Topics

New to DCC

Greg Smith
 

Just starting to build a layout after collecting 'stuff' for 25 years.  I purchased a Super Chief system about 10 years ago along with a number of extra decoders, a 1021 power pack, an extra booster and throttle.  

I intend to use 12 guage romex for my power buses - primarily because I have 200 feet or so lying around after wiring my tractor and truck garage/shop building.  I have several rolls of black and red 20 guage solid wire that I am thinking of using as feeder drops.  I dunno, maybe wire overkill but the stuff is just lying around.

I had acquired a number of old Shinnohara turnouts which I have begun to convert to 'DCC friendly'.  So far it seems pretty straight forward and I have a half dozen ready to add connecting wires.  There is my main question.  For connecting point to closure rails, as well as wiring power to the frogs, what guage wire should I use?  Also, solid or stranded?  I see where this can be a bit delicate and I guess that stranded would be easier to use but are there pitfalls with using the stranded wire?   This wire (unlike the romex and connecting wire) will be purchased specifically for upgrading these switches (around 20 in total).
Thanks
Greg 
ps - many more beginner questions to come 
.

Don Vollrath
 

Greg,
A short length of 20 gauge solid copper wire works great for feeder drops to HO scale track. Just bend into a "J" that lays along the bottom flange on the outside of of the rail and add a little flux, the hot tip of a soldering iron and a little solder.

I would use maybe 22 gauge stranded to feed the movable point rails. Be sure to not let solder fill the strands and render it stiff rather than flexible. You might also leave a slight flexible loop. The points don't move much but any wire feed to them must also move.

One other trick with the power routing Shinoharas (and others) is to insulate the feed to the points and frog at the points by slipping a clear piece of plastic under the slider to the points (if there is one). Use insulated joiners at both frog exit rails of the turnout/switch instead of cutting any rail gaps. Then provide a SPDT switch synchronized to the throwbar to connect the points, and frog, and frog rails to the right polarity. [Look for examples on how to add a micro-switch to a throwbar or a Tortoise motor.] A frog juicer can also do the trick provided a decent connection is made at each point or as a loco enters from the frog end of the switch. Not totally "DCC Friendly" as the open point rail polarity will be opposite that of the adjacent stock rail. (I've never found that to be a problem except when there is a derailment already in progress.) Either way the operator must always set the throwbar correctly before the loco enters the turnout/switch. 

DonV
  

Carl
 

Hello Greg:

I use strictly stranded wire. It is easier to bend and stays flexible. Also as a kid Dad wired my layout with then popular solid aluminum wire. It was very frustrating, the wire would break inside the insulation. Then I was faced with finding an open spot that I couldn't see.

One mentor taught me that all wire joints should be strong mechanically before they are soldered. Working on older control panels I can't tell you how often the open was a broken solder joint that had popped free.

Here is my contribution to model RR wiring:

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

I'll be presenting a wiring workshop in Salt Lake City this Summer if anyone in interested. ( Foam Rubber Scenery too! )

Carl.



Virus-free. www.avast.com

Mark Cartwright
 

I am with Carl here on stranded wire for layouts. 
(but not always for houses or automotive/trailers/airplanes). 
====
The problem with stranded wire is it can corrode from inside. I had a front wiring harness do that on a BMW which I parked on an off near the Pacific Ocean for 5 years. To replace the wiring harness cost me $3100; on a car which had a Blue Book Value of $5k. 
====
But I digress....
I too considered Romex 12 Gauge Solid Wire..since I was buying so much of it for my houses.
However....? I also have some experience rewiring a Sailboat.  So I have also become a fan of Marine (tined) wire for better conductivity. After my BMW Corroded Wire Experience I may have run the other way.
=====
> My initial wiring from the DCC Controller to the track or Buss is Marine Stranded 12 Gauge Color Coded Wire.
From there, I ordered via eBay 200 feet of Blue White 12 Gauge Stranded Wire and 200 feet of White/Blue stranded wire. That is Blue with a White Spiral and White with a Blue Spiral. Yes, I twist it.
For now as drop down leads...I am using a modified Kato System for my N Gauge Layouts to the 12 gauge wiring below.
HO will be something different.
======
For my layout buildings and street lights...I use 14 gauge stranded red and 14 gauge stranded black. I do not run this wire through the same holes or even close by 2 inches to my Blue/White Spiral Wiring.
======
For some individual projects such as animation, I am for now using Trailer Wire which is 12 gauge stranded in 4 connected parallel wires.
This too will change, as I am planning on using a Rainbow of colors throughout my main layout.
:)) Mark

