I opted for DC rather than DCC for a number of reasons including:
- I have a number of older locomotives that would be more difficult to chip
- I felt that DCC was unnecessary on such a small layout – although I am now in two minds and I ended up over-engineering the DC anyway!
I chose cab control as described in Wiring the Layout Part 2 (my copy is about 40 years old but I do not think cab-control has changed much) mainly because it is what I had done before on a previous larger layout. So despite its small size the layout is divided into 4 sections. This does have the advantage that I am not relying on the points for isolation. I have used the common return approach to minimize the number of wires under the baseboard and between the layout and the control panel, with a view to using some old 5 pin din leads to connect the layout to the control panel; 4 sections means 5 wires, one for each section plus one for the common return.
Here is a view under the baseboard.
Figure 1 shows one of the droppers from the track. The droppers are terminated immediately under the baseboard into choc-box connectors. This makes it easy to reconfigure if necessary and also means that the wiring does not pull at the droppers. The droppers are fixed to the underside of the track by first removing a small section of the track plastic webbing, then filing the underside of the rail with a needle file to provide a rough surface to bond to. About 4 mm of the dropper wire was stripped and about 2mm of the stripped section bent at 90 degrees. This right angle section was soldered to the underside of the track. The droppers were poked through the drilled holes when laying the track and then connected to the choc-box connectors. This makes the droppers completely invisible from the top side.
Figure 2 shows the central bank of connectors for all of the sections. The wires are colour coded, yellow for common return with a different colour for each section. The central bank is connected to the 5 pin din edge connector (3). Figure 4 shows an alternative connector at the back of the layout which is currently not used but could be wired to the central bank in the same way as the front connector.
I now wish I had included isolated sections at the end of each siding. I might try to incorporate them later but it will mean some droppers that are not as tidy as those that were put in before the track was laid and ballasted.
Edited by goldngreen