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Jon Miles
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I was wondering if I could please run the plans for my layout past you all for comment.
 
Not sure if this is the right section, so sorry if not.
 
I will be building a layout for my two boys and the plan is as follows:
 
4 4’x2ft boards to make an 8’x4’ layout that can easily be split and prevent divorce!
 
The boards are 12mm exterior ply on a 70mm by 20mm softwood frame with cross pieces (I forgot about the finish size, so not 75 by 25 as I planned, lesson 1 learnt).
 
I am planning to use alignment dowels and toggle catches to fix the board together.
 
The wiring is one of the things I am unsure of, I can wire a theatre, but playing with 12v 1-5amp is new to me.  I am going for DC at the moment, but looking to change to DCC when finances allow. I will only be using one controller.
 
I will be using the Hornby track packs as they are easy to build up with presents from the family.  As it will be crossing boards I was going to run DC bus power across the boards connected with xlr plugs and sockets with short jumper wires.  I am planning to use 2.5mm twin and earth stripped of the outer cover to give two insulated lengths, then use flexible to the XLR as this solders to the connection better.  So basically:
 
XLR male socket -> 2.5mm stranded cable -> terminal block -> solid core -> terminal block -> 2.5mm stranded cable -> female xlr socket.
 
The same set up for accessory wiring wanting constant power, station lighting etc.
 
I will also be using diodes on the sidings as well as being able to isolate them with a toggle switch on a control panel.
 
The points and semaphore signals are where I have problems. 
 
I have a lot of old style printer extension cable with 25 pin plugs and sockets, so the plan here was to use these for the connections across the boards, I am just not sure if the cable will handle the current, I will be using a CDU for both signals and points.  Unfortunately, nowhere on the cable does it state its size.  Has anyone had any experience of using these?
 
Thanks for reading.
 
 
 
 

gastwo
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Good discussion here on using various types of wiring Jon:

http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=14840&forum_id=11

Jon Miles
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Thanks gastwo.

I had already commented on that one as it suggested cat5e which I thought was too thin.  I am thinking more of the 35pn d-sub plugs and cables.

Sol
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Jon, I would still use 3 wires from the printer cable to make one wire especially for solenoids, 2 wires for DC track connections and if planning to go DCC, then at least 3 wires for DCC power bus.

Marty
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Ron,
Is there still are requirement with DCC wiring to keep your postive and negative power buses apart from each other and any other ancillary power to avoid degredation/interference with the DCC signal?

Jon,

If the above is correct, you will want to do this from the beginning to avoid having to rewire when (not if) you change from DC to DCC.

Can I also strongly suggest that you start with a short plank with the track and lineside components that you want to learn about/practice with?
One point that you can motorise and wire for polarity, one signal, one siding with diodes, one building with LED lighting, one tree, one road etc. Treat it as a test board that can be used to develop your skills and eventually be used as a photo diorama.
It is a small project that you can complete in a reasonable amount of time and use at the end as a proof of concept to say to the doubters in the family... see, this is where I'm going. 

Entirely up to you but it is a method that many of us have used and it really does help to prevent those vast unfinished empires of baseboard and dust and make the process much more enjoyable.

cheers

Marty

Sol
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Marty wrote: Ron,
Is there still are requirement with DCC wiring to keep your postive and negative power buses apart from each other and any other ancillary power to avoid degredation/interference with the DCC signal?



Marty

Marty, that has different people saying different things
some say keep them apart by 2"/ 4 cm  or keep them together but twisted - I have both methods on my layout and even run other power supplies next to the DCC bus supplies without any problems

Wiring in General on the RHS  on this page makes a few options
http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/nswmn2/DCC.htm#Contents

especially the section
Why to twist the power bus

Ted
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Hi Jon

 I always refer t

http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk

 I find it most helpful , and so do most other people .



 As for DC / DCC , I would recommend that you wire

 your layout for DCC from the beginning . (Saves having to

 alter your wiring at a later date.

 Consider using slow action point motors  for your points ,

 they use less power , can be controlled by either DC or DCC.

 without the need for capacitors . I personally use Cobalt Point

 Motors , they have an inbuilt decoder , which is easy to program .

 AND will operate your signals automatically as the points are

 changed . I hope you find this helpful .

 Regards Ted

Marty
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Thanks Ron, knew you would know.
Good thoughts too Ted.

Marty

Jon Miles
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Thank you all so much for your advice on this.
as this is for my two boys, they I am not sure I will get away with making a small mock up, mainly due to cost

I should clear up, my wife is behind me 100%.

From what I am reading using any type of computer cabling and connectors are not going to be man enough to handle the current.

I am just wondering then, what do people use to connect electrics between 2 baseboards?

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Hi John,

Catching up on the thread. Wire for DCC. In fact if at all possible start with DCC. It's not that much more expensive.
Kid's are not good with negative feedback using DC throttles, they go for digital control much better. Connecting between modules? I use Anderson powerpoles, 30 amp capacity (color coded). Twisted wires? Only in long runs. All those rail sections will mean a lot of wiring, go for flex track and buy rolling stock as presents.

Nigel

Nigel

Jon Miles
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Thanks BCDR,
As they already have the analogue Thomas starter set with a couple of track packs that's what I will need to start with.  I cant afford to go with Digital at the moment, hopefully, that will happen in the new year.

Do you use the powerpole's for the connections on signals, points etc, or the main bus power?  I will be using xlr as the bus power connector between boards as I know they can carry the loads needed.  These are only 3 way though, so I was hoping to use a multiple way connector for signals and points so I could limit the number of connections I need to make when setting up the board each time. I can either solder or use the screw connectors to connect higher gauge cable to the sockets fixed to the board, was just thinking of ways of connecting between the sockets, hence wondering if pre-wired 25pin d-subs would manage it.

