DC Wiring Part 2 – Powering the track – the first bus

It took a couple of weeks for my bus clamps to arrive so I just carried on dropping wires through the board to eventually connect to the bus. The black is positive, the is red negative and the green (that power the two-pole frogs of the crossovers) will switch between the two poles via a DPDT switch.

The clamps arrived from Shapeways last week. I had six made for each bus. I just ordered six to begin with to make sure they would do the job properly. They do. They are incredibly strong and hold the bus securly away from the underside of the board. Keeping them away from the surface makes cutting into the bus so much easier when connecting to the track wires.

First I drew a quick sketch of the clamp. Then made a quick demo from foam board. When I was satisfied with the dimensions I created a sketch in SketchUp and then sent this to Shapeways.
The clamps arrived a week later. The bus easily fitted in the hole without being too loose. The clamps are very light but still very strong.
The bus runs the length of the board and I tried to keep it close to the section wires that it will connect to.

I decided to build a staging platform for the DC wiring. The platform serves several purposes:

  1. It clears a space for the DC wires and terminal blocks.
  2. It sends wires to the control panel.
  3. It routes the wires the different sections.
  4. It hides the AC system wires beneath it.
  5. It allows me to drill holes to secure the terminal blocks without worrying about drilling through the surface of the board.
  6. It will hold the turnout motor switch wires.
I try to not ever throw things away. These plastic cylinders came from some self-assemble furniture kit (Ikea?). I didn’t know what I was ever going to use them for. Came in handy here though.
The AC wiring is below the platform so that the DC wiring can be designed unencumbered. The goal is to connect the throttle, add the first section on off switch and power the first section of track. I also need to swap out the diagram for the updated version. I should be able to see the first locomotive moving on the track in the next few days.