PS...
There is no Aluminum Wire in my house today. Along with many other issues which have been corrected. 
My WiFi Works. my switches stopped getting hot and catching on fire etc. Even my LokSound Decoders seem happier and do not reset.

Keith Elrod
 

To each their own. After years of working as a Broadway electrician, I am not fond of stranded wire. I use a solid wire on my Layout.


On Sun, Feb 10, 2019, 9:44 AM Mark Cartwright via Groups.Io <marcdecapri=yahoo.com@groups.io wrote:
I am with Carl here on stranded wire for layouts. 
(but not always for houses or automotive/trailers/airplanes). 
====
The problem with stranded wire is it can corrode from inside. I had a front wiring harness do that on a BMW which I parked on an off near the Pacific Ocean for 5 years. To replace the wiring harness cost me $3100; on a car which had a Blue Book Value of $5k. 
====
But I digress....
I too considered Romex 12 Gauge Solid Wire..since I was buying so much of it for my houses.
However....? I also have some experience rewiring a Sailboat.  So I have also become a fan of Marine (tined) wire for better conductivity. After my BMW Corroded Wire Experience I may have run the other way.
=====
> My initial wiring from the DCC Controller to the track or Buss is Marine Stranded 12 Gauge Color Coded Wire.
From there, I ordered via eBay 200 feet of Blue White 12 Gauge Stranded Wire and 200 feet of White/Blue stranded wire. That is Blue with a White Spiral and White with a Blue Spiral. Yes, I twist it.
For now as drop down leads...I am using a modified Kato System for my N Gauge Layouts to the 12 gauge wiring below.
HO will be something different.
======
For my layout buildings and street lights...I use 14 gauge stranded red and 14 gauge stranded black. I do not run this wire through the same holes or even close by 2 inches to my Blue/White Spiral Wiring.
======
For some individual projects such as animation, I am for now using Trailer Wire which is 12 gauge stranded in 4 connected parallel wires.
This too will change, as I am planning on using a Rainbow of colors throughout my main layout.
:)) Mark

PS...
There is no Aluminum Wire in my house today. Along with many other issues which have been corrected. 
My WiFi Works. my switches stopped getting hot and catching on fire etc. Even my LokSound Decoders seem happier and do not reset.

Al Silverstein
 

I actually use a combination of stranded and solid wire.
 
I use solid wire for my feeders. It is easier, or at least it seems easier to me, to solder a solid wire to the rails than it is to solder a stranded wire to the rails.
 
But under the layout my bus wire is stranded. I use only 14 awg wire for my rail bus. This is possible because of the positioning of my command station in relationship and my add on boosters. The maximum length of rail bus wiring from the command station or the add on boosters to the extreme end of the wire bus run is no more than 15’.
 
I am in my third DCC layout since 1994 and I have not had any problems with the method I use. I have measured the voltage at the extreme end of each rail bus leg and I have not had more than a .25 voltage drop which is minimal in my opinion.
 
I wired the 30” x 62” traveling layout my model railroad club uses. I used 22 awg solid wire for the feeders and 18 awg stranded for the rail bus. The rail bus length from the command station to its farthest point is no more than 90 inches. Upon close examination of the voltage at various points on the traveling layout I noted, using a RRampMeter from DCC Specialties,  only 0 to .1 voltage drop anywhere on the rails.
 
