Kato N Unitrack - Wiring for DCC

CBQguy Jan 6, 2018

  1. CBQguy

    CBQguy TrainBoard Member

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    Hi all!

    I'm planning the wiring for my new layout using Unitrack. I have mostly #6 turnouts, but a couple of #4s and a crossover. Basing my wiring on videos from Mike Fifer of Fifer's Hobby on the subject, I created a wiring diagram that is attached. The black bars represent insulating Unijoiners, and the red arrows represent Terminal Unijoiners. Does it appear that I have power to all tracks accounted for? Do I need to insulate each leg of the crossover, or does each leg need power flowing into it?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  2. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Why do you have any insulating unijoiners? As you have no reverse loops, no reason to have them.

    You need more feeders, especially on the outer loop. A good rule of thumb is no longer than 3ft from nearest feeder, and if you plan to permanently fix the unitrack in place, with scenery and ballast, then seriously consider dropping feeders from every piece of Unitrack.
     
  3. CBQguy

    CBQguy TrainBoard Member

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    The insulating unijoiners are from a recommendation from Mike Fifer and how he does it on his layout. Feed power into the turnout, but insulate the feet and then feed power into the legs.

    I will add additional feeders on the outer loop.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  4. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I'm not a DCC guy, but from what I've read, it's suggested that placing insulated joiners on larger DCC layouts can help to isolate a short if one should arise. Good guidance on using feeders every three feet or so -- I'll adopt that on my new Unitrack road. In 30 Years of use, I never had a rail joiner fail to conduct current on my railroad, but I used a lot of long-length flex track and the layout lived in a spare room with AC and Heat, so wasn't subjected to extreme variations.
     
  5. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Unless you start adding circuit breaker boards (e.g. PSXs) for each of the isolated sections, then a short in one still kills all the others. Similarly, if you want occupancy detection, you need isolated sections.
     

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