Wireing 1156 bulbs into DCC for circuit protection

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I am starting to re-wire my layout for DCC. I have heard that placing 1156 auto bulbs into the wireing within each block will help protect the circuit breaker in my unit(MRC). Would you explain to me how to wire the bulbs properly? Thanks, Jeff Steuer

-- Geoffrey Steuer (Gsteuer@webtv.net), June 16, 2001


See my web page section on Track Wiring http://www.WiringForDCC.com for use of the tail light bulb. Also see the section on Turnouts.

Note: The goal of the tail light bulb is not to protect the circuit breaker. The circuit breaker is perfectly capable (unless defective) of protecting itself! :)

The goal is to limit the impact of a short to the affected block instead of a larger portion of the layout if they were not used. Furthermore, the lit bulb aids in troubleshooting identifying where the short is.

Other than puttting the bulb in series with the feeder to the track, there isn't much more instruction you need.

How many bulbs and how big should a block be? For a single person home, you could get by with the layout broken into sections, with several turnouts per section. But be prepared to do some troubleshooting; perhaps a lot.

For a club or other large layout, I have now concluded that the section should be a piece of track that has at most one turnout unless the section of track is a a double ended yard - in which case the turnouts at each end may be included. The club electrical expert isn't always present and this locallizes the problem pretty much instantly. The problem can be fixed or isolated from the rest of the layout so the operating session can get back underway. I have had people write me where their group decided to go back and bulb the whole yard. So I'm not the only one who has come to this conclusion. Yes, that's a lot of bulbs. Good thing they are cheap! If you only put one or two turnouts per section of track using a bulb, don't put one in series with wiring going to frogs. This will be overkill. (As if the nah-sayers of bulbs don't think what I do now is overkill.) Some people like being in the dark! :) Couldn't resist! Ugh, that pun was bad, too! :)

-- Allan Gartner (bigboy@augustmail.com), June 16, 2001.

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