What to use depends on many factors. Cost is almost always a factory. Heat/Cold and humidity can play a factor. Size and type of the wire to be used plays a factor. Then again so do the skills necessary to connect feeders to rails and feeders to rail bus.
 
There is no absolute right answer on the type of wire to be used other than the wire gauge. Wire gauge always is affected by resistance. The larger the wire the lower the resistance. The longer a wire run also is affected by resistance. Even the number of feeders can affect a trains overall operations. Let us not forget that soldering skills also plays a part in wiring a layout.
 
Al Silverstein
Model Railroader in both N and HO since June 1965
Digitrax DCC user since October 1994

Greg Smith
 

Lots of good information here and I appreciate the help.  What I did not write about was the layouts physical conditions.  Heated basement (air conditioned in the summer).  Sooo, big changes in heat and humidity are not in the offing.  I live in SE Ohio (near Wheeling, WV) so our humidity here is not usually that bad, even in the summer, and of course I do not have to deal with the salt air as Mark has had to contend with.  Actual layout construction will not begin until late this summer as we are going to paint the concrete floor, block walls, and the overhead exposed wood joists and flooring - primarily to cut down on the amount of dust that my wife has to breath which is increasingly causing her more distress.  Side benefit will be the layout of course.  Because of her scent/chemical allergy we cannot paint until the house and basement can be kept open although I am starting to build layout sections in my shop.

I like the idea of using the insulated joiners on the frog end in combination with the SPDT switch synchronized with the throwbar since most turnouts will be operated with Caboose Industries manual throw bars with Circitron tortorise machines along the main line, such as it is.
Greg

Don Vollrath
 

Greg,
If your basement walls do not seep any water take the time (and relatively minor expense) to seal with a waterproofing paint then provide 2x2 or 2x4 studs with fiberglass insulation and a vapor barrier with painted dry-wall. The result is a far better controlled temperature environment. 
DonV

Carl
 

Hello Keith:

Please tell us more about being a Broadway Electrician. I've always wondered about the special plugs for all the spots and flood lights. When I was in Ames Iowa I had a tour of C.J.Stevens Auditorium, with one of the first SCR lighting controls.

I have a load of industrial wiring, and they use sleeves to make their stranded wire easy to insert into connectors. I don't have the sleeves or the crimp tool to do this at home.

Thanks, Carl.


On 2/10/2019 10:00 AM, Keith Elrod wrote:
To each their own. After years of working as a Broadway electrician, I am not fond of stranded wire. I use a solid wire on my Layout.

On Sun, Feb 10, 2019, 9:44 AM Mark Cartwright via Groups.Io <marcdecapri=yahoo.com@groups.io wrote:
I am with Carl here on stranded wire for layouts. 
(but not always for houses or automotive/trailers/airplanes). 
====
The problem with stranded wire is it can corrode from inside. I had a front wiring harness do that on a BMW which I parked on an off near the Pacific Ocean for 5 years. To replace the wiring harness cost me $3100; on a car which had a Blue Book Value of $5k. 
====
But I digress....
I too considered Romex 12 Gauge Solid Wire..since I was buying so much of it for my houses.
However....? I also have some experience rewiring a Sailboat.  So I have also become a fan of Marine (tined) wire for better conductivity. After my BMW Corroded Wire Experience I may have run the other way.
=====
> My initial wiring from the DCC Controller to the track or Buss is Marine Stranded 12 Gauge Color Coded Wire.
From there, I ordered via eBay 200 feet of Blue White 12 Gauge Stranded Wire and 200 feet of White/Blue stranded wire. That is Blue with a White Spiral and White with a Blue Spiral. Yes, I twist it.
For now as drop down leads...I am using a modified Kato System for my N Gauge Layouts to the 12 gauge wiring below.
HO will be something different.
======
For my layout buildings and street lights...I use 14 gauge stranded red and 14 gauge stranded black. I do not run this wire through the same holes or even close by 2 inches to my Blue/White Spiral Wiring.
======
For some individual projects such as animation, I am for now using Trailer Wire which is 12 gauge stranded in 4 connected parallel wires.
This too will change, as I am planning on using a Rainbow of colors throughout my main layout.
:)) Mark

PS...
There is no Aluminum Wire in my house today. Along with many other issues which have been corrected. 
My WiFi Works. my switches stopped getting hot and catching on fire etc. Even my LokSound Decoders seem happier and do not reset.

