THE MAIN POWER BUS
The basic idea of having a bus is to have a supply, readily available, anywhere around the layout.
Two thick wires. Either Solid Core, Stranded (32 x 0.2 – 32 strands each with a 0.2mm diameter) or two strips of copper tape. These are laid around the entire length of the layout – end to end or in a circle.
The Gaugemaster Master Controller has two outputs to allow two separate controller connections – two ‘Power Districts’ or two ‘Track Sections’.
The power is generated in the Master Controller. Connect the O/P 1 terminals to each of the two wires or strips and use `droppers’ or `feeders’ from the actual track to the wire or copper tape when and where required.
Connect the O/P 2 terminals to each of two separate strips and use `droppers’ or `feeders’ from the actual track to the wire or copper tape when and where required.
This idea of using a bus is fast catching on. There are other considerations, as we will see shortly but the basic idea is sound.
In the more complex layouts, there may be several `Power Districts’, each having its own separate power supply and controller. Each `Power District’ will require its own bus but the same basic principles apply to each bus.
THE AUXILIARY / ACCESSORY BUS
We can use the bus idea once again only this time to provide power for the points, signals, turntables, wagon tipplers, cranes etc.
There are times when it is necessary to isolate the track feeds from the Accessory feeds. The simplest way to achieve this is to run a separate bus – the Auxiliary or Accessory Bus – around the layout.
On most layouts, the pointwork and therefore the signals tend to be concentrated in one area – the station, goods yard etc. This means that the power drain can be very high and very noticeable, especially when `route setting’.
The solution to the power shortage is to have a separate `local’ 12v DC supply to power the accessory motors. We have used a separate power supply to provide us with up to 20 amps of power at 12volts. This is more than enough to power ALL points on the layout.
Where concentrations of pointwork are present it is possible to fit a local bus to feed a separate power supply to as many motors as can be safely and effectively handled by that supply. You need to create as many as you require.