Topics

Intro and IDC connector question

Kiran Kaja
 

Hi All,

I have learnt a lot reading through the wiringfordcc.com website. It is an amazing resource. As an intro, I am Kiran and I am getting started in the hobby and experimenting with a temporary layout in my garage here in northern California. I have gotten a lot of help on the NCE and JMRI groups and folks have been extremely patient and resourceful given my limitations. I am pretty much totally blind and with the lockdown, don't really have much sighted help other than someone looking through my phone's camera over Facetime.

So far, I have a temporary layout that is sitting on top of some shelves and pink foam. I have a pretty long oval of double track main line with a siding, a reverse loop and a staging yard. Here is a video of the temporary layout in case you are curious. I have also been playing with JMRI and automation. I have an NCE BD20 block detector in the station side of the double track (where the ICE4 is currently waiting in the video).

I have a few questions about IDC connectors but here are my limitations because of not being able to see.
1. No soldering. Not even going to attempt it.
2. I am finding crimping hard and so haven't had any luck with T-Tap connectors.
3. Wire stripping is possible and unavoidable and I have gotten reasonably good at it. Using screw terminals is also OK.
4. Restricted to Kato Unitrack as I find it easy to use.

I am going to eventually build a modular layout. I am working on a couple of modules already. But the temporary layout has tought me a lot. So now for the question:

Are there any IDC type connectors that I can easily connect and disconnect? I am going to use 14 AUG wires for the track bus and accessory bus under the modules and I need some way to be able to easily connect and disconnect these bus wires when I am moving modules around. To connect track feeders to the bus, I am using 3M Scotchlock 905 connectors and I find them really easy to use but they are permanent which won't work for connections between modules. Most folks seem to use Anderson power pole connectors but those seem to require both stripping and crimping. One options that was suggested was to leave extra wire under the modules and use the 3M 314U connector to make a new connection whenever required. Depending on how often I end up moving the modules, I will eventually run out of wire.

Thanks for any pointers. I am sure I will have more wiring questions as I go through this journey.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Regards,
Kiran



--
Kiran kaja
Blind amateur Modeler in Northern California
N scale Unitrack | NCE | JMRI
Passenger trains only

wirefordcc
 

Hi Kiran,

I can't answer all your questions.  Here are a few answers.  

IDCs (insulation displacement connectors) should never be used more than once. At least do not use them at the same place on the wire as they do not make reliable contact.  I suggest you use a connector to make repeatable connections.  Molex makes white nylon connectors with crimp contacts.  I understand your concern over crimping IDCs.  I think you will find the Molex contact crimps much easier to do.

Kato Unitrack is great stuff and I understand why you want to use it.  It is a problem with joiners in general that they get loose with repeated connection that you have with a modular layout.  I suggest you use the Unitrack power section at the beginning of each module, at each end of each module, to ensure you get a good power connection.

I've used a few IDCs, but I haven't used enough different ones to make a good recommendation to you.  Have you tried the 3-M brand ones?  They are considered to be very good.

In January, I will start writing the DCC Corner column for Model Railroader magazine.  Can I use your question?  If so, please let me know what city you live in.  Thank you and good luck.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

John Cahill
 

Hi Kiran,
You have my admiration! I have used a connector module to plug transportable layouts together.  They are a bit clunky but that might work for you.  This is described as 12 Way/Pole, Screw Terminals, 14 AWG, Polyamide, 450 V Female, Male and available in Europe from RS-Online.  I'm trying to find a Mouser equivalent but not got it yet.  Big advantage I think is no soldering, easily polarized so no issue plugging by feel.  I've attached a spec but if that doesn't work and you are interested I'll try to post it on the group
Best regards,
John



On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 3:39 PM wirefordcc <bigboy@...> wrote:
Hi Kiran,

I can't answer all your questions.  Here are a few answers.  

IDCs (insulation displacement connectors) should never be used more than once. At least do not use them at the same place on the wire as they do not make reliable contact.  I suggest you use a connector to make repeatable connections.  Molex makes white nylon connectors with crimp contacts.  I understand your concern over crimping IDCs.  I think you will find the Molex contact crimps much easier to do.