Virus-free. www.avast.com

Keith Elrod
 

Hi Carl, and thank you for your interest. I had a wonderful career on Broadway, touring shows, concerts, industrials, TV, etc. In a nutshell my first Broadway show was A Chorus line (Nice to start out with a huge hit!).  Among others I did Brighton Beach Memoirs, Big River, Pirates of Penzance, Les Miz, Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon. It's a hard life with very long hours and working six nights a week, all weekends and all holidays. But I would not trade it for anything. Power distribution requirement were, and still are, quite heavy. With the wide use of LED's power requirements are less, but designers counter-balance that out by being more creative and adding more and more effects. Cabling is where the most difference is seen these days as a lot of it is now Cat5 or other types of signal cable. A typical conventional lightning instrument would be 750 to 1000 watts. Now the typical LED is a 100 watt LED. So, in the old days, I needed a 20amp circuit for every two lights. That translated into a lot of power distribution equipment we would bring in for any show.  3-pin stage pins were tough, but took a lot of abuse, especially for a touring show where they were constantly plugged and unplugged, packed and unpacked.  All three wires connected through a single cover plate. It would not take much for a strand of wire to come loose and cross over to another pin. And remember they are plugged into dimmer circuits that took a large load and quite a workout. So, nothing at all against anyone using stranded wire in model railroading I just prefer solid wire myself. I find it easier with the only soldering I do is the track feeders, which are 20g. I use a combination of suitcase connectors and terminal blocks for the other connections. Thanks again for your interest and happy choo chooing.


On Sun, Feb 10, 2019 at 7:10 PM Carl <carl.blum@...> wrote:

Hello Keith:

Please tell us more about being a Broadway Electrician. I've always wondered about the special plugs for all the spots and flood lights. When I was in Ames Iowa I had a tour of C.J.Stevens Auditorium, with one of the first SCR lighting controls.

I have a load of industrial wiring, and they use sleeves to make their stranded wire easy to insert into connectors. I don't have the sleeves or the crimp tool to do this at home.

Thanks, Carl.


On 2/10/2019 10:00 AM, Keith Elrod wrote:
To each their own. After years of working as a Broadway electrician, I am not fond of stranded wire. I use a solid wire on my Layout.

On Sun, Feb 10, 2019, 9:44 AM Mark Cartwright via Groups.Io <marcdecapri=yahoo.com@groups.io wrote:
I am with Carl here on stranded wire for layouts. 
(but not always for houses or automotive/trailers/airplanes). 
====
The problem with stranded wire is it can corrode from inside. I had a front wiring harness do that on a BMW which I parked on an off near the Pacific Ocean for 5 years. To replace the wiring harness cost me $3100; on a car which had a Blue Book Value of $5k. 
====
But I digress....
I too considered Romex 12 Gauge Solid Wire..since I was buying so much of it for my houses.
However....? I also have some experience rewiring a Sailboat.  So I have also become a fan of Marine (tined) wire for better conductivity. After my BMW Corroded Wire Experience I may have run the other way.
=====
> My initial wiring from the DCC Controller to the track or Buss is Marine Stranded 12 Gauge Color Coded Wire.
From there, I ordered via eBay 200 feet of Blue White 12 Gauge Stranded Wire and 200 feet of White/Blue stranded wire. That is Blue with a White Spiral and White with a Blue Spiral. Yes, I twist it.
For now as drop down leads...I am using a modified Kato System for my N Gauge Layouts to the 12 gauge wiring below.
HO will be something different.
======
For my layout buildings and street lights...I use 14 gauge stranded red and 14 gauge stranded black. I do not run this wire through the same holes or even close by 2 inches to my Blue/White Spiral Wiring.
======
For some individual projects such as animation, I am for now using Trailer Wire which is 12 gauge stranded in 4 connected parallel wires.
This too will change, as I am planning on using a Rainbow of colors throughout my main layout.
:)) Mark

PS...
There is no Aluminum Wire in my house today. Along with many other issues which have been corrected. 
My WiFi Works. my switches stopped getting hot and catching on fire etc. Even my LokSound Decoders seem happier and do not reset.

