Main track feeders: Loop or dead end them

I am installing a pair of main track feeder wires under my 5x9 layout. There will be 2 sets, one for an 027 figure 8 in the middle, and one set for a Super O loop on the outside.

 After I loop them around under the main, more or less, should I "splice" them back into themselves for true loops, or should I just "Deadend" them under the table.

I am running conventional now, with ZW transformers. MIGHT try a little newer control stuff in the future.



Original Post

If you ever run DCS, you don't want to loop them together, that causes what is called "multi-path" for the command signals and they can interfere with themselves at he point where they actually arrive at the engine.  You also "ideally" put a gap somewhere in the center rail for DCS, as even for a small circle, the track itself can be the multi-path source. It may work without the gap and if you do the loop of wire, but it also may not.  It's hit or miss.

I am pretty sure I experienced this in early days with DCS, as I was running a simple loop of O72 on my living room floor and seeing far more error messages than I should have, it was likely because I had no gap in the center rail.  That was also a very early TIU, they have improved in some ways over the years.


Dave, I had exactly the same problems with some pre-layout and very small temporary loops when I first got my DCS system. It is a Rev L, got it when the Rev L first came out, so I don't think the problems caused by no breaks/blocks have gone away. When I made my more permanent layout I followed Barry's book, made blocks, used MTH terminal strips, etc. and I have not had a DCS error in over 4 years (other than self inflicted ones). Sure made a believer out of me as far as gaps/blocks are concerned! 

Mowingman, I would follow Dave's advice above if there is any possibility you will ever add DCS. If you do plan to get DCS, I would suggest getting one of Barry's books and following his recommended wiring methods. There are 2 of Barry's books now, one for the DCS TIU and Remote and one for the DCS TIU and Wifi setup, whichever way you plan to go (I have both because I added wifi after having a TIU and Remote). Barry is very generous with his knowledge in assisting others here as well.

If you did loop, all you have to do is disconnect one end. (though that may leave you with a longer bus depneding on how you need to approach it, as an island or wrap around, not to mention possible bus gauge choices.)

"Snip...Snip..All done"

The main advantage of looping can be a shorter power pathway at times, but it doesn't sound like your building a monster anyhow so safe sounds

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"


"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.


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