Kato Unitrack is great stuff and I understand why you want to use it.  It is a problem with joiners in general that they get loose with repeated connection that you have with a modular layout.  I suggest you use the Unitrack power section at the beginning of each module, at each end of each module, to ensure you get a good power connection.

I've used a few IDCs, but I haven't used enough different ones to make a good recommendation to you.  Have you tried the 3-M brand ones?  They are considered to be very good.

In January, I will start writing the DCC Corner column for Model Railroader magazine.  Can I use your question?  If so, please let me know what city you live in.  Thank you and good luck.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

Carl
 

Hello Kiran:

Here are some simple connectors that you can make. If you don't have a saw, you could just drill holes.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Insulation-Displacement-Screw-Terminals/

PS: I never solder under the layout, only at the work bench.

Good luck, Carl.

On 6/4/2020 1:30 AM, Kiran Kaja wrote:
Hi All,

I have learnt a lot reading through the wiringfordcc.com website. It is an amazing resource. As an intro, I am Kiran and I am getting started in the hobby and experimenting with a temporary layout in my garage here in northern California. I have gotten a lot of help on the NCE and JMRI groups and folks have been extremely patient and resourceful given my limitations. I am pretty much totally blind and with the lockdown, don't really have much sighted help other than someone looking through my phone's camera over Facetime.

So far, I have a temporary layout that is sitting on top of some shelves and pink foam. I have a pretty long oval of double track main line with a siding, a reverse loop and a staging yard. Here is a video of the temporary layout in case you are curious. I have also been playing with JMRI and automation. I have an NCE BD20 block detector in the station side of the double track (where the ICE4 is currently waiting in the video).

I have a few questions about IDC connectors but here are my limitations because of not being able to see.
1. No soldering. Not even going to attempt it.
2. I am finding crimping hard and so haven't had any luck with T-Tap connectors.
3. Wire stripping is possible and unavoidable and I have gotten reasonably good at it. Using screw terminals is also OK.
4. Restricted to Kato Unitrack as I find it easy to use.

I am going to eventually build a modular layout. I am working on a couple of modules already. But the temporary layout has tought me a lot. So now for the question:

Are there any IDC type connectors that I can easily connect and disconnect? I am going to use 14 AUG wires for the track bus and accessory bus under the modules and I need some way to be able to easily connect and disconnect these bus wires when I am moving modules around. To connect track feeders to the bus, I am using 3M Scotchlock 905 connectors and I find them really easy to use but they are permanent which won't work for connections between modules. Most folks seem to use Anderson power pole connectors but those seem to require both stripping and crimping. One options that was suggested was to leave extra wire under the modules and use the 3M 314U connector to make a new connection whenever required. Depending on how often I end up moving the modules, I will eventually run out of wire.

Thanks for any pointers. I am sure I will have more wiring questions as I go through this journey.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Regards,
Kiran



--
Kiran kaja
Blind amateur Modeler in Northern California
N scale Unitrack | NCE | JMRI
Passenger trains only

Carl
 

Hello Kiran:

Years ago I built a bunch of modules using these connectors:

https://www.allelectronics.com/item/con-40/4-conductor-connector/1.html

They are available up to 12 conductors. And the price isn't bad. I used crimp terminals and never had a failure. Of course to change crimp connectors you do have to cut them off. One kludge is to use one end of a splice and use the second end for corrections??

Carl.

On 6/4/2020 11:03 AM, John Cahill wrote:
Hi Kiran,
You have my admiration! I have used a connector module to plug transportable layouts together.  They are a bit clunky but that might work for you.  This is described as 12 Way/Pole, Screw Terminals, 14 AWG, Polyamide, 450 V Female, Male and available in Europe from RS-Online.  I'm trying to find a Mouser equivalent but not got it yet.  Big advantage I think is no soldering, easily polarized so no issue plugging by feel.  I've attached a spec but if that doesn't work and you are interested I'll try to post it on the group
Best regards,
John



On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 3:39 PM wirefordcc <bigboy@...> wrote:
Hi Kiran,

I can't answer all your questions.  Here are a few answers.  

IDCs (insulation displacement connectors) should never be used more than once. At least do not use them at the same place on the wire as they do not make reliable contact.  I suggest you use a connector to make repeatable connections.  Molex makes white nylon connectors with crimp contacts.  I understand your concern over crimping IDCs.  I think you will find the Molex contact crimps much easier to do.

