Sunday, August 9, 2015

Wiring the staging yard - Track feeders

With the last of the track and turnouts installed and tested on the staging yard module, it was time to finish the wiring.  I know lots of modelers hate wiring but I actually enjoy it.  Even with DCC, there is still a lot of wiring.  The wiring on most of this layout will be relativity simple but this staging yard has the highest concentration of it.

I have found those isolation plates I made to be a great place to connect the feeder wires to.  Almost all of the feeders needed were connected to one of these.

The feeders for the turnout frogs were soldered to the tie that passes through the center of the frog.
After the PC ties and isolation plates were painted weathered black, the feeder wires which are pointed out with yellow arrows in this photo are hardly noticeable.

An advantage of building the bulk of the yard as a module is that most of the wiring can be completed with it standing on edge.  I use saw horses with a 2 ft wide scrap of plywood and clamp the module frame to plywood for stability as shown in this photo.  The plywood gives me a place to put the tools and I can even do the work from a chair and be comfortable.

Although I am using DCC and may someday learn to use some sort of more sophisticated JMRI type of computer control to route trains or do some automation I'm not there yet.  So I am keeping my options open and have each yard siding isolated from the main line.  I have installed 22 gauge feeders to both ends of each siding and to each isolated section of rail in the yard ladders,  that's a lot of feeders.

I try to use the same color wires for each type of connection.  In this photo, the sidings have either red, yellow, green, or blue wire or wire markings.  White was used for the frog feeders.

It takes a bit of discipline but pays off with easier trouble shooting or modifications later.

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