Electronical Question

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by OnTrack, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. OnTrack

    OnTrack Member

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    This is kind of hard to explain/word it so i will try my best. When I was younger I remember getting trainsets and you simply assembled the track (an oval) attached wires from a blue box to a curved re-railer piece of track and then plugged the blue unit into the wall and that provided power and control for your locotmotive. Now for mylayout i have chosen to use DCC and I do realize how expensive it can be but I want to run more than one locomotive at a time. I have chosen the Bachman EZ-Command DCC system. Finally heres my question:) . Besides the DCC controller, what else do i need to provide POWER to my track, does the DCC controller do this or do I need to purchase some sort of small tranformer that plugs into the wall? I am just really confused with the whole wiring and supplying power to a layout, I understand that things have to be wired a certain way with turnouts, and reverse loops and all of that but exactly where do I wire my layout to provide adequate power, I mean do you solder wires to the rails in intervals? I understand this is a large question, but any help would be DEEPLY APPRECIATED. Thanks again.
  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    I believe the Bachmann unit is stand alone. It was designed as an entry level DCC system. You should have everything that you need to wire it up to the track, just like the older DC power supply. The more advanced DCC systems have separate components.
    Added info in reply to your second question. If you are just doing a small layout, you may not need to add additional feeder wires. The best thing to do is wire things up according to the instruction sheet and then see how the train goes. Track connections, dirt etc affect DCC to a greater extent than with DC systems.
  3. OnTrack

    OnTrack Member

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    Hmmm, I must be way lost becuase when you say "feeder wires", i dont even know what those are, perhaps this is more simple than what i am making it out to be. I was assuming you had to wire the track in intervals from a supply of power, or is that how IT IS done?
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    DCC is sold (or used to be) as "just 2 wires to the track". However, track is not a good conductor when you get all the joins between sections, so we add extra wires. These wires "feed" electricity to the track. If you just have an oval of track from a train set it should work OK, but the rail joiners eventually get loose and the train slows down on the far side. Then you add switches and make the setup more complicated, so you need more feeders. Putting in feeders is part art -- you have to decide where they go.
  5. OnTrack

    OnTrack Member

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    Ahhh I understand now so these feeders wires, when i decide where they needed to be placed, what are they ran from a power supply, will the bachman dcc unit have an output connection for them or how does that work? By the way thanks so far you guys
  6. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    The Bachmann system provides everything that you need to get started. Just hook it to the rails and go. Are you going to operate your train on a bench or just on the floor? If on a bench, you would put the feeder wires underneath the benchwork, out of sight and at intervals of several feet, run wires up through the benchwork to the rails. If you're just using sectional track on the floor or a table, you would have no way to hide the wiring. Assuming that you need it.
    Yes the feeder wires would run directly from the power supply that comes with whatever system you use.
  7. OnTrack

    OnTrack Member

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    Oh it will be on benchwork, and thanks alot guys for all your help if I get lost or any thing ill just update this thread rather than making a new one. Thanks again.
  8. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    I was just looking at an ad for the Bachmann system and noticed that they have just come out with a 5 amp booster power supply. that would be for larger layouts, more trains, switch operation etc.
    I'll try to clarify "feeder wires" a bit more. Think of them as parallel power sources for rhe rails but out of sight under the bench. One wire for each rail. Jumper wires would go from each feeder to the rail. Caution: Color coding would be desireable in order to keep the wiring consistant with its appropriate rail. Maybe red wire for one rail, blue for the other.
  9. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

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    A good general ballpark overview on the science behind feeder wires: http://www.wiringfordcc.com/trakwire.htm

    Basically, nickel silver is a relatively poor conductor of electricity compared to high-copper-alloy solid electrical wire. That's why it's a good idea to have 14AWG solid feeder wires (with less resistance) every 6 feet or so of track to more reliably deliver power.

    A well-implemented feeder system can help quite a bit in keeping a layout running smooth.

    Hope this helps.
  10. OnTrack

    OnTrack Member

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    Thanks alot to all of you guys who posted, I have a way better understanding of this. I have another thread for the progress of my layout ill update it once I have my track layed out and wired. Thanks.
  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    OnTrack: The common way to power DCC is to connect 2 thicker wires (bus wire) to the power pack, run them under the layout, and use thinner "jumper wires" from the bus to the track. Bus wires would probably be things like lamp cord or the stuff that goes in the walls. (Overkill, but easily available.) The jumpers are often the wire from computer or telephone cables since they don't have to carry a full load of current and are less visible. You often find that the wire goes out from the power pack and then is divided to run in several useful directions.
    You may also find that you need feeders beyond switches (turnouts) because of the way switches work.