Kato Unitrack is great stuff and I understand why you want to use it.  It is a problem with joiners in general that they get loose with repeated connection that you have with a modular layout.  I suggest you use the Unitrack power section at the beginning of each module, at each end of each module, to ensure you get a good power connection.

I've used a few IDCs, but I haven't used enough different ones to make a good recommendation to you.  Have you tried the 3-M brand ones?  They are considered to be very good.

In January, I will start writing the DCC Corner column for Model Railroader magazine.  Can I use your question?  If so, please let me know what city you live in.  Thank you and good luck.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

Robert Wilson
 

Hi Kiran -

Maybe I don’t fully understand the question, but can’t you just use “euro style” terminal strips? You insert the wire on one side and tighten it with the screw and then you insert a wire on the opposite side and tighten and then you just unscrew them to disconnect. 

I bought one at Lowes the other day that accepts 10-22 awg. Digikey, all electronics and mouser also sell them online.

On Jun 4, 2020, at 9:42 AM, Kiran Kaja <kirankaja12@...> wrote:


Hi All,

I have learnt a lot reading through the wiringfordcc.com website. It is an amazing resource. As an intro, I am Kiran and I am getting started in the hobby and experimenting with a temporary layout in my garage here in northern California. I have gotten a lot of help on the NCE and JMRI groups and folks have been extremely patient and resourceful given my limitations. I am pretty much totally blind and with the lockdown, don't really have much sighted help other than someone looking through my phone's camera over Facetime.

So far, I have a temporary layout that is sitting on top of some shelves and pink foam. I have a pretty long oval of double track main line with a siding, a reverse loop and a staging yard. Here is a video of the temporary layout in case you are curious. I have also been playing with JMRI and automation. I have an NCE BD20 block detector in the station side of the double track (where the ICE4 is currently waiting in the video).

I have a few questions about IDC connectors but here are my limitations because of not being able to see.
1. No soldering. Not even going to attempt it.
2. I am finding crimping hard and so haven't had any luck with T-Tap connectors.
3. Wire stripping is possible and unavoidable and I have gotten reasonably good at it. Using screw terminals is also OK.
4. Restricted to Kato Unitrack as I find it easy to use.

I am going to eventually build a modular layout. I am working on a couple of modules already. But the temporary layout has tought me a lot. So now for the question:

Are there any IDC type connectors that I can easily connect and disconnect? I am going to use 14 AUG wires for the track bus and accessory bus under the modules and I need some way to be able to easily connect and disconnect these bus wires when I am moving modules around. To connect track feeders to the bus, I am using 3M Scotchlock 905 connectors and I find them really easy to use but they are permanent which won't work for connections between modules. Most folks seem to use Anderson power pole connectors but those seem to require both stripping and crimping. One options that was suggested was to leave extra wire under the modules and use the 3M 314U connector to make a new connection whenever required. Depending on how often I end up moving the modules, I will eventually run out of wire.

Thanks for any pointers. I am sure I will have more wiring questions as I go through this journey.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Regards,
Kiran



--
Kiran kaja
Blind amateur Modeler in Northern California
N scale Unitrack | NCE | JMRI
Passenger trains only

Kiran Kaja
 

Hi Allan, replies in line.

On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 7:39 AM wirefordcc <bigboy@...> wrote:
Hi Kiran,

I can't answer all your questions.  Here are a few answers.  

KK: Thank you. 
IDCs (insulation displacement connectors) should never be used more than once. At least do not use them at the same place on the wire as they do not make reliable contact.
KK: Agree. I wasn't planning on reusing the same IDC connectors. I was thinking of just cutting the wires up to the connectors and using a new IDC connector whenever I have to move the modules. 
  I suggest you use a connector to make repeatable connections.  Molex makes white nylon connectors with crimp contacts.  I understand your concern over crimping IDCs.  I think you will find the Molex contact crimps much easier to do.
KK: I can try the  Molex connectors. I wasn't having much luck with the T-Tap connectors that NCE was selling with their wiring kits.

