Topics

Wire gauge remedy

Blair & Rasa
 

Hi

Debugging another friend's layout.  His bus wiring is not up to snuff, as the coin test fails in many sectors.  It's clear to me that his bus wires, 16 and 18 ga speaker wire with numerous butt-splice connections, is the root of the problem; it's an old DC layout, with the blocks rewired.  Runs are in the 25' range, so I'm not worried about distance.  He's reluctant to completely rewire, as he did put feeders in for every section of rail.

I think he could improve performance by running a parallel larger gauge buss pair, interconnecting the Rail A to Rail A' wires, and the Rail B to Rail B' wires, at regular intervals (say 5').  Think of each buss as beginning to look like a ladder, with the rungs being the interconnects and the feeders running from one side of the ladder to the rails; really, this is an extension of the rails-parallel-to-the-bus wires anyway, now we just have three parallel paths.

Does anyone see a serious gotcha with this?  I don't see one, as long as the A and A' wires, and the B and B' wires, stay in reasonable proximity.  It's not ideal, but it is a lot less work than a complete rewiring, especially as some of his feeders are darn near inaccessible.

Thanks for any suggestions

Blair

Mark Gurries
 

Do not see a problem.

I do have a question, what is being used to assign power to a given block? If he serious about DCC, he should remove the block switches completely and think about power districts. You can still use the switches for power districts to locate a short circuit. But a lot of the blocks could be simplifies by reduction in complexity. The wiring would be simpler.

On Nov 26, 2017, at 6:45 PM, Blair & Rasa smithbr@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

Hi

Debugging another friend's layout. His bus wiring is not up to snuff,
as the coin test fails in many sectors. It's clear to me that his bus
wires, 16 and 18 ga speaker wire with numerous butt-splice connections,
is the root of the problem; it's an old DC layout, with the blocks
rewired. Runs are in the 25' range, so I'm not worried about distance.
He's reluctant to completely rewire, as he did put feeders in for every
section of rail.

I think he could improve performance by running a parallel larger gauge
buss pair, interconnecting the Rail A to Rail A' wires, and the Rail B
to Rail B' wires, at regular intervals (say 5'). Think of each buss as
beginning to look like a ladder, with the rungs being the interconnects
and the feeders running from one side of the ladder to the rails;
really, this is an extension of the rails-parallel-to-the-bus wires
anyway, now we just have three parallel paths.

Does anyone see a serious gotcha with this? I don't see one, as long as
the A and A' wires, and the B and B' wires, stay in reasonable
proximity. It's not ideal, but it is a lot less work than a complete
rewiring, especially as some of his feeders are darn near inaccessible.

Thanks for any suggestions

Blair




------------------------------------
Posted by: Blair & Rasa <smithbr@...>
------------------------------------

http://www.WiringForDCC.com
------------------------------------

Yahoo Groups Links


Best Regards,

Mark Gurries
Electrical Engineer
DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics: www.markgurries.com

Blair & Rasa
 

Thanks, Mark.  It's more a matter of "If it works, I'm not touching it.  I might break it."  He's change-wary.  This solution will likely make sense to him, as it's not really disturbing what he has.  We'll install the new bus, add some taps, and then splice them into what's there.  We can test as we go, to make sure we haven't crossed anything over, but it should be reasonably easy. At least his feeders were all wired "black to the back", so we have a direct indication of which old bus wire is which.  There's only one reversing section to worry about.  For now, I won't worry about those rail segments which are fed only through a rail joiner, though we'll have to contend with those if they're as flaky as I think they will be.

I suspect if his DCC works better after that, he may even opt for a new layout with new-found enthusiasm, as this old one has seen better days (another reason for minimizing the improvement effort), but I'm trying to keep him from giving up on DCC because "it doesn't work reliably".  He won't build a new layout if he has to repeat the DC block trauma, so then he'll just continue with the old DC layout - or quit entirely.

Blair

dvollrath@...
 

Blair,

The size of the wire might not be the real problem. #18 can easily carry enough current to pass the coin test. Look at all the power wiring splices. Many non-electrician types tend to simply twist the wires together and thereby making a poor electrical connection which can get worse over time. Verify that the joints are either soldered or are correctly using wire nuts. Also verify the soldering of feeder wire connections to the rails... especially at those sections that don't pass the coin test. Do not rely on track feeder wires connected to rail joiners as the joiners to rail connections are the problem. If that is the case, be sure to solder the joiner to the rail.


