How to Connect Feeders to Main Bus ??


bernard steinbacher <b55go@...>
 

I have read that suitcase connectors don't always make good contact to the wire, thereby causing a power drop ?
If I don't want to solder each feeder to the main supply then What Connector works best ? 
I am using 18 gauge solid wire Feeders But have not decided on Stranded or Solid for Main Bus 14 Gauge
Thanks for all your replies
Bernard


Martin Piech
 

Bernard, I’m seeing positive feedback on social media about using WAGO lever connectors as an alternative to suitcase connectors.


On Sep 24, 2022, at 7:17 AM, bernard steinbacher via groups.io <b55go@...> wrote:

I have read that suitcase connectors don't always make good contact to the wire, thereby causing a power drop ?
If I don't want to solder each feeder to the main supply then What Connector works best ? 
I am using 18 gauge solid wire Feeders But have not decided on Stranded or Solid for Main Bus 14 Gauge
Thanks for all your replies
Bernard


Don Russell
 

I have used suitcase connectors for 20 years have not had an issue. 

Don Russell

On Sep 24, 2022, at 9:04 AM, Martin Piech <mppiech@...> wrote:

Bernard, I’m seeing positive feedback on social media about using WAGO lever connectors as an alternative to suitcase connectors.


On Sep 24, 2022, at 7:17 AM, bernard steinbacher via groups.io <b55go@...> wrote:

I have read that suitcase connectors don't always make good contact to the wire, thereby causing a power drop ?
If I don't want to solder each feeder to the main supply then What Connector works best ? 
I am using 18 gauge solid wire Feeders But have not decided on Stranded or Solid for Main Bus 14 Gauge
Thanks for all your replies
Bernard


David Penty
 

Hi Bernard, - adding my 2-cents worth.   I started out using suitcase connectors and I'm slowly replacing all of them with soldered connections.   I attribute some of the problem to not using good-quality copper wire but I can't confirm this.  I had previously used rolls of wire either from Amazon or local discount electronics suppliers and they don't connect well nor do they solder wire.   Hence the slow conversion as I change out the wire feeders as well as the connection


Jennifer Lobo
 

My two penneth. Use really large gauge stranded wire for the main bus. Remove the insulation where the droppers are to go. Use smaller gauge stranded wire for the feeders and solder to the main bus and the rails

Cheers Geoff Clarke

Canada


Gene
 


george hohon3
 

Why make so much work for yourself?  Stranded wire?  Soldering in an upside-down position from under the layout?  Use a properly sized suitcase connector and solid core wire and your feeders will be connected and good for life.

LG


From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> on behalf of Jennifer Lobo via groups.io <jenngeoff2003@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 24, 2022 7:24 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] How to Connect Feeders to Main Bus ??
 
My two penneth. Use really large gauge stranded wire for the main bus. Remove the insulation where the droppers are to go. Use smaller gauge stranded wire for the feeders and solder to the main bus and the rails

Cheers Geoff Clarke

Canada


Nick Ostrosky
 

I'm using T-Taps after having mixed results with suitcase connectors on my previous attempt.  So far very positive results, no special tools required, and a snap to install.  I use WAGO connectors to join the main bus between dominoes, so I think that's a good option as well.  Terminal blocks seem an odd choice to me - too many needed, or longer feeders, or just a lot of work compared to other options.

Nick


Don Weigt
 

Bernard,

As the replies show, your question is like "which is better: Ford or Chevy?" Most products and methods, done well, will work reliably. Personal preferences are important factors. Are you a proficient solderer? Do or did you work in electronics? Then soldering probably is your best choice. If you're not sure which end of the iron gets hot, and don't have the tools and some training and experience, then you are likely to have better results with terminal blocks or crimp on connectors.

Connectors that crimp on rely on their contacts making tight connections to the wires. If they are the wrong size, or damaged, or not properly installed, that may not happen. Properly installed connectors actually achieve an airtight contact space between the wire and contact pin, which is important long term to prevent oxidation of the metal at the contact point. Metal oxides are insulators!

