DCC wiring

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eddie

New Member
I am wondering what is the recommended way to connect the feeder lines from the tracks to the main wire (bus). Should I cut the main wire and solder the wires to the feedeer or are other methods more desireable? I'd appreciate guidance.
 

Myowngod

Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
I use suitcase connectors.

View attachment 7319

The only soldering I've done so far is the feeder wires to the track. These connectors are made by 3M and other companies. 3M will always by 3 times the price "3 Multiplier" 3M. I got my from my store and we carry GARDNER BENDER INC MFG#10-2218 True Value(TV) SKU#553302. TV has 5pk and 25pk.


TV# 600497 MFG#10-100 25PK Tap Connector
25 Pack, Tap Splice CONNECTOR, Insulated, Solderless, 18-14 AWG, Clam. GARDNER BENDER INC

TV# 553302 MFG#10-2218 25PK Tap Connector
25 Pack, Tap Splice CONNECTOR, Insulated, Solderless, 22-18 AWG, Clam. GARDNER BENDER INC

TV# 599756 MFG#21-100 5PK Tap Connector
5 Pack, Tap Splice CONNECTOR, Insulated, Solderless, 18-14 AWG, Resealable Clam. GARDNER BENDER INC

TV# 553266 MFG#21-2218 5PK Tap Connector
5 Pack, Tap Splice CONNECTOR, Insulated, Solderless, 22-18 AWG, Resealable Clam. GARDNER BENDER INC


These are the descriptions off of the TV website.

Here is a video and at 1:40min. you can kinda see a few of them hooked up under the layoutYoutube video
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Suitcase connectors are ok, but I solder mine.

You don't have to cut the bus wire. Set your wire strippers to strip the wire gauge you have and bite down on the wire. Pull/stretch the insulation one way and then the other. This will give you plenty of room to wrap the wire. I use solid conductor and like to scrap my stripper along the wire to get rid of any varnish on it.
Strip your feed wire, wrap tightly around the bus and apply soldering iron adding solder as it gets hot. If you stagger your connections, you won't have to tape or insulate. After the soldering, push the insulation back in as close as you can.;) :)
 

JeffShultz

Stay off the tracks!
I've used both techniques - I prefer the suitcase connectors, but sometimes they won't bite through the wire I use, so it's strip-back and solder.
 

Joe Daddy

C & SF, my obsession
I've used both techniques - I prefer the suitcase connectors, but sometimes they won't bite through the wire I use, so it's strip-back and solder.
Jeff's experience matches mine, I just don't like them. Some certainly swear by but not me.

I use terminal strips (barrier) to connect 20 gauge feeders to 14 gauge DCC bus that is 40 feet long. Soldering would be my 2nd choice, I like terminal strips.

Joe
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
Add me to the list of those who solder. Figure out where you want to solder your feeder to the rail, and then find the closest bus location below that. Bare a bit over 1/2", wrap the bared end of the feeder as tightly around the bared bus wire as you can, and then solder it. Stagger your next feeder, the one to the other rail, about 1-2" from the first so that no inadvertent bare metal-to-metal contact can take place to cause a short.

That's about it...simple, really.

Tip - if you have anything more than plain cement under where you are doing this, use something to catch any molten solder drops. Also, have something positive and safe to hand or lean your soldering iron nearby and out of your way.
 

ThoroughBreed

Dcc~detail~diesel freak
I got lucky and got a ton of wire strip connectors from an estate I bought back in January. So I use them every 3-5' for the bus line and just jumper off them. These strips have dual screws per line, and they've been jumpered across to support 3 extra lines off each side. But I do solder my rail every other joint, staggered by rail (1 solder per joint, then switched to other rail next joint), with the exception of switches, get soldered both rail.
Although I haven't figured out how to wire my ever expanding, slowly rising, run to my upper level. By the time it gets to the upper level, it will have run 2.5 loops around my layout, which is 8x11'. Been having fun trying to figure out where to put mountain to support the track LOL. Right now, my upper track, the bottom of the tie is 4.75" above the top of lowest rail, so I'll eventually get there.
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
TB, I don't know what you future plans will be, but I would suggest you handle your different levels (1,2,3,) with independent busing. The reason I suggest this is I have decided to go with ABS control of signals and I have a big problem with all my levels feeding off of the same bus.

Each signal block has to have an independent track feed for loco detection within that block. The blocks will be approx. 12-18 feet long. Now I have to go back and disconnect the upper levels and run a new bus for each blocksection instead of being able to simply cut the bus at both ends of the block and power it from the occupancy detector.

It may save you some work farther down the road.;)
 




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