Organizing Wiring and Electronics

PaulBeinert Jul 25, 2012

  1. PaulBeinert

    PaulBeinert TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hi All,
    I am in the process of designing and building my first layout (N Scale), but being fairly new to Model RailRoading, I do not have any experience at organizing all of the wires and electronic devices. I do understand all of the principles involved but implementation may not be all the 'clean'.

    I would be real interested to see pictures and diagrams of peoples wiring etc as I am certain a lot of 'newbies' would be.

    Thanks in advance for posting pictures and diagrams.
     
  2. hoyden

    hoyden TrainBoard Supporter

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    I can relate to your request but I can only tell you how not to do it because it results in a spaghetti-like mess that is very hard to troubleshoot. I have DCC track bus wiring, turnout control and power routing, block sensing, turnout feedback, and signal wiring.

    I use various numbering systems to relate the wires under the table to a printed track diagram. I discovered that a monotonically increasing number scheme defined on a track diagram can run afoul of the physical numbering when it connects to turnout controllers, so I end up using both to define a given circuit that connects a turnout to a controller, or signal wiring to the signal controlling electronics.

    This is a system problem. I can make the individual circuits work but the effort breaks down when applied to the whole layout.

    I want to nail this down as I stand nearly ready to lay track on my third layout.
     
  3. Mike Sheridan

    Mike Sheridan TrainBoard Member

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    What I did (plywood baseboards topped with softboard):

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    Red and Black are the DCC bus, Light Violet and Yellow are turnout controls.

    Not bundling stuff up means it's easier to trace what goes where - though in fact the turnout control wires are bundled ...
    But I did not have any block detection, signalling, etc, which would increase the wire count a lot.
     
  4. Jerry Tarvid

    Jerry Tarvid TrainBoard Member

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    Paul,

    I have wired homes, home theater systems, auto sound systems, horse trailers and model railroads to name a few. The key I have found in all wiring tasks is to label the wires at both ends and in the case of model railroads many times in between. Your next best friend is to use consistent color coding and write it down on paper then file it in a folder called Model Train Layout Wiring.

    Your efforts in this area will pay huge dividends now and in the future.

    Jerry
     
  5. PaulBeinert

    PaulBeinert TrainBoard Supporter

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    Jerry,
    About a week ago you posted a picture in the PM42 thread of your PM42 mounted to a board.
    This is the type of stuff I am looking for: pictures of mounted electronics and maybe diagrams or explanations of the wiring.
    Color coding, tagging and documenting are the easy parts (if planned out) but physically implementing it for ease of maintenance is a bit tougher.

    Thanks
     
  6. Jerry Tarvid

    Jerry Tarvid TrainBoard Member

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    Paul,

    Yes, I know photos, photos and more photos; my mistake. Here are a few pics showing my under bench work construction design for the electronics and some wiring. They demonstrate using drawer glides for your computer and keyboard/mouse, rack shelf mounting style for command station / power supply and stationary sound decoders box, rack style side mounted boards for surge protector and power strips, DS64's, PR3, 12V power supplies and the BDL168 mounting board similar to the PM42 mounting board.

    Hope this is more helpful.

    Jerry
     

    Attached Files:

  7. dstuard

    dstuard TrainBoard Member

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    Beautiful! That's how to do it.

    Here's NOT how to do it:


    PhoneFail.jpg
     
  8. PaulBeinert

    PaulBeinert TrainBoard Supporter

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    Doug,
    LOL, this is what I am trying to avoid!

    Jerry,
    Great photos! This is the type of stuff that will help me figure out how I want to mount/configure all of the various components and leave room for the pieces that are part of Phase 2, 3 & 4.

    Thanks
     
  9. papahnash

    papahnash TrainBoard Member

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    Jerry,
    Who makes the yellow T wire connector in the photo?
    Thanks, Harold
     
  10. Jerry Tarvid

    Jerry Tarvid TrainBoard Member

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    Those are Posi-Tap connectors. As noted in another thread be sure to buy the next size larger for a specific guage wire. The yellow is designated 10ga and should be used with 12 ga wire.

    Jerry
     
  11. papahnash

    papahnash TrainBoard Member

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    Jerry,

    I found the other thread you spoke of, very good information.
    Thanks so much, I'll be using then in the near future.

    Harold
     
  12. seanm

    seanm TrainBoard Member

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    Who needs organization... I want to run trains!! I always try to be organized, but it just never takes. At least the trains run well.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. PaulBeinert

    PaulBeinert TrainBoard Supporter

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    Does anyone have a picture / manual for a DCC Specialties PSX-4?
     
  14. markwr

    markwr TrainBoard Member

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