Any special considerations for wiring a helix w/dcc : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

Am starting new double deck layout connected by a three turn double track helix which contains roughly 100 linear feet of track. Have had some experience w/Keller On Board but not DCC and definitely will use DCC, probably Digitrax, on this layout. Anyone out there have any experience w/wiring one of these things w/DCC? Any suggestions or potential pitfalls? Should a booster be used specifically for the Helix or would this be overkill? Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

-- Gary L Lasher (, February 02, 1999


I don't believe there is anything special you need to do. Just treat it as you would any other track you put down. You don't need to dedicate a booster to it.

If you helix will be hidden as most are, you might want to break the helix into electrical sections (blocks.) You could then feed the block detector outputs to a computer, or simply use these inexpensive detectors to drive LEDs on a control panel so you know where the train is.

I will be building a helix on my layout in about a year. I am putting block detectors all along my mainline so that my dispatcher has visibility of all trains. For hidden tracks, like the helix, I will probably also drive an LED display.

I will also be building my helix as an inverted ice cream cone rather than a perfectly cylindrical spiral. This will allow for at least one set of tunnel opennings to allow the train come out into the daylight before disappearing again. Reportedly, operators don't like not being able to see their train.

Hope this helps. Stay tuned to the Wiring for DCC web page when I get to this part.

-- Allan Gartner (, February 02, 1999.

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