DonV  



---In WiringForDCC@..., <smithbr@...> wrote :

Hi

Debugging another friend's layout.  His bus wiring is not up to snuff,
as the coin test fails in many sectors.  It's clear to me that his bus
wires, 16 and 18 ga speaker wire with numerous butt-splice connections,
is the root of the problem; it's an old DC layout, with the blocks
rewired.  Runs are in the 25' range, so I'm not worried about distance. 
He's reluctant to completely rewire, as he did put feeders in for every
section of rail.

I think he could improve performance by running a parallel larger gauge
buss pair, interconnecting the Rail A to Rail A' wires, and the Rail B
to Rail B' wires, at regular intervals (say 5').  Think of each buss as
beginning to look like a ladder, with the rungs being the interconnects
and the feeders running from one side of the ladder to the rails;
really, this is an extension of the rails-parallel-to-the-bus wires
anyway, now we just have three parallel paths.

Does anyone see a serious gotcha with this?  I don't see one, as long as
the A and A' wires, and the B and B' wires, stay in reasonable
proximity.  It's not ideal, but it is a lot less work than a complete
rewiring, especially as some of his feeders are darn near inaccessible.

Thanks for any suggestions

Blair

Blair & Rasa
 

All good points, Don, I'll keep that list in mind as we dig deeper.  Many of the joints are crimp butt-splice connectors, good in theory but prone to weak-hand syndrome.

Thanks

Blair


On 2017-11-27 09:37, dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:

Blair,

The size of the wire might not be the real problem. #18 can easily carry enough current to pass the coin test. Look at all the power wiring splices. Many non-electrician types tend to simply twist the wires together and thereby making a poor electrical connection which can get worse over time. Verify that the joints are either soldered or are correctly using wire nuts. Also verify the soldering of feeder wire connections to the rails... especially at those sections that don't pass the coin test. Do not rely on track feeder wires connected to rail joiners as the joiners to rail connections are the problem. If that is the case, be sure to solder the joiner to the rail.


DonV  



---In WiringForDCC@..., wrote :

Hi

Debugging another friend's layout.  His bus wiring is not up to snuff,
as the coin test fails in many sectors.  It's clear to me that his bus
wires, 16 and 18 ga speaker wire with numerous butt-splice connections,
is the root of the problem; it's an old DC layout, with the blocks
rewired.  Runs are in the 25' range, so I'm not worried about distance. 
He's reluctant to completely rewire, as he did put feeders in for every
section of rail.

I think he could improve performance by running a parallel larger gauge
buss pair, interconnecting the Rail A to Rail A' wires, and the Rail B
to Rail B' wires, at regular intervals (say 5').  Think of each buss as
beginning to look like a ladder, with the rungs being the interconnects
and the feeders running from one side of the ladder to the rails;
really, this is an extension of the rails-parallel-to-the-bus wires
anyway, now we just have three parallel paths.

Does anyone see a serious gotcha with this?  I don't see one, as long as
the A and A' wires, and the B and B' wires, stay in reasonable
proximity.  It's not ideal, but it is a lot less work than a complete
rewiring, especially as some of his feeders are darn near inaccessible.

Thanks for any suggestions

Blair

dvollrath@...
 


Crimped barrel splices, especially insulated ones, are also subject to where the wire is pushed too far into the barrel and the insulation is actually being crimped in the conductor space instead of only the metal part of the wire.

DonV  

---In WiringForDCC@..., <smithbr@...> wrote :

All good points, Don, I'll keep that list in mind as we dig deeper.  Many of the joints are crimp butt-splice connectors, good in theory but prone to weak-hand syndrome.

Thanks

Blair


On 2017-11-27 09:37, dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:

Blair,

The size of the wire might not be the real problem. #18 can easily carry enough current to pass the coin test. Look at all the power wiring splices. Many non-electrician types tend to simply twist the wires together and thereby making a poor electrical connection which can get worse over time. Verify that the joints are either soldered or are correctly using wire nuts. Also verify the soldering of feeder wire connections to the rails... especially at those sections that don't pass the coin test. Do not rely on track feeder wires connected to rail joiners as the joiners to rail connections are the problem. If that is the case, be sure to solder the joiner to the rail.


