad idea either.
Mark


John Melvin
 

Dave,

I've been using a Brother tape printer for years. I use black ink and 3/8" white tape. I print a wire number, function or accessory name on about 2-4 inches of tape and wrap it around the wire at both ends and a couple in the wire run depending on length.

John
El Paso

In a message dated 3/5/2020 12:19:48 Mountain Standard Time, deemery@... writes:

I have some nice heavy (14 gauge) wire that I’m using for bus wires.  The current plan is that the HO standard gauge will be DCC, while the HOn30 narrow gauge will, at least for now, be DC only.  Does anyone have any good/clever ideas how to mark the DC-only wires?  My layout is not so big that I’m likely to confuse them, -but- I don’t want to have a temporary Senior Moment when trying to work out a wiring problem down the line.

Thanks in advance!

    dave


Puckdropper
 

Besides using different colors, you can also twist the wires together. You need only about 1-3 twists per foot, it's just tight enough to make a good cable but loose enough to let you easily strip the insulation to make connections.

Twisting the wires has the side benefit of keeping things a little neater. If you happen to get a lot happening in a really small area, neatness helps a lot.

Puckdropper


thomasmclae
 

Color code.
Even if you later make all DCC, makes for easier updates or booster wiring.

And DOCUMENT the colors you use. 
And stay with the code. Even if you run out of one color (Say Blue) accept the delay to get more wire of that color.

Color code has saved the club layout many times.
Thomas
DeSoto, TX


Jerry Michels
 

Hey Thomas,  I agree that detailed documentation of bus colors and other wiring is critical.  We use various colored extension cords and colored tape on our layout, and it works really well for troubleshooting. We are pretty well done with wiring the layout, but it sure helped during the process.

Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum


Jerry Michels
 

John,  I like the idea of using Brother labels.  A good future project.  We have used Brother labels on our control panel.

Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum


Rich Randall
 

What are Brother labels, and why good for model railroad?

Thanks,
Rich

Rich Randall
Gettysburg, PA

Modeling The Milwaukee Road
at Avery, ID, in O Scale

The BSME is now on facebook: 



-----Original Message-----
From: Jerry Michels <gjmichels53@...>
To: w4dccqa <w4dccqa@groups.io>
Sent: Sat, Mar 7, 2020 9:29 am
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Differentiating bus wires?

John,  I like the idea of using Brother labels.  A good future project.  We have used Brother labels on our control panel.

Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum


David McBrayer
 

Rich, 
why labels?  To cross reference a panel/terminal block/given wire/bundle of wires/etc. with the layout documentation.  The adhesive lasts much longer than paper labels.   Follow this link for more inf.: https://www.brother-usa.com/home/label-printers/makers

Dave McBrayer
 

On Mar 7, 2020, at 09:47, Rich Randall via Groups.Io <RRand4449@...> wrote:
What are Brother labels, and why good for model railroad?

Thanks,
Rich

Rich Randall
Gettysburg, PA_._,_._,_

--
Dave McBrayer
Castro Valley, CA 


Keith Elrod
 

Brother P-touch label maker. They are laminated. Permanent, but easily removed. I've used them for years. Also valuable are the Dymo thermal printer labels, available in different sizes.


On Sat, Mar 7, 2020, 1:16 PM David McBrayer <d_mcbrayer@...> wrote:
Rich, 
why labels?  To cross reference a panel/terminal block/given wire/bundle of wires/etc. with the layout documentation.  The adhesive lasts much longer than paper labels.   Follow this link for more inf.: https://www.brother-usa.com/home/label-printers/makers

Dave McBrayer
 
On Mar 7, 2020, at 09:47, Rich Randall via Groups.Io <RRand4449=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
What are Brother labels, and why good for model railroad?

Thanks,
Rich

Rich Randall
Gettysburg, PA


John Melvin
 

Jerry,

Just don't throw out the documentation after you label your wiring. Keep it and keep it updated.

John
El Paso

In a message dated 3/7/2020 07:29:37 Mountain Standard Time, gjmichels53@... writes:

John,  I like the idea of using Brother labels.  A good future project.  We have used Brother labels on our control panel.

Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum


Vincent Ficca
 

Hi Dave:

I use different color wire for different application on the RR.  Example:  for mainline, common rail would be white, while different tracks on the mainline rail would be Black for #1, Red for #2, Yellow for #3 and Brown for #4.  Minimize error when I solder the drops to the bus wires. That's my 2 cents worth. 

Vince

On Thu, Mar 5, 2020 at 2:19 PM Dave Emery via Groups.Io <deemery=icloud.com@groups.io> wrote:
I have some nice heavy (14 gauge) wire that I’m using for bus wires.  The current plan is that the HO standard gauge will be DCC, while the HOn30 narrow gauge will, at least for now, be DC only.  Does anyone have any good/clever ideas how to mark the DC-only wires?  My layout is not so big that I’m likely to confuse them, -but- I don’t want to have a temporary Senior Moment when trying to work out a wiring problem down the line.

Thanks in advance!

        dave



John Melvin
 

Well said. I type the info then put 3-4 spaces then type the info again. Remove the backing, center the label on the wire, wrap and stick together. Then you have a tab large enough, easily read, with info on both sides.

John
El Paso

In a message dated 3/7/2020 11:23:49 Mountain Standard Time, elrodk73@... writes:

Brother P-touch label maker. They are laminated. Permanent, but easily removed. I've used them for years. Also valuable are the Dymo thermal printer labels, available in different sizes.

On Sat, Mar 7, 2020, 1:16 PM David McBrayer <d_mcbrayer@...> wrote:
Rich, 
why labels?  To cross reference a panel/terminal block/given wire/bundle of wires/etc. with the layout documentation.  The adhesive lasts much longer than paper labels.   Follow this link for more inf.: https://www.brother-usa.com/home/label-printers/makers

Dave McBrayer

On Mar 7, 2020, at 09:47, Rich Randall via Groups.Io <RRand4449=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
What are Brother labels, and why good for model railroad?

Thanks,
Rich

Rich Randall
Gettysburg, PA


Greg Harter
 

Re:  Twisting bus wires--

We have a large HO layout built mostly with 4x8' tables; track bus runs between the tables with 12 conductor nylon connectors.  Each connector socket contains two pair of 12 gauge track bus and 8 other, smaller gauge wires for Tortoise power, 12V and 1.5V accessory bus pairs.  Between the sockets for each table (male and female) run the wires.  The two sets of track bus are twisted pairs, right next to each other.  We have terminators at the end of each track bus run.  We have never had a problem with the system (NCE).  We routinely switch between DC and DCC on the four mainlines.

The track bus is twisted 8 turns per 8' table--each pair is twisted in the opposite direction so it doesn't bind up.  Two mainlines upper, two mainlines lower, helix between--it works pretty well!

Greg Harter
Columbus (Indiana) Area Railroad Club


Jerry Michels
 

John wrote: Jerry,

Just don't throw out the documentation after you label your wiring. Keep it and keep it updated.

You bet.  We have all the documentation in an Excel file and stored on multiple computers.  I routinely print it out and post it on our corkboard at the control center.
Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum


Jerry Michels
 

You can really look at the Brother P-tab labels as permanent tags.