Best way to minimize length of track bus : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

I am building a basement-size double-deck layout that runs around the perimeter of the room (24 x 60) and out on a peninsula into the middle. See my website for a drawing at

I intended to power each level as a separate booster district, locating the power near where the peninsula attaches to the outer perimeter. (Under the town of Forbes in the upper left of the drawing).

This means that a VERY long track bus will exist to get power to Proctor Yard at the other end of the house - maybe 80 feet or more.

After reading about the problems with excessive track bus lengths on your site, I am wondering if a better approach would be to separate the room in half, powering everything (top and bottom) on the left half with one booster (or command station) and the right half with another. It looks like any given track bus would be shorter.

Your comments would be much appreciated.

Milt Spanton

-- Milt Spanton (, September 17, 2004


With the room being 24 x 60 I would use 2 boosters, one on each end of the room, about mid way along the short walls. Sever the track with dual rail gaps on both layers midway along the long walls to divide it up into 2 booster districts. Power upper & lower levels on each end from the same booster. Power the center peninsula from the booster near Forbes. Now the DCC bus can fan out in both directions from each booster about 40ft. The peninsula DCC bus extends out maybe 50ft. Be sure make all DCC busses twisted and use an R-C terminator at each far end. There should be no problem running the control/sync bus cable between the command station, wherever you choose to put it, and the boosters. You may choose to further split up each booster district into several smaller power districts, each protected by an electronic CB. [This is not absolutely necessary, but may be desired in a club operating environment.] Your crude plan shows several track wyes. Think those through carefully to provide the best location for using auto-reversers.

If you really have a need for more power (lots of simultaneous trains, or O or S scale) or just have extra money, consider the above, PLUS using separate boosters for upper & lower levels, and maybe a 5th booster for the center peninsula. 6 boosters total if you separate the upper and lower peninsula. Remember, each booster requires its own isolated power supply source.


-- Don Vollrath (, September 17, 2004.

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