Topics

Does this plan make sense?


Nat Hill IV
 

First and foremost, thanks to Allan Gartner for his valiant efforts. Believe me, had I not found his website, I would have been doomed to fail, as I am making the beginner's mistake of starting out with a big layout and DCC. I will probably have a series of questions as I (hopefully) progress through this project, so let's start with this one.

My layout, with benchwork about 80% done, will end up having a main line run of around 180 feet. I don't intend to have more than four engines running at any one time.
At the age of 72, I have more dollars than sense, and more money than time left! So in order to avoid headaches with busses that end up being too long and problems diagnosing shorts, here is my plan.

I would like to split the layout into three roughly sixty foot sections, which I believe I can easily do allowing bus runs of around 30 feet in each direction.  Just to be safe, I intend to put circuit breakers (NCE EB1) on each power booster.  The system is MRC 3.5 amps, and I would like to add two 3.5 amp MRC boosters.  I would then leave each of the three NCE EB1s at their default level of 2.5 amps.

As I say, this is probably my first of many questions, just want to make sure my initial plan at least makes sense.

 


vincent marino
 

my brother from what you're describing in order to reduce (you'll never eliminate) headaches here's my two cents: 

1) Add more power districts to the initial design, easier now than later.  
2)  put all your turnouts on one power district. 
3) if you have a roundhouse and turntable put them on one power district, 
4) any yards? yup separate power district 
5) definitely put a circuit breaker and a snubber (for voltage spikes) on each power district. 
6) design extra plug-in jacks around the layout for your controllers, so you're not anchored to one area. 
7) personally I wouldn't design less than 2.5 watts per power district (better to have more than not enough power). 
8) all of the work at this stage is under the benchwork get yourself a mechanics seat on wheels. 

Well that's my two cents, good luck brother. 
Enjoy both the design and build out process. It's all fun.  
 
Sincerely,
Vincent Marino
Vincent Marino
Project Manager
904-260-7663 office/cell  
 
The information contained in this message is proprietary and/or confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, please: (i) delete the message and all copies; (ii) do not disclose, distribute or use the message in any manner; and (iii) notify the sender immediately.


On Tue, Dec 8, 2020 at 12:32 PM <nathilliv@...> wrote:

First and foremost, thanks to Allan Gartner for his valiant efforts. Believe me, had I not found his website, I would have been doomed to fail, as I am making the beginner's mistake of starting out with a big layout and DCC. I will probably have a series of questions as I (hopefully) progress through this project, so let's start with this one.

My layout, with benchwork about 80% done, will end up having a main line run of around 180 feet. I don't intend to have more than four engines running at any one time.
At the age of 72, I have more dollars than sense, and more money than time left! So in order to avoid headaches with busses that end up being too long and problems diagnosing shorts, here is my plan.

I would like to split the layout into three roughly sixty foot sections, which I believe I can easily do allowing bus runs of around 30 feet in each direction.  Just to be safe, I intend to put circuit breakers (NCE EB1) on each power booster.  The system is MRC 3.5 amps, and I would like to add two 3.5 amp MRC boosters.  I would then leave each of the three NCE EB1s at their default level of 2.5 amps.

As I say, this is probably my first of many questions, just want to make sure my initial plan at least makes sense.

 


george hohon3
 

I've never been under my layout to do wiring.  With open bench work and by using template type sub-roadbed, you never have to get on hands and knees.  This also applies to layout design and Rule No. 1 . . . . . NO duck-unders!

LG
no back pain here


From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> on behalf of vincent marino <vmarino2009@...>
Sent: Tuesday, December 8, 2020 10:18 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Does this plan make sense?
 
my brother from what you're describing in order to reduce (you'll never eliminate) headaches here's my two cents: 

1) Add more power districts to the initial design, easier now than later.  
2)  put all your turnouts on one power district. 
3) if you have a roundhouse and turntable put them on one power district, 
4) any yards? yup separate power district 
5) definitely put a circuit breaker and a snubber (for voltage spikes) on each power district. 
6) design extra plug-in jacks around the layout for your controllers, so you're not anchored to one area. 
7) personally I wouldn't design less than 2.5 watts per power district (better to have more than not enough power). 
8) all of the work at this stage is under the benchwork get yourself a mechanics seat on wheels. 

Well that's my two cents, good luck brother. 
Enjoy both the design and build out process. It's all fun.  
 
Sincerely,
Vincent Marino
Vincent Marino
Project Manager
904-260-7663 office/cell  
 
The information contained in this message is proprietary and/or confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, please: (i) delete the message and all copies; (ii) do not disclose, distribute or use the message in any manner; and (iii) notify the sender immediately.


On Tue, Dec 8, 2020 at 12:32 PM <nathilliv@...> wrote:

First and foremost, thanks to Allan Gartner for his valiant efforts. Believe me, had I not found his website, I would have been doomed to fail, as I am making the beginner's mistake of starting out with a big layout and DCC. I will probably have a series of questions as I (hopefully) progress through this project, so let's start with this one.

My layout, with benchwork about 80% done, will end up having a main line run of around 180 feet. I don't intend to have more than four engines running at any one time.
At the age of 72, I have more dollars than sense, and more money than time left! So in order to avoid headaches with busses that end up being too long and problems diagnosing shorts, here is my plan.

I would like to split the layout into three roughly sixty foot sections, which I believe I can easily do allowing bus runs of around 30 feet in each direction.  Just to be safe, I intend to put circuit breakers (NCE EB1) on each power booster.  The system is MRC 3.5 amps, and I would like to add two 3.5 amp MRC boosters.  I would then leave each of the three NCE EB1s at their default level of 2.5 amps.

As I say, this is probably my first of many questions, just want to make sure my initial plan at least makes sense.

 


wirefordcc
 

You are off to a good start!  I'm glad you have found the website useful.

Since you mentioned diagnosing shorts, there are a few things to consider.  More electronic circuit breakers will help if you have a problem.  How many do you need?  The more you can afford, the smaller the area of your layout you have to troubleshoot if you have a problem.  You didn't mention operating sessions, but if you have them, than this is even more important to expedite troubleshooting during an operating session.  For me, I have one electronic circuit breaker per town.  That really narrows the problem area and during an operating session, only one person is likely to have a problem.

Test every bit of your installation as you go along.  If a problem develops, you won't have much new work to check.

I plan to cover topics like this in my column in Model Railroader.

I don't hear much from users of MRC equipment, so drop a line and let me know if there is anything unique you find.

Good luck with your railroad!

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC


emrldsky
 

On 12/8/2020 11:18 AM, vincent marino wrote:
8) all of the work at this stage is under the benchwork get yourself a mechanics seat on wheels.
I definitely agree with that one, having done without and with.

More power districts, and more power for each district - yes!!

You are not clear when you say all turnouts on one district. Do you mean the power used to switch position, or the power for the rails. The first is o.k., but not the second. I believe the rails of the turnout should be powered by the same district as the rails leading to and from it. I put control power for the turnouts separate from rail power, and group them by physical area, not all on one source.

Peace,
Mike G.


vincent marino
 

The power supplied to the turnout rails, powers the switch mechanism as well as the locomotive. Put all switches on one district to avoid headaches. If you get a short (nine times in ten it's a derailment) your circuit breaker will blink identifying the power district with the problem. Always install  insulators isolating the turnout rails from the main lines. The DCC systems work flawlessly doing it that way.


On Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 5:50 PM emrldsky <azMikeG@...> wrote:
On 12/8/2020 11:18 AM, vincent marino wrote:
> 8) all of the work at this stage is under the benchwork get yourself a
> mechanics seat on wheels.
I definitely agree with that one, having done without and with.

More power districts, and more power for each district - yes!!

You are not clear when you say all turnouts on one district. Do you mean
the power used to switch position, or the power for the rails. The first
is o.k., but not the second. I believe the rails of the turnout should
be powered by the same district as the rails leading to and from it. I
put control power for the turnouts separate from rail power, and group
them by physical area, not all on one source.

