MarkInLA Jul 24, 2012

  1. MarkInLA

    MarkInLA Permanently dispatched

    Hey guys , some of you know I have a small HO, digital 2 1/2-ish Mi. point to point branch with thus far 2 steamers and a 3rd in mind for branch. 4th will most likely be a late 1950s road diesel which appears from hidden staging and picks up or puts out cars at the interchange, Bill Darnaby style. I have 2 wires from NCE panel into the main line directly above it..I am winding up with a number of spur tracks for industries, many doubly insulated past older power-routing switches (they be code 70 Shinoharas). I merely tap into main line rails nearest spur, solder red and black jumper wires to them to juice up these spurs and even my 2 stall engine house tracks. All always works fine (so far)...With a small operation like mine I just use the main line rails as the 'bus wires'. Other than pesky Atlas all-live switches needing frogs powered and older Walthers 83, Shino 70 needing insulators I, so far, am experiencing no power loss or other odd behavior this way.. Any dibbs as to my technique ?

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2012
  2. Mike C

    Mike C TrainBoard Member

    Pretty much the same way I have my N scale layout wired. Busses, We don't need no stinking busses...LOL.....Mike
  3. HOexplorer

    HOexplorer TrainBoard Supporter

    I'm far from being an electrical expert. You didn't mention how big your layout is, but you mentioned small. For years I have had mainlines with about 95 linear feet of track. Being new back then I read all the books, all the posts, listened to the rants of the electrical guys, etc. Being a curious type I just used one red and one black wire on my DC layouts. Everyone said it can't work, your trains will slow down, aliens could come visit, that sort of thing. I have a digital voltmeter and when I went to the farthest point away (half way around) I check the voltage. Gee, 8.11 at the power pack, 8.11 at the wires to the track and 45 feet away 8.11 again! So I simply said BS and went on my way.

    As I grew more savvy about model railroading I realised many of the experts were in fact experts, and by closer reading and listening I gathered that these fellows ran more than one train at a time. Opps. Finally extra wiring made some sense. I only ran one train so no problem. I always used the next size of wire up so no problem. I did a test with 3 locos spread out around the layout. They all ran slower. I tore up some track and added more red and black wire, a couple more. So now I had power every 30 feet. All three locos ran great an at expected speeds. After that I always added bus wires as well a wiring each siding.

    Today I use DCC. I wired my layout by the book. Bigger wires, but fewer drops. Everything runs great with no problems. So while the electric gurus words took some time to sink in for the most part I now agree with them. Good luck. It sounds like you have enough power now for your needs. If you expand then think about more wiring. Jim
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2012
  4. Mike Sheridan

    Mike Sheridan TrainBoard Member

    Lots of things you can get away with for a while - like overtaking on blind bends!

    But eventually ....
  5. MarkInLA

    MarkInLA Permanently dispatched

    Responces well taken !!
  6. nscalerone

    nscalerone TrainBoard Member

    Best of luck, and I think that's what it's been..........LUCK!! (But, as the old saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!!)
  7. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    Rail joiners don't make for constant connection where electricity is concerned. After a while, they will come loose, and a gap (tiny, but a gap) will pop up between rails, breaking the circuit path. It's bus wires & feeders on my railroad, even tho I only run one locomotive at a time (and yes, I run DCC). Just saves me a lot of aggravation down the road- and I get a lot of that in other places.

    My opinion, FWIW.....

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