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Author Previous Topic: Overland Green River Basin RR.- construction Topic Next Topic: HTRR - Chapter 2  

john holt
Engine Wiper



Posted - 01/13/2019 :  11:22:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am in the process of building a new home for the Gulf Coast & Western railroad. My room will be a rectangle of 13'-6 x 33'-6. I plan to put two plug strips of 6 plugs each at third points on the two 33' walls but no plugs (outlets) on the the two shorter walls. These outlets are for train operation only. They will not be used for room lighting or anything but DCC and accessory power only. Each wall will have a 20 amp breaker at the box. While I see a lot of layout books with track design and bench work, I have found very little info on electrical requirements. Any info or comments will be greatly appreciated as wiring will be going in, in a couple of months or less. Thanks, John.

GULF COAST & WESTERN


Country: USA | Posts: 370

nortonw
Section Hand



Posted - 01/14/2019 :  12:32:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
John,

Electrical requirements are seldom planned before the actual requirements are identified. You need to calculate all the current you will be drawing for the DCC and Accessory Power. That includes Main Power, Boosters, etc. 20 Amps would probably be enough but figure it out first so it doesn't bite you in the ass later. If all the outlets are to be used at the same time, 20 Amps may not be enough. 12 fully utilized outlets per breaker may be a little excessive. Might want to consider 6 outlets per breaker if your electrical box has the capacity.

So make sure you know as closely as possible how much current you will need, add some for safety factor, then you will know pretty closely what you will need.

Also, if you are building to code, check what the code requirements are for your location. In my area you have to have outlets every 6 feet an every wall. I think that may be a common requirement for power but check that too as you go. The installing electrician may not install it as you want if he is 'on the books' for the install. If you are going to do it yourself before the drywall goes up, that's another story of course.


Norton

The V & T lives in my garage (soon)

Edited by - nortonw on 01/14/2019 12:36:49 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 82 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/17/2019 :  4:03:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I find it convenient to turn layout power on/off with one switch. So I wired one quad box with a switch/pilot light module on one side controlling two outlets in the other openings. A power strip plugged into it feeds my half-dozen boosters and power supplies. Combined they don't draw anywhere near 20 amps. But I should use my Kill-A-Watt to get a better number.

I have 6 unswitched outlets around my attic walls to power tools, work lights, vacuum cleaners etc. They aren't evenly spaced due to the lay-out of my attic, but the longest intervals are ~20 feet. My cheaper power tools need extension cords with this spacing, as do most 0ff-the-shelf clamp-on work lights. But illuminated cube taps are cheap and widely available.



Country: USA | Posts: 6513 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/17/2019 :  5:02:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When I finished my basement to be the new layout room and workshop, I specified the following:
1. Normal overhead lighting, but 4000k LED bulbs, controlled by a wall switch
2. Wiring for track lighting, controlled by a 2nd wall switch (in each of the 2 rooms.)
3. Every wall outlet would have one of the 2 outlets controlled by a wall switch (in each of the two rooms)

So I can do layout lighting from the track lighting outlets in the ceiling, and shut it off when I go upstairs. The same for layout and tool (soldering iron!) power.

One space in my layout room would be a closet if that space were used as a bedroom. So the way we wired its lights is the power for those 2 lights goes to a box on the unfinished side of the basement. Right now that box is wired into the rest of the room's overhead lights. But it would be easy to cut in a wall switch so the closet lights are controlled by a separate switch, if someone wants to convert that space back to a closet.

One other non-electrical note: For flooring, I used thick vinyl plank over the slab. I asked my flooring guy for the best choice to pad the floor, since standing on concrete can be very hard on your feet and knees. I'm very happy with the result. That stuff was installed directly over the concrete, no need for underlayment or a separate pad. The vinyl looks a lot like the red oak hardwood that is the flooring in the rest of the house, too.

(James has been to my basement and he's seen how all this worked out.)

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 8498 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/17/2019 :  10:18:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Dave's layout room does reflect a good deal of thought. But I'm withholding judgement on his track lighting till I see it. I've visited layouts locally and at a dozen or so national and regional conventions. I've only seen one whose track lighting produced even illumination, without 'hot' or 'dim' areas. One of its builders said I was looking at about double the number of track lights they'd initially installed.


Country: USA | Posts: 6513 Go to Top of Page

john holt
Engine Wiper



Posted - 01/18/2019 :  1:29:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
James, Dave & Norton.....thanks for the input.
Dave brought up a couple of points I need to address and that is power switches (light switches), I think one switch for each side of the layout (each on a separate circuit breaker) will be good plus one switch for all the overhead lighting that will be on a separate circuit. I'll be running DCC so I figure a main system power supply and at least one more booster. I'll also have some aux power supplies for accessories. I would rather have unused outlets as opposed to coming up short. I am still thinking 12 outlets on each 33' wall should do. In an effort to keep costs down, I am thinking of using interlocking foam floor pads on my concrete floor, only placing these in the walkways not under bench work. I am building my layout inside of a 30' x 40' metal building using one corner of that building. I have some progress photos I may post a little later. I will say that at age 70, I find getting down on the floor a lot easier than getting up. I won't have time in my life for a re-do on my layout so I appreciate all the info from folks on the forum for their help in getting it right the first time. Thanks....John


GULF COAST & WESTERN


Country: USA | Posts: 370 Go to Top of Page

mayor79
New Hire

Posted - 01/09/2020 :  08:36:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Electrical code in residential applications requires a plug every 12ft along a wall and at least one plug on every wall that is longer than 2ft. So your short walls, to meet code, must have plugs.

My train room (only 12' x 7') has a plug on each wall and as jbvb did i have a plug on a switch to serve as a master layout on/off control. I'm currently building the layout right now and already discovered that having plugs all over is great during construction, even in a small room I'm not tripping on extension cords draped across the floor. I'm in the camp of you can never have too many plugs!



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Neil M
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 01/14/2020 :  06:09:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nortonw

You need to calculate all the current you will be drawing for the DCC and Accessory Power. That includes Main Power, Boosters, etc. 20 Amps would probably be enough but figure it out first so it doesn't bite you in the ass later. If all the outlets are to be used at the same time, 20 Amps may not be enough. 12 fully utilized outlets per breaker may be a little excessive. Might want to consider 6 outlets per breaker if your electrical box has the capacity.

So make sure you know as closely as possible how much current you will need, add some for safety factor, then you will know pretty closely what you will need.


Hang on, you haven't taken into account the voltage change there. If the DCC system uses 20 Amps at 16 Volts then that is 320 Watts (16x20) which is only 2.9 Amps at 110 Volts (320/110 - 110V is the mains voltage in North America, isn't it?), so well within any house wiring capabilities.

Unless you reckon that the layout and everything could take 20 Amps at mains voltage, which is 2200 Watts? But that sort of power seems way over the top unless you are plugging a string of 22 old fashioned incandescent light bulbs in or 500W floodlights.


Built a waterfront HO layout in Ireland http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=22161 but now making a start in On30 in Australia http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=52273

Country: Australia | Posts: 2502 Go to Top of Page
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