DonV  



---In WiringForDCC@..., <smithbr@...> wrote :

Hi

Debugging another friend's layout.  His bus wiring is not up to snuff,
as the coin test fails in many sectors.  It's clear to me that his bus
wires, 16 and 18 ga speaker wire with numerous butt-splice connections,
is the root of the problem; it's an old DC layout, with the blocks
rewired.  Runs are in the 25' range, so I'm not worried about distance. 
He's reluctant to completely rewire, as he did put feeders in for every
section of rail.

I think he could improve performance by running a parallel larger gauge
buss pair, interconnecting the Rail A to Rail A' wires, and the Rail B
to Rail B' wires, at regular intervals (say 5').  Think of each buss as
beginning to look like a ladder, with the rungs being the interconnects
and the feeders running from one side of the ladder to the rails;
really, this is an extension of the rails-parallel-to-the-bus wires
anyway, now we just have three parallel paths.

Does anyone see a serious gotcha with this?  I don't see one, as long as
the A and A' wires, and the B and B' wires, stay in reasonable
proximity.  It's not ideal, but it is a lot less work than a complete
rewiring, especially as some of his feeders are darn near inaccessible.

Thanks for any suggestions

Blair

Chris Killgore
 

DO NOT USE WIRE NUTS!!!

Chris


On 11/27/2017 9:47 AM, dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:
 


Crimped barrel splices, especially insulated ones, are also subject to where the wire is pushed too far into the barrel and the insulation is actually being crimped in the conductor space instead of only the metal part of the wire.

DonV  

---In WiringForDCC@..., wrote :

All good points, Don, I'll keep that list in mind as we dig deeper.  Many of the joints are crimp butt-splice connectors, good in theory but prone to weak-hand syndrome.

Thanks

Blair


On 2017-11-27 09:37, dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:

Blair,

The size of the wire might not be the real problem. #18 can easily carry enough current to pass the coin test. Look at all the power wiring splices. Many non-electrician types tend to simply twist the wires together and thereby making a poor electrical connection which can get worse over time. Verify that the joints are either soldered or are correctly using wire nuts. Also verify the soldering of feeder wire connections to the rails... especially at those sections that don't pass the coin test. Do not rely on track feeder wires connected to rail joiners as the joiners to rail connections are the problem. If that is the case, be sure to solder the joiner to the rail.


DonV  



---In WiringForDCC@..., wrote :

Hi

Debugging another friend's layout.  His bus wiring is not up to snuff,
as the coin test fails in many sectors.  It's clear to me that his bus
wires, 16 and 18 ga speaker wire with numerous butt-splice connections,
is the root of the problem; it's an old DC layout, with the blocks
rewired.  Runs are in the 25' range, so I'm not worried about distance. 
He's reluctant to completely rewire, as he did put feeders in for every
section of rail.

I think he could improve performance by running a parallel larger gauge
buss pair, interconnecting the Rail A to Rail A' wires, and the Rail B
to Rail B' wires, at regular intervals (say 5').  Think of each buss as
beginning to look like a ladder, with the rungs being the interconnects
and the feeders running from one side of the ladder to the rails;
really, this is an extension of the rails-parallel-to-the-bus wires
anyway, now we just have three parallel paths.

Does anyone see a serious gotcha with this?  I don't see one, as long as
the A and A' wires, and the B and B' wires, stay in reasonable
proximity.  It's not ideal, but it is a lot less work than a complete
rewiring, especially as some of his feeders are darn near inaccessible.

Thanks for any suggestions

Blair


dvollrath@...
 

Chris,

What's your sad story about wire nuts?

Every electrical wire connecting means can be a disaster if not properly selected to match the wire size & type and/or otherwise misused.


DonV



---In WiringForDCC@..., <cochoochoo@...> wrote :

DO NOT USE WIRE NUTS!!!

Chris



David Klemm
 

Chris,

Don’t look behind every switch plate, outlet cover or light fixture where you live or work or shop!  

David Klemm
8 Plus
_____________________________
From: dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC]
Sent: Monday, November 27, 2017 13:00
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Re: Wire gauge remedy
To:

 

Chris,

What's your sad story about wire nuts?

Every electrical wire connecting means can be a disaster if not properly selected to match the wire size & type and/or otherwise misused.


DonV



---In WiringForDCC@..., wrote :

DO NOT USE WIRE NUTS!!!

Chris





Tim Johnson
 

Why not use wire nuts?

