how far shoud they be

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by zachary, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. zachary

    zachary Member

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    i have a question on wireing how far shoud my feeder drops be from each other and what number wire shoud i use for my bus wire is 22 gauge ok or should i use something else thanks for your time zachary flowe
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Zach,

    There's lots of info on bus wires and feeders - try a search.

    But the short answer is for the best reliability, put a set of feeders to every piece of track. If you are using flex, that usually means one pair every three feet.

    Your feeders can be the 22 ga wire, but your bus should be much heavier, along the lines of 14 or 12 ga. The heavier wire carries the power with less loss, and that's the benefit. If you use smaller gauge (higher number) you lose that advantage.

    Andrew
  3. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

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  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Also don't forget to keep your feeder wires short, no more than 6 inches or so. Keep your buss wires close enough to the tracks to keep from needing to make feeders longer. Longer wire results in resistance and voltage drops.
  5. zachary

    zachary Member

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    thanks guys would every six feet be ok i only have afive by eight foot layout with a simple oval with a few sideings and ill pick up a roll of either 14 or 16 ga wire sometime this week thanks again zachary
  6. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

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    You can set the feeders any distance apart that you want. Six feet is the accepted norm. Some go with every three feet.
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Rail joiners just can't be counted on to make good electrical connections and a poor connection can be difficult to find. The distance apart for drop wires is not nearly as critical as having a drop for every piece of rail no matter how short it is.
  8. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

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    Soldering rail joints can also reduce the number of feeder wires. Soldering the rail joints has two advantages. There's an electrical advantage in that you have continuity from one rail to the next and there's a mechanical advantage in that the weight of the loco(s) going over won't flex the joint and cause it to loosen.
  9. zachary

    zachary Member

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    well if i half to solder them ill half to get someone else to do it for me its not that i cant solder its the fact that with my vision iand from were all the pices of metal are the same color they all blend together so its not really an avene i want to do down i am useing the presolderd joiners that atlas make is what im useing and was jut going to go to the hobby shop and buy some more of those thanks zachary
  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    You don't need to be able to see all that well to make up soldered wire to rail joiners like the pre-soldered type. Just put a bunch of rail joiners on a piece of rail to act as a holder. Then clamp the rail in a vice upside down, and flux and tin all of the joiners as well as cut pieces of wire, strip and tin the ends. Then just lay the tinned wire against the tinned joiner and heat the joint until the solder flows. Take away the heat, remove the joiners form the rail and use them on your layout. You may still have an occasional problem with a joiner not making a good tight connection, but with an electrical connection at each end of every piece of rail, you may be ok. Of course, you can't use a joiner with wire connection where you need a gap, but otherwise it should work.

    One other question, do you belong to a model railroad club? We have had members of the modular club I belong to have problems from time to time with something they need to do that they are not comfortable with. It might be soldering something, doing scenery on a module, or installing a decoder in a locomotive. We always have another member or more who are happy to help out a fellow member either to show him how to do the thing they are unsure of or to do it for them. The attitude is it is all model railroading and fun. Whether I'm working on my model or someone else's doesn't really matter. We even put together a work party to go 50 mile away into the high desert area to help out a new model railroader who was not sure how to do a lot of things to get his model railroad running.
  11. zachary

    zachary Member

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    russ thanks ill give a it a shot and no im not a member lf any clubs im going to try and join cmr in greensboro nc its an ho club they also dabble in n scalethanks zachary