02 March, 2010

Gettin' Wired Up!

Since Saturday afternoon, I've been doing the wiring thing for my layout. I've been lucky in away, thanks to the benchwork height and "suitcase connectors". While drilling the holes for feeders and switch throw rods, as well as the soldering of said feeders, is a top down job, done from a step ladder, that's not nearly as painful as when, on a low clearence layout, you're working either upside down, or twisted like a pretzel to solder the ends of the feeders on to your bus wires. I've got 48" high benchwork, and a swivel chair that I use at my workbench, that drops down pretty low... so low, that I can sit pretty much upright and do my wiring under the benchwork! Plus, no soldering, as I'm using IDC or "suitcase connectors", which allow for the 22-Ga feeder wires to be connected to the 14-Ga bus wires very cleanly, and quickly. Here's a few pixes of my progress so far:

I am color coding wires (so far, red for one rail, black for the other), but haven't labeled anything, as I'm not sure if it's necessary (maximum blocks will be two - one for the RF&P trackage, the other for the C&O trackage). I've also been using a slow, but steady method of avoiding problems with my electrical connections. Marty McGuirk suggested I connect each pair of feeders, then test the track work operation, to ensure I can quickly troubleshoot a problem. So far, other than one sticky Walthers-Shinohara switch, it's been working perfectly (knock on wood). I ran four small trains, two at a time, using the Digitrax Zephyr and a UP5 Throttle. I think my biggest problem right now is lighting. I need to get better/more lighting for both operations and for picture taking.
I hope to do a little more track work this Saturday, with Bob Sprague's assistance. Check back soon for another update.

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