On my layout very drop from a rail is connected to a soldered wire from the bus with a wire nut. I've never had a problem, and it is very convenient if you need to isolate that rail section (assuming the rails are not electrically joined).
-- 
Tim
Timothy A Johnson, Tucson, AZ (www.sbb-bls-bahnen.com)
European Train Enthusiasts, Central Arizona Chapter (www.ete.org)

---In WiringForDCC@..., <cochoochoo@...> wrote :

DO NOT USE WIRE NUTS!!!

Chris



 

Richard Gagnon
 

As an slectrician, I have usrceire nuts for many years.

Rich




On Monday, November 27, 2017, 2:11 PM, DAVID KLEMM davidklemm7511@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:



Chris,

Don’t look behind every switch plate, outlet cover or light fixture where you live or work or shop!  

David Klemm
8 Plus
_____________________________
From: dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC]
Sent: Monday, November 27, 2017 13:00
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Re: Wire gauge remedy
To:


 

Chris,

What's your sad story about wire nuts?

Every electrical wire connecting means can be a disaster if not properly selected to match the wire size & type and/or otherwise misused.


DonV



---In WiringForDCC@..., wrote :

DO NOT USE WIRE NUTS!!!

Chris







Max Maginness
 

My best find was  with  the heavy duty  outlets for  screw and clamp attachment – the wires had been pushed in, but no screw down. Must have thought they were the “quickwire” type.

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Monday, November 27, 2017 11:12 AM
To: wiringfordcc@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Re: Wire gauge remedy

 

 

Chris,

 

Don’t look behind every switch plate, outlet cover or light fixture where you live or work or shop!  

 

David Klemm

8 Plus

_____________________________
From: dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC] <wiringfordcc@...>
Sent: Monday, November 27, 2017 13:00
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Re: Wire gauge remedy
To: <wiringfordcc@...>


 

Chris,

What's your sad story about wire nuts?

Every electrical wire connecting means can be a disaster if not properly selected to match the wire size & type and/or otherwise misused.

 

DonV



---In WiringForDCC@..., <cochoochoo@...> wrote :

DO NOT USE WIRE NUTS!!!

Chris

 

 

 

Richard Gagnon
 

Spell check again. Wire nuts.




On Monday, November 27, 2017, 7:53 PM, rg wrote:

As an slectrician, I have usrceire nuts for many years.

Rich




On Monday, November 27, 2017, 2:11 PM, DAVID KLEMM davidklemm7511@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:



Chris,

Don’t look behind every switch plate, outlet cover or light fixture where you live or work or shop!  

David Klemm
8 Plus
_____________________________
From: dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC]
Sent: Monday, November 27, 2017 13:00
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Re: Wire gauge remedy
To:


 

Chris,

What's your sad story about wire nuts?

Every electrical wire connecting means can be a disaster if not properly selected to match the wire size & type and/or otherwise misused.


DonV



---In WiringForDCC@..., wrote :

DO NOT USE WIRE NUTS!!!

Chris







Chris Killgore
 

Wire nuts are for circuits using higher voltages and currents than DCC.  The higher voltages and currents tend to decrease corrosion between the wires that are twisted together.  Also, remember there is about a 7,000 to 8,000 HZ  signal on your buss and the twisted wires act like a miss-tuned antenna and can cause reflections on the buss.  Just what the bus needs is more garbage on it.  Why not do it right to begin with?

Chris, (retired communication tech)


On 11/27/2017 12:00 PM, dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:
 

Chris,

What's your sad story about wire nuts?

Every electrical wire connecting means can be a disaster if not properly selected to match the wire size & type and/or otherwise misused.


DonV



---In WiringForDCC@..., wrote :

DO NOT USE WIRE NUTS!!!

Chris




Chris Killgore
 

OH! I didn't realize that you ran your railroad directly from the AC?.� Sorry, but your trying to compare apples and oranges.� Have you read about what actually the DCC signal is composed of!� It might help you understand it better.

Chris


On 11/27/2017 12:11 PM, DAVID KLEMM davidklemm7511@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:
�

Chris,

Don�t look behind every switch plate, outlet cover or light fixture where you live or work or shop! �

David Klemm
8 Plus
_____________________________
From: dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC]
Sent: Monday, November 27, 2017 13:00
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Re: Wire gauge remedy
To:


�

Chris,

What's your sad story about wire nuts?

Every electrical wire connecting means can be a disaster if not properly selected to match the wire size & type�and/or otherwise misused.


DonV



---In WiringForDCC@..., wrote :

DO NOT USE WIRE NUTS!!!

Chris