Buss Wiring - Examples

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For my planned jump into DCC, I want to do it right, so I think I am going to re-wire my power distribution to the tracks.

Any examples, or methods that others are using for a clean, economical buss method, such as what gauge of wire, what type of wire (regular house wire), wire connectores used etc.

Any tips will be looked at and devoured ;)


Lazy Daydreamer

FWIW, on my later wiring projects (after I "knew better" LOL), I used 12-guage stranded wire for the buss and 22-guage wires for the feeders. Soldered the feeders directly to the rail, used 'suitcase' connectors to join the buss to the feeders [to avoid doing any overhead soldering beneath the benchwork]. I'll see if I can find any pics I might have posted, can't remember whether I shot any of this phase...


I have done basicly the same thing. I used #12 AWG stranded wire with #22-24 AWG drops. I solder it to the busses instead of using clips.

You might want to check out http://www.wiringfordcc.com for additional information.



Fun Lover
There are a lot of good tips in Joe Fugate's DCC workshop. Depending on the size of what you are doing, you may want to wire in power districts and the lgiht bulbs to keep the track from shorting out.

I don't have the URL at work, so if no one posts it before I get home, I'll post it then.


I used 12 gauge solid conductor because it is much easier to shape neatly and does not have any droop. It is ran down the center of the bottom benchwork.

To attach track feed wires, just clamp your wire strippers down enough to cut the insulation and push the insulation back out of the way...use stripper back and forth on bare wire to scrap it clean and solder track feeds.

My track feeds are soldered both at the buss and on the outside of rails using 20-24 gauge wire (preferably stranded. solid will break too easily) about every 6-9 feet. This size gauge is plenty big for the current requirements, particularly with multiple feeds.
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Coal Shoveler
Color Code. I use red and black. Main buss is red and black, and the feeders are also red and black. That way, I know which connects to which.

I cut the feeders to length, and toss them next to the rail that it's supposed to fit to. Then, I fish them through the roadbed to the buss wiring below.



Thanks guys! I can see the need for a decent buss, I guess my next question is, what would be the best way to feed from the buss to the track? Suitecase connectors? Buss plates? Solder? ect.


David, you have just opened the door to one of those topics that comes down to "...it's a matter of opinion."
As I posted, I like to solder my track feeds at both ends. I have done soldering for over 40 years, so it's not something that is difficult for me. Soldering is a sure connection that will not corrode and is mechanically strong. I have not tried the suitcase connectors, but many have reported excellent results from using them and it probably would be easier for most.

Do solder the track feeds to the outside of the rails. Kennedy described the best way to do this. I like to come up through a hole in the middle of the roadbed and split off the wires, under the track, and to the outside of the rails. This way they will be well hidden after your ballast.


RexHea said:
David, you have just opened the door to one of those topics that comes down to "...it's a matter of opinion."

:) I have always been known to create turmoil...

I have all the track feeds, same way as you have done, works well, the current buss to track feeds are soldered, though the gauge of the buss wire is way to small.

I was hoping to get a hodge/podge of ideas to see if any may have merit for me, never a best way, but some can be better then others depending on what a guy plans for the future, as I am thinking of modules possibly.


Since you are thinking about modules, you will need plugs from one to the other right? The Wrecking Crew in Birmingham has their layout in sections for transport to shows. They use plugs and whatnots to accomplish this. If you would contact Cjcrescent via email, I am sure he could steer you in the right direction for being able to connect/disconnect modules. Look under Members for his email address.;) :)

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