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Old 04-28-2020, 02:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I over-engineered my layout with power feeds about 30 feet apart in each of the 3 300+ foot loops. I used 10 gauge wire through conduit. Zero power issues as long as the track was clean.
Track is a mix of Piko, LGB, and Aristo, some new - some used, with Snap Jaw joiners Only track issue is replacing tie strips due to high UV / heat in Az.
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddalin View Post
If th track is a better conductor than the wire, doesn't it make more sense to run the feed wire to the nearest point and let the track carry the current to the farthest point?

If the current has to go though 250 feet of track, anyway, doesn't it make more sense to go through 250 feet of track and 20 feet of wire, rather than 250 feet of track and 50 feet of wire?

Also, the further you run the wire, aren't you more likely to accidently cut through it when gardening, or whatever?
You are depending on the connection at every piece of rail. With a length of wire you have one connection.
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treeman View Post
You are depending on the connection at every piece of rail. With a length of wire you have one connection.

That is true, but in the end it doesn't matter unless you run a separate power feed to each individual section of track.


Take the example mentioned above:
Quote:
I over-engineered my layout with power feeds about 30 feet apart
Longest section of code 332 brass track is typically 4 feet.
One can buy longer rails but then shipping becomes an issue.
And I know many modellers use 12 and 24 inch sections.


But assuming 4 ft sections, then with a feed every 30 feet one still has 7 rail joints any one of which could interrupt the current flow and the extra power feed at the 30 foot point won't help.
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Old 04-28-2020, 09:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Bottom line is that the power feeds required in Large Scale depend on the particular layout configuration and what wishes to accomplish.


Reading Mike's original post, it sounded to me like he was thinking of the smaller scales like H0 and N where power feeds are required at regular intervals. That's because the cross-section of H0 and N scale rails is small and therefore conductivity is poor. That is not a problem in Large Scale at all - because of the large cross-section of code 332 rail, the conductivity of that track is better than what one would get with the heaviest copper wire people would use.
The only exception to that I can think of would be a very elongated dog-bone layout where a second feed to the return track at the centre would make some sense because the second power feed cable would be very short.


Running a second power feed cable to allow for power fed "backwards" in case there is one poor connection would only apply to a point-to-point layout - in a typical loop layout which Mike's seems to be, one poor connection wouldn't matter since power is fed automatically in both directions.


And I finally found the bar graph that shows the resistance of brass and stainless steel code 332 track compared to copper wire - it's attached.
What about 2 bad rail joints?
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Old 04-28-2020, 10:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treeman View Post
What about 2 bad rail joints?

Are you referring to this:
Quote:
Running a second power feed cable to allow for power fed "backwards" in case there is one poor connection would only apply to a point-to-point layout - in a typical loop layout which Mike's seems to be, one poor connection wouldn't matter since power is fed automatically in both directions.

Switch to battery power, ha, ha - just kidding!


With two bad joints the fix is easy since the loco will stop when it hits the dead track section so you know exactly where one bad joint is.
Best is just to make sure you have solid electrical connections at the rail joints so you never run into that problem.
Bigger issue with brass track imho is power pickup from the track.
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Old 04-29-2020, 07:16 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Problem with loops is when a section is dead, there are 2 bad joints!!
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Old 04-29-2020, 01:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
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You are depending on the connection at every piece of rail. With a length of wire you have one connection.
No, you were and I was just following your lead.

To quote: "The failure would be joints from rail to rail. I usally suggest running a feed to the far point of your layout."

So you are proposing just one feed to the far side and the near side is dependant "on the connection at every piece of rail."

Personally, my railroad is separated into 23 blocks for ~600 feet of track and each block has a feed wire. In this way I can run seven trains simultaneously using one, two, or three "throttle packs" (AristoCraft Train Engineers with 24 volt 12.5 amp Meanwell supplies) just using simple track power.

Additionally, we run a common ground and there are 7 common ground wires spaced around the layout. Finally, every section of track that is not insulated has a 16 gauge jumper wire soldered directly to the rails.

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Old 04-30-2020, 09:40 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Rail joiners are a major factor. SplitJaw claps with conductive grease are working well.
Toddalin,That is a lot of wiring Going DCC so I get by with a lot less.
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Old 04-30-2020, 01:29 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fyrekop View Post
Rail joiners are a major factor. SplitJaw claps with conductive grease are working well.
Toddalin,That is a lot of wiring Going DCC so I get by with a lot less.
>1/3 - <1/2 mile if laid end-to-end.

The common ground saves almost half of the wiring and is used for the trains, all lighting, and all accessories and electronics.

All rail feeders use 14 gauge and accessories (e.g., 21 turn-outs, lighting, etc.) use 16 gauge. All tracks use 16 gauge jumpers soldered to the rails.

All turnouts and accessories only need 1 wire because the second wire (common ground) picks up off the adjacent track section.
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