Virus-free. www.avast.com

Mark Cartwright
 

Greg,
And I hope I don't get dinged on this being Off - Topic but I can't stress enough my agreement with DonV for sealing your Basement walls.
Running in my case 2 x 3's along the outer perimeter walls, installing a combination of Fiberglass as well as spray in insulation and then refinishing it off with ?
Water Proof Wall Board.
No...
I am using 36" x 60" Hardiebacker Cement Wet Area Board. I also sealed the wood 2x3's with Rustoleum Enamel. Then I paint the Hardiebacker Board with Rustoleum again and again...
In which ever color I can get cheap from nearby Habitat Restores.
Old Rustoluem is thicker and hence is perfect for such a project.
(I suggest buying new if a final smooth finish is important.)
One of the reasons for choosing this board...The base wall is 60 inches high so each board fits without cutting.
Cutting Cement Board ?
I don't recommend it and if you do...Wear a serious mask. I found the use of a Sawsall with a fine metal cutting blade to work the best as low speeds, which tends to create less cement dust. Sorry a Painter's Mask won't do it...and upon those rare occasions you do need to cut, keep your exposure to the dust at a minimal of time for the entire day, perhaps the entire week - Allowing your body and breathing passages to expurgate the dust.
=====
However ?
With all the above said....I found the 25x50 foot basement in my 1908 House, the neighborhood and life in general to be too much for me at times....
Along with the Humidity, Peat Dust and Tiny Critters of the Central Valley.
So...
Last May, I basically abandoned that layout basement space for a totally different one -  Above Ground. Less than a mile,  away, this house, neighborhood and above ground Layout Room is nearly a whole other experience.
=====
We can get sudden flooding in California, with several inches of rain falling within a few minutes.
These rare occurrences where apt to cause water to seep through the basement walls and cause the floor to gain upwards of a quarter inch of water.
That is until...
I set in a 6 inch line of perforated drainage line along both sides of the house, to the front of the house, draining into a pair of French Drains under the front lawn. Once I accomplished this installation on both sides of my house with a slight angle down to the front lawn...The water coming through the walls (for over a Century) stopped.  These leaks left cracks in the walls. I used a two part epoxy from Simpson Strong Ties to close these cracks. I further sealed the walls as best as I could with old cans of Rustoleum Enamel.
=====
=====
But I must say....
I was unable to hold myself back....
I simply couldn't wait til I have completed the basement before I began my Basement Empire Layout.
This was somewhat of a Mistake...
For I found myself fighting dust, humidity and small dust critters while trying go determine why my LokSound Equipped Sound Decoders were resetting...along with other issues such as too tight of a radius for my Brass (DCC Sound Equipped) Locomotives. to take a Train over an Operating Bascule Bridge.
There are simply too many distractions in the World today; and I found it particularly disquieting trying to concentrate in such an environment.
However....?!?!?
I found solace in reading The Model Railroader magazine to a time before World War II, when such basements were in vogue.
Hope this helps.
:)) Mark

Carl
 

Hello Mark:

I helped renovate our 1900 basement in Iowa as a kid, late 1960s. We visited a painting contractor friend of Dad's and he taught us a paint mix for the stone walls. First patch the holes and cracks with a thick mix of latex paint and Portland Cement. Then two coats of latex paint, silicone sand and Portland Cement, to a pancake consistency. Since it was white paint this make the basement look great and really help sell the place. I believe it helped dry it out too.

