LCRR herald

Louisiana Central Railroad Company

Wire Hangers

When I erected my basic L-girder framework for the layout, I used a single "keeper" joist at each leg set location for the purpose of holding the L-girders in position.  As I've progressed with the sub-roadbed around the layout, I've added joists on approximately 16" centers to support the risers and sub-roadbed.

Many modelers drill holes through their joists in which they then pull the wires for the various electrical circuits around the layout.  The problem I have with that is threefold:
  1) I don't have all the joists in place so that the wire can be pulled through.
  2) Making changes to the wiring becomes more laborious if one has to pull wiring in or out of all those holes.
  3) Moving or modifying joists and other supporting benchwork components can be very inconvenient if wiring is already run through them.

My solution was to create a series of hangers for the wiring.  For this I use simple EMT conduit clamps attached to the web of the L-girders.  These clamps are available in many sizes; I'm using 1/2" and 3/4".  I buy them in boxes of 100 at Home Depot and they are relatively inexpensive in that quantity

I use a single 3/4" hex head sheet metal screw to attach the clamp, oriented in a vertical position, with the screw at the bottom.  I like these screws as I can drive them into the soft pine wood, using a nut driver, without first drilling a pilot hole.

Generally I space the clamps about 12" apart, with additional clamps located where needed.  When running multiple wires through the clamps (which I normally do) I use both color coded wires and a liberal use of cable markers.  I am running my power buses at the back L-girder near the wall, and my control buses at the front L-girder near the aisle.  I also have some special wiring in a couple locations for the optical detectors on the staging tracks.  This is a 25 pair telephone cable that I'm suspending in it's own set of 1/2" conduit clamps attached to the bottom of the joists.  I've already had to make changes in that wiring and the clamps made it a snap.  Merely loosen the screw at the clamp and slip the wire in or out, then re-tighten.

While not very high tech, this method has served me well on my last couple layouts.

Return to Technical-Electrical Home

© 2006-2014 Jack C. Shall - All rights reserved. Last page update: 01 Apr 2014