Monday 11 January 2021

Sticking wires

 With the layout tested it was time to tidy the wiring and fix it to the bottom of the board. I now do this with blobs of hot glue. It ain't pretty, but it works. My wiring is functional and is colour coded, though to some is pretty crude. This doesn't really matter. There are some who I think only use model railways as an excuse to add complex control systems. Me, I just add two wires to the rails and it all works. This is how DCC is often described to me and then the explanation drifts to high voltage bus-bars and stay alive systems. then they wonder why I'm happy to stick to two rail analogue with bits of second hand cable glue gunned to the board.


  1. OK I bit! Bus bars are OTT on a small layout - I've built several now with just a 2-wire feed at one end. Sam at Sam's Trains got very technical when demonstrating DCC and showed how there's less voltage drop over distance with 17 volts AC than 12 volts DC. Stay-alives are basically just capacitors really. I've tried them but don't bother now. What I like with DCC is the silky slow running, even with ancient mechs.

  2. I agree with you both. To be completely honest, if I were satring over now, I would probably follow Les. Because the voltage drop is only in the wire between chip and motor, not between the throttle and the track, plus dirt, minus wheel surface contact resistance, pick up resistance, finally making it to the motor, slow running should indeed be more reliable and thus more controllable. Smoother? That is down to the above and the quality of the mechanism, and here Les I would suggest that from my experience of modern mech, many decent old ones would knock a lot of modern ones into the proverbial hat. A large slow runnining heavy motor with lower gearing (friction) a good recipe for great running. Hence the "quality" running of many older US origin mechanisms.
    Plus you can have sound. Limited as it is to just that made by the locomotive. Please don't start me on that one!
    All that said, with a loft full of narrowgauge empire and a few "exhibition" layouts tucked beneath (one currently running set up in the sitting room!), separate stock for each and having been a life long DC runner, since 2 years old. I will rely on throttles with and without feed back, PWM units and smooth (-ish) DC supplies at around 16V DC! Too much to change for not enough pay back.
    Just thought I would add something to The Debate?

    Andrew Knights - or Unknown no doubt!

  3. You're right Andrew. My favoured mech is the 40+ year old Atlas can motor. Huge and bomb-proof. (Sorry to hijack your blog Chris, this has moved away from layout wiring. Mine resembles yours but without so many colours as I have a lifetime's supply of blue and red from a charity shop)

    1. Back On Topic. I must admit that colour coding is a great idea. A great idea that I tend to persue in theory. My usual wire is from reels of B&Q telephone wire. As such except on th eloft empire it is sleeveless, bundled into wiring runs ( makes it safer for the layout in transit, and thus all but impossible to follow from end to end! Regarding the security in transit, and unfollow ability, I now tend to do much jumperand some feedwiring on top of the board, where it end up buried under the scenery. Mostly show bombproof. Until, that is you modify the scenery later and find a little bundle of brightly cut copper ends. OO scale jointer at work!It has happened a couple of times only. So far.
      Andrew Knights(Mostly on topic? Thanks Chris; Les)