Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Wiring thoughts

Was directed to Brian Lambert's site via the N Gauge Yahoo! group. Brian's site is excellent, loads of detail and practical experience, clearly explained.

I need to think about wiring now, before laying track, as holes for dropper wires will have to drilled for wiring as track laying progresses, and I don't want to make it up as I go along.

From Brian's site, and other readings, here's my basic track wiring plan:

Use a bus architecture for the main rail power feeds. 'Bus' is a fancy word for cable, and it will run around the underside of the baseboard following (roughly) the track main line. Two wires are required (live and neutral) and I'll use the red and black wires from household electric mains cable (2.5mm twin core and earth).

I'll then drop wires from the rails at appropriate places. Probably I'll use the wire-soldered-to-rail-joiners method - easy to solder first and join later, rather than faff around with soldering to the outside (ugly) or underside (easy to melt sleepers) of the rail.

Dropper wires will then be connected (terminal blocks or soldered) to wires that will then run to the bus.

Point wiring can be considered separately, except when track polarity needs to be switched by a point motor. The only place I think this applies is the long crossing. Polarity of point frogs is switched automatically from the switch blade making contact with the stock rail. (I'm using Peco code 55 electrofrog points throughout.)


Should I draw up a full wiring plan? Probably.

Do I want to wire the switch blades of points, or depend on contact with the stock rails? My inclination is to rely on the stock rails, as wiring up the point blades involves intricate soldering (with the risk of messing everything up).

At least I don't have to worry about isolated sections, as my DCC decision removes this requirement.

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