DCC POWER BUS QUESTION.

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The Sligo Rover
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DCC POWER BUS QUESTION.

#1

Post by The Sligo Rover » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:02 pm

I will have four tracks running to buffer stops on a docks layout which is approx 3 metres long.
Do I just run a power bus down the middle and tap all four tracks feeds into it, or should I run the bus down one side and serve two tracks and then run it back in a U shape up the other side for the two tracks on the other side?
Or should I have two completely separate bus circuits, one for each side of my layout.
I am still a novice and need the guidance of the experts on here.

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bulleidboy
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Re: DCC POWER BUS QUESTION.

#2

Post by bulleidboy » Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:12 pm

Hi - Personally I would just run the "bus" down the middle and tap into it from all four tracks. If using modern "mains" cable (blue and brown) for the bus, you can then use the lighter lighting cable for you droppers - same colours - blue to blue and brown to brown. If your 3m layout is straight, just remember the rail nearest you on each track is blue (or brown - it's up to you), and the furthest brown (same choice!). It's amazing how many solder a dropper to the wrong bus wire, and then wonder why they have a short. Many of the modern wire cutters can be used to pull the covering apart on your bus leaving a short length of exposed wire on which to solder your dropper - you can solder several droppers to the same exposed wire (the same colour of course!).
I'm not an expert - but with a bit of care you will get it right first time. Think how you will attach the bus to the underside of your board - I used large "choc-blocs" which had a mounting hole in the centre which I screwed to the bottom of the board and then threaded the wire through for the length of my layout - about twenty seven feet (end-to-end).
Tomorrow will be a good day. - Capt.Sir Tom Moore

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Steve M
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Re: DCC POWER BUS QUESTION.

#3

Post by Steve M » Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:47 pm

I fully endorse what Barry has said. I used large choc blocks to support the bus wires but mounted them on small squares of ply wood to push them away from the underside of the baseboard. I also used three connectors on each block, leaving the centre one empty, as the two techniques give you a bit more space to work with under the board.

It also helps to put a bit of tape on the side of a wagon then as you push it over every piece of track you can mark the board with a feltpen to signify the common rail to connect to one side of the bus with the unmarked rail connecting to the other bus wire.

Drill all the holes for the droppers and use coloured wires to match the bus wires and you shouldn’t be able to go wrong.
I’m not a complete idiot, some pieces are missing. ;)

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