Topics

Protecting bus to feeder connections

Greg Smith
 
Edited

I am new to DCC, although I have been accumulating 'stuff' for 20 years - HO scale, so I have lots of questions, most pretty basic.  Since the bus to feeder connection is a 'T' and precludes the use of shrink tubing, is liquid electrical tape appropriate for this use?  Do most of you use some form of protection for this solder junction?

I am using solid 14 AWG for the main power bus and solid 18 AWG for the feeders.  I am using the 14 solid wire from Romex because I have several hundred feet left over from when I wired my equipment building/shop.  

vincent marino
 

I have a small layout with about 100 feeders and 6 power districts.  I'm not accomplished at soldering. No way I could solder that many feeders working overhead under the table. I used suitcase connections and haven't had any regrets. The only advice I would give at this time is to use a proven track and turnout system. I used EZ track and regret that decision. Good luck. 


On Sun, Oct 20, 2019, 4:35 PM Greg Smith <gcscls@...> wrote:
I am new to DCC, although I have been accumulating 'stuff' for 20 years - HO scale, so I have lots of questions, most pretty basic.  Since the bus to feeder connection is a 'T' and precludes the use of shrink tubing, is liquid electrical tape appropriate for this use?  Do most of you use some form of protection for this solder junction?

Carl
 

Hi Greg:

An other option are "suit case" connectors, no stripping, already insulated, $0.05 each.

If you want to use shrink tubing, instead of a butt joint, strip all three wires, twist, solder, and slip the tubing over the end.

Then there are PVC terminal strips for insulation displacement screws:

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

I use them on my friend's layout and they worked great.

Carl.

On 10/20/2019 4:35 PM, Greg Smith wrote:
I am new to DCC, although I have been accumulating 'stuff' for 20 years - HO scale, so I have lots of questions, most pretty basic.  Since the bus to feeder connection is a 'T' and precludes the use of shrink tubing, is liquid electrical tape appropriate for this use?  Do most of you use some form of protection for this solder junction?

Virus-free. www.avast.com

Larry Moray
 

Bachman EZ-Track?  What r ur regrets?  Thx

Larry J Moray, DDS, MS
President, The Happy Tooth Dental Group
‘Changing People’s Lives
through Affordable, Accessible Smiles’
Dr.LarryMoray@HappyToothNC.com
919.259.2280

On Oct 20, 2019, at 5:09 PM, vincent marino <vmarino2009@...> wrote:


I have a small layout with about 100 feeders and 6 power districts.  I'm not accomplished at soldering. No way I could solder that many feeders working overhead under the table. I used suitcase connections and haven't had any regrets. The only advice I would give at this time is to use a proven track and turnout system. I used EZ track and regret that decision. Good luck. 

On Sun, Oct 20, 2019, 4:35 PM Greg Smith <gcscls@...> wrote:
I am new to DCC, although I have been accumulating 'stuff' for 20 years - HO scale, so I have lots of questions, most pretty basic.  Since the bus to feeder connection is a 'T' and precludes the use of shrink tubing, is liquid electrical tape appropriate for this use?  Do most of you use some form of protection for this solder junction?

Paul O
 

Greg, I simply offset the solder connections to the bus by a couple of inches to prevent shorts. Since it’s under the table there hasn’t been a problem.

Paul O._,_._,_

Al Silverstein
 

Greg,
 
There are several methods used to connect feeders to bus wires: the two that seem most common is the soldering of the feeder to the bus and the other is using a “Tee” connector to connect the feeder to the bus. You need to be careful in both cases to insure a good connection. Poor solder connections can cause trouble while improper “Tee” connector can cause a poor connection. Good tools are required in both cases to insure a good connection.
 
I use stranded 14 awg wire for my main bus. It works for me as none of my bus runs are more than 20’ from a booster or the command station.
 
I use solid 22 awg wire for my feeders. Keep in mind I am a N scale model railroader.
 
I purchased a tool the opens and spreads the insulation on the wire bus. I use a wire stripper to strip the feeder. I remove enough insulation so that I can wrap the feeder wire around the bus at least twice. I then carefully solder the connection using a temperature controlled soldering iron. When the connection cools I use red or black finger nail polish to seal the connection.
 
The above works for me.
 
Al Silverstein

From: Greg Smith
Sent: Sunday, October 20, 2019 4:35 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] Protecting bus to feeder connections
 
I am new to DCC, although I have been accumulating 'stuff' for 20 years - HO scale, so I have lots of questions, most pretty basic.  Since the bus to feeder connection is a 'T' and precludes the use of shrink tubing, is liquid electrical tape appropriate for this use?  Do most of you use some form of protection for this solder junction?
 

David Klemm
 

Paul O’s method is the same I use. Off setting the connections is sufficient. Not like the buss wires will move!  :)

David Klemm
11 PRO Max


From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> on behalf of Paul O <pomilian@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 20, 2019 7:53:56 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Protecting bus to feeder connections
 
Greg, I simply offset the solder connections to the bus by a couple of inches to prevent shorts. Since it’s under the table there hasn’t been a problem.

Paul O._,_._,_

thomasmclae
 

Our club is 3000 square feet.
The only soldering we do is in control panels. switchmaster turnout motors, and track drops with solid wire.
Every other connection is with either spade lugs or molex connectors (Crimp connectors).
track drops are about 6 inches to a terminal block.
I have several good photos of how we did these if you are interested.

BTW, we have been using this wiring since 1990, with no issues.
Thomas
DeSoto, TX

Joseph A. Correro, Jr.
 

I would like to see your pics.

Thank you,

Joseph Correro
Cleveland, Mississippi



"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!"


On Mon, Oct 21, 2019 at 9:35 AM thomasmclae via Groups.Io <mclae5-lists=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Our club is 3000 square feet.
The only soldering we do is in control panels. switchmaster turnout motors, and track drops with solid wire.
Every other connection is with either spade lugs or molex connectors (Crimp connectors).
track drops are about 6 inches to a terminal block.
I have several good photos of how we did these if you are interested.

BTW, we have been using this wiring since 1990, with no issues.
Thomas
DeSoto, TX

Puckdropper
 

There's a spring-style stripper you can get that will strip the wire and push it aside just far enough to solder a feeder to. The one I use has multiple holes for the various gauges of wire. I've tried the "automatic" styles and have been disappointed with them. The insulation will actually be compressed with this tool, so after you make the connection it may creep back up tight. That will help protect your connection, but it's not a big deal if it doesn't. A 3" or so offset has been all I've needed to keep bus wires from shorting.

If you can't avoid having some connections close to each other, liquid electrical tape or even just normal tape can protect them. A wrap of electrical tape on either side of the T'd wire should be good enough to protect things for a long time.

If you're soldering, remember a good physical connection turns into a good soldered connection. I usually use solid wire and wrap my feeders around it so that they're tight, then flux and solder.

Puckdropper