Now I use the paint / cement mix for railroad scenery, I'm doing two workshops at Salt Lake City this Summer at the convention.

I do like the idea of the cement board, I would think plastic deck lumber would be less work than paint 2x4s.

In South Carolina's Low Country basements are a bad idea, so my railroad is in the back of the garage, on a 3' platform, so high above possible flooding.

Carl.

On 2/11/2019 12:16 PM, Mark Cartwright via Groups.Io wrote:

Greg,
And I hope I don't get dinged on this being Off - Topic but I can't stress enough my agreement with DonV for sealing your Basement walls.
Running in my case 2 x 3's along the outer perimeter walls, installing a combination of Fiberglass as well as spray in insulation and then refinishing it off with ?
Water Proof Wall Board.
No...
I am using 36" x 60" Hardiebacker Cement Wet Area Board. I also sealed the wood 2x3's with Rustoleum Enamel. Then I paint the Hardiebacker Board with Rustoleum again and again...
In which ever color I can get cheap from nearby Habitat Restores.
Old Rustoluem is thicker and hence is perfect for such a project.
(I suggest buying new if a final smooth finish is important.)
One of the reasons for choosing this board...The base wall is 60 inches high so each board fits without cutting.
Cutting Cement Board ?
I don't recommend it and if you do...Wear a serious mask. I found the use of a Sawsall with a fine metal cutting blade to work the best as low speeds, which tends to create less cement dust. Sorry a Painter's Mask won't do it...and upon those rare occasions you do need to cut, keep your exposure to the dust at a minimal of time for the entire day, perhaps the entire week - Allowing your body and breathing passages to expurgate the dust.
=====
However ?
With all the above said....I found the 25x50 foot basement in my 1908 House, the neighborhood and life in general to be too much for me at times....
Along with the Humidity, Peat Dust and Tiny Critters of the Central Valley.
So...
Last May, I basically abandoned that layout basement space for a totally different one -  Above Ground. Less than a mile,  away, this house, neighborhood and above ground Layout Room is nearly a whole other experience.
=====
We can get sudden flooding in California, with several inches of rain falling within a few minutes.
These rare occurrences where apt to cause water to seep through the basement walls and cause the floor to gain upwards of a quarter inch of water.
That is until...
I set in a 6 inch line of perforated drainage line along both sides of the house, to the front of the house, draining into a pair of French Drains under the front lawn. Once I accomplished this installation on both sides of my house with a slight angle down to the front lawn...The water coming through the walls (for over a Century) stopped.  These leaks left cracks in the walls. I used a two part epoxy from Simpson Strong Ties to close these cracks. I further sealed the walls as best as I could with old cans of Rustoleum Enamel.
=====
=====
But I must say....
I was unable to hold myself back....
I simply couldn't wait til I have completed the basement before I began my Basement Empire Layout.
This was somewhat of a Mistake...
For I found myself fighting dust, humidity and small dust critters while trying go determine why my LokSound Equipped Sound Decoders were resetting...along with other issues such as too tight of a radius for my Brass (DCC Sound Equipped) Locomotives. to take a Train over an Operating Bascule Bridge.
There are simply too many distractions in the World today; and I found it particularly disquieting trying to concentrate in such an environment.
However....?!?!?
I found solace in reading The Model Railroader magazine to a time before World War II, when such basements were in vogue.
Hope this helps.
:)) Mark


Virus-free. www.avast.com

Greg Smith
 

I would like to seal the basement walls but probably will not have the time to do the interior basement walls with anything but paint.  Because of my wife's allergies we will have to get the entire basement painted quickly so that it we can have the windows open for a big chunk of the summer to let the paint 'outgas', or whatever you call it.  We have a couple of areas that get damp when we have extensive rain - usually takes a week or more which is pretty rare around here.  Another reason to stick with just concrete paint.

With gobs of 12 gauge wire I can't justify buying something else for my power busses.  After the feeders are soldered on I intend to cover the solder splice with liquid rubber (not sure the actual name) that is sold in electronics supply shops.   

