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Live-Wiring Peco Code 100

Nigel models OO gauge and asks readers:

“My question is – First-wiring up Peco code 100 tracks to make them live ready for DCC operation. How do I wiring up the rails on a 21/2 inch incline and down through the 3/4 inch plywood board, without splitting/damaging the incline? And what is the best way for the wiring? Please can you help me out-Thank you!”

15 Responses to Live-Wiring Peco Code 100

  • Sheldon Clarksays:

    Can you wire each one to the next, as if installing track circuiting on the real railway?

  • Ian Bellsays:

    I drill a 3mm (or thereabouts) hole to feed the wires through, but make sure you have a long shank drill bit to go through the 2 1/2 incline and the 3/4 inch baseboard. That means you will need 3 1/2 minimum length drill. I would suggest a length of 4 inches (100mm).

    • Bob Schwormsays:

      I have an incline that I am laying s scale track on and it runs along the backboar dor 400 inches – -up to 7.5 inches. The incline is 4 inch wide 1/2 inch plywood on foam supports. I take a plywood section and bring it down towards me where i can work on it. I screw down the track with small screws thru the ties. Then a pair of small holes on the outside of the rails for the droppers. Then set this section back in place. Drop a stiff wire down the holes until the touch the benchwork underneath and mark the spot. Remove the section. Drill the benchwork.

      Attach the droppers to the rails with solder and set back in place. Run the droppers down thru the incline thru the benchwork and attach to your buss lines. Other wise you can not see your backside of the far rail for soldering.

    • Nigel Woodgatesays:

      “My question is:- Ihave a peco code 100 ‘Electrofrog Points’, straight/curve and a 3 way point, and I would like help with the the Pecos insulating fishplates; do have a left hand straight point
      from the inner track leading into the sidings the that’s joins up with my other two points.. A small left point with a small 1/2 inch curve/ then a 3 way point
      Would like to know, if I have to put the “Insulating Fishplates” on all four rails or just near the frogs


  • Frank Bsays:

    How have you built the incline ? That would help us figure out a solution.

    If you have supply wires to the track at top and bottom of the incline, that should be sufficient.
    Not every single section of track needs supply wiring.

    If you are determined to make hidden connections to every section, drill small holes down through the trackbed just inside the fishplates and solder the wires to them.

    • Nigel Woodgatesays:

      Sending you pictures of the inclines that I would like to drill a hole into, and down thrugth the 3/4 inch plywood. I do have two incline/riser sets showing the coloured card paper-be for putting down the “Woodland Scenics Track Bed” Top picture with hill, lower bottom where the four tracks meet and next to the sidings! How can I solder wires to the two tracks, will I have to drill two holes in the middle of the inclines-close to each other . {For two tracks}

      Hope the pictures help


    • Nigel Woodgatesays:

      ,Frank Bsays:

      I had to tear up all the layout I already done, build and glue down the riser/incline-as shown in the picture, One of the riser I glued down going up. with the other incline going back down the other way!..Should I had left a straight section between the two down inclines? –showing the rolling stock as they are..{Back to back the two down inclies}
      Please note! why I ribbed the parcel layout up, because..” the long coaches keeps on touching each other”
      I put the straws down, like you said in the last train bloc-massage! on the incline set for the wires, drilled four holes in the 3/4 inch plywood-was not that easy

      Please can you help me out, as I am trying to do thing right, I keep on tearing up the layout and not getting anywhere


  • David Stokessays:

    We always recommend every piece of track having its dropper wire Frank, however it’s, as you say, not mandatory but a bl***y good idea.. However in the case of an incline power supply is critical and so droppers should be installed as per the recommendation. Using a sufficiently long drill bit of 3 to 5 mm diameter drill through to clear the bottom of your structure (incline and baseboard),

    Remove the bit and then run a drinking straw through the hole and secure it with your favorite glue. Your dropper will then slide though without snagging on the structure as it does so.

