Mar 4, 2007

Wiring and the 1156 lamps

More wiring... I'm installing 1156 lamps these days, to provide some short-circuit protection. There's a lot of discussion on this method in various places - see this entry from Wiring For DCC for some background. So far, the Dolores panel is done (7 lamps), and the Durango panel is 2/3rds done (9 out of 13 done). A good deal left to go.

Anyway, the issue is how exactly to install these buggers. I'm just soldering directly to the lamps since they should last pretty much indefinitely, but that's a little tricky. The final plan I came up with was to feed one side of the main track feed to a terminal block, then to a wire soldered across the tips of a line of 1156 lamps anchored to the benchwork. Then, wires soldered to each brass base of the lamps is fed back down to the terminal blocks feeding each section of track. Yeah, I know - I really need a picture of this... eventually I'll try to add one.

There's one lamp for each section of track, basically each block, or each group of service or yard tracks; I'm trying to minimize the number of these lamps I need to solder and install. Actually, I'm trying to arrange it so each locomotive would always be protected by its own lamp, so tracks are divided based on how many locos I think will be active at any one moment. BTW, I've been buying these lamps at Walmart - they're only about 98 cents each there, in the automotive section.