Kato Unitrack is great stuff and I understand why you want to use it.  It is a problem with joiners in general that they get loose with repeated connection that you have with a modular layout.  I suggest you use the Unitrack power section at the beginning of each module, at each end of each module, to ensure you get a good power connection.
KK: Since each module will have its own track power bus and accessory power bus, I am wondering if I can forego the standard unijoiners at the end of the modules? I will have to use insulated joiners at the ends anyway because of block detection. Using the unijoiners helps with alignment even though I have precision alignment dowels on the modules.

I've used a few IDCs, but I haven't used enough different ones to make a good recommendation to you.  Have you tried the 3-M brand ones?  They are considered to be very good.
KK: Yes, I use the 3M 905 for connecting the feeder wires to track bus (14 AUG through wire and 22 AUG end wire). They are really good and easy to use. I also use the 3M 314U to connect 2 wire ends. I used recommendations on the parts page on your site. It is a shame they (3M) don't seem to make anything for repeatable connections.

In January, I will start writing the DCC Corner column for Model Railroader magazine.  Can I use your question?  If so, please let me know what city you live in.  Thank you and good luck.
KK: yes of course. I live in Sunnyvale, CA. 

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

Kiran Kaja
 

Hi John,

Do you have a link for these from Europe?

Thanks,
Kiran

On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 8:17 AM John Cahill <johncahill25@...> wrote:
Hi Kiran,
You have my admiration! I have used a connector module to plug transportable layouts together.  They are a bit clunky but that might work for you.  This is described as 12 Way/Pole, Screw Terminals, 14 AWG, Polyamide, 450 V Female, Male and available in Europe from RS-Online.  I'm trying to find a Mouser equivalent but not got it yet.  Big advantage I think is no soldering, easily polarized so no issue plugging by feel.  I've attached a spec but if that doesn't work and you are interested I'll try to post it on the group
Best regards,
John



On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 3:39 PM wirefordcc <bigboy@...> wrote:
Hi Kiran,

I can't answer all your questions.  Here are a few answers.  

IDCs (insulation displacement connectors) should never be used more than once. At least do not use them at the same place on the wire as they do not make reliable contact.  I suggest you use a connector to make repeatable connections.  Molex makes white nylon connectors with crimp contacts.  I understand your concern over crimping IDCs.  I think you will find the Molex contact crimps much easier to do.

Kato Unitrack is great stuff and I understand why you want to use it.  It is a problem with joiners in general that they get loose with repeated connection that you have with a modular layout.  I suggest you use the Unitrack power section at the beginning of each module, at each end of each module, to ensure you get a good power connection.

I've used a few IDCs, but I haven't used enough different ones to make a good recommendation to you.  Have you tried the 3-M brand ones?  They are considered to be very good.

In January, I will start writing the DCC Corner column for Model Railroader magazine.  Can I use your question?  If so, please let me know what city you live in.  Thank you and good luck.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

John Cahill
 

Hi Kiran.  This is the link copied from the web page.  Their Irish store is just a sub office of their UK operation. 
The link is as follows:
Part Number is 865-9821

Another useful aspect of these parts is that you can easily cut them to the length you want for any number of contacts from one to twelve.  The layout boards were 5' 8'' by 2' 4''and DCC operated, so the connector blocks carrried three DCC busses (6 positions), DC for lights and accessories, AC for Lenz decoders  taking 10 positions
of the 12 available.  The remaining two could be used or left empty.

There are other types but i find these cost effective and useful.  if you need further data or have any questions don't hesitate to ask.
Best wishes,
John


On Fri, Jun 5, 2020 at 4:52 AM Kiran Kaja <kirankaja12@...> wrote:
Hi John,

Do you have a link for these from Europe?

Thanks,
Kiran

On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 8:17 AM John Cahill <johncahill25@...> wrote:
Hi Kiran,
You have my admiration! I have used a connector module to plug transportable layouts together.  They are a bit clunky but that might work for you.  This is described as 12 Way/Pole, Screw Terminals, 14 AWG, Polyamide, 450 V Female, Male and available in Europe from RS-Online.  I'm trying to find a Mouser equivalent but not got it yet.  Big advantage I think is no soldering, easily polarized so no issue plugging by feel.  I've attached a spec but if that doesn't work and you are interested I'll try to post it on the group
Best regards,
John



On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 3:39 PM wirefordcc <bigboy@...> wrote:
Hi Kiran,

I can't answer all your questions.  Here are a few answers.  

