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What should the distance be between feeders I have #14 wire running between my feeders They are about 10ft. apart , now I hear they should be 6ft. apart Should I add feeders I have a big boy system in n-scale

-- jerry ernst (jerbear@execpc.com), January 24, 1999



I recommend a feeded soldered to each piece of rail on the layout. I use 18ga stranded wire for the feeders. When I say each rail, no matter how short.

For hidded trackage, I even add two feeders just in case a feeded solder joint does fail.

Now, be aware that most other people say I do not need to add so many feeders ("over-kill" is the most popular comment). But, I have not worried about feeders for over 25 years. Never had a train stop or slow down because of too few feeders.


-- Mansfield (gofigure@zianet.com), January 25, 1999.

Jerry, I've built 3 HO layouts and used this as a feeder rule; one feeder for each section of rail, be it hand laided or flex track. I've never had a power loss problem on my layouts, except when the neighbors cat got stuck in one of the tunnels, but thats another story....

-- Carl Lester (lstrcp@mail.myriad.net), February 18, 1999.


I will also recommend a feeder to each piece of rail. However, I do think that AWG 20 or AWG 22 (but not 24) will be sufficient for feeders - when each rail piece is connected. For N scale that will make for a much nicer appearance. But note that the bus wire that the feeders are connected to will make a big difference. The size of AWG 14 is good for most small and average size N scale layouts - pending the actual length of run. If you have a long winding walk along isle layout or a much larger than average sized pike - then consider larger wire for the bus runs. Check out the wire4dcc web site and the actual resistance measurements for different wires to calculate what you might need. But the drops for each rail should be considered a must. You can effectively solder every other rail joint and have the drop per rail easily done with your present wiring. This should be considered carefull as expansion and contraction activities of the rail in less than ideal environments willbe greatly affected with the joints soldered. N scale rail is so small electrically (even the code 80 stuff) that the more frequent drops will be the better option. -ed mccamey-

-- Ed McCamey (emccamey@cheerful.com), February 24, 1999.

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