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 How to wire.

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Location : South Dakota, SD

PostSubject: How to wire.   Tue May 15, 2012 12:12 am

Hello everyone! I recently started laying track outside and have my track plan all squared away, but i do have one problem. I am using track power for the trains and do not know how to wire it all up. I will be putting rail clamps that have an attached wire terminal on to the track, so up to there I'm fine. My problem is in how much wire I use and where i put it to.

So, should I use a bus system that follows the track? Or should I just run a wire to the opposite side of the loop (the loop is only about 16 feet across)? With clamps and a small loop of track (about 45 feet) do I even need to run feeders? Also, with brass track, will 1 amp of power suffice for one engine on the line? Later on I can upgrade to 3-5 amps, or even go as far as DCC, but I am just starting out and I need good track before good power.

So, do you have any answers?
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Location : Charente, France

PostSubject: Re: How to wire.   Tue May 15, 2012 12:58 am


If you have a single loop of approx 16 feet diameter of brass track, a single pair of connections to your track should be sufficient, so long as all your rail joins are good. A tiny spot of graphite grease on each connector before assembly can help if the track is outside in the elements, but not essential. I run over 100 yards of track in two loops with just a single pair of contacts to each loop.

A single 1 amp controller eg LGB will be good for a single motor. If you have a single motor loco ie a Stainz 1 amp will be fine. If you have a two motor loco ie a Mallet or you want to run two locos, you will need 3 amps.

If you're serious about a move to DCC later it might be worth investing in a 5amp transformer at the outset.

Tell us a bit more about your locos and future plans and we might be able to offer more advice.

good luck

also blogging at
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French Chuffed

Location : Droitwich UK

PostSubject: Re: How to wire.   Tue May 15, 2012 8:56 am

Graphite grease is really useful if your outside liberally spread on each joint as you assemble. I have 2 loops approximately 40 to 50 meters long with only one power connection each, the cross sectional area of the rail is greater than most hook up wire anyone would use.
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