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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at building a bigger more complete layout in ho. Currently just been messing with a 4x8. I am looking to see if anyone can recommend a good website or guide for wiring a layout and best practices do and donts

Thanks

Tommy
 

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Start here...https://www.nmra.org/beginner/wiring
 

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Looking at building a bigger more complete layout in ho. Currently just been messing with a 4x8. I am looking to see if anyone can recommend a good website or guide for wiring a layout and best practices do and donts

Thanks

Tommy
Tommy;

You might benefit from the book "How to Wire Your Model Railroad" and/or "Basic DCC Wiring" by Mike Polsgrove, depending on whether you plan to run DC or DCC. Both books are available from Kalmbach Hobby Store or from www.amazon.com
The files below are some I wrote for new modelers building their first layout. You're not new and this won't be your first layout, but you may find some useful information in them.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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If you are going with DCC there's really very
little wiring knowledge you need. Basically, you have
2 wires from your Controller to the track. Larger
layouts should have a track drop to an under
table bus which is powered by your DCC controller.
That's all there is to it. No isolated blocks, no shelf
of power packs, no panel
of switches, no rats nest of wires. The only
small complexity is if you have a 'reverse loop' or 'wye'
to turn trains around to go back on the same track...but
even that is simple...there's an automatic controller for it.

Of course, if you elected use only DC...you'll need the
wiring instructions our guys have linked for you.

Don
 

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Looking at building a bigger more complete layout in ho. Currently just been messing with a 4x8. I am looking to see if anyone can recommend a good website or guide for wiring a layout and best practices do and donts

Thanks

Tommy
You're here.

Most of what you've done for that 4x8 will serve perfectly well for a bigger layout.

Use bus wires and track feeders approximately every 10 feet (others will say more often).

Don't rely on rail joiners alone to carry track power. Solder most of your rail joiners.

Double check your track plan for a reversing loop, and use a reverse loop controller and insulated joiners for that section.

Label your wires, and keep them neat.

Everything else is pretty much situation-dependent, and you can learn as you go. Don't let your fear of complicated wiring hold you back.
 

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I agree, you can overthink wiring a layout. It is generally the same always: be sure to feed each rail both separately and adequately. If you find locomotive performance dropping far from the nearest pair of feeders, add another pair midway between the two closest pairs of feeders, and it would probably be best to solder that one new pair so that they can feed the rails reliably for about 8-12 feet in either direction.

For long layouts where end loops might be as much as 20 feet apart (or more), a short bus wire running down the middle of the layout using 14 gauge wire will help to minimize voltage losses and keep the voltage to the feeders robust.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys for all the feedback on wiring, i will read over it and let you know if I have any questions. Right now for the 4x8 i have just the 2 feeder wires going back to the nce controller.
 

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On a 4x8 that’s sufficient. I did an experiment on my layout one day and I removed all my feeders other than one pair and that “worked” I could get a train to go and I could run another small locomotive but you could tell it was awful hard on the one pair of drop feeders. All my rail joints other than 2 are soldered though so I’m keeping voltage all the way through for the most part
 
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