Another question.  I like the look and feel of DPDT (center OFF) toggle switches to route power at turnouts in yard and industrial areas where I will be using caboose Industries ground throws.  I would like to use LEDs to indicate whether the straight or diverging route is powered.  Probably use green for the straight and red for the diverging route.  I used a similar setup with 60 year old red and green panel lights my Dad had scrounged in the layout I had 35 years ago.  Those lights would take way more power than necessary so I would like to switch this system to LEDs.  Do most LEDs have data on them that lets you know what size resistors are needed depending on the voltage?

Thanks
Greg

 

redking56@...
 

Greg, if you are going to simply paint the basement walls, I recommend Drylok which I used with highly satisfactory results. It can be purchased at big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes.

I live in the Chicago area and my layout is in an unfinished basement which is heated and cooled along with the rest of the house. The foundation is poured concrete. Before building my layout, I painted the concrete walls throughout the entire basement. Any feeling of dampness is long gone, and the musty smell was eliminated for good once the walls were painted.

Rich

Carl
 

Hello Greg:

The latex / concrete mix has a few days of an ammonia smell, then little else. And a sump pump is a good idea.

If you use insulation displacement screws you can avoid soldering:

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

I have had very good results with these.

I'm not sure why you would use center off toggles for your turnout. On Jim's layout we only used three position toggles for his three way turnouts. It took two relays to make the turnout motors run. So are you planning hand Caboose ground throws and then powering the points with the toggles? I think Caboose has ground throws that include contacts for frog power.

I usually use 1K ohm resistors for LEDs. They seem to work fine.

Carl.


On 2/11/2019 6:38 PM, gcscls@... wrote:
I would like to seal the basement walls but probably will not have the time to do the interior basement walls with anything but paint.  Because of my wife's allergies we will have to get the entire basement painted quickly so that it we can have the windows open for a big chunk of the summer to let the paint 'outgas', or whatever you call it.  We have a couple of areas that get damp when we have extensive rain - usually takes a week or more which is pretty rare around here.  Another reason to stick with just concrete paint.

With gobs of 12 gauge wire I can't justify buying something else for my power busses.  After the feeders are soldered on I intend to cover the solder splice with liquid rubber (not sure the actual name) that is sold in electronics supply shops.   

Another question.  I like the look and feel of DPDT (center OFF) toggle switches to route power at turnouts in yard and industrial areas where I will be using caboose Industries ground throws.  I would like to use LEDs to indicate whether the straight or diverging route is powered.  Probably use green for the straight and red for the diverging route.  I used a similar setup with 60 year old red and green panel lights my Dad had scrounged in the layout I had 35 years ago.  Those lights would take way more power than necessary so I would like to switch this system to LEDs.  Do most LEDs have data on them that lets you know what size resistors are needed depending on the voltage?

Thanks
Greg

 

Virus-free. www.avast.com

Carl
 

Hello Keith:

You mention loose strands, I bet the strands were very fine to keep the cables flexible. I think welders use that type of stranded wire too.

In Charleston we have the Aircraft Carrier Yorktown. I am fascinated by the emergency wiring terminals, huge 3/8" terminal holes with set screws at all the bulk heads.

I also use the industrial terminals on our camper. The last two photos are of my DCC circuit breakers. The mixed bunch protect the boosters, the long group protect the rails.

Best wishes, Carl.



Virus-free. www.avast.com

Don Vollrath
 

Crimped-on 'circular' ferrules are used on stranded wire in many industrial products for high reliability of the assembly to eliminate the possibility of loose wire strands at terminal blocks. Requires a special type of hexagonal crimping tool and the ferrule must be of the proper size to match the wire gauge. This speeds up assembly in manufacturing and eases repair component replacements when necessary without the nuisance of loose wire strands. The ferrule keeps all the strands together for a good connection to the body and holding set screw of a terminal block. Also works great with the spring force type terminals without spreading or breaking any of the wire strands. Stranded wire is almost always used for easier flexibility.
DonV