Peace,
Mike G.







Nat Hill IV
 

Thanks everybody.
Good advice by all.
Didn't such expect expert advice that quickly!
Will get some benchwork done, some power supply and circuit breakers ordered, and hope to be back soon with more questions.

Again, THANKS!


Jim Betz
 

Nat(? - please sign your posts),

  If it were my layout I'd use PSX circuit breakers instead of the EB1s.  They 
are better for sound locos (or lighted passenger trains).
  Research the Wago 221 connectors - they are great for eliminating almost
all soldering for your wiring under the layout.  The only thing I'm soldering is
the lugs where the wires connect to the terminal strips.

  Allan was "right on" about the "test as you go" ... the best method is to 
"test today what you wired today" and do your wiring in such a way that
you have an ever growing -working- layout in terms of wiring.  As soon as
you 'compromise' on this approach you will find that you end up with a
short (or any other wiring error) that takes MUCH longer to find and fix.

                                                                                                   - Jim


Nat Hill IV
 

Thanks Jim.

Your advice is appreciated.
Will look into your PSX circuit breakers and Wago connectors..
Haven't heard of  the connectors.....

This forum is a God-send.

Nat Hill IV


Dale Gloer
 

Nat,

this website is a great help.  You may have already found this tip but in case you haven't I can't advise strongly enough that you should use it.  If you have it attached to your bus as you wire your track you will know instantly if you make an error. 

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/track.htm#a1

Dale Gloer


Nat Hill IV
 

Thanks Dan.
Already purchased the buzzer and 9 volt battery attachment.
Old tired 9 volt battery only puts out 7 volts but buzzer works just fine. 🙂

Nat Hill IV

On Wed, Dec 9, 2020, 11:47 Dale Gloer <dale.gloer@...> wrote:
Nat,

this website is a great help.  You may have already found this tip but in case you haven't I can't advise strongly enough that you should use it.  If you have it attached to your bus as you wire your track you will know instantly if you make an error. 

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/track.htm#a1

Dale Gloer


PennsyNut
 

I use a different short indicator. Because I couldn't find a buzzer cheap. I use a 12v auto bulb. Hook it to the rails with alligator clips in the section I'm working on. Quick indication of a short. And when I finished wiring and was OK with running, and also because I'm so cheap. I use a 12v auto bulb for my entire layout. Which is a 24' shelf. Bulb located in the middle and is visible from end to end. Any short anywhere and the bulb lights. I immediately shut down and locate the short. Yes, it takes a little longer. But: If I'm standing right near where the short is obvious, I can simply fix it without having to shut down. I know this isn't what y'all recommend, but it works for me. But for Nat, the buzzer is the right choice. And a bulb is only for small layouts where it can be mounted so is visible from everywhere.
Morgan Bilbo, slightly over one year with very basic DCC


Jim Betz
 

Nat,

  As many will tell you - it is strongly recommended that you color code
your wiring.  And equally important is to document as you go.  Don't
expect to be able to identify what wire is what - especially when you
are underneath the layout - several months from now.  If you color
code so that a particular use is the same color combo then you have
an 'instant' method of associating what you are seeing months/years
from now.
  Example - ALL of my main DCC bus wiring is done in one Red and 
one White wire.  And that combo is not used anywhere else on the
layout.  It's also twisted.  So if I see a red and white twisted pair I
know that it is "DCC main, without any circuit breaker".  It is unlikely
that I'll make a mistake later about what that pair is.  I have even
color coded my individual track bus wires - for example there are
no two wires for the staging blocks that are the same color combination.
Of course there aren't enough color combos for them all to be unique.
Part of the reason for that is that I 'tied' the Cat 5E feeder wires to the
block wiring ... so a blue+white feeder pair (one solid, one both) is
connected to a blue-white track bus wire.
  Color coding allowed me to maximize my under the layout time -
because I could confidently run the track bus for two adjacent rails
(above in staging) at the same time ... no chance I'd hook up the
wrong pair of feeders (or even one wire of a pair) to the wrong 
block bus below!
                                                                            - Jim