Shelf layout construction tips

I am going to build a shelf layout in HO. I have the initial plan created.
My concern is making sure that the sections fit and stay together and that
electrical connections do the same. I will be using DCC to run the
locomotives. What I need are some basic instructions for putting the
sections together and making the connections. Any links would be helpful as
well as any pertinent suggestions.
Thanks in advance.
Reply to
Jeff Hensley
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Jeff, there's no shortage of books available on layout building. Trying to cover all bases (or even many of them), as far as construction materials, connection types etc, in a usenet post isn't really practical. Or maybe if you provide more detail about what you're using, someone can give specific help.
Reply to
<nospam
Jeff, I am doing exactly what you are. What I did to line up the modules was to clamp them together and make sure the joint was level on top. Then I drilled two 17/64th" holes and used 1/4 in carriage bolts with fender washers and wing nuts to hold them together. For the wiring, I am going to use a household extension cord with a plug on one end and a socket on the other.
Reply to
Frank A. Rosenbaum
DON'T EVER DO THAT WITH A HOUSEHOLD EXTENSION CORD!!! Eventually someone will plug it into the mains and even if the result is not fatal it will cause fairly terminal damage to your locos etc etc.
I use either computer 25 pin parallel plugs and sockets (difficult for inexperienced solderers) Radio DIN plugs and sockets (better) or Marklin/Brawa colour coded plugs and sockets.
The cheapest multipin plugs and sockets are ordinary chocolete block connectors in pairs with 1/32" brazing rod pins screwed tight into one set and the other set as the socket.
Reply to
Greg Procter
OK, you got my attention with that. I forgot that you can make something 'fool proof', but you can't make it Damn Fool Proof. I will have to come up with a better way.
Thanks Greg.
Reply to
Frank A. Rosenbaum
You can get miscellaneous connectors at Radio Shack (USA) or the Source (Canada), and even at Canadian Tire in the auto parts section. Use the cheapest ones that have enough pins. (You don't have Canadian Tire? Pity. :-))
Reply to
Wolf
No Canadian Tire???? Gasp, I guess I will have to drive the three hours or so to get from Seattle to BC to get to one.
Since I won't be taking it apart very often, I think I will use the Cinch-Jones, or Molex connectors that I already have.
Reply to
Frank A. Rosenbaum
Suggestion. Go to the NMRA website and look for the NMRA specifications for modular layouts. Such a specification ought to call out electrical connectors, mechanical fittings to join modules, and other things required to allow modules built by different modelers to plug together and work. Any connectors or hardware recommended is probably easy to find, reliable and economical.
David Starr
Reply to
David Starr
I was thinking about using suitcase type fasteners to hold the module together. That would provide easy setup/teardown. However, using a bolt system would add more stability. Thanks. For the electrical connections I was thinking RCA type male/female plugs. Thoughts?
Reply to
Jeff Hensley
Jeff Hensley spake thus:
For the electrical connections I was thinking RCA type male/female plugs. Thoughts?
Nah. Not a good idea for safety reasons (although I'll have to admit I have a track board with a phone jack for power, also not a good idea). If you're the only one who'll ever plug it in to something, probably not a problem. But if someone plugs a DCC-powered phono plug into someone's boom box input, watch out!
I'd suggest Molex connectors, which are cheap, easily available, and made for power connections (think PC power supply connectors). Or whatever folks use by convention to power modules, as someone else suggested.
Reply to
David Nebenzahl
Most of the molex stuff I have seen isn't designed for frequent plug and unplugging (I think they are rated at something like 200 cycles or so before the contacts bend out of shape).
Anderson makes a reasonably priced set of connectors that is non-gendered, so that for example one might be able to turn part of the layout around 180 degrees and still plug the connectors together.
As we are not talking about huge voltages, a lot of different stuff in the automotive parts stores should work OK.
Reply to
gl4316

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