    A side benefit is that the insulation on the wire will not be in contact with any polystyrene foam, which I am led to believe eats the insulation off wire and so creates a fire hazard.

    • Nigel Woodgatesays:

      My question is:- I have two inclines/risers-close together, the cap between the two rails on my inclines. Do I drill two holes into the track underlay down through the inclines, to the 3/4 inch plywood? Without ripping them up, I had wasted quiet a few! I had laid the rails with “foam tact glue and pined some down-with Peco nails” used a pin vise tool and the bits that came with it, they kept breaking, and now I was told this tool is not for hard plywood.
      Please what can I do to knock the nails into the rails and plywood?


      • Frank Bsays:

        As this is on an already built layout, to avoid major dismantling, I suggest simply soldering the rail joiners to both rails they join to improve fishplate contact. This will give good electrical continuity without drilling and digging.

        Anther possibility is to just push the the additional supply wires through and tuck them under the edge of the underlay, then run them to a point where you can easily connect to the next convenient supply node. (Very much as cables are sometimes laid beside real railroads !)

        Or here’s a sneaky trick I just thought of: with a few little twigs and paint, disguise wires to the side of the track as fallen tree branches !

      • Bob Schwormsays:

        How about using a nail punch or nail set and hammer? Are you spiking down the actual rails to the ties? My benchwork has 1 inch foam on top. I discovered that if I smear a streak of foam tack glue – like Loctite 100 foam board, down the center line of my track plan, and then set down the roadbed and track, I am able to drill a small hole thru the members and push down a 1 inch sewing pin, with a small flat head. The tact smear dries very stiff and hard, forming a tough skin, that grabs very well to the pin. You can still pull these pins and move your track around if necessary and save destroying all your track otherwise. However if you glue down ballast, then it becomes a very permanent thing. Maybe you want to live with foam subroadbed so you can get it back up.

  • David Broadsays:

    There is no need to provide droppers to every single piece of Code 100 track unless you are using 4 to 6 loco lash ups or running 10 coach formation of lit coaches. Code 75 or smaller gets more tricky, but generally code 100 is fine up to 1 amp. I would put 1 amp poly switches in the feed lines to cope with overloads. If you must use a bus run it on the surface in a shallow groove in the base or just cover it with ballast. Big fat bus wires are needed when you get into the 50 foot from the control panel range or if you mix tiny rail sections and 4 amps DCC output.

  • Nigel Woodgatesays:

    Thank you for getting back in-touch, “My question is –
    Question: 1-
    When adding plastic insulation fishplates to electrofrog points, I do have a 3 way point going into my fiddle yard!..Do I put all of the plastic fishplates on the 3 way point/rails; -Please can
    Question: 2-
    I had to tear up all the underlay and rails, as the longest coaches hid each other, going you help me out, I will be having a person to do the wiring on all points-as he knows about electric!around the curves-I used the Pecos six-foot gauge for the straight and curve section!
    Can I still use the same rails as they do have glue and bits of underlay to the under neath

  • Nigel Woodgatesays:

    Can anyone help me, I do have Peco code 100 double and single slip crossings, and want to know how to wire it up for DCC operation!… Youtube shows wire attached to the underneath, But! do not show how and where to solder a Peco wire too; Is there a youtube on this, showing step by steps on how to solder the silver wire to a Peco coloured wire?
    Sending pictures- of what I will be doing, soldering the four Peco wires to one point, I saw this for a better connection!


  • Nigel Woodgatesays:

    Can anyone help me, I do have Peco code 100 double and single slip crossings, and want to know how to wire it up for DCC operation!… Youtube shows wire attached to the underneath, But! do not show how and where to solder a Peco wire too; Is there a youtube on this, showing step by steps on how to solder the silver wire to a Peco coloured wire?
    Sending pictures- of what I will be doing, soldering the four Peco wires to one point, I saw this on youtube for a better connection! The double/single slip I am having trouble with the Peco wire that I am using to wire up the tracks!


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