Layout Rebuild — Electrical

The electrical — and trackwork are a team that gives smooth operation to the layout. Both must be executed to a high level with attention to details or the trains won't run smoothly.

Our old layout used DCC so re–using the existing DCC command station, boosters, etc. was an easy decision.

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7/18/2012 — We decided the electrical drops on the layout would be, at most, 6 ft. appart. That means we need a lot of drops. We decided to make up about 300 of each color before we started installation. Here is a shot of the production line at a Wednesday night meeting.

From front to back — Hugh Sherwood, Cliff Bergemann, Gene Neville, Jim Astin and Aline Bergemann with George Reedy at the back right of the picture.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

7/25/2012 — The drops are made by butt soldering a 3" piece of 22 guage non–stranded wire to a 10" piede of 18 guage stranded wire then shrinking a piece of 3/32" heat shrink tubing over the joint.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

7/25/2012 — About 50 of the 600 drops we made before starting the installation.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

8/1/2012 — A closeup of a pair of drops installed on the layout.

Holes are drilled thru the cork and subroadbed on the side of the rail away from the viewer. The wire is flattened by squeezing it in a pair of pliers to reduce the height and prevent interference with the flanges on the wheel sets. The wire is fed up It is then soldered to the top of the rail base

Photo by Randy Stockberger

8/1/2012 — Electrical drops around milepost 197.2. Six pairs of drops to support the track work along this 6' section of track.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

8/1/2012 — Hugh Sherwood installing electrical drops in the East Corvallis area.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

8/22/2012 — A pair of DCC bus wires (blue and orange twisted pairs) pass by the electrical drops (the thinner blue and orange wires). The yellow and orange wires at the bottom are the temporary wiring and will be removed when the drops are connected to the bus wires and the bus wires are connected at the booster.

Each DCC bus pair is labeled with a masking tape flag. When the pair is terminated and connected to the booster station the flag will be replaced with a permanent tag.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

10/10/2012 — A view of Booster Station #1. This booster station contains two power stacks. Each stack consists of a power supply, a booster and a PM42. There is a BDL168 that is shared by the two PM42s. The PM42s are on the far left and right with the BDL168 in the center. The DCC bus wires enter at the bottom. Jumpers run from the bottom terminal strips to either a PM42 or a BDL168 circuit.

We are configuring the layout so that the main line is fed thru BDL168s to support signaling, although the signals won't be installed until sometime in the future. About half of the PM42 outputs will be assigned to the BDL168. The other half will go directly from the PM42s to the branch lines and yard tracks. If a PM42 output is consistently overloaded it can be adjusted by moving a DCC bus pair to a different PM42 output.

Photo by Randy Stockberger

10/10/2012 — The back side of Booster Station #1. The station is about 60% installed with half a dozen DCC bus wires yet to be connected.

Photo by Randy Stockberger