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Author Topic: DCC  (Read 1827 times)
Drgnone

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DCC
« on: January 21, 2013, 03:37:51 PM »

I'm building a new DCC layout which will be 6'x16'.  Do I need power drops every 3' as with my standard DC layout?  The scale is N.
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Doneldon

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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2013, 03:54:43 PM »

Drg-

I would.

My practice is to use feeders often enough that the power never has to cross more than one rail gap. Since I don't solder every joint, that means quite a few feeders; since I do solder some joints and I use three-foot flex track, I don't have hundreds of feeders. For me, it's a functional system which allows me to enjoy my hobby without adding tons of busy work.

DCC is pretty fussy about good, reliable electrical supply. With N-scale being even lighter than the HO I run, excellent access to power is probably even more important than it is for me. So ... I suggest that you use several feeders and remain aware of spots where locos seem to stall, passenger car lights flicker or sound systems reboot. Add feeders to those places and you may be happier with your railroad.

I do hope you will have access points in the middle of your railroad. A three-foot reach in is way too far even if your layout is floating in the middle of a room. And if you do have a dedicated room for this large layout, consider running it around the walls. You'll get much longer mainline runs and a greater sense of realism. Plus, a room big enough to accommodate 6x16 is big enough that you won't have to run across doors even if you plan your layout for continuous running.

                                                                                                                               -- D
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Drgnone

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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2013, 04:00:21 PM »

Thanks so much
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Drgnone

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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2013, 04:17:12 PM »

D,
     Need tips on soldering rail joints as I always melt some of the ties.  What solder and what soldering gun do you use?
                                  ///thanks in advance,
                                                    dr
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Doneldon

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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2013, 05:39:02 PM »

dr-

I use rosin or coreless solder with no lead content. I always use a tiny bit of paste flux (left over from what my Dad used when building the house I grew up in in 1952!!!) on each rail end and the joiner after I've carefully cleaned the solder points. I touch the gun to the metal for just a second or two until the flux melts and covers the area where I plan to solder. I usually tin both rails and the joiner but that's not always easy when track is already in place. I remove three or four ties from the end of each track section and sometimes put damp paper towels on the rails beyond where I'm working. These should be pressed tightly to the rails so they provide a first-rate heat sink and protect the rest of my ties and roadbed. Then I assemble everything and touch the gun to the joiner. That's frequently all that is needed although I may add a drop of additional solder if it looks like there isn't much bond area. In the rare case that I get a frosty joint, I pull it apart, reclean and resolder.

I use a Monkey Wards soldering gun which I purchased in the early 70's when Consumer Reports said it was identical to the top-rated Wen gun of the day. I also have an old 40-watt iron and a variable heat iron but I don't use those for rail work because it's not always easy to find a place for a hot iron when I'm not at my workbench. I've never tried using my micro torch for rail soldering because I think there's too much which might be damaged by the flame. There are folks on this board who will say to never use a soldering gun on rails but it works for me. I suggest that you try different techniques and use the one you find to be the most reliable and convenient.

                             -- D
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