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Discussion Starter #1
A friend and I are in the early stage of implementing a new layout. We have a layout design and have started to build the benchwork. You can see our progress at our blog at http://nfandcr.blogspot.com

I have been putting together the wiring plan and thought I would post it here and let you beat me up with comments! This is my first DCC based layout so any comments would be welcome!

My friend and I are both woodworkers so we have a woodworking based theme. I've divided the layout into four blocks...an outer loop to run a train continuously, if desired, a logging camp loop, a town loop and a yard area. The logging loop and the town loop are both reverse loops.

I'm going to use a NCE SB5 as the booster/controller, EB1 circuit breakers, PSX-ARFB reverse control/circuit breakers and Tortoise Switch8 with button boards. I'll provide a picture of the layout and the wiring plan.

Layout





Conceptual Wiring Plan




Does this approach seem logical?

Thanks,
Jeff
 

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Why are you using the NCE SB5?

Your layout doesn't appear to have enough track
to run more than 2 or 3 locos as the same time.

The standard 1 or 2 amp power supply that comes
with the typical DCC controller should be sufficient.
Of course, if you have a number of sound locos running
at the same time you could need the 5 amps.

What controller are you using? The SB5 is a booster
only, it is not a controller. It requires the NCE Powercab
DCC controller.

https://ncedcc.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/200913385-SB5-Smartbooster-for-Powercab

The wiring block diagram shows the NCE SB5 providing
power for your Tortoise motors. Unless you are
using the track power through digital turnout controls
you'll need a separate DC power supply for them.
Any old DC train power pack or 12 v DC wall
wart would do that job.

I don't see the need for breaking the layout into
power blocks with breakers. This is usually done in
large layouts, for example, a club, where more than
one is operating locos. It keeps locos operated by man
A running when there is a derail short circuit by man
B's loco. With just you and a buddy running trains
a simple bus feeding the entire layout (except the
reverse isolated sections) would be sufficient.

Having said all that, by all means do your electrical
wiring through terminal boards. They provide neat
and orderly wiring with easy access for trouble
shooting.

Your track plan looks interesting. As one who
enjoys switching, I would try to find more spur tracks
for small industries that would use rail freight.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for feedback

Hi Don,

Thanks for your feedback.

I started out with a NCE PowerCab but picked up the SB5 used for a good price. We have four or five steam locomotives that have both sound and smoke. May only run 3 or so at a time but it seemed like a good purchase to move up to the SB5.

My understanding is that the SB5 is both booster and a controller. It doesn't support a programming track but does everything else. I can still use the PowerCab on a separate programming track as well as with the SB5. I also have a ProCab to use.

You're probably right that dividing everything up into blocks is probably overkill but since I have two reversing loops and wanted the yard in a separate block that only left one other block so I went for that plan. I have some grandkids that will be running the trains as well so I'm sure there will be derailments!!

I'm using NCE's Switch-8 stationary decoder board to control the Tortoise switches. You're right that I can run the switches and the Switch-8 decoder with separate 12v power supplies and I may do that if I have a problem with power.
 

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furnmkr, thanks for posting very informative with plenty of good ideas. Looking forward to the progress.
 

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Slightly off-topic about the track plan.

The yard on the upper right...
The stub tracks are too short to hold enough.
I'd eliminate the runaround track (2nd from the bottom).
Instead, shift the runaround to connect to the bottom track (leave space for a single engine at "the tail"). You can runaround an entire train.
Move the ladder "leftward" to increase the length of the stub tracks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
J.Albert1949,

Thank you for some great suggestions. I do like the idea of moving the run around track....makes more sense than what I have. I can probably move the ladder leftward a few inches but maybe more..I'll play with it!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
updated track plan

J.Albert1949,

Thank you for some great suggestions. I do like the idea of moving the run around track....makes more sense than what I have. I can probably move the ladder leftward a few inches but maybe more..I'll play with it!
I know we are getting off topic here given the focus of this part of the forum but in response to Albert1949 I revised our track plan. This about doubled the length of the track stubs in the yard and lengthened the runaround.

 

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I would still be concerned that the tail of the lowermost green track isn't long enough for a long car or locomotive to clear the points, so you couldn't throw the points while the track was occupied, defeating the purpose of the runaround.
 
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