Creating a “bus” line

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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:52 pm

Creating a “bus” line

Post by Ceyster »

I’m going to run an old fashioned DC wiring network for multiple power supplies isolated to each segment of the layout. By this I mean that trains will run on electrically isolated tracks, but they will have physically connected switches that I would be able to move by hand over, to change engines (and connected trains/consists) over to other layout circuits. I’d like to have 4-5 different circuits operating separated trains.

In dealing with one individual “circuit” instead in putting one (+) wire and one (-) wire to each of the two rails, can I run a bus line (loop for each wire + and -) around under the table, and connect at multiple points to the track? My goal is to ensure even power supply to all points on that circuit.

To repeat in another slightly different manner: If I use a wire from each terminal of my power pack (transformer) can I run it to several points on the track to ensure continuous uninterrupted power conduction to the evenly to allow points on the track?

I know this might seem to be a basic question, but I wanted to ensure even power over an entire 8‘ x 11’ layout.

There will be at least four our more isolated train paths running and I would do this with each one and it’s power supply.

Charles in NJ
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:03 am

Re: Creating a “bus” line

Post by Bobfilipiak »

Get a hold of the Atlas "Complete Wiring Guide." It was my go to book when I did DC and I still use an Atlas Selector for my roundhouse on my DCC setup now.
Bob Newport News, VA
george from LI
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Re: Creating a “bus” line

Post by george from LI »

Everybody should start off with- scale, type of track, system ( which you did), size ( ( which you did) and as many facts as you can.
Lets see if I get this right. 8x11 layout, 4 or 5 sections
How many transformers?
With the size of the layout, which is not so big electrically, I would concentrate on the switching schematic to get that right and not mixing polarity.
Basically each transformer has a bus and the schematic should work that when you power one circuit it kills the other power source to that section so no section has two sources. Since you have 4 or 5 sections I would not be concerned about power distribution. Turnouts and reverse loops make the most problems electrically.
Best way is to make a schematic and make that work first.
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Re: Creating a “bus” line

Post by Swampy »

Whether you run DC or DCC I would still use a bus and attach droppers to ensure an even power supply. Many people advocate droppers every metre, but my preference is to connect a pair of droppers to each track section, to ensure that you are not relying on the rail joiners for an electrical connection. I work on the prnciple that every piece of track should be solderedd to something - if not a dropper, the adjacent piece of track. This can be a convenient alternative where you have to use a very short piece as a infill.
On my layout, I have run the bus in trunking around the edge of of the base board, to make life easier for alterations or fault finding.
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