Is it necessary to run a power bus?

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#1
I have a small 8x8 HO Layout that I am running with a Zephyr. I have the Zephyr connected directly to Kato Unitrack. In all my DCC research, there is only mention of DCC Power Bus use with layouts and I am wondering if I am going about this wrong. Should I connect my Zephyr to a power bus and get current to the tracks via intermittent drop leads? Any advice or personal shared experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#2
I have a small 8x8 HO Layout that I am running with a Zephyr. I have the Zephyr connected directly to Kato Unitrack. In all my DCC research, there is only mention of DCC Power Bus use with layouts and I am wondering if I am going about this wrong. Should I connect my Zephyr to a power bus and get current to the tracks via intermittent drop leads? Any advice or personal shared experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Is it working the way it is? Can you drop a quarter anywhere on the track and have the circuit breaker trip the unit off? Are the trains slowing down or acting funny in one particular part of the layout? If the answer to the first two questions is yes, and the thrid is no, then no you don't need a power bus.

Actually even if the answer is no to the second one, it can be fixed by running a couple more connections directly from the power to the track without a bus. If there is a section of track where the trains are acting funny, run the power to that section. Think about it, on an 8x8 layout -assuming a loop- 8 x pi is a bit more than 25 feet. So the train is never more than 13 feet from power. Run a second set of wires 1/2 way through the loop and the train is never more than 7 feet from power. Run two more sets of wires (total of 4 now) and the train is always within 4 feet of power. Too easy. I'm assuming you have more than one loop of track, but the concept still applies.

I've run a 13x20 G-gauge layout without a power bus with no problems, but it was a temporary layout. Were I making a perminant layout of that size I probably would run a bus.

My general philosophy is, "Don't go solving imaginary problems."
 
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