IDCs (insulation displacement connectors) should never be used more than once. At least do not use them at the same place on the wire as they do not make reliable contact.  I suggest you use a connector to make repeatable connections.  Molex makes white nylon connectors with crimp contacts.  I understand your concern over crimping IDCs.  I think you will find the Molex contact crimps much easier to do.

Kato Unitrack is great stuff and I understand why you want to use it.  It is a problem with joiners in general that they get loose with repeated connection that you have with a modular layout.  I suggest you use the Unitrack power section at the beginning of each module, at each end of each module, to ensure you get a good power connection.

I've used a few IDCs, but I haven't used enough different ones to make a good recommendation to you.  Have you tried the 3-M brand ones?  They are considered to be very good.

In January, I will start writing the DCC Corner column for Model Railroader magazine.  Can I use your question?  If so, please let me know what city you live in.  Thank you and good luck.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

 

IDC connectors should not be reused as they are designed for one time connections.

You might consider these Wago connectors.  The flip lever clamp is easy to manipulate and can be opened and closed a lot of times without degradation.  They are also rated for a very wide range of wire sizes in the same slot.  This is not at all true for IDC.  The downside is that you have to cut and strip wires.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/15pcs-Wago-Lever-Nuts-2-3-5-Conductor-Terminal-Block-Splicing-Wire-Connector/401711550506?epid=2255425680&hash=item5d87dfd02a:g:jM8AAOSwCnpcYMSk

Best,

Ken Harstine

John Cahill
 

I have also used them for a few years now and find no problems with them and easy to assemble!

Best Regards,
John

On 5 Jun 2020, at 15:40, Ken Harstine <kharstin@...> wrote:

IDC connectors should not be reused as they are designed for one time connections.

You might consider these Wago connectors.  The flip lever clamp is easy to manipulate and can be opened and closed a lot of times without degradation.  They are also rated for a very wide range of wire sizes in the same slot.  This is not at all true for IDC.  The downside is that you have to cut and strip wires.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/15pcs-Wago-Lever-Nuts-2-3-5-Conductor-Terminal-Block-Splicing-Wire-Connector/401711550506?epid=2255425680&hash=item5d87dfd02a:g:jM8AAOSwCnpcYMSk

Best,

Ken Harstine

Kiran Kaja
 

Are there Wago connectors that are both male and female that can be plugged in and out? That way, I can strip the wire once, clamp the connectors and forget about it? My modules are going to always connect in one direction only. so I can have a male connector on one end and a female connector on the other and so they can connect easily. I see some options here but not sure which one is the right one:


Also, below is a list of things I find easiest to hardest:

1. IDC: extremely easy and connection works reliably all the time.
2. Wire cutting: no problem here
3. Wire stripping: This can be done although I have not attempted it with 14 AUG wires. I can reliably strip 22 AUG wires.
4. Screw terminals: can be fiddly but I can get them working most of the time.
5. Crimping insulated connectors: Very poor success rate even with a good ratcheting crimping tool.

I don't know how easy these Wago clamp connectors would be to use but I suspect they should be easy enough from what I read. So I should try these.

On Fri, Jun 5, 2020 at 7:40 AM Ken Harstine <kharstin@...> wrote:
IDC connectors should not be reused as they are designed for one time connections.

You might consider these Wago connectors.  The flip lever clamp is easy to manipulate and can be opened and closed a lot of times without degradation.  They are also rated for a very wide range of wire sizes in the same slot.  This is not at all true for IDC.  The downside is that you have to cut and strip wires.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/15pcs-Wago-Lever-Nuts-2-3-5-Conductor-Terminal-Block-Splicing-Wire-Connector/401711550506?epid=2255425680&hash=item5d87dfd02a:g:jM8AAOSwCnpcYMSk

Best,

Ken Harstine

Carl
 

Hi Gang:

Also available in the USA:

https://www.alliedelec.com/product/rs-pro-by-allied/8659821/71819652/

Nice looking product and a decent price.

Good luck, Carl.

