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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks to everyone who posted on my last questions pre Holidays, now having deliberated long and hard the outline of a trackplan is beginning to take shape.
The build will be in phases, phase 1 relatively straightforward to enable me to get going and work out in practice so much of what I have learnt in reading the posts here

and various books.
Now to another basic question - I will be going with dcc and trackpower, and it in my limited understanding I have formed the idea that it would be best to run power to the track at a

number of places - one person suggests every 75'. Here I show my ignorance - if I do this, should I isolate each 75' section from each other.
I also read that you should install cutouts between the track and the power source in case of shorting. Can anyone suggest what I need to do this

Thank you in advance for your patience in answering a newbies very basic questions

Eddie
 

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You do not need to isolate track sections, when you run extra feeds to the rail. You are just wanting to get full voltage to all parts of your layout. The most important thing is good connections from rail to rail. A good rail jointer and conductive grease will ensure these connections. Then the extra wire feed are additional insurance for full power all around. I have 500' of nickel silver fed at one point. I will be adding more feeds in the future, but this is working till I go to Bit Switch automation, this spring.

Iam not sure what your asking about the isolation to the power supply. A toggle switch in the run would act as a disconnect.
 

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Eddie, I am newbie as well to this but for what it is worth -
DCC is all about getting the signal to the loco. Simply put the better the signal the better the loco responds. Breaks in track, dirty track, and a host of other thing all affect that signal. I have read that installing certain light bulbs in places around your layout will help increase the signal. How I am not sure but evidently there are lots of "tricks" to help with signal clarity.
As for the cutout between the track and the power supply - Have also read that some people wire a simple 3 or 5 amp auto fuse between the command box and the track.
If you get a chance go read the things on Greg or Raymond’s site... They both have TONS of information free for the taking. Both are great guys and will answer questions on here pretty regularly. Sometimes even personally via e-mail :eek:)

Here is Ray's site. http://www.rayman4449.dynip.com/
and here is Greg's http://www.elmassian.com/

Best of luck!

Todd
 

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Eddie

On thing that needs to be known is how you are connecting your rails, and what rail material you are using.

I would recommend rail clamps, not joiners, SS over brass, but brass will work. NS will also work, but it's expensive and about the same work to keep unoxidized as brass.


After that is known, a recommendation on how often you place feeds can be performed.

Now, I'm kind of "out there", SS rail, SJ clamps, feeders every 20-30 feet, 10 gauge wire. BUT, I run lots of locos in consists, and frequently am running 7 amps per train.


On you insulation, this is a very interesting question, and I have an answer that has confused many.

I recommend insulating the sections from each other. This helps quickly identify any conductivity or power feed issues.


With enough feeders this works very well.

Here's the concept:


If you have a loop of track, think of it like a "clock" for now. suppose you are feeding power at the "12" .



Now assume you have a bad joiner at 2 o'clock. You will probably not notice because, even though power cannot come from 12 to 1 to 2 (clockwise) , it will go from 12 to 11, to 10, etc, back to 2 (counterclockwise.


So you will not often realize anything until you have a SECOND bad connection. Then you have a dead section. At this point, you really have TWO bad connections.


You fix one, and everything starts working and you quit.


BUT, in reality, the section of track with the "long feed path" now has more voltage drop.

So, one day, you are running a long train with lots of locos, and the dang slows and slows, and then all of a sudden speeds up. This would happen to a counterclockwise train as it goes further from 12 until it passes the bad joiner.




With insulated sections, it is readily apparent if you have one joiner going bad.

There is the extra benefit that since the sections are isolated, you can easily run part of the layout on DC, like I often do when I have visitors. (I do have some locos that are not DCC!).


Regards, Greg
 

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See what I mean
Great answer lots of info and FAST...


Go read through Greg site and then Raymonds....
Well worth the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Mike and Todd,
You are right about the great help here and Ray and Gregs site are a great source of information

Thanks Greg, firstly for taking the time to make your site to help new people like myself and then for taking the time to help
Your solution is I think where my ideas were headed, the idea of being able to relatively easily isolate problems seems the best way to go
As for joiners I have decided to go down the route of Rail Clamps ... not the cheapest solution but I can see it saving a lot of long term hassles

As for DCC options ... now that is a whole other issue.... but I am tempted to go NCE.

Eddie
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
PS ....
I am got a job lot of LGB track and switches at a great price so will be going Brass....
Rail clamps - Hillman



:)

Eddie
 
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