By the sounds of it they wont and the Andersons seem to be single way only?  if not a 7-way xlr may be the way although they are really limited to 6amp.  I already have seep point motors, so I won't really be able to swap to the servo's yet, but again, it is something I may look to in the future.

Thank again to everyone for letting me be a sounding board.

Ed
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Hi Jon.

I've used pluggable terminal blocks to connect my DCC bus wires to a lift out section and to connect my DCC command station to the bus.

Just cut for however many connections you want, in may case just two.

Think I got mine from here when they had an eBay shop.

http://www.brimal.co.uk/12-way-6-amp-pluggable-terminal-strip.html

found a eBay version.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pluggable-screw-terminal-strips-6-Amp-1-pair-of-12-connections-01321-/162326839031?hash=item25cb6efef7:g:SW8AAOSwlndZBLK~


Ed

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Hi Jon,
Anderson's for the power bus, most module clubs here use these. They can be ganged and come in different colors and have ample capacity. Molex type connectors for everything else, 15 amp rating.  6 or 8 pins gives 3 or 4 circuits. Individual wires, no ribbon. I learned long ago not to go cheap on the wiring. Sounds obvious, but label every wire (at least twice) and keep 2 wiring diagrams, one with the layout, the other in the records.


From your intro it seems you will have a 4x8 layout. With that depth you'll need access from all sides. Depending on the height of the children you will need it lower than an adult would go for. Which will make crawling around underneath interesting, unless you do the wiring before assembly or have the modules hinged like a car hood.

Nigel


Jon Miles
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Thanks Both,
This will be a very temporary layout, with speed being of the essence, it will only be set up for the boys to play with, then put away again, it will be flat on the floor. 

I have hardboard to back the modules so that fingers can't get to the wiring, motors etc.  the size of the boards will also allow the boards to be flipped to work on the underside.

the 8x 4 is future proofing it, the main set up will be 6x4 to start with.

I had thought of molex, the thing that concerned me was the number of times that the connection would be cycled, and also the ease of unplugging, i know how hard they can be to separate the connection, but i will have a play.  

I have used the pluggable terminal strips before, and has not thought of those, they would certainly be an option.

I was using xlr for the bus wire for a couple of reasons, 1) i have them and 2) they can handle up to 50v 15amp, so I thought plenty for both DC and DDC bus wires.

Ted
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Hi Jon
 I use automotive multi pin connectors , they are inexpensive ,
 and come with ,from 2 to 15 terminals .
 http://www.12voltplanet.co.uk
 check out this web site .
 Regards Ted

Jon Miles
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Thanks Ted, they don't seem to have a surface mount that I was looking for and also apparently not designed for repeatedly being plugged and unplugged. it could well be once per day for example.

I think I will be going to use the pluggable terminal blocks as I think this will be the easiest to plug together.

From what I am reading, d-sub connectors don't have the capacity for model railways.

Sol
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Jon Miles wrote:
From what I am reading, d-sub connectors don't have the capacity for model railways.

Jon, they do by using/connecting two or more wires together at the terminal side to make one electrical wire.

I am assuming that you know that by using any form of plug connector between baseboards, that the connecting plug wires have to be terminated onto a terminal strip - even the pluggable terminal strips.

Jon Miles
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Hi Sol,


Sorry, I meant they don't have the current carrying capacity, I have used them for milliamps, not for amps in the past.


I should have been clearer, it would be: (board 1 -> connection cable -> board 2)

Board wiring -> terminal strip -> 25pin d-sub female mounted to side of board -> short serial lead with 25pin d-sub connectors -> 25pin d-sub male mounted to side of board -> terminal strip -> board wiring.

Last edited on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 01:42 pm by Jon Miles

Sol
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Jon, yes that wiring process is OK but to overcome low current capacity on one 25pin connector wire ,at the terminal strip, join 2 or 3 more of the connectors wires to one terminal point.
If you are not sure what I mean, just say so & I will do a drawing.

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I suppose it depends on how many wires you are trying to get from one board to the other.I use these to connect a lift up section to the rest of the layout.
Really strong and durable.

Here is the information.


Bulgin PX0551 8 Pole Free Plug - Mains
BULGIN - PX0956/S - 8 POLE 6A FREE SOCKET







Tony.

Jon Miles
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Hi Sol,
I didn't think of doubling up, that would spread the loads.

I also didn't think of Bulgins, amdaley I think I have some of those laying around. 

Jon Miles
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 Quick update, 3 of the 4 boards made up





Last edited on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 10:26 pm by Jon Miles

Marty
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Nice and strong... I can see why you are keen to make this layout for your boys robust... I remember my two at that age!
Keep it coming.

Marty

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Hi John,

Once a day? Then you need something robust and reliable. Molex and the like are not meant to be repeatedly disconnected.

Consider the following: £2.66 each.from Amazon (power extension cable). 2 of these between the boards will carry 2 circuits.



Nigel

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Thanks, Marty, he has already tried climbing on it!  I can say with confidence it happily supports a 5-year-old's weight.
I am concerned with using mains type plugs and sockets for 12v, BCDR.  I am sure that no-one would plug mains into it, but there is always that chance.  Also with points, signals and isolation circuits that is a lot of cables needed.

Jon Miles
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Thought some people might like an update as a thank you for all those that have helped.

The tidy side!


the less tidy side


The control panel


                 

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