Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Let the Good Times Roll

I know this isn't 'Locomotive Breath Part 4' but I had to post about a major milestone on the Mascoutin Valley Railroad.  We have trains rolling over layout for the first time!!  Once the track was laid down on the first module it was time to get it wired up!

Wire Used

I used two types of wire.  14 AWG solid wire and 22 AWG stranded.  The 22 AWG was stuff from the old layout I used to have when I was a teenager back in 1995! The 14 AWG wire was my 'Bus' wire.  For those who don't know (and until recently I was one of these people) a 'Bus' wire is a main heavy duty wire that carries electrical current to all the little 'feeder' wires that connect to it.  I like the analogy the 'Bus' is the spinal cord of the train layout.  It connects to the Command Station or Brain and feeds impulses to the track through feeder wires which can be thought of as 'nerves'.  I used two colors, black and red.  I always keep the black wire closes to the aisle.  Its important that the black wire always goes to the inside rail and the red wire always goes to the outside rail.  If they get mixed up you will create a short in the circuit where the polarity of the electricity is fighting itself.  To prevent confusion my feeder wires are also red and black.  To connect the feeder wires to the bus wires I used suitcase connectors.  See the illustrations below to see what I'm talking about.
Showing the 'Bus' wires connected to the feeder wires.

Simple Tap Splice Connectors that I got at Ace Hardware.
A feeder wire soldered to the rail, bent to mimic a 'Rail Spike.'

Finished Product

Here's a little video of the track powered and wired up for DCC!  Enjoy!
Next time we'll finish off Mascoutin Valley GP7 #217 in my fourth installment of Locomotive Breath.

Be sure to check out my facebook page!  Even though its summer time I'm taking baby steps in completing the first module. I am posting updates multiple times per week.  Also get a preview of the materials for the next blog.

You can find my Facebook Page here.  Make Sure to give it a 'like' to keep up with my progress!

Thanks for reading!  Until next time keep 'er in Notch 8!

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