On 6/5/2020 4:31 AM, John Cahill wrote:
Hi Kiran.  This is the link copied from the web page.  Their Irish store is just a sub office of their UK operation. 
The link is as follows:
Part Number is 865-9821

Another useful aspect of these parts is that you can easily cut them to the length you want for any number of contacts from one to twelve.  The layout boards were 5' 8'' by 2' 4''and DCC operated, so the connector blocks carrried three DCC busses (6 positions), DC for lights and accessories, AC for Lenz decoders  taking 10 positions
of the 12 available.  The remaining two could be used or left empty.

There are other types but i find these cost effective and useful.  if you need further data or have any questions don't hesitate to ask.
Best wishes,
John

On Fri, Jun 5, 2020 at 4:52 AM Kiran Kaja <kirankaja12@...> wrote:
Hi John,

Do you have a link for these from Europe?

Thanks,
Kiran

On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 8:17 AM John Cahill <johncahill25@...> wrote:
Hi Kiran,
You have my admiration! I have used a connector module to plug transportable layouts together.  They are a bit clunky but that might work for you.  This is described as 12 Way/Pole, Screw Terminals, 14 AWG, Polyamide, 450 V Female, Male and available in Europe from RS-Online.  I'm trying to find a Mouser equivalent but not got it yet.  Big advantage I think is no soldering, easily polarized so no issue plugging by feel.  I've attached a spec but if that doesn't work and you are interested I'll try to post it on the group
Best regards,
John



On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 3:39 PM wirefordcc <bigboy@...> wrote:
Hi Kiran,

I can't answer all your questions.  Here are a few answers.  

IDCs (insulation displacement connectors) should never be used more than once. At least do not use them at the same place on the wire as they do not make reliable contact.  I suggest you use a connector to make repeatable connections.  Molex makes white nylon connectors with crimp contacts.  I understand your concern over crimping IDCs.  I think you will find the Molex contact crimps much easier to do.

Kato Unitrack is great stuff and I understand why you want to use it.  It is a problem with joiners in general that they get loose with repeated connection that you have with a modular layout.  I suggest you use the Unitrack power section at the beginning of each module, at each end of each module, to ensure you get a good power connection.

I've used a few IDCs, but I haven't used enough different ones to make a good recommendation to you.  Have you tried the 3-M brand ones?  They are considered to be very good.

In January, I will start writing the DCC Corner column for Model Railroader magazine.  Can I use your question?  If so, please let me know what city you live in.  Thank you and good luck.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

Robert Wilson
 

These are the same ones I was referring to. You can get them at Lowe’s for around $12. Some of the online suppliers have them for much cheaper but then you have to pay for shipping. They are also available at NCE’s website, All Electronics, DigiKey and Mouser. Below is the link to the NCE ones.


On Jun 5, 2020, at 2:59 PM, Carl <carl.blum@...> wrote:



Hi Gang:

Also available in the USA:

https://www.alliedelec.com/product/rs-pro-by-allied/8659821/71819652/

Nice looking product and a decent price.

Good luck, Carl.

On 6/5/2020 4:31 AM, John Cahill wrote:
Hi Kiran.  This is the link copied from the web page.  Their Irish store is just a sub office of their UK operation. 
The link is as follows:
Part Number is 865-9821

Another useful aspect of these parts is that you can easily cut them to the length you want for any number of contacts from one to twelve.  The layout boards were 5' 8'' by 2' 4''and DCC operated, so the connector blocks carrried three DCC busses (6 positions), DC for lights and accessories, AC for Lenz decoders  taking 10 positions
of the 12 available.  The remaining two could be used or left empty.

There are other types but i find these cost effective and useful.  if you need further data or have any questions don't hesitate to ask.
Best wishes,
John

On Fri, Jun 5, 2020 at 4:52 AM Kiran Kaja <kirankaja12@...> wrote:
Hi John,

Do you have a link for these from Europe?

Thanks,
Kiran

On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 8:17 AM John Cahill <johncahill25@...> wrote:
Hi Kiran,
You have my admiration! I have used a connector module to plug transportable layouts together.  They are a bit clunky but that might work for you.  This is described as 12 Way/Pole, Screw Terminals, 14 AWG, Polyamide, 450 V Female, Male and available in Europe from RS-Online.  I'm trying to find a Mouser equivalent but not got it yet.  Big advantage I think is no soldering, easily polarized so no issue plugging by feel.  I've attached a spec but if that doesn't work and you are interested I'll try to post it on the group
Best regards,
John



On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 3:39 PM wirefordcc <bigboy@...> wrote:
Hi Kiran,

I can't answer all your questions.  Here are a few answers.  