I think 18 gauge solid wire feeders are overkill if you are in HO or a smaller gauge, and hard to work with. But, if you're not finding them too difficult, keep on with what you are doing.

The most failure prone electronic components are switches and connectors. So, reducing the number of connections improves overall reliability. That's one advantage of soldering: One joint makes the connection between wires, or two connections if you count wire to solder and solder to the second wire. Terminal blocks, with crimped on lugs on the wires? Wire to lug, lug to terminal block, terminal block to second lug, second lug to second wire: four connections in series to replace one or two. Any one of the four going bad breaks the connection. Humid layout rooms in basements or warm climates are likely to have corrosion and surface oxidation on wires, making mechanical connections less reliable long term.

On the other hand, telephone companies found that properly done, pushed on wire.connections were more reliable than soldered. Again, the important part is that any joints must be properly made.

Don Weigt
Connecticut


--
Don Weigt
Connecticut


Jim Betz
 

Hi,

  My methods are to use solid 14 awg, Wago 221 connectors, color code everything, and use
terminal strips for the main junctions.  See this photo for actual.

  https://groups.io/g/w4dccqa/photo/278783/3492580?p=Created%2C%2C%2C50%2C2%2C0%2C0

  In this photo you will note several items:

  1) The grey conduit carries layout power (110vac house power) - all of the layout can be turned off
       with a single switch.
  2) The twisted green and white pair carries booster power to a far terminal strip that feeds a
       helix.
  3) Wherever you see a pair of Wago connectors is where the track feeders come down thru the
       layout and connect to the block wiring.  Those feeders are a pair of Cat 5e wires.  Yes, 
       every time you see a Wago the bus wire is cut, stripped, and the Wago inserted.  I have
       tested this using a load and an amp/volt meter (RRamp) and there is not even a tenth of a
       volt voltage drop over 30 feet (that's about 10 Wagos). 
  4) Note the red + white pair, it is twisted and crosses another pair at more or less a right
       angle - this is to minimize any cross talk between those two pairs.  There are many
       places under this staging yard where the same thing has been done.
  5) Note that all the various pairs are held in place by white plastic wiring clips that are
      screwed into the underside of the layout.
  6) Not shown are any of the terminal strips where the primary runs (such as the green and
      white pair mentioned above) are split out into the various runs that follow the track.  But
      are below the plywood like this picture.
  7) Also not shown are the PSX DCC circuit breakers.  My simple rule is that -all- track  
      is protected by a PSX (there is a PSX between the track and the booster).  If I were
      doing it today I'd probably use the new and improved PSXX version breakers - but
      they weren't available when I purchased the PSX breakers.  The PSX breakers are
      located near one or even a pair of terminal strips.

  This layer of the layout is staging.  It is 24" above the carpeted floor.  There will be another
layer approximately 24" above this one that will be the main yard of the layout.  I'll be wiring
that layer "before Christmas" (if all goes as planned).

  ===>  These are my methods.  YMMV.                     - Jim in the PNW


Rob Toler
 

I have used suitcase connectors for years and have had no issues with them. If they are crimped tight enough to close, then they should provide a reliable connection. For most home layouts through the medium size range there shouldn’t be any issues with either solid or stranded wire, especially at DCC frequencies. I use solid 22-gauge wire for feeders every 3 feet or each piece of track. Make sure the suitcase connectors are the ones that connect 14 to 22g wire. These are just a few basic things I have used with great success.

 

Rob

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of bernard steinbacher via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, September 24, 2022 7:17 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] How to Connect Feeders to Main Bus ??

 

I have read that suitcase connectors don't always make good contact to the wire, thereby causing a power drop ?
If I don't want to solder each feeder to the main supply then What Connector works best ? 
I am using 18 gauge solid wire Feeders But have not decided on Stranded or Solid for Main Bus 14 Gauge
Thanks for all your replies
Bernard