Another DCC Wiring Question

I was going to solder the feed wires to the track to the copper strip that was fitted at each board join. This would have given at least a 1
metre spacing and would have been easier than soldering to the rail. I also have the problem that as this is in a loft access to the outer rail would prove impossible. For sidings etc that didn't cross a join I was going to solder wire to the rail joiners before laying the track but I have now been advised that I should leave the joiners to hold the track together and not rely on them conducting electricity due to the possible corrosion between the rail and joiner over time. Now I could solder wires to the outer rail before laying the track to overcome access problems but I was further advised to go as far as soldering wires direct to points aswell. If this is necessary I will need to take some of the points up to do this which wont be impossible but I would rather not do it. Am I being paranoid or can I rely on the joiners feeding power to the rails on points or do I need to do as it was suggested to me. I am inclined not to ignore advice given by somebody more knowledgeable than me.
Kevin
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I am inclined not to ignore advice given by somebody more knowledgeable than me. Kevin
Could be a bit of a problem then if someone suggests that you solder to the fishplates and someone else tells you not to. :o)
My twopenneth for what its worth, I previously soldered droppers to the track about every 3ft and never had any problems. I also soldered the track at each joint to the fishplates to ensure good conductivity, but was advised against this as this did not allow for expansion/contraction.
I have since replaced the baseboards and have now soldered droppers to every fishplate (this means that each set of insulfrog points has three sets of connections), I have then allowed 0.5mm gap between each rail joint to allow for expansion/contraction. My locomotives run beautifully at the moment, cannot say whether future corrosion will cause problems, but with the number of electrical connections to the track I doubt it will be a problem.
I suggest that you take a cross section of the advice given and go your own way too much advice can be stifling, whilst using other peoples experiences can prevent additional time and expence, there can also be great experience to be gained from making and rectifying your own mistakes.
Eddie.
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I would think that a feed every metre via your board connecter would be ideal. If you have a hostile environment in your loft which might corrode your joiners, then solder them to the rail. If you need to solder to the joiners for other reasons then why not solder tack to the rails as well? I have read suggestions on this group of using 2.5mm² cable for such bus applications. I find that 0.5mm² RS pvc covered does just fine. I have feeds up to 14m apart which pass via joiners, points and centuries of dust without too much hassle.
Regards
Peter A Montarlot
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peter abraham wrote:

I would be morried about a hostile loft environment that results in repeated expansion/contraction of the rail. Soldering rail joiners to rails is a recipe for disaster in this case.
MBQ
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I am assuming that if I did that then I would need to cut expansion gaps into the rails.
Kevin
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Kevin wrote:

Yes, but if that creates an isolated section how do you wire to it? Best just to wire direct to the rails and leave the expansion gaps where the rail joiners are.
MBQ
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Kevin wrote:

Sounds good to me. And a bit of paint and ballast will hide the wire very nicely. Bonus!

You can solder the drop (feed) wires to the rail before you install it. Lay the rail in location, mark feed wire location, drill hole, thread wire through hole, fasten down rail.

Right. Just solder the joints after laying the track. Since siding tracks are generally short, thermal expansion/contraction won't be a problem.
[...]

You can add feeder wires to the several rails and frog of the turnout after laying it, it's just a bit more bother.
You could mount the turnouts on a standardised block, complete with motor, wiring terminals, etc. This would entail precise tracklaying either side of the joints, but since you're using copper clad, that shouldn't be a problem. Bonus: interchangeable units, making for easier repair and maintenance. Might be worth taking up the already installed turnouts to do this - your judgment call.
HTH
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