E-Z track & DCC

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I am a total newbie, but am learning everything I can before I start. I plan on keeping thins fairly simple and am considering using Bachmann EZ Track for its ease of set up. i plan on staying to a 4' x 8' layout. I plan on having an inner and outer loope or figure 8 with as many turn outs as a can figure. both loopes will hopefully connect. Can this be done with EZ track and digitrack DCC? How would you wire the turn outs? Would you need feeders. What exactly do feeders do? If you have a small layout with good connections do you need feeders? That's one reason i am thinking of EZ Track because I don't have to solder the pieces together.


-- Jon Stinebaugh (jstinebaugh@san.rr.com), November 19, 2002


Hi There,

I am responding to your comment on EZ track not needing to be soldered together. I am new to the DCC community as well and am in the process of studying the topic before I jump in. Thats also why I agreed to moderate this forum for Mr. Gartner while he goes back to college. Anyway, I have used EZ track on a couple of layouts in the past. While it does speed up the track laying process and keeps things from shifting apart as you work on. I found about 6 months after I had laid my track, that the rail joiners had oxidized to the point they were no longer passing electricity through the joints at some spots. To correct it I ended up soldering the joints anyway.

-- James R. Mitich (Challenger@hrp.every1.net), November 19, 2002.

By definition...Track feeders connect, deliver or 'feed' electrical power to the track. At a minimum they connect the control box to the track. The actual wires can be long or short depending how you choose to wire the layout.

Poor electrical connections will foil the best of plans. They will occur weeks or months after you think the layout is done.

Nickel silver rail is not the best of electrical conductors. (Old fashioned brass track, and the EZ-track connectors, oxidizes way too soon.) You need under-the-table copper wiring to provide a lower resistance electrical distribution system.

Soldering every track joint can cause problems with normal thermal expansion/contraction. Track will become misalighed with temperature and humidity.

Thse problems are actually no different than common sense with DC or DCC. The size and complexity of your layout (and your patience) determines how far you need to go for reliable performance.

One of the better approaches is to solder track joiners only on curves or other critical locations so as to prevent kinking at the joint, and drop an electrical track feeder wire from every section of track (even to pre-made switches). This lets the under-the-table bus wire carry the current around the layout with low voltage drop. The plethora of track feeders ensure that each piece of track remains powered despite loose or oxidized rail joiners. It is relatively easy to solder 20-22 awg feeder wires to HO scale track with practice and a few simple tools. Ditto for other scales.

Good Luck, DonV

-- Don Vollrath (dvollrath@magnetek.com), November 19, 2002.

plaece were can I download an ez for partitioning a disk

-- prince yves (fagohimself@yahoo.com), March 30, 2004.

I have constructed a 4x6 DCC test layout using EZ track. While I find that the track has worked fine with DCC for over a year now, I find that the switches are mechanically awful and unreliable. They would be the same with DCC or DC power. Since I only have an oval with a passing track, I've managed to just ignore the switches (and use the passing track for storing extra locomotives while testing them).

So I can tell you that EZ track works fine with DCC. I still don't recommend it for a permanent layout where you'd be using the switches a lot. I did have to solder joints together though for good electrical flow around the layout.

BTW, I created a section of track that was electrically isolated and controlled by a toggle switch. I used this section as the programming track.

-- David M. Bott (david.m.bott@dartmouth.edu), September 20, 2004.

EZ track is fine for basic ovals, circles, or figure eights. The switches are HORRIBLE. They will derail your train far more frequently than any atlas switch. And you'll have to remove tine, annoying bits of plastic, which are automatically elevated or shaved by the rail joiners when you slide two pieces together.

99% of all rail joiner failure can be avoided very simply. Go to your local electrical supply house and buy an anti oxident product like "noalox" (no will ox). Dip both ends of the joiner in the product and install. Oxidation won't be a problem for years.

-- Craig Brown (Broncomaniac@hotmail.com), November 27, 2004.

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