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Old 25-06-2018, 11:19 PM   #21
Footplate1947
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When I get down to track laying, which I have not yet on the latest layout. I will be putting 1 dropper each section of track. And I will not be moving my track around. That way things are less likely to have problems with fishplate connections.
But if any one else want to do it a diferent way well that is up to them. I dont care if they have had one wire feed for 50 years. Most people are not that lucky. It is your railway do it way you want to, and enjoy.
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Old 26-06-2018, 08:12 AM   #22
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I was a beginner 3 years ago but still went for a dropper every piece of track - including the two rails on every point as I am DCC but using insulfrog. I only really use the fishplates for accurate lining up of track pieces. It did seem daunting at first but once I taught myself to solder and had lots of practise it became easier and quicker. Up to now I have had no electrical problems. However, I have to admit that I go for belt and braces approach with whatever I do and tend to over-engineer - an elephant could stand on my baseboards no problem! So, go what you are confident with - if you do go for lots of droppers at least you won't have to back-track in the future and undo scenic work.
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Old 26-06-2018, 08:14 AM   #23
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Quite right John. Each to his own. The most important thing is to lay the track properly, no amount of droppers will give you good running if the track is badly laid.
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Old 26-06-2018, 10:59 AM   #24
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i reckon you guys who have droppers on every rail. are agents for wire manufacturers. My layout is 9x5, and i have 4 droppers and no lack of current. Cos i change it round a lot, that suits, and works well. In defence, i have a lot of flexi track, in metre lengths. john
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Old 26-06-2018, 11:29 AM   #25
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The main school of thought is that the weakest part for the electrical (and Data too for DCC) is the slide fit metal rail joiner (Fishplate). They inevitably become loose where rails are continually parted then rejoined or get internal contamination from airborne dust partials where the rails move slightly due to changes in air temperature and can get ballast glue and any rail rusty paint/ track colour inside them that may be applied. The next weakest part is the use of plug-in power clips!

For 100% reliability dropper wires are soldered to the rails on each section of track and the points outer stock rails too. These then connect to the track power feed wires or DCC bus pair of wires.

The metal rail joiner (Fishplate) is only then used to align the two abutting rails.

Where layout relies on single feeds locations and the metal fishplates to transfer power and data it is not uncommon to find one section where a loco slows a little or in extreme circumstances stops, due to a high resistance metal fishplate occurring. This is not the case where droppers are installed onto each track section!

Now I know many find their railway runs faultless on two lengths of damp string as power feeders and miss shaped/bent rail joiners. In which case they are very lucky, but as I said at the beginning, the main school of thought is to provide the very best possible power supply to the rails and eventually the locos motor.

But in the end advice can only be given as to the best options to use. It is the layout builders decision on which way to go!
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Old 27-06-2018, 10:07 AM   #26
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When you buy a DCC train set and connect all the track pieces together and you test the rails with a meter you find voltage drops are negligible. However with the track all painted and ballasted it up, there is a reduction. It must be that all the stone chippings, glue and paint are slightly conductive. The only way I can think of to test this hypothesis is to connect a static grass applicator to the rail. If you connect the crocodile clip to the rail, the insulation provided by the sleepers should be very high and there should not be any earth to the baseboard.
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Old 27-06-2018, 10:22 AM   #27
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Sorry Cudders but that won’t work. When applying static grass you can clip on to a rail rather than drive a nail into the board and it works perfectly well.
A word of warning - never leave DCC locos on the board while using a static applicator as it can fry the decoders.
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Old 27-06-2018, 10:59 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yelrow View Post
i reckon you guys who have droppers on every rail. are agents for wire manufacturers. My layout is 9x5, and i have 4 droppers and no lack of current. Cos i change it round a lot, that suits, and works well. In defence, i have a lot of flexi track, in metre lengths. john
Arrrr,,,Hi John......Yes I understand the reason for that You are getting French electricity where-as we over here have to put up With the British stuff.
Better quality power in France.
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Old 27-06-2018, 11:15 AM   #29
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Not just power. No car tax, mot every 2 years. Electricity, is completely different system. You can plug your plug in, either way, I have DC droppers, as well, for 00, and N gauge, but not many. john
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Old 27-06-2018, 11:40 AM   #30
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Hi John correct me if I am wrong but up to date French sockets have an earth pin at the top. Thuss preventing you inserting the plug upside down. So how can you reverse the poles. Unless you have old sockets with out the earth pins at the top.
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