Sunday, February 7, 2010

Layout Progress Report #7 as of 02/7/2010

Things are moving along on the Cahaba Southern, as a major milestone has been reached in the completion of the trackwork on the lower staging level!  All the turnouts and switchmachines, all the flex and rerailers!  Feeders are in place, as well as the subsection insulators.  Here are some pics, and please excuse the mess as work is continuing!

With all the track in place on the lower staging level, it is time to start getting the electrical in place for the layout.  Here are some of the details of what I'm planning to use:

  • Pyramid PS14KX 13.8VDC 14A Power Supply (For DCS100 and one booster)
  • Radio Shack 12VDC 1.75A Power Supply (For Digitrax DS64 Turnout Decoders)
  • Digitrax DCS100 Command Station 
  • Digitrax UR92 Duplex Panel with DT402D Throttle
  • 2 Digitrax PM42 Power Controllers (1 Per level)
  • 2 Digitrax AR1 Auto-Reverse Controllers (1 Per level)
  • 14AWG Solid Wire for Main DCC Bus Power
  • 20AWG Solid Wire Feeders from Track to Main DCC Buses & Turnout Machines to Digitrax DS64 Stationary Decoders
  • Numerous Terminal strips and plenty of fuses in the right places!

 I'm trying to make everything as accessible as possible for ease of installation and maintenance, yet still keeping things out of the way.  I got the idea to use foldaway mounting boards for the PM42s and DS64s from Bruce Faulkner's CSXT Shenandoah Division N scale layout, and I'm using something similar on mine.

Here you can see the beginning step of getting the lower level PM42 and AR1 wired up.  Yes, I am using 14 ga. wire soldered to the PM42 connector.  A little tricky, but doable.  Be sure to use heatshrink!

Here you can see a closeup of the board mounted to the layout.  Once complete the board will fold up out of the way, making things look neater under the layout:

Here is one final shot of the power station area of the layout.  Just getting started, plenty more wiring to do!


  1. Frank do you have a contact email?

  2. Your step by step should be included the new digitrx book that is ten years overdue. I have been waiting to pull my dcs out for fear of damage in all my mess but now I see the merits of building it as the track goes down.

  3. Thanks for your comment Thad, I agree, good books on Digitrax are a little long in the tooth and updates are overdue. This is especially noticeable as the Digitrax user manuals can be confusing when first read, making good reference material hard to come by. I will say in defense of the Digitrax manuals that they are complete and contain all the info you need, they are just not laid out as good as they could be. The best source for DCC and Digitrax info is the web, both in terms of blogs and usergroups. If you haven't found it yet, subscribe to the DIgitrax usergroup on yahoo. It is a wealth of information.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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