IDCs (insulation displacement connectors) should never be used more than once. At least do not use them at the same place on the wire as they do not make reliable contact.  I suggest you use a connector to make repeatable connections.  Molex makes white nylon connectors with crimp contacts.  I understand your concern over crimping IDCs.  I think you will find the Molex contact crimps much easier to do.

Kato Unitrack is great stuff and I understand why you want to use it.  It is a problem with joiners in general that they get loose with repeated connection that you have with a modular layout.  I suggest you use the Unitrack power section at the beginning of each module, at each end of each module, to ensure you get a good power connection.

I've used a few IDCs, but I haven't used enough different ones to make a good recommendation to you.  Have you tried the 3-M brand ones?  They are considered to be very good.

In January, I will start writing the DCC Corner column for Model Railroader magazine.  Can I use your question?  If so, please let me know what city you live in.  Thank you and good luck.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

JerryG
 

And one more kind of connector that only requires pushing the clip on one side and then the other.  Woodland Scenics selling these as splicer connectors with their Just Plug line as JP5686 but also available eBay and elsewhere:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/192048872225

Good luck!
Jerry


________________________________________________
jerryg2003@...

PennsyNut
 

Here's what I can tell you. I have and use WAGO; #222-412 is a 2x AWG 28-12 Cu. Also, have some 3x. The 2x are in use now for almost a year. Perfect. You can put wires in, take them out, reinsert them. No problem. As I remember, they have more than 2x & 3x. In fact, on their web site, I saw 13,262. So, I can recommend them for quality. Now. I saw something I hadn't seen before. The web page's first shown are AWG 18-4. Those are probably more for household. For my model railroading, the 28-12 is way more than adequate. They do hold AWG 20 very well, that''s what I use for feeders. So, using them to connect to AWG 14 ought to be easy too. One final. They are a little pricey/to me. But worth it for wire connections that may have to be taken out and put in. Hope this helps. Final note: Far easier than screws, require only stripping and if stranded, some twisting. No solder necessary.  Morgan Bilbo, about one year with very basic DCC

Jay
 

Hi,
Being in the R/C world, I got hooked on Anderson Power Poles.
When I built my layout, I used them to bridge the modules.
A Crimper was even purchased to make life easier.
It is as large as an RJ45 crimper so it does not take a lot of effort.
I am already at the far end of life. It is easy to use.

Jay

Kiran Kaja
 

As an update to this, I now have the Wago connectors (221) and they look easy enough to use. I am going to give it a try and see if I have luck with them. I wish they had a male and female connector types so I don't have to remove and insert the wires themselves. But it looks like this comes close to it without crimping.


On Sat, Jun 6, 2020 at 1:41 PM PennsyNut <pennsynut@...> wrote:
Here's what I can tell you. I have and use WAGO; #222-412 is a 2x AWG 28-12 Cu. Also, have some 3x. The 2x are in use now for almost a year. Perfect. You can put wires in, take them out, reinsert them. No problem. As I remember, they have more than 2x & 3x. In fact, on their web site, I saw 13,262. So, I can recommend them for quality. Now. I saw something I hadn't seen before. The web page's first shown are AWG 18-4. Those are probably more for household. For my model railroading, the 28-12 is way more than adequate. They do hold AWG 20 very well, that''s what I use for feeders. So, using them to connect to AWG 14 ought to be easy too. One final. They are a little pricey/to me. But worth it for wire connections that may have to be taken out and put in. Hope this helps. Final note: Far easier than screws, require only stripping and if stranded, some twisting. No solder necessary.  Morgan Bilbo, about one year with very basic DCC

Don Vollrath
 

The wago 221 series parts are wire to wire connectors.
For a mated M/F pair for module to module disconnect-able parts you need their CAGE CLAMP series parts. You will need to purchase male and female parts separately. (?)
But they are far larger than necessary and costly.
DonV