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Discussion Starter #1
Some of you have seen the new layout I have started, so I'm going to start my own thread here. Started doing some wiring on the frame of the central part of the layout this evening. I am using ground busses to run 12 gauge wire from the TIU unit to various points of the layout. I will then use smaller drop leads from the track to feed off of the busses. I am planning on having the two variable voltage channels of the TIU to run the main level. One channel will be used for the continuous main line, the other to run a "working line" where my kids and I can move cars around and put them out onto the main. I also plan to have various sidings the can be turned on and off from toggle switches along the main line. I have a mix of conventional, Lion chiefs, TMCC, and MTH dcs units that will be used on the layout. The plan is to have them all sitting on the layout most of the time. My main source of power will be an older ZW transformer which I have 10 amp fuses between the transformer and the input of the TIU. Maybe some of you guys can answer this for me. If I am using the same transformer through all channels of the TIU, can all of the track leads go to the same ground bus? Or should they have their own ground?


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Discussion Starter #4
I use the "Star Wiring" method in Barry's book.
With a main table at seven feet wide and a lower level this method isn't really practical to do at the center of the table. I am doing essentially the same thing only at the edge of the table.

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“If I am using the same transformer through all channels of the TIU, can all of the track leads go to the same ground bus? Or should they have their own ground?”

The ground/outside rail/U terminal is common so all common track leads can be connected.
 

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Like you I ran wire busses the length of platform. I ran two un-insulated #20 gauge buss wires in-between the plywood and frame support. One is for AC and other for DC voltage. Wires for each are 2" apart. 20 gauge is good for 1.5 amps or way above the 1/3 amp I use on each buss.
 

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Nice looking bench work! I just got ZW 275 watt transformer. I heard it's best to add external circuit breakers and not to rely on the ZW's internal circuit breaker. What circuit breakers are you using and where did you get them from?


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Just an observation ....

Your wiring would be neater and handle more connections without overlap if the terminal blocks were oriented vertically (instead of horizontal). And there's no need to have the main feed in the middle of the block such that other connections have to overlap it. It could be at the bottom of a vertical block. And it could come from the back side via a hole.

It's as easy to be a "caboose engineer" as it is a backseat driver :)

Wire.png

Wire 2.png
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Got on SCARM the other day and made a track layout idea up. The overall area is 16'x23'.


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That is a really nice plan, firebird. I wish I had that much space for a layout.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Updated my power blocks and cleaned up the left side a little.


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