Use of Buss Bars

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by Floyd, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. Floyd

    Floyd Member

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    :wave:I need some insight on using buss bars in wiring my layout. I don't really understand the positive aspects of using these. I would appreciate if someone could please share some information on the subject. Thanks
  2. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

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    What do you mean by buss bars Floyd? Are you talking about the main feeders under the table?
  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    By definition, a bus bar is a common electrical conductor that is held at a given potential and used as a feeder for other circuits. it can be anything from a heavy wire to a metallic strip, usually solid copper or brass. The heavier the mass of the conductor, the more current it can carry and the lower the resistance it has, the less it will use up this current in heat. For instance, a 22 gauge wire is rated to carry one amp of current, while a 12 gauge one is rated for 20 amps. The 12 ga. wire also has less resistance per foot than the 22 ga. one and therefore will not waste power and reduce the voltage as much.

    So much for theory, the practical part of this is that if you run two heavy supply wires around near your tracks and you connect your tracks to it along the way, you will maintain a more consistent voltage to the tracks than you would if you used smaller wire or just connected the tracks to the power pack in one place. Although the tracks are good conductors, there are joints that may not be and there are spots where you intentionally isolate the tracks, or create blocks on a DC layout.
  4. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

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    So umm was that a yes Don.:mrgreen:
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Nope,:cry: 'twas just sharing some basic information on the subject...which can be applied to most any situation requiring power distribution... like maybe a power sub-station or my TV remote.. :eek: Where in the heck did I put that thing now????bounce7train97
  6. Floyd

    Floyd Member

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    Hello Fellers and thanks for the replies. The type of buss bars that I have are various lengths of plastic about one inch wide black and around a quarter of an inch thick with two screws all along the top. I got these in a box of miscellaneous items at a sale. I guess they would be placed under the table along with the other wiring. I am thinking that they could be used to wire up track accessories from the power pack. Quess where I am confused if I can explain it in an understandable waywall1 is......when a single incomming wire is attached to one of the screws and another attached to the opposite screw isn't it the same as if I would cut the single wire and put them together with a wire nut? Hummmmm Why would I want to do that??:confused::confused::confused:
    Is ther anything simmiliar that has space for only one incomming hot wire that would feed a number of outgoing wires which could carry the powere to whatever you hooked up??hamr

    I had better end it here before I get everyone more confused.:thumb:
  7. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

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  8. Floyd

    Floyd Member

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    Roger thanks for your prompt reply. I looked at the RadioShack address you provided and although they are not like the ones pictured, I looked under "Barrier Strip" and found some exactly like the ones I have. One is "8-Position Dual Row Barrier Strip", their Model and Calog # is 274-670.

    Guess I missled you all by calling them "Buss Bars" instead of "Barrier Strips":oops:

    Now for another question, By "daisy chain" do you mean that I attach a short wire (2inch or so long) on the screw opposite from the incomming power screw then from that first screw to the second screw, then from the second to the third screw. etc?:confused:
  9. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

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    Well you would attach the incoming wire on screw 1 (on the left side of screws)and then 2 on the same side then 3 on the same side......that way you would have the same outgoing on 1,2,3 on the right side.
  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Floyd:
    I use these things and variants in a lot of my wiring. I use them to terminate wires on my control panels where they join will go on to the layout. Also where I have switch machines I run short wires to a terminal strip (another name for them) and then run the long wires back to the control panel.
    Some of them come as single screws with a solder lug -- these can be pre-mounted on switch machines or signals so that they can be changed out in a hurry.
    You can buy long strips to connect the posts on the barrier strips together if you want to connect a bunch of things (switch machine controls? Block toggles?) together. Or you can strip the insulation from a foot of wire...

    The point of strips over wire nuts is that you can screw them down and label them. And they are a bit easier to undo.
  11. Floyd

    Floyd Member

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    Again, I appreciate your comments and now have a good idea of how and why to use them. :thumb:
  12. PWRR-2207

    PWRR-2207 Rogue Islander

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    Power bus

    I used the Radio Shack ones too. The 2 and 4 pole ones (and an 8 pole Graybar one at my power supply). Here is a picture of one and a Tortoise under my layout from my "Construction" photo album in our Gauge "Gallery":

    [​IMG]
  13. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

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    Got to love that neat clean work PWRR.:thumb::thumb:
  14. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Well, at least you know a couple of things now that you didn't before such as: a) what a bus bar is and b) you don't have bus bars, you have terminal blocks. There are uses for both on a layout, and that's good to know as well.

    Glad to see all this good info here.
  15. Floyd

    Floyd Member

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    :wave:Don.....Thanks for the information you submmitted I appreciate any help that I can get. Have a Good Day:thumb: