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Old 03-02-2018, 10:11 PM   #1
Mixed Signals
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Default Bus Wires or not

Getting a little ahead of myself (not made baseboards yet), however just wondered if I should be adding a bus wire circuit to my layout as a matter of course. If so, I might as well start drilling holes under the boards before fitting them to the loft.

The layout will include two mainline tracks both with a lengths of around 50ft.

Considering I will be using used track and even though I will ensure good connections, would it be possible for me to just run a simple track connectors to power the lines?

I haven't thought though the plan yet but it will of course include points sidings etc.

Just wondered about the amount of power loss due to the size of the tracks.

Thanks
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:29 PM   #2
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You need plenty of holes in the cross member as you will have plenty of wire whether you have a bus or not. A bus system is a good idea.
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:34 PM   #3
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You need plenty of holes in the cross member as you will have plenty of wire whether you have a bus or not. A bus system is a good idea.
Thanks, thought as much. The boards will be no more than 18 inches off the floor so might as well tick that box before fitting them.
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Old 04-02-2018, 12:41 AM   #4
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The size you are looking at you will definitely need a separate system to feed power to the track.
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Old 04-02-2018, 08:43 AM   #5
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As you are just starting out you might consider using copper tape for doll's houses. You can solder a connection from the copper tape to the track wherever required without having to drill holes through the baseboard or have wires trailing underneath.
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:09 AM   #6
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I started without a bus wire circuit and the locos could be very sluggish the bus wire system gives much more consistency so as you say best to do it right from the start
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:09 AM   #7
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He might be starting out but 50ft runs are quite big. I recommend wire but I can see where 4Vep is coming from. If the layout is only 18 high you will have a devil of a job working under it so tape or wire might be better on top.
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
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He might be starting out but 50ft runs are quite big. I recommend wire but I can see where 4Vep is coming from. If the layout is only 18 high you will have a devil of a job working under it so tape or wire might be better on top.
An alternative method would be to make a slot with a router, but this has the disadvantage of not being able to alter the track plan once it's done. A less permanent method would be to treat the main baseboard as a sub baseboard and make the slot in the 4mm ply used as the top surface. If you haven't got a router you can cut out the sections with a jigsaw and just put the wires down into the gap between the sections. A bus wire which is for example under a bush is more easily accessible should you wish to connect to it. PL-11 are easy to fit with this method and can be placed anywhere without having to worry about cross members underneath.
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:53 AM   #9
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Somebody once suggested covering the the board with cork tiles. You can cut channels in the cork for the wires.
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Old 04-02-2018, 10:09 AM   #10
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I think some are in danger of over complicating the possible solutions to the OP’s challenge - remember he is just starting out.

I would guess that the track plan could evolve which would require an easily adaptable solution rather than permanent grooves cut into the baseboard itself.
It is possible to work under an 18” high baseboard but probably not recommended, especially for the less mobile amongst us.

Consequently, and assuming we are talking DCC, I would install the main bus pair for the track under the board as it doesn’t require a great deal of ‘delicacy’ to attach droppers. Then use analogue control for any point motors on top of the board hiding the wires using WTD’s cork tile suggestion as it’s easy to cut and repair if necessary.
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