I have a Bachmann Dcc dynamis system which I understand as being a basic starter type system. I am almost complete with a basic 15x48 loop which will have a few sidings. My question is how many feeders or how many feet between feeders will I need to maintain a good signal for reliable operations? The manual that came with this system says you can add more(recievers)term???) but rather than do that I would likely upgrade to a better system. So in summary could you give me some sound basic universal wiring advice for any DCC system?
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With DCC, if you have good electrical continuity you will also have good signal continuity. Most folks in DCC use a buss wiring strategy with a pair of feeders every few track sections, or even every section. If you're working in 3-rail O you'll find most of your signal problems will come from arching on the rollers, wheels, and momentary shorts in the switches. Each arch results in a voltage fluctuation that corrupts the data packet at that moment. The system will continuously try to resend the signal, but a section of dirty track can cause fits.
A couple of clubs here that want to avoid trouble have very strict standards. They require a feeder for every piece of rail, so they never depend on rail joiners.
On the other hand, my digitrax manual says if it runs OK, you probably have enough. I have feeders about every other piece of track more or less.
Another option is the quarter test. I assume your system has a circuit breaker that shuts it down if there is short circuit. The quarter test (developed by an HO gauger) suggests you put a quarter or other piece of metal across the opposite rails at various points and see if the circuit breaker cuts the system out. if it does not, you are supposed to add feeders.