Topics

Power Districts & Safety Curcuit Breakers


Brian Eiland
 

I have a wireless NCE system I intend to install on my 11'x15' double deck HO layout. I don't imagine I will be running any more than 4-5 trains at anyone time, and likely it will only be 2 most of the time. There will likely be some double-headers, or even some push-pull.

With the 5amp power supply most recommended by NCE I don't think I will need additional boosters?

But I do think I need to divide the layout up into 'power districts'. And I believe I understand these districts should be protected from accidental shorting...or rather the DCC system should be protected from shorting within the districts??

Doesn't the NCE system have internal protection against shorts?

Is it really necessary to have an elaborate and/or expensive additional shorting system??


Dale Gloer
 

You are correct, the NCE system has short circuit protection.  The main reason for separate power districts with each having a short circuit protection device is to avoid having a short circuit in one power district shut down the whole layout.  From you layout description this is probably not a high priority for you so you can go ahead without any additional devices.

Dale Gloer


wirefordcc
 

Hi Brian,

Yes, boosters typically have short protection.  This is more to protect the booster than anything.

Power districts are a personal choice.  I have just two guidelines.

1.  For HO and smaller, I suggest that modelers have an electronic circuit breaker if they are using an 8 amp booster to make sure 8 amps can't go into a short.  That isn't you.  You have a 5 amp system.

2.  So for you, how many, if any power districts,you have depends on how much "pain" you can stand.  This often hinges on how many operators you have.  If you are the only operator of your layout, you are likely to know right away when you have a short and even if it takes you several minutes to find, you may not care.  So the answer could be, you don't need any electronic circuit breakers.

If you have several operators, you may not want to have your layout completely shut down during an operating session.  In this case, you may not be able to stand a lot of pain.  You want to get back and operating as quickly as possible.  You might want an electronic circuit breaker for every town to narrow your focus when a train stops running.

Hope this helps.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC


Brian Eiland
 

My thoughts were based on some limited knowledge I was given that shorts with DCC operating system might end up catching a loco on fire (or melting it) if it should short out on say a turnout thrown against it?

Returning to my power districts question, I might ask if it would be recommended that I divide my layout up into only 3 power districts,...one for each deck of the layout,

Top Deck
https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/sites/model-railroad-hobbyist.com/files/users/railandsail/image-20200910093236-2.jpeg




(these drawings are not currently 100% correct in their details, but give a good representation of my basic plan)

 

Or should I perhaps divide that main deck into 2 power districts?...surrounding  tracks then peninsula tracks?? (that would be 4 total,,....1+2+1)



On Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 11:02 AM wirefordcc <bigboy@...> wrote:
Hi Brian,

Yes, boosters typically have short protection.  This is more to protect the booster than anything.

Power districts are a personal choice.  I have just two guidelines.

1.  For HO and smaller, I suggest that modelers have an electronic circuit breaker if they are using an 8 amp booster to make sure 8 amps can't go into a short.  That isn't you.  You have a 5 amp system.

2.  So for you, how many, if any power districts,you have depends on how much "pain" you can stand.  This often hinges on how many operators you have.  If you are the only operator of your layout, you are likely to know right away when you have a short and even if it takes you several minutes to find, you may not care.  So the answer could be, you don't need any electronic circuit breakers.

If you have several operators, you may not want to have your layout completely shut down during an operating session.  In this case, you may not be able to stand a lot of pain.  You want to get back and operating as quickly as possible.  You might want an electronic circuit breaker for every town to narrow your focus when a train stops running.

Hope this helps.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC


Don Vollrath
 

I agree with Dale. There is no real need to install electronic breakers, Especially if you will be the only operator. But you could initially wire the layout by separating it into upper and lower power districts and add electronic breakers at a later time if interruptions caused by operator error shorts in one area causes the whole (booster) layout to shut down.

DonV