Author Topic: Wiring New Layout  (Read 897 times)

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CRL

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Wiring New Layout
« on: July 08, 2021, 09:01:01 PM »
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I am in the process of planning a new layout and am seeking ways to simplify the wiring process as well as simplify access for troubleshooting at a later date when it is required.

I have no desire (or ability) to spend time crawling around under a layout, so I want to have the ability to have either hinged panels that are attached to the front edge of the fascia and will swing down for easy access to the components or a panel recessed behind the fascia containing all the components. Does anyone have some photos of an approach you have used?

I plan on attaching servos to the underside of the turnouts and installing these from above the layout into a recess in the foam base similar to a method recommended by one of our members, so I will not be crawling under the layout to install switch machines.

DKS

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Re: Wiring New Layout
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2021, 10:37:59 PM »
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I plan on attaching servos to the underside of the turnouts and installing these from above the layout into a recess in the foam base similar to a method recommended by one of our members, so I will not be crawling under the layout to install switch machines.

I'd not recommend doing this. There's no guarantee you'll never need to access the servo, and in this scenario you'd have to tear up the track to do so. Instead, mount the servo on a plate that drops over a recess near the turnout, and connect them with a wire link.

CRL

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Re: Wiring New Layout
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2021, 10:30:17 AM »
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@DKS - Good advice. Thanks. I was going to make the turnouts easy to remove with sliding joiners, but your suggestion may be easier in the long run. I am only using servos to throw the turnouts on the mainline & sidings. All the yard tracks will be hand thrown. The branch line I am using for inspiration is not signaled, so that simplifies things further.

DKS

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Re: Wiring New Layout
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2021, 07:04:37 AM »
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Food for thought.


Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Wiring New Layout
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2021, 02:04:02 PM »
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I'm a big fan of the pull down panels.

What complicating features does the layout have? Are you doing detection? Do you want very segmented circuit breaking?

And how big is the layout? That makes a big difference when you're working on something like a DKS Micro, a Dr Hotballs Door or my current NCR basement filler endeavor.

dem34

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Re: Wiring New Layout
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2021, 03:04:05 PM »
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End of the day just picking up a bunch of low voltage, trimmable screw terminal strips and ending as many connections as possible within them is pretty handy. Much better than having everything soldered together.
-Al

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Wiring New Layout
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2021, 03:10:21 PM »
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End of the day just picking up a bunch of low voltage, trimmable screw terminal strips and ending as many connections as possible within them is pretty handy. Much better than having everything soldered together.

That's the approach I took on my Windsor St layout. It worked really well.

I commented on it here: http://conrail1285.com/it-takes-a-lot-of-little-things-to-build-a-layout/

But there is an upper bound on how well it scales up.

peteski

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Re: Wiring New Layout
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2021, 05:36:01 PM »
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Yes, minimizing soldering under the layout makes the initial wiring (and later on, troubleshooting) much easier.  Like here, the pigtails (with crimped on terminals) are soldered to the switch machines on the workbench, then they are installed under the layout, and connected to screw terminals.



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CRL

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Re: Wiring New Layout
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2021, 05:49:50 PM »
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Here’s the room diagram. Layout will be a shelf style around the room design. Looking at the room diagram, the double door on the bottom is fixed by top & bottom latches and can remain mostly stationary.

[ Guests cannot view attachments ]

The WH is a low profile shorty tank, but unfortunately the WS (water softener) is very tall. I’m guessing I’ll end up with a double deck with a helix in one of the corners or in front of the stationary door which might provide better access. The locations of the WH & WS is going to present some challenges because they need to remain accessible for service.

Yes, I do want to install detection from the get go, leaning toward the Digikeijs system. Circuit breaker on each detection section of up to 16 blocks.


Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Wiring New Layout
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2021, 11:20:50 AM »
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Yes, minimizing soldering under the layout makes the initial wiring (and later on, troubleshooting) much easier.  Like here, the pigtails (with crimped on terminals) are soldered to the switch machines on the workbench, then they are installed under the layout, and connected to screw terminals.

That's sexy!

One more thing about the Tortoises. If you don't want to solder even those (I don't), you can use Snaps from Acculites. They're not cheap, but they do make life a lot easier. I was actually enjoying them myself yesterday while wiring up my Tortoises at CP Loucks. Took me a couple tries to get the frog polarities right and being able to un-clip them and then un-screw things to make changes was well worth the money. If I were powering an entire yard ladder I might skip them, but for the dozen or so I need, they're amazing time savers.

https://yankeedabbler.com/acculites-1001-snaps-wiring-connector-for-tortoise-switch-machine-12v-scale-all-107-1001/
https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/accu-lites-1001-snaps-wiring-connector-for-tortoise-switch-machine-for-tan-pc-boards-made-before-june-2020/?gclid=CjwKCAjwlrqHBhByEiwAnLmYUDQwFCM0qbbND5cgjQFPsAIpSOlsXQcHRIfYSl3OBS8d8Bdney09VxoCirwQAvD_BwE
https://midwestmodelrr.com/product/acl1006/

peteski

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Re: Wiring New Layout
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2021, 01:50:51 PM »
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That's sexy!

One more thing about the Tortoises. If you don't want to solder even those (I don't), you can use Snaps from Acculites.

Yes, Ernie (the layout's owner)  is a very fastidious guy.  He spend good chunk of his life working for IBM as a Field Engineer. He had to be neat!  :)

He did contemplate using edge connectors for the Tortoises, but he chose to do what he did instead.
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nickelplate759

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Re: Wiring New Layout
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2021, 02:34:43 PM »
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Like Ernie, I solder leads on my Tortoises, add crimped on terminals, and screw them to a terminal block.  More than once this has made correcting a wiring mistake as easy as swapping two leads on the terminal block.

Rather than use 8 individual wires, I use Cat5 cable.  It's only 24 gauge (22 gauge Cat5 exists but is harder to find), but for short runs and N-scale loads that's fine, and the Tortoise itself is low current.
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

peteski

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Re: Wiring New Layout
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2021, 02:49:33 PM »
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Like Ernie, I solder leads on my Tortoises, add crimped on terminals, and screw them to a terminal block.  More than once this has made correcting a wiring mistake as easy as swapping two leads on the terminal block.

Rather than use 8 individual wires, I use Cat5 cable.  It's only 24 gauge (22 gauge Cat5 exists but is harder to find), but for short runs and N-scale loads that's fine, and the Tortoise itself is low current.

Ernie also used Cat5 cable,  to make the wiring easier between the Tortoise terminal strips, and the control panels.



The control panels are hinged. They tilt